Heinlein Readers Discussion Group
Saturday 05-28-2005 5:00 PM EDT
Beware The Stobor – Robots? in Heinlein
Here Begins the Discussion
You have just entered room “heinleinreadersgroupchat.”
aggirlj has entered the room.
Reilloc has entered the room.
Reilloc: Somebody tell me, is this thing supposed to start right now or in an hour?
Reilloc: Or am I an hour late?
IWillFearNoTrout has entered the room.
aggirlj: Hi there, how is it going
aggirlj: now according to my clock
LVPPakaAspie has entered the room.
Reilloc: Welcome, everybody to the Heinlein Readers Group online monthly discuss, Saturday session.
aggirlj: I’m going to invite Kultsi
Reilloc: Today’s May 28, 2005, it’s time to get things started and the topic is, “Robots in Heinlein.”
Kultsi KN has entered the room.
aggirlj: Hi Kultsi.
IWillFearNoTrout: hi kultsi ^_^
Kultsi KN: hi all!
Reilloc: Hi, Kultsi
Reilloc: You’re just in time.
Kultsi KN: my clock went plonk, plonk, plonk twelve times
IWillFearNoTrout: which means it’s 3 PM, right? 😛
Reilloc: Today, it’s “robots in Heinlein,” starting with the premise that there aren’t any mechanical men, per se, in Heinlein and going from there.
Kultsi KN: it’s a wall clock, and it sounds just like that
aggirlj: [aside: How was the turnout Thursday?]
Reilloc: So who, if anybody, wants to start with a question, a comment, a quip, a phrase or just a heavy sigh?
Reilloc: Good enough.
Reilloc: Now, tell me…
Reilloc: Can robots sigh and know what it means?
aggirlj: My only reference is TMIAHM and I think that if you had it programmed they could work it out somehow.
Kultsi KN: an absolute ‘no’ based on the current state of cybernetics
Reilloc: Thursday, about a dozen people showed up and robot sighing figured prominently in the discussion.
IWillFearNoTrout: oh, well. gotta go now. ttyl, if you’re all still here!
Reilloc: So, why are there no mechanical men in Heinlein?
Kultsi KN: the act, per se, is trivial to produce; _knowing_ is another animal
IWillFearNoTrout has left the room.
LVPPakaAspie: I’m not sure if I agree with your statement that there are no mechanical men in Heinlein’s work. Do you need two arms, two legs, a torso and a head to be a “man”? I think Mycroft, Dora, Minerva, and Teena all qualified.
Kultsi KN: k, jackie
Reilloc: That is, why are there no “mechanical men” other than some of the characters?
Reilloc: Okay, Don.
Reilloc: It’s your contention that these are mechanical men?
Reilloc: Consider Mike and Minerva, okay
Reilloc: Which one was a man?
LVPPakaAspie: Minerva acted more like a woman, actually, but we discussed that in the thread about the Virginia Bill of Rights on Tangaroa. “Man” can include any genital equipment.
Kultsi KN: LV, I’d say they were “men” as in being sentient and leaning heavily towards behavior we expect from flesh-and-blood men
Reilloc: Sentient, Kultsi?
Reilloc: Is sentience self-awareness or are there other thing that have to be present?
WolverineCDR has entered the room.
GreedyCapitalist has entered the room.
Reilloc: Welcome, Wolverine and GC.
Reilloc: You’re just in time to kinda sorta have a Heinlein discussion about “robots in Heinlein” or whatever else strikes the fancy of the assemblage.
Kultsi KN: self awareness is one crucial element of sentience, IMO, but that is _not_ enough to be a “man”
WolverineCDR: I’m pretty drunk.
aggirlj: I’m not sure who’s who, I’m Jane.
Kultsi KN: I’d say, unexpected reaction to stimulus might be another factor in observing sentience
Reilloc: Unexpected reaction?
Kultsi KN: you provide stimulus, expect reaction A, get something else; repeat and get still another response
Reilloc: How about this, there’s been some suggestion that Heinlein made a conscious literary choice not to include mechanical men in his fiction.
aggirlj: Okay, what was the ‘reason’, did he say?
Reilloc: I’m now aware of a reason he articulated.
Fire262 has entered the room.
LVPPakaAspie: It is possible for a computer to be programmed to give random or semi-random responses.
aggirlj: Hi Bob
Reilloc: ‘sup, is robots in Heinlein, Bob.
Reilloc: What’s your take on the omission of robots?
Kultsi KN: a mechanical man is bad engineering for a specific task
Reilloc: Why’s that, Kultsi?
DavidWrightSr: Asimov’s rationale for using the human form was specifically because it was general and not designed for a specific task.
Fire262: something along the lines that robots for specific tasks should be designed with that task in mind and humans are the ultimate generalists?
Kultsi KN: for an all-purpose animal we’ve done pretty well, but to make something to perform tasks for as — i.e. mechanical slaves — the human form is not very good
Kultsi KN: just take balancing on two feet!
Reilloc: Is it desirable to produce mechanical men designed to do only one thing?
Fire262: although an arguement could be made that form is insignificant beyond what influences the psyche of mortals
WolverineCDR: Yeah, I’d argue that specialization is the province of our tools, IE mechanical servants.
Fire262: (reilloc) depends on what one wants to accomplish, I suppose
WolverineCDR: I mean, hell, a knife or a hammer or a food processor is a specialization beyond what a normal unaugmented human is capable of doing.
Reilloc: So, what were the “stobor” in the warning in Tunnel in the Sky?
