interesting fact: asimov's favorite writer was pg wodehouse! he wrote a bunch of stories later on in his life that were sort of a SF version of bertie and jeeves ("azazel," was it?).
― J.D., Wednesday, 16 April 2008 04:26 (twelve years ago) link
wasn't azazel a demon? those were awful.
that susan story was the one i was trying to think of that was even worse than the mommy, mommy one.
― thomp, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 08:33 (twelve years ago) link
dr. susan calvin! as mark says in the show
i think we ALMOST got on-topic a few times and then frustratingly veered off again - whaddya expect with ilx0rs tho eh
thomp i think it MAY have been more the latter that mark was saying since i think the moral problem of the free will of slaves was my own particular axe to grind - but i'll have to listen again
― Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 09:37 (twelve years ago) link
oh HAI viral web d00ds of doubtful turing status :D
in ref thomp's q, i shd fiorst say that this idea popped into my head AS WE WERE TALKIN ON-AIR (or on-mike pre-record but in this scrambled instance same diff) and i had no time to refine the intuition
so i'd have to go away and think through properly exactly what i meant, and it referred to -- i think i veered off instead into a defence on "ordinary" as non-simplified, which is a typical mark s filibuster of self sadly :\
i think my proposal -- up for discussion and dissection wd be -- that asimov in particular provided kid-shaped tastes of advanced questions about "what it is to be human", just as the maths you teach a 12-year-old provides kid-shaped tastes of higher maths... with alan as the posterchild here, in that he went on to study "theory of mind" and AI etc: so that it inculcates a few of the simpler dichotomies, but more to the point it helps the child decide if this is a territory they are happy exploring further later
contrast moomintroll stories: tove jansson's fiction is similarly full of ethical questions but i don't think it particularly points the avid reader towards any later vocational aptitude or commitment
so i guess i'm saying this is something quite special about asimov -- possibly other writers also, but not in such a concentrated way -- and that this quite unusual (and possibly inadvertently discovered) pedagogic strategy entirely fits in with his career as a educational populariser
― mark s, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 09:52 (twelve years ago) link
heehee turing: PASS ^^^
no robot could write so carelessly, blimey
― mark s, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 09:54 (twelve years ago) link
"kills a robot because it lies to her that some dude she has a crush on likes her back"
i really wanted to read a bit of this one out (it's called Liar!) as it illustrates the 'interpretation of the law' aspect of the stories brilliantly. another bit of the same story shows his poor treatment of Susan as a real character as she is in LURVE and then inexpertly applies too much slap.
― Alan, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 10:26 (twelve years ago) link
yes "liar!" is totally a case of EXCELLENT REAL MEATY GROWN-UP EMOTIONAL-ETHICAL ISSUE as acted out by hopelessly daft glove-puppets
otoh asimov largely got this lamely yukky "human" side of dr sc out of the way with these two stories (liar and lennie): so that from then on, she's a much better foil for his topsyturvying, i feel -- someone whose humanism is contrarily the deeper for manifesting as ultra-chilly pro-robotism
― mark s, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 10:34 (twelve years ago) link
interesting fact: asimov's favorite writer was pg wodehouse!
Shouldn't confess to this, but that's how I started reading P.G. Wodehouse, when I read about this in In Joy Still Felt. Or was it In Memory Yet Green?
― James Redd and the Blecchs, Thursday, 17 April 2008 12:36 (twelve years ago) link
You guys haven't told us what's coming next! I'm hoping for Alfred Bester or C.M. Kornbluth.
― James Redd and the Blecchs, Thursday, 17 April 2008 12:59 (twelve years ago) link
I think I posted elsewhere that I always wanted to hear a doo-wop recital of "The Three Laws Of Robotics."
I am under the impression that you guys have said that the Golden and Silver(berg) Ages have been forgotten and neglected and you are making an effort to rehabilitate