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Re: atlas lives

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  • sandaracyellow
    Hey Spiderman, So what is your impression of AtlasLives? Are the messages interesting? Can you give us an excerpt? Shelley
    Message 1 of 15 , May 1, 2003
      Hey Spiderman,

      So what is your impression of AtlasLives? Are the messages
      interesting? Can you give us an excerpt?

      Shelley
    • spider_boris
      ... heh heh heh ... From what I have seen, that group is pretty much like this one, sans any references to space settlement.
      Message 2 of 15 , May 1, 2003
        --- In Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "sandaracyellow"
        <sandaracyellow@y...> wrote:
        > Hey Spiderman,

        heh heh heh

        >
        > So what is your impression of AtlasLives? Are the messages
        > interesting? Can you give us an excerpt?
        >
        > Shelley

        From what I have seen, that group is pretty much like this one, sans
        any references to space settlement.

        :) ed
      • sandaracyellow
        I don t believe you, Spidey. They kicked Monart out and they ve got all those rules. Something s got to be different. Hey, Spidey, maybe you are hiding
        Message 3 of 15 , May 1, 2003
          I don't believe you, Spidey. They kicked Monart out and they've got
          all those rules. Something's got to be different. Hey, Spidey,
          maybe you are hiding something. Maybe you can't read the messages
          and you won't admit it. Maybe they are too obtuse, convoluted,
          esoteric and objectivismified for you to understand. Is that what is
          happening, Spidey?

          Shelley
        • Ed Minchau
          ... got ... is ... No really Shelly, the flavour of the messages is quite similar to what goes on here, particularly when they get into subjects like anarchy
          Message 4 of 15 , May 2, 2003
            --- In Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "sandaracyellow"
            <sandaracyellow@y...> wrote:
            > I don't believe you, Spidey. They kicked Monart out and they've
            got
            > all those rules. Something's got to be different. Hey, Spidey,
            > maybe you are hiding something. Maybe you can't read the messages
            > and you won't admit it. Maybe they are too obtuse, convoluted,
            > esoteric and objectivismified for you to understand. Is that what
            is
            > happening, Spidey?
            >
            > Shelley


            No really Shelly, the flavour of the messages is quite similar to
            what goes on here, particularly when they get into subjects like
            anarchy vs minarchy; they do spend a good deal more bandwidth than
            we do dissecting various plot points and character studies of Atlas
            Shrugged and the Fountainhead. The most notable difference (other
            than their lengthy set of rules for posting) that I perceive is the
            utter lack of vision for actually bringing about anything resembling
            Galt's Gulch in the real world of today and the near-term future....
            which is, as I see it, one of the main reasonsn for seriously
            colonizing space.

            :) ed

            PS: a note on the origins of my yahooID. About 12 years ago I
            started working on my artificial intelligence project. At the time,
            I had planned on building an insect-like (or spider-like) robot.
            About 7 - 9 years ago, one of my roommates (a girl, natch) insisted
            that I name the robot. I had not considered this at all; to me it
            was just "that damn robot" or "that !@#$%^&*(* piece of &^%#@#".
            Well, she christened it Boris, after the Who song "Boris the
            Spider". When I first got online 3 years ago, I figured I would
            name my yahooID after the robot, and boristhespider and borisspider
            were already taken; thus I became spider_boris. Two years ago, I
            changed the design of the robot (well, now robots, plural)
            completely, choosing a serpentine design instead, so the name is
            outdated...but I keep it the way it is anyhow, through sheer inertia
            (although I do have another yahooID now, robot_snake). That reminds
            me, I really ought to update my website one of these days...
            http://www.geocities.com/robot_snake/titlepage.html
          • sandaracyellow
            Hello Spider, Keep the sobriquet Spider_Boris. It makes you sound like a very friendly, easygoing individual. Spider also suggests intelligence to me. I
            Message 5 of 15 , May 3, 2003
              Hello Spider,

              Keep the sobriquet "Spider_Boris." It makes you sound like a very
              friendly, easygoing individual. "Spider" also suggests intelligence
              to me.

              I visited your web site. The whole subject is out of my league, so I
              can't give you any useful feedback. But your project sounds really
              interesting. Are you financing this yourself? Is this just a hobby
              or is it a passion?

              What do you think of the robot work done by the Japanese? I
              understand they are going about it differently than the Americans.

              I love the sci-fi written by Asimov. What do you think of his robot
              characters?

