Postmodern Robotics

I came across a most interesting discourse on reality. Technical reality to be exact.

Our precise aim is to show that there is no such thing as a robot; that a robot is no more a machine than a statue is a living being; that is merely a product of the imagination, of man's fictive powers, a product of the art of illusion. Nevertheless, the notion of the machine in present-day culture incorporates, to a considerable extent, this mythic representation of the robot.
Well I have some news for the writer:
Yes. It is true. Robots only exist in the imagination. And yet from time to time factory robots kill people. I guess they were killed by imagination.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is a difference.

The moral is: You need to be more careful around real robots than theoretical ones.

It is a wonder that people who think like that can even flush a toilet. Or understand the need to.

Which reminds me.

"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -- John W. Gardner, Saturday Evening Post, December 1, 1962

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 01.30.10 at 02:36 AM


Hmm. God is a product of "man's fictive powers" too. If a god isn't a "mythic representation", I've never seen one. So I guess God exists, right?

Robert Speirs   ·  January 30, 2010 10:51 PM

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