Fire262: a pleasure robot in human form has a reason to look like that
WolverineCDR: The human is the ultimate generalizationist.
WolverineCDR: That’s why we are unreplacable.
DavidWrightSr: ‘Specialization is for insects’. Somebody said that. 😎
Fire262: stobor were the catch-all terrorist critter that keeps a bunch of students on their toes
Fire262: a boogey man with a purpose, so to speak
Fire262: yea David
Reilloc: If specialization is for insects, why were all Heinlein’s “robots” only capable of thinking and reasoning instead of performing tasks?
WolverineCDR: And yet, the stobor existed. In every situation there is a threat that needs a specific response.
Fire262: of course they exist
Fire262: hike into the local wilderness and you will find a stobor
WolverineCDR: Whether that response is a rifleman with an M-249 and a killer attitude, or whatever else, it can’t be a robot with a preprogrammed set of responses.
Fire262: rural or urban wilderness, that is
Fire262: robots are necessarily predictable
Fire262: even when they are programmed for random actions
Kultsi KN: right, if they are not, they are humans
WolverineCDR: Damn skippy, Fire 262
Reilloc: Isn’t it desirable that people be predictable for an organized society?
WolverineCDR: Predictable = mechanized.
WolverineCDR: Without the random effects of humanity, there is no point.
Kultsi KN: for the leaders, yes; for us normal critters, not so much
Reilloc: Predictable = able to be relied upon to act rationally, no?
WolverineCDR: No art, no science worth menthioning.
Kultsi KN: it’s nice in traffic, though…
WolverineCDR: No fighting prowess, either.
Fire262: random individuals = adaptability
LVPPakaAspie: Under some circumstances, it is good for people to be predictable. For example, when I am driving, I prefer other drivers to be predictable as far as staying in the proper lane and such.
Kim Kinnison999 has entered the room.
Reilloc: It’s not desirable for business to be able to predict that most customers will buy instead of stealing their products?
Fire262: although we can be predictable in large groups to an extant
WolverineCDR: And yet, for those relationships which mean the most, unpredictability is an inherent component.
Reilloc: What relationships that mean the most?
WolverineCDR: I mean, if predictability were the highest criteria, we’d all be in personal relationships with computers.
Reilloc: Nobody said it was the highest criterion.
WolverineCDR: Easy answer, Reilloc. Those that are sexual pair-bondings.
Kim Kinnison999: what? somebody has a doubt sexual attraction is THE most important factor in male/female relations?? 😛
Reilloc: It’s not my personal experience that in sexual pair bondings that they’re viable without trust.
WolverineCDR: Because in the best case answer, those bondings complete incomplete personalities.
Reilloc: Trust comes from predictability.
WolverineCDR: Without trust, a sexual pair bonding is nothing more than hormonal attraction.
Kim Kinnison999: did i say viable?
WolverineCDR: Trust comes from prediction without a guarantee.
Reilloc: What’s the genesis of trust if predictability is bullshit?
Reilloc: Now you’re begging the question.
Kim Kinnison999: it just ain’t gonna get off the ground without it. anything further has no chance of developing
WolverineCDR: Connection on a level more basic than mere predictability.
WolverineCDR: Love is.
WolverineCDR: Nothing more, nothing less.
Reilloc: Love is what?
Kultsi KN: irrational
WolverineCDR: It is, that’s all.
Reilloc: It’s something robots can’t do.
Kim Kinnison999: yet
Kim Kinnison999: maybe
WolverineCDR: Irrational, I should frekin’ hope so.
Kim Kinnison999: if true sentience is possible, so is love
Reilloc: Can robots feel?
Kim Kinnison999: so you’re arguing for machines if true sentience can be achieved
WolverineCDR: Speaking as a man in love in the purest of senses. .. .
Kim Kinnison999: not now
Reilloc: How can you love without feeling?
WolverineCDR: Can robots feel? It depends. Will they make a sacrifice without any objective payback?
Reilloc: Robots cannot feel.
Kim Kinnison999: not now
Kultsi KN: I think there are several levels of predictability, and in some areas more so than in others
Reilloc: Do robots live forever?
WolverineCDR: Without the willingness to sacrifice on a objective plane without any payback, they are just machines.
Reilloc: If they do but can’t feel, is there ever time enough for love?
Kim Kinnison999: RAH postulated silicon based lifeforms with true sentience that could love
Kim Kinnison999: maybe it can happen, maybe it can’t
WolverineCDR: They can’t do what Audie Murphie or Roger Young would do.
Reilloc: Do robots have beliefs?
Kultsi KN: do androids dream of electric sheep?
Reilloc: who takes care of the caretaker’s daughter while the caretaker’s busy taking care?
Fire262: Metal Tears by Mike Resnick
Kultsi KN: not willie wanker, but maybe his brother
Kim Kinnison999: an argument we cannot settle.
Kim Kinnison999: if _true_ sentience is achievable by machines, all else must happen
Reilloc: Are all these questions and more why there are no mechanical men in Heinlein?
Kim Kinnison999: because rah delt in people, silicon and carbon based and ethics not technology?
aggirlj: In what I’ve read there always seems to be a class who fill the need for mechanical men.
Reilloc: So, did Heinlein concede the field to Asimov?
Kim Kinnison999: it might have been a decision not to step on asimovs territory…heheh..he would have killed him
Kultsi KN: creating mechanical men would not add anything; creating humanlike silicon life forms would add a lot
Reilloc: What would be added?
Kim Kinnison999: asimov’s bread and butter was robots..but his greatest work (imho) the foundation storys didn’t use them
Kultsi KN: having machine-looking thingies having human-like responses is something else
DavidWrightSr: Not the earlier Foundation stories, but he added them back in in the later ones.