              Sounds like there is a lot of navel-gazing at Atlas Lives.

              Shelley
            • Ed Minchau
              ... intelligence ... so I ... really ... hobby ... It has gone beyond hobby or passion. On average, I have spent 1000 hours a year on this for the last 12
              Message 6 of 15 , May 4, 2003
                --- In Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "sandaracyellow"
                <sandaracyellow@y...> wrote:
                > Hello Spider,
                >
                > Keep the sobriquet "Spider_Boris." It makes you sound like a very
                > friendly, easygoing individual. "Spider" also suggests
                intelligence
                > to me.
                >
                > I visited your web site. The whole subject is out of my league,
                so I
                > can't give you any useful feedback. But your project sounds
                really
                > interesting. Are you financing this yourself? Is this just a
                hobby
                > or is it a passion?

                It has gone beyond hobby or passion. On average, I have spent 1000
                hours a year on this for the last 12 years. I suppose that makes it
                more of an obsession. And yes, I am funding it myself.

                >
                > What do you think of the robot work done by the Japanese? I
                > understand they are going about it differently than the Americans.

                The Japanese, like the Americans, are not a monolith; there are
                several groups working on various aspects of robotics and AI. The
                ones which are making the most headlines are Sony
                http://www.sony.net/Products/aibo/aiboflash.html
                which produce an extremely cute robotic dog, and Honda
                http://world.honda.com/robot/
                who are working on a humanoid robot. Of the two, I think that
                Sony's efforts are probably more worthwhile. The Aibo is marketed
                as a toy, and will help to increase acceptance of AI, not as some
                kind of far-out science fiction but as something that kids will
                grow up interacting with. Honda's Asimo, while kinda cool,
                represents what I believe is a dead end. Humanoid robots will not
                become mainstream - it is simply too easy for unskilled labour to
                produce the biological equivalent.

                One concept has been borrowed from Japanese culture, which has led
                to an explosion of interest in amateur robot building: sumo.
                http://www.fsi.co.jp/sumo-e/out/out00000.html
                http://www.robotwars.com/

                >
                > I love the sci-fi written by Asimov. What do you think of his
                robot
                > characters?

                I loved the "I, robot", and all the R. Daneel Olivaw books.
                However, I don't think that we will ever see an "asimovian" robot,
                one equipped with the three laws of robotics. Any robot which was
                smart enough to understand the three laws would be smart enough to
                find a way around them.

                :) ed

                >
                > Sounds like there is a lot of navel-gazing at Atlas Lives.
                >
                > Shelley
              • sandaracyellow
                Hey Spider, I found your comment on the asimovian robots and the Three Laws of Robotics interesting. Though I very much enjoyed Asimov s stories about the
                Message 7 of 15 , May 4, 2003
                  Hey Spider,

                  I found your comment on the asimovian robots and the Three Laws of
                  Robotics interesting. Though I very much enjoyed Asimov's stories
                  about the future of mankind, I had to suspend judgement in order to
                  do so. I could not accept some of his basic premises. One such
                  premise is that you can have a conscious being like an asimovian
                  robot whose survival is subordinate to that of a human being. Put
                  another way, Asimov seemed to believe in conditional free-will, which
                  to me is a contradiction (i.e. the robots could do what they want
                  provided it did not injure a human being). Do you follow what I mean?

                  Shelley
                • Ed Minchau
                  ... to ... which ... mean? ... As I see it, Asimov saw robots as the equivalent of slaves, yet wished to have them as conscious creatures. This required the
                  Message 8 of 15 , May 5, 2003
                    --- In Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "sandaracyellow"
                    <sandaracyellow@y...> wrote:
                    > Hey Spider,
                    >
                    > I found your comment on the asimovian robots and the Three Laws of
                    > Robotics interesting. Though I very much enjoyed Asimov's stories
                    > about the future of mankind, I had to suspend judgement in order
                    to
                    > do so. I could not accept some of his basic premises. One such
                    > premise is that you can have a conscious being like an asimovian
                    > robot whose survival is subordinate to that of a human being. Put
                    > another way, Asimov seemed to believe in conditional free-will,
                    which
                    > to me is a contradiction (i.e. the robots could do what they want
                    > provided it did not injure a human being). Do you follow what I
                    mean?
                    >
                    > Shelley

                    As I see it, Asimov saw robots as the equivalent of slaves, yet
                    wished to have them as conscious creatures. This required the Three
                    Laws (actually four, now that I think of it; there was a Zeroth law
                    introduced later on which superceded the other three) in order to
                    resolve the contradiction.

