Monday, May 9, 2011

The Big Machine

Even civilization is impermanent.

Erik Hansen
Hello Bridgeport, Connecticut
I remember one day, when I was a child, reading in the New York Times, an obituary of a woman who, when she was a child, played in the garden on which the Empire State Building now stands. I remember thinking that was a remarkable thing. It was the first indication I had that many things around me I took for granted hadn't always been there. I got interested in history.

With the rise and glut of new electronic gadgets available to us, we tend to just accept what's there and ask no questions. In almost every country there are scientists, engineers and technicians working out even more advanced methods of communication and transportation. Robots are taking over our menial tasks and leaving us time to do what? Waste time? Get lazy? Forget where we came from?

Hundreds of years ago people from Europe crossed the great ocean to set up a new world. They killed as many of the natives as they thought they needed to, uprooted the fields and planted crops, cut down the trees and put up houses, made gardens and then destroyed one of those to build the Empire State Building and kept building.

There have been many great civilizations of the past. Most of them seemed to have disappeared by being overrun by a stronger one. What makes us think we are exempt?

I read somewhere about a robot that has another robot attached to it that can make repairs on the first bot. How soon will it be before someone makes a machine that can't be destroyed, even by another robot or a cave man with a club? And what if it is designed to be or accidentally becomes aggressive.

Robots don't have to be the size of little tables that roll around on wheels or humanoid looking machines that stagger along, Star Wars robots. They can be as large as a drone aircraft, or a space station or the Empire State Building.

So our civilization is not permanent. I'm not a Luddite. I just think we have the freedom, the right and the obligation to decide what's going to become of us before some big, omnipotent machine decides for us.

DB - Vagabond
Never Give Up.
(This is not a contest)

NASA has planned to send a two man mission on an 18 month trip to the planet Mars. It would take 6 months for the astronauts to get there and after 6 months of exploration another 6 months to return.

Should they do it and why, and if not, why not?

Only 6 answers so far

I eagerly await your answer.


1 comment:

pacifica62 said...

I think that the machines and those who make the machines have already decided and did not ask for my opinion.