Reilloc: Was the task of writing about robots, Heinlein’s literary stobor?
Kim Kinnison999: not to any significant degree
Reilloc: The wrapping up of the Foundation series was Giscard and the zeroeth law.
Kim Kinnison999: eh?
Reilloc: If that’s not robots in the Foundation, I don’t know what is.
Kim Kinnison999: no..that might have been parallel stories in the same universe but not to my little mind part of the foundation trilogy
Reilloc: A nine-book trilogy?
Kim Kinnison999: i see those as a seperate line of storys
DavidWrightSr: In the last ones, he had Daneel Olivaw actually as prime minister on Trantor
DavidWrightSr: That would have to be a matter of opinion. I don’t see any reason to treat them differently myself
Kim Kinnison999: mm..wasn’t that the follow on storys by the ‘killer B’s’? or am i having a senior moment
DavidWrightSr: No. Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation by IA
Kim Kinnison999: oh..damn..ya..been long time since i read those
Reilloc: Me, too.
DavidWrightSr: In those Hari Seldon’s wife was Dors Venabili, a robot.
Kim Kinnison999: done decades later too, right?
Kim Kinnison999: the core works never included them..
Kim Kinnison999: coming back now, yes david
DavidWrightSr: O yes, much later. Just like TNOTB was much later than Methusleh’s Children, but dealt with the same character.
DavidWrightSr: At least at the end, that is.
Reilloc: Coming up on the end of the first hour, I think we’ve clearly established that as far as Heinlein and robots go, nobody knows…
Kim Kinnison999: yea..now i remember. i saw those much as an inappropriate addition to a fine house, added by later generations with no taste LOL
Kim Kinnison999: i do find it improbable that the backwards spelling of robot escaped him. mr. word game himself
DavidWrightSr: It could have been a joke with no other signficance.
Kim Kinnison999: yeah..maybe a dig at issac
DavidWrightSr: If he really didn’t notice it. I have trouble believing that myself, but I don’t think that there was any really significance.
Reilloc: I intended it to be a conversation starter about robots in Heinlein rather than believing that the question could be settled in the context of a couple of online conversations.
Reilloc: Now, it being the end of the first hour, I call a short, five-minute break and we’ll reconvene and continue…
Reilloc: Naturally, continue to talk about any and everything as you may like.
aggirlj: Have to leave, but it has been interesting. Have fun al.
Kim Kinnison999: totally off topic, did i ever mention in my rare visits here, i was living in Rochester NY about 15 years ago, during election time I passed a sign showing one Nehemiah Scudder running for a local office?
aggirlj has left the room.
Kim Kinnison999: may have been a joke..i didn’t spot any more
Kultsi KN: nice ‘seeing’ you, Jane; take care!
Kultsi KN: ef! too fast for me
WolverineCDR has left the room.
Kultsi KN: scary, huh, Kim?
Fire262: gotta go, thanks for the conversation, been interesting
Fire262 has left the room.
Kultsi KN: what’s with people?
Kim Kinnison999: kultsi my brother..i’ve been asking that question all my life heh
Kultsi KN: so true. if we were predictable, though
Kim Kinnison999: obvious answer is..selfishness is a survival trait, it’s in the genes and most all else springs from it
Kultsi KN:I agree
Kultsi KN: only sometimes cooperation gives better results for the whole — but that is very, very hard to achieve
Kim Kinnison999: evolution is a micromanager
Kultsi KN: and it has no goal per se
Reilloc: Sorry that took so long.
Kultsi KN: oh, we have all the time in the world
Reilloc: Now, keep in mind that I’m in Kansas and we’re deciding here whether evolution should be taught in the school.s
Kim Kinnison999: i’m cooking some dinner anyway reilloc
Kim Kinnison999: yea..it’s so sad that’s an issue again
Reilloc: Next, we’re going to make pi = 3 so it’ll be easier to manipulate.
Kim Kinnison999: hehe..yeah..i loved that line
Kultsi KN: it will be a bit hard on your wheels
Reilloc: Firestone’s got a big plant here.
Reilloc: They’ll figure out how to do it.
Kim Kinnison999: still and all, a certain amount of ignorance is required when you’re changing a country of citizens into wage slaves and corporate serfs
Kultsi KN: we do have a much easier task at that
Reilloc: Now, shall we return to Heinlein, in some form?
Kultsi KN: although ignorance is not our strong point
Reilloc: I’m not opposed to changing this discussion to any aspect of Heinlein the company would prefer…
Kultsi KN: Speaking of ignorance, that is something that Heinlein opposed at every turn
Kim Kinnison999: here’s a topic for future disccussion..what would heinlein have thought of today’s america and the dirction it continues to move in?
Kultsi KN: The writing is on the wall, quite clearly
Reilloc: What’s the writing say?
Kim Kinnison999: wage slaves and corporate serfs
Reilloc: What’s different now from 100 years ago in that regard?
Kim Kinnison999: while the powers to be struggle to maintain the illusion that america is still the land of opportunity,when in fact we stopped ‘making’ money some time ago and now just redistribute it
Kultsi KN: The school system is going to pot and the ignorance is running rampant
Kim Kinnison999: the school system is better than it ever was kultsi..it’s a factor of ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him learn’
Reilloc: I haven’t noticed an paucity of technological advancements.
Kim Kinnison999: and this affects the trend toward fascism and corporate serfdom how reilloc?