                    One of Asimovs greatest tools as an author, which he employed in
                    many of his stories, was to set up a premise, then _undermine_ it.
                    In the robot stories, the implications of the three laws undermine
                    the premise for their existence (ie that conscious beings could be
                    slaves indefinitely). The zeroth law (that no robot shall harm
                    humanity as a whole, nor, through inaction, allow humanity as a
                    whole to come to harm) led R. Daneel Olivaw to irradate the earth,
                    rendering it uninhabitable, to force humanity to reach for the
                    stars -- and it undermined all the other laws.

                    Another example of this: in the Foundation series, he had a premise
                    of "psychohistory", that future events could be predicted with great
                    accuracy based upon past events, given the correct data and
                    algorithms. This was undermined by a being that used psychohistory
                    to alter the course of the future, the Mule (and a second "Mule",
                    although it is not explicity stated: Hari Seldon), ultimately
                    causing psychohistory to fail.

                    :) ed
                  • sandaracyellow
                    Spiderman, I will have to think about what you said and perhaps revisit the robot and foundation series. I don t recall thinking that Asimov was trying to
                    Message 9 of 15 , May 6, 2003
                      Spiderman,

                      I will have to think about what you said and perhaps revisit the
                      robot and foundation series. I don't recall thinking that Asimov was
                      trying to undermine his premises and I never saw Hari Seldon as a
                      Mule. As I recall, what made the Mule was his power to alter minds.
                      Hari Seldon did not have that power (did he?), though Dors Venabili
                      (his robot wife) did.

                      Asimov really grabbed my imagination, more so than, let us say,
                      Heinlein or Clark.

                      I don't read much modern sci-fi, so I don't know what state it is
                      in. I did read, this year, three-quarters of Psychohistorical Crisis
                      by Donald Kingsbury. I found his view of the future fascinating but
                      his art as a writer left me disinterested.

                      Shelley
                    • Ed Minchau
                      ... was ... minds. ... and in the Foundation Series, Hari Seldon s work (the development of psychohistory) altered _everyone s_ mind.
                      Message 10 of 15 , May 7, 2003
                        --- In Starship_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "sandaracyellow"
                        <sandaracyellow@y...> wrote:
                        > Spiderman,
                        >
                        > I will have to think about what you said and perhaps revisit the
                        > robot and foundation series. I don't recall thinking that Asimov
                        was
                        > trying to undermine his premises and I never saw Hari Seldon as a
                        > Mule. As I recall, what made the Mule was his power to alter
                        minds.

                        ... and in the Foundation Series, Hari Seldon's work (the
                        development of psychohistory) altered _everyone's_ mind.

                        :) ed
                      • Technotranscendence
                        On Wednesday, May 07, 2003 2:04 AM Shelley sandaracyellow@yahoo.com ... Lord! There is so much better science fiction out there... ... I found reading
                        Message 11 of 15 , May 10, 2003
                          On Wednesday, May 07, 2003 2:04 AM Shelley sandaracyellow@...
                          wrote:
                          > I will have to think about what you said
                          > and perhaps revisit the robot and foundation
                          > series.

                          Lord! There is so much better science fiction out there...

                          > Asimov really grabbed my imagination,
                          > more so than, let us say, Heinlein or Clark.

                          I found reading Asimov's fiction a chore. Heinlein was fun, but he got
                          boring fast for me. Clarke is interesting, but he can't sustain a long
                          story. Like his mentor, Olaf Stapeldon, he's more an idea man than
                          anything else.

                          > I don't read much modern sci-fi, so I don't
                          > know what state it is in.

                          What do you mean by "modern"? BTW, "sci-fi" is a deragotary term.
                          Usually people distinguish good science fiction -- calling it "science
                          fiction" or SF for short -- and bad science fiction -- "sci-fi" -- by
                          using that term.

                          Since Asimov, there have been several movements in SF like New Wave
                          (Michael Bishop, Ursula Le Guinn, Joanna Russ) and Cyberpunk (William
                          Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Pat Caddigan, Rudy Rucker) among others. These
                          are not really schools and the writers vary between each other a lot.
                          There are also writers you might find hard to classify, such as
                          Stanislaw Lem, Philip K. Dick, the Brothers Strugatsky and Ian Watson.