Reilloc: I’m saying I don’t see technology not advancing in spite or your claims that education’s failed and ignorance is on the rise.
Kim Kinnison999: oh..re the school system shrugs..those things have always come from the 1 or 2%
Reilloc: So, what’s your point?
Kim Kinnison999: liberty and a just society come from a well educated populace..that’s where you see the symptoms
Reilloc: That everybody’s not a genius?
Kim Kinnison999: what’s the difference between liberty and rights? anybody?
Reilloc: There is no difference.
Kim Kinnison999: big difference
LVPPakaAspie: If our schools are so great and everyone is intelligent and well educated, why is the Kansas school system even considering creationism?
Reilloc: Neither is anything more than an abstract notion applied to specific circumstances.
Kim Kinnison999: when you have liberty, your government can’t do a damn thing to you it’s not specificaly allowed to do in the social contract
Kim Kinnison999: when you have rights, your govt can pretty much do anything it damn pleases unless it’s specifically prohibited
Reilloc: Without defending creationism or criticizing evolution’s teaching, what’s it matter what you teach when it comes to the unproveable?
LVPPakaAspie: I would say that is a reasonable definition, Kim. It’s too bad it works better in theory than in practice, in most cases. Our ninth and tenth amendments were intended to emphasize the concepts of liberty and rights.
Reilloc: I’m unconvinced you’re the jurist equipped to definitively outline the precise intent of any of the amendments, Don.
Kim Kinnison999: i’m pretty proud of it..thunk it up meself i did 😀
Kim Kinnison999: unless i lifted it from somebody’s writings and forgot LOL
LVPPakaAspie: When something can be specifically proven to be not just wrong but totally fraudulent, such as creationism, it has no business being taught.
Kim Kinnison999: you can’t disprove creationism..anymore than you can prove beyond doubt evolution
Kim Kinnison999: unfortunately
LVPPakaAspie: As for “proving” something such as evolution, how do we prove anything? Set the standards high enough, and you can’t teach anything.
Kim Kinnison999: there is evidence for evolution/natural selection. there is rumor for creationism 😀
LVPPakaAspie: Kim, it is so incredibly easy to disprove creationism that it is ridiculous. Alchemy and astrology have the same level of credibility.
Kim Kinnison999: what? you can PROVE god doesn’t exist???
Reilloc: This ought to be good.
LVPPakaAspie: As for the ninth and tenth amendments, I am reasonably proficient in reading the English lannguage.
Kim Kinnison999: finally..after all these thousands of years
Reilloc: It’s only been a couple of hundred in the instance of the amendments.
Reilloc: Go for it, Don.
Reilloc: either one, any order.
Reilloc: Keep it Heinleinian.
Kim Kinnison999: i know what you’re thinking..radiodating.. sorry mate..god hisself aged those radioactives to make it LOOK like that long
LVPPakaAspie: What does God have to do with it? We are discussing creationist fraud (unless you postulate what was asserted in Job, that God delibierately planted evidence that the universe is old, just to trick us).
Kultsi KN: take back your gummint
LVPPakaAspie: I’m not sure what you are getting at, Lester.
Reilloc: Well, Don.
Kim Kinnison999: hehe..hizzoner don’t look that good in job, does he? LOL
Reilloc: Do it like Heinlein woulda.
Reilloc: You said it, you prove it.
LVPPakaAspie: We have a couple of things under discussion. Just what is that you want me to prove?
Kim Kinnison999: see..all the creationists junk science depends on direct intervention of god..so you CAN’T ‘disprove’ it
Reilloc: Take your choice.
Reilloc: Anything or nothing.
LVPPakaAspie: I can disprove it quite easily. If there were anything at all to what they try to teach, there would be no need for the fraud and hoaxes. They do see a need for fraud and hoaxes, so apparently they agree that it has been disproven
Kim Kinnison999: name the frauds and hoaxes please
Reilloc: I think that says it all and nothing.
LVPPakaAspie: That is my general assumption any time anyone uses any sort of dishonesty.
LVPPakaAspie: Good grief, where do I start? One of their fraudulent claims is that the second law of thermodynamics proves that evolution is impossible. They just kind of ignore the little detail that this law only applies to closed systems.
Reilloc: Somebody tell him god made an exception for us.
Kim Kinnison999: haven’t heard that one..how do they figure not being able to create or destroy energy prohibits evolution?
LVPPakaAspie: Pick up one of their books and take a glance sometime. I would prefer that you get it from a library, rather than buying it, since I don’t think people who commit fraud should benefit from doing so. But don’t take my word for it,
LVPPakaAspie: Check for yourself.
Reilloc: Maybe there’s the tie between the claims to know creationism is bunk and knowing what the Constitution means, specifically.
LVPPakaAspie: The second law says that entropy always increases, so systems cannot go from less complex to more complex. If we did not have an input of sunlight, this would be valid. Since we do have sunlight, it is not a closed system.
Reilloc: He says “fraud” and doesn’t know what that is.
Kim Kinnison999: reilloc..it’s the ability to indulge in self delusion maybe
LVPPakaAspie: If there is, feel free to enlighten us.
LVPPakaAspie: I don’t?
Reilloc: If you so, say what it is.
Reilloc: No fair Googling.
LVPPakaAspie: Actually, I think that like most English words it has multiple meanings. In this context, it means making false claims in order to trick people into believing that something is true, even though it is not.
Reilloc: And they’re trying to “trick” people…why?
Kim Kinnison999: sorry..i had to google myself..that was te first law duh
LVPPakaAspie: Ask them.
Kim Kinnison999: ‘you can’t break even’
Reilloc: They didn’t say they were trying to trick anybody.
Reilloc: You did.
LVPPakaAspie: I bought my ESP cheap from a war surplus outfit, and it does not include mind reading ability.
Reilloc: I can’t ask “them” what they don’t allow they’re doing.
LVPPakaAspie: They can say what they want. I have read their work, and seen the obvious fraudulent claims, misquotes, quotes out of context, and other hoaxes.
Kim Kinnison999: they’re doing the same thing they accuse bible skeptics of doing ROFL..they’re taking a single thought out of context
Reilloc: I think that’s right.
Reilloc: It’s like taking a Heinlein quote out of Heinlein fiction and contending it’s an absolute principle of living.
LVPPakaAspie: They do the equivalent.
Kim Kinnison999: any belief system that’s based on faith rather than facts MUST resort to draconian measures to support itself..history shows that over and over
Reilloc: You say you do?
Kim Kinnison999: who says who does what?
Reilloc: The equivalent of what the creationists are doing, he claims.
Reilloc: In any event, consider astrology.
Kim Kinnison999: hehe..people die faster and more over opinions than principles
Reilloc: Heinlein said something to the effect that finding out what a guy thinks about astrology is telling as to how, perhaps, rational, he is.
Kim Kinnison999: although the often get confused and call their opinions principles
Reilloc: I forget the exact quote.
Kim Kinnison999: yeah. i know that one. a good thought hehehe
Reilloc: I don’t know when in my life, though, I’ve run into more people who put so much in astrology.
Reilloc: Of course, is astrology any less vague or subject to personal interpretation than financing the Social Security system?
Kim Kinnison999: quite a bit more vague
Kim Kinnison999: we know how to finance the SS system..we just dont want to pay the price
Reilloc: Then explain economics so I can understand it.
Kim Kinnison999: ok..too much money in too few hands causes too few to make decisions that benefit themselves personally, rather than the group or country
Reilloc: Define “too much,” “too few,” “too few,” and what group.
Reilloc: YOu might address where the money came from, too.
Kim Kinnison999: nope. now you’re hair splitting for the sake of it 😀
LVPPakaAspie: I agree about astrology, and anyone who can get suckered in by creationism has about as much credibility with me as someone who takes astrology seriously (very little, in both cases).
Reilloc: Remember that scene in TEFL where LL tried to explain to his sucessor as banker how money works and why he burnt so much of it?
LVPPakaAspie: Yes, very good economics for dummies course, I thought.
Kultsi KN: yup. a very good explanation of the monetary system
Reilloc: What explanation?
Reilloc: There was none.
LVPPakaAspie: The book In The Beginning: A Scientist Explains Why the Creationists Are Wrong by Christopher McGowan does a far better job of debunking creationism than I can, and I highly recommend it.
Reilloc: The creationists are right.
Kim Kinnison999: the..production/money game in FTL was interesting also
LVPPakaAspie: If it was not an explanation of a monetary system, then what was it an explanation of?
Reilloc: At the end of the day, you have to believe something.
Reilloc: There’s no absolute proof of everything.
Reilloc: If they want to believe that the whole thing was created, who’s it hurt?
Kim Kinnison999: there’s already too much trend in america to force ppl to do what others believe is good for them..i believe in restraining that impulse whenever possible, losing battle though it is. and who’s it hurt is everybody..because they
Kim Kinnison999: won’t stop there
Kultsi KN: It might hurt me, in the long run, as I don’t believe it
Reilloc: You say you don’t believe it?
Kim Kinnison999: what greater good can you do another person than to make sure they’ll go to heaven? (shiver)
LVPPakaAspie: I have not read the whole thing, but it looks like http://members.tripod.com/~dlane5/tyler.html does a pretty good job too.
Reilloc: Isn’t that saying “I can’t prove they’re wrong, I just believe.”
Kultsi KN: the next thing they want to do is to apply a two by four to my head
Kim Kinnison999: evolution has solid evidence, creationism has opinion.
LVPPakaAspie: No one to hurt, UNLESS they try to impose their fraud on others by slipping it into public school curriculums.
Kultsi KN: the latter
Reilloc: What about the fraud of evolution?
LVPPakaAspie: How about it? What fraud are you alleging?
Kim Kinnison999: junk science. any disproof that can’t be shown false is based on gods direct intervention
Reilloc: Anybody seen evolution, the process, in active action?
Kim Kinnison999: and a quick google also shows they rely heavily on 3 or 4 cases of fossil fraud or early assumptions
Kim Kinnison999: i’ve seen natural selection in action
Kultsi KN: well, the grain and other plants seem to get better and better over time…
Reilloc: You’ve seen the outcome of something over time and called it “evolution?”
GreedyCapitalist has left the room.
LVPPakaAspie: Let’s see here…we have hybrid plants…we have disease resistant bacteria…I can probably come up with other examples.
Reilloc: And one more thing we have is that it’s the top of the hour and time for a little break…
Reilloc: For those among us whose bladders haven’t evolved to the extent they can last longer…
Reilloc: …or whose bladders were created unequal.
Kim Kinnison999: dam reilloc..can’t you pack a bowl and type at the same time 😀
LVPPakaAspie: Disease resistant bacteria…right…good one…how about antibiotic resistant bacteria? 🙂
Kim Kinnison999: same thing really paka
Reilloc: Keep going while I do what it is I need to do…
Kultsi KN: are you aware, that some of your young citizens are acutely scared of what the gummint might do next?
GreedyCapitalist has entered the room.
Kultsi KN: wb
Kim Kinnison999: shit..I’M scared
LVPPakaAspie: Is there something specific you are referring to, Kultsi? I am acutely scared of what our government will do, just on general principles.
Kim Kinnison999: the WTC attack was america’s reichstag fire
Kultsi KN: persons of non-xian greeds, frex
LVPPakaAspie: Why do you think I argue so vociferously against putting creationism into public school curricula, among other things.
Kim Kinnison999: think about it.. ‘patriot ace’ ‘homeland security’ my god..goebbels himself could have made up those names
Kultsi KN: I know, and I approve
Kim Kinnison999: of what kultsi?
Kultsi KN: of voicing against relegion being the defining factor in one’s life
Kim Kinnison999: oh..(whew)
Kultsi KN: there are good rules for life in religion, and I try to abide by the Golden Rule
Kim Kinnison999: i think quantum theory might be a good religion 😉
Kultsi KN: but I also think one must show judgement in what to take and what to push aside
Kim Kinnison999: damn if the hippies in the 60’s didn’t have it right..it IS all about the vibrations LOL
Reilloc: I’ve got coffee now, just in case this discussion never returns to Heinlein…
Kim Kinnison999: it’s all based on his urging us to think clearly based on facts rather than fantasy hehe
Kultsi KN: we trust you to guide us to the Enlightment of Heinleinism, Sensei.
Reilloc: So, during some part of this last hour, let’s at least pretend there’s something Heinleinian going on…
Kultsi KN: given RAH’s broad spectrum, almost anything is Heinleinian
Kim Kinnison999: btw folks..if you like heinlein and haven’t read any of David Weber’s stuff..grab some. A worthy writer
Kultsi KN: name some titles, pls.
DavidWrightSr: There are the whole Honor Harrington books, for one set
GreedyCapitalist has left the room.
Kim Kinnison999: the Honor Harrington series, Mutineers Moon, The Armageddon Inheritence and Heirs of Empire (wonderful space opera trilogy)
DavidWrightSr: About 10 of them I believe. On Basilisk Station, The Honor of the Queen and so on.
Kim Kinnison999: many more david..his output is astounding
Kim Kinnison999: and damn if they’re not all good
DavidWrightSr: I only have the 10 through War of Honor.
Kim Kinnison999: Excalibur is a nice stand alone
Kim Kinnison999: but if you like space opera, do the mutineers moon trilogy
DavidWrightSr: I have all three of those, although Mutineers Moon is only in e-format
Kim Kinnison999: heavily influenced by RAH..i’ve seen him admit it on the baen board
Kultsi KN: the problem here in the boons is that not many books make it here
Kim Kinnison999: where’s the boons kultsi?
DavidWrightSr: You can download many of Weber’s books from Baen’s website. Boons=Boondocks?
Kultsi KN: and recently most of my reading has been on the screen
Kim Kinnison999: and btw..you can access many of those weber books in eformat..look on the baen books site
Kultsi KN: the boons is in Finland
LVPPakaAspie: Let me see if I can find my copy of Expanded Universe.
Kultsi KN: and the rural part of that, approx 40 miles from Helsinki
Reilloc: What other writers write like Heinlein and might be attractive to Heinlein fans for that reason
Kim Kinnison999: anyway. my answer to the nights question is, i believe RAH prefered to deal with people silicon or carbon not technology and may have made a decision also to stay out of IA’s territory
LVPPakaAspie: I would say that is probable.
Kim Kinnison999: weber does not write like heinlein..he just tells a good story..he DOES use heinlienian ethics and honor though
Kim Kinnison999: which, imho, can’t be beat
LVPPakaAspie: Can’t find EU, but it has a section that is rather uncomplimentary to those who believe in creationism.
Reilloc: Hey, Kim.
Kim Kinnison999: ya
Reilloc: Where’s the silicon-based Heinlein stuff you’re mentioning?
Kim Kinnison999: Mike, athena etc?
Kultsi KN: duh
Reilloc: That’s it?
DavidWrightSr: Transistors and solid state circuitry are based on silicon, for the most part.
Kim Kinnison999: pretty much? do i feel a land mine under my foot?
Reilloc: I see…
Reilloc: It’s just that…
Reilloc: Life isn’t just thinking.
Kim Kinnison999: excuse me? those were PEOPLE
Kultsi KN: definitely morethan thinking
Reilloc: They were as believable as any Heinlein, cardboard character as people…
Kim Kinnison999: Mike gave his life for his friends
Reilloc: His life?
Reilloc: He gave up the capacity to be able to think about his friends?
DavidWrightSr: I have been thinking and I don’t think that even if computers developed sentience, that they would necessarily develop what we would recognize as emotions.
Kim Kinnison999: cardboard eh? well..ya know..every writer has to choose what he’s going to have his characters show. Heinleins were mostly moral and ethical lessons.
Reilloc: There are morals in the vacuum of being able to feel how those morals affect you?
LVPPakaAspie: There is only one way to find out: build a sentient computer.
Kim Kinnison999: could you rephrase that reilloc?
Reilloc: Is it immoral to cut my throat?
DavidWrightSr: I agree, but so much of what we call emotion are based at the bottom on bodily needs and functions that would not be true for computers.
Reilloc: For you to come up to me and cut my throat on the street?
Kim Kinnison999: depends on your culture i guess. it also depends on what you may be doing that requires your throat being cut
Kultsi KN: LN, you are _really_ tempting me to answer…
Kultsi KN: 😀
Reilloc: Can a computer know what it feels like to have a paper cut much less a slashed jugular?
Kim Kinnison999: can we know what it feels like to have a run of circuits burn out?
Reilloc: Can we know it feels at all?
Kim Kinnison999: oooo..solipsism
DavidWrightSr: For a treatment of what I am thinking about, Read Hogan’s “Two Faces of Tomorrow”
Kim Kinnison999: scuse me..i need the boots
Reilloc: So, Kim, you believe that my laptop has feelings?
Kim Kinnison999: rofl
Kim Kinnison999: an ant has more real brains than todays computers
Reilloc: You think there’ll someday be one that has feelings?
Reilloc: Feelings has a couple of meanings that are intertwined.
Kultsi KN: not in the short while
Kim Kinnison999: darn good question..i kinda hope so..but then again..if it has a survival instinct..see ‘terminator’ hehe
Reilloc: To have “feelings” you have to have felt.
DavidWrightSr: I do think that if a self-aware computer should develop that it will indeed have ‘feelings’. However, it might not be the same kind of ‘feelings’ what we have.
Reilloc: So, this silicon business, how’s it feel?
Reilloc: What’s a rose smell like to it?
Kim Kinnison999: hard to say..how’s that carbon stuff feel?
Reilloc: Right now, I feel pretty okay but my shoulder hurts.
Kim Kinnison999: yeah..i got a group of 2 million mini transistors overheating..
Kim Kinnison999: you’d maybe call it an ingrown hair 😀
Reilloc: Does it make you not want to play tennis?
DavidWrightSr: All sense responses, (sense feelings), depend on having a sense. If you hook up a ‘smeller’ to a sentient computer, I see no reason why it couldn’t smell a rose.
Kim Kinnison999: in fact..i did have to take 3 of my tennis teaching bots offline to drop the current flow to control the temps
Reilloc: That seems prudent.
Kultsi KN: with the silicon persons it’s easy to see their soul leaving — it’s that blue smoke that must be contained to give them life…
Reilloc: That was an interesting observation, David.
DavidWrightSr: But that’s true of any computer. Don’t let the smoke escapeO:-)
Kim Kinnison999: damn magic smoke
Reilloc: Could you hook up a thing you called a mind reader to a computer and say it read minds?
Kim Kinnison999: if we could make one..and the govt is getting dangerously close to one
LVPPakaAspie: I think that would depend on whether or not it worked.
Kultsi KN: easily — pls invent one mind reader; I have some use for one
Reilloc: If you say no, I’ll unplug my LAN and ask, “why not?”
Kim Kinnison999: there’s actually progress being made in interperting the brains electrical field into useable info
Kim Kinnison999: chilling
Kim Kinnison999: if the direct neural interface is ever developed and connects a human to a sentient ai.. i guess that answers your questions about how they could feel
Reilloc: About 20, formal minutes to go…
Reilloc: Regarding “stobor.”
jilyd has entered the room.
Reilloc: Hi, Dee.
Kultsi KN: hi, Dee!
jilyd: Good evening.
jilyd: Don, it is great to see our new name, I haven’t seen you in just about forever./
jilyd: I was going to email you, apparently great minds think alike.
Reilloc: What’s the liklihood that stobor were robots but weren’t in the context of that specific book?
Kim Kinnison999: ? slim to none?
DavidWrightSr: That’s a dead horse, LN. Stop beating it. O:-)
LVPPakaAspie: Up until Thursday chat, I didn’t have a chat or IM screen name, so I came up iwth this one.
Reilloc: It just nickered.
DavidWrightSr: What the horse?
jilyd: I gotta go with that, too, Kim, but the coincidence of spellng made me expect something roboic, first reading.
Kim Kinnison999: all heinleins characters were actually advanced robots..that’s why they were so impressive.. if you play ST backward you’ll also find out Paul Is Dead
Reilloc: The consensus is that it’s not significant that stobor is robots, backwards.
DavidWrightSr: Wasn’t there a Verne or Wells book about a Tobor or is my wetware getting fuzzy?
Reilloc: Stobor are some “thing” that exists in practically ever setting that’s the bugaboo to be anticipated and against which a defense needs to be prepared.
LVPPakaAspie: You know something, if you go through the canon backwards, I bet you can find just about ANY sinister message you want, somewhere.
Kim Kinnison999: it could NOT have gotten by the master of word games.. I think it might have been an ‘in’ joke for other current sf writers
LVPPakaAspie: This would be true of any author who has published a large body of work.
Reilloc: In the setting of the field of science fiction writing, speculative fiction writing, isn’t the stobor the ethically problematic nature of robots?
DavidWrightSr: Yeah, if you are careful you can find that Isaac Asimov not only wrote the Bible, but also all of the works or RAH.
jilyd: Now, I can imagine that moreeasily, Kim than just missing it.
LVPPakaAspie: I would not rule that out, Kim, but even that seems unlikely to me.
Kim Kinnison999: so…the modern bacon eh?
Kim Kinnison999: that devil asimov
jilyd: Just having some fun.
Kim Kinnison999: niven twitted asimov so well in Flying Sorcerers
Reilloc: Just trying to earn my keep, folks.
Reilloc: Don’t anybody point out that the job’s without financial remuneration.
jilyd: Oh, you are far too serious for me.
jilyd: Yes, but we still keep you around, n’est-ce pas?
Reilloc: And worth every penny…
LVPPakaAspie: Dee, I just sent an IM, did you get it?
Kultsi KN: ifn ya talkin’ ’bout LN, he’s one dam’ good devil’s advocate
Reilloc: At least the devil pays on time.
Reilloc: Okay, assemblage and honored participants…
Reilloc: We’ve got 15 minutes, formal minutes, before this can be permitted to devolve into the chaos that’s preferred over the cosmos of its original creation…
Reilloc: Somebody get Heinleinian and fast.
Reilloc: Somebody say something about the following…
Reilloc: I’m thinking of a nature theme out of Heinlein for the June chat.
Reilloc: Any suggestions?
LVPPakaAspie: Remember mine from Thursday?
Kultsi KN: anybody have the exact quote of the ‘stobor’ passage?
Reilloc: Don’t make me do “why no nature in Heinlein.”
jilyd: Nature theme?
Kim Kinnison999: that’s easy reilloc..he was an engineer by temperment hehe
jilyd: He reall never referred much to the state of nature in his settings, did he?
Reilloc: About as close as I can get is, “well, I’ll be damned if that doesn’t look like an orchid.”
LVPPakaAspie: It played a factor at times, such as in Tunnel
Kim Kinnison999: rofl
Kim Kinnison999: lots of nature..but human nature
Reilloc: Somebody, quick, before I turn it into nature/nurture and we have to do this whole thing over again the same way.
Kultsi KN: and some about beaver dans and man’s dams
Kultsi KN: why would ‘stobor’ be in singularis in the book?
Reilloc: Because “stobors” isn’t robots, backwards.
Kim Kinnison999: huh..you’ll never guess what i just googled..the original german for bush is scudder
Kultsi KN: things to fear usually come in multiple hordes
jilyd: Someone once asked me if there was any doubt what the orchid referred to. Never the first doubt in my mind.
Reilloc: Why didn’t Heinlein own a Georgia O’Keefe?
Kultsi KN: right, LN — so it _was_ intentional
Reilloc: Quick, close the log on that admission.
DavidWrightSr: That’s interesting Kultsi. I always assumed that ‘stobor’ was the plural or at least a collective noun not requiring a plural.
Reilloc: Too late.
DavidWrightSr: Sorry. You lost me on that one.
DavidWrightSr: What has Georgia O’Keefe got to do with anything?
Kim Kinnison999: looking at some of her pics..the resemble….orchids LOL
Reilloc: My final act tonight is to thank all of you for your educated and articulate participation and for taking the time to attend.
Reilloc: It’s your being here, not mine, that makes a chat work.
Kim Kinnison999: thanks for the expert needling reilloc
jilyd: O Keefe explains teh orchid remark and the orchid remark explains O’Keefe.
DavidWrightSr: Shall I make it an official end?
Reilloc: Otherwise, I’d have to log on to the 98098435 AIM accounts I have and talk with myself.
Reilloc: And we all know there are no bots in Heinlein.
Reilloc: Thanks, one and all.
Reilloc: David, would you please close the log?
DavidWrightSr: Log Officially closed at 7:54 P.M. EDT
jilyd: Thank you for hosting.
Reilloc: Thank you, professor.
Kim Kinnison999: there are, actually. although the bots are carbon based
DavidWrightSr: Your wish is my command
Reilloc: Nobody has to leave.
Reilloc: Except me, and I’m taking my son to the new Star Wars movie and some Chinese food.
Kim Kinnison999: Mrs. Grundy would be an example of a heinlein bot
DavidWrightSr: There actually were a few off-scene robots.
DavidWrightSr: called robots that is.
LVPPakaAspie: I mentioned one of those in Double Star.
Reilloc: I’ll take notes on R2D2 and C3PO and see if they can’t be adapted to a Heinleinian universe.
jilyd: When I read the line about orchids, and Ithink it goes something like, “Have you ever noticed how much they lookl like orchids? Lovely.”
jilyd: My thougt was, “Have you ever noticed how much they feel like rose petalss? Lovely.”
Kim Kinnison999: rofl..lazarus would listen to c3po for about 30 seconds and slag it
jilyd: Men, you can be quite beautiful too, even if you get all red in the face when we say so.
Reilloc: It’s like Jethro said to his uncle, though…
Kim Kinnison999: thank god you all think so dee..we certainly have few other redeeming traits
Reilloc: “Jed, I will never be a true Beverly Hillbilly…”
Reilloc: ‘night, all…
DavidWrightSr: Just because the log is officially closed doesn’t mean that your remarks won’t be preserved for all eternity 😀
Kultsi KN: night, LN
Reilloc has left the room.
jilyd: No, you have lots of redeeming traits, just lot of abnnoynces as well, just as we do.
Kim Kinnison999: oh no..i have been Trained. men have all the ‘issues’ women have none..ok? ok? please don’t hit me again
jilyd: which of us aare you warning, David? 🙂
Kim Kinnison999: he’s serious, too. the NSA has a hard drive with 2,000 mile platters under ohio :-X
Kultsi KN: yup. NSA is most definitely monitoring anything as open as these chats
jilyd: Tine for me to go, too. I am at my moms and she is full of projects for me.
Kultsi KN: just doing her mommy duty…
Kim Kinnison999: ok dee. nice to see ya.
jilyd: Well the rest of you guys are ok, but I probably bore them to tears.
jilyd: Good night, all.
jilyd has left the room.
Kultsi KN: ‘night, Dee
Kultsi KN: dang! again
Kim Kinnison999: good. now we can drink beer and pass gass
Kim Kinnison999: i’m getting a shameful urge
Kim Kinnison999: will you think less of me if i tell you?
DavidWrightSr: Nite all.
Kim Kinnison999: I’m getting an itch to read my lensman books again 😀
Kim Kinnison999: night david
End of Discussion
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