                          It's a big area of literature. I can suggest some novels and short
                          stories, but even my knowledge is slight. Even friends of mine who are
                          SF fiends haven't read most of it. It's a big world to explore and
                          Asimov is not the beginning or end of it.:)

                          That said, my favorites are Greg Egan (just about anything by him),
                          Bruce Sterling (especially his novel _Schismatrix_), Vernor Vinge (just
                          about anything by him), Ian Watson and Stanislaw Lem. I don't think
                          you'll like the last two, but try the first three.

                          > I did read, this year, three-quarters of
                          > Psychohistorical Crisis by Donald Kingsbury.
                          > I found his view of the future fascinating but
                          > his art as a writer left me disinterested.

                          I found some of Kingsbury's other works -- is stuff in the _Man-Kzin
                          Wars_ series -- good. However, it looks like you're looking for Asimov
                          in other writers. I don't like Asimov as a fiction writer (he stories
                          are flat and mechanical to me), but even if you do, you should still try
                          other writers who are not working the same vein as him.

                          Cheers!

                          Dan
                          http://uweb.superlink.net/neptune/
                        • sandaracyellow
                          Dan, I stand by my tastes. I love Asimov. I loved the early Heinlein, up to and including Farnham s Freehold. I did not finish the last book of Clark s
                          Message 12 of 15 , May 12, 2003
                            Dan,

                            I stand by my tastes. I love "Asimov."

                            I loved the early Heinlein, up to and including "Farnham's Freehold."

                            I did not finish the last book of Clark's Rama series. I could not
                            bear to witness, even if only as a reader, the slaughter of the
                            avians.

                            I use the term "modern" to loosely refer to what is being written
                            today.

                            Today, I don't regularly read science-fiction as I did when I was a
                            teenager. I am all over the map when it comes to my reading tastes.
                            I am currently reading "Nonzero" by Robert Wright. This is a non-
                            fiction work attempting to answer the question "Does history have a
                            direction?".

                            The most memorable novel that I have read, let us say in the last two
                            years, is "La Débâcle" by Émile Zola. It is a brilliant anti-war
                            novel. In the non-fiction category, the highlight for me was "King
                            Leopold's Ghost" by Adam Hochschild. This is the horrifying account
                            of what Leopold did in the Congo.

                            Shelley
                          • Technotranscendence
                            On Monday, May 12, 2003 8:19 AM sandaracyellow sandaracyellow@yahoo.com ... My condolences... Where can I send flowers to your tastes?:) ... I read some of
                            Message 13 of 15 , May 12, 2003
                              On Monday, May 12, 2003 8:19 AM sandaracyellow sandaracyellow@...
                              wrote:
                              > I stand by my tastes. I love "Asimov."

                              My condolences... Where can I send flowers to your tastes?:)

                              > I loved the early Heinlein, up to and including
                              > "Farnham's Freehold."

                              I read some of his novels and some of his short stories. They were fun,
                              but they were also a bit repetitious.

                              > I did not finish the last book of Clark's Rama
                              > series. I could not bear to witness, even if
                              > only as a reader, the slaughter of the avians.

                              Well, you gave it all away!:@

                              > I use the term "modern" to loosely refer to
                              > what is being written today.

                              You don't mean this very day, so how far back are you going? Five
                              years? Ten years? Twenty? Thirty?

                              > Today, I don't regularly read science-fiction
                              > as I did when I was a teenager.

                              Understood. I try to read a few short stories and novels in that genre
                              every year. I read a lot more of it when I was a teenager too.

                              I still recommend you read Vinge, Egan, and Sterling now.

                              > I am all over the map when it comes to my
                              > reading tastes.

                              But in science fiction, your map seems very small.

                              > I am currently reading "Nonzero" by Robert Wright.
                              > This is a non-fiction work attempting to answer the
                              > question "Does history have a direction?".

                              I think it does. Toward the future.:)

                              > The most memorable novel that I have read, let
                              > us say in the last two years, is "La Débâcle" by
                              > Émile Zola. It is a brilliant anti-war novel.

                              In the last two years? For me, that might be Beagle's _The Last
                              Unicorn_ or Carroll's _The Land of Laughs_.

                              > In the non-fiction category, the highlight for me
                              > was "King Leopold's Ghost" by Adam Hochschild.
                              > This is the horrifying account of what Leopold did
                              > in the Congo.

                              For me, probably _Total Freedom_ or _What Art Is_, but now I sound like
                              an Objectivist.:)

                              Roll your own!

                              Dan
                              http://uweb.superlink.net/neptune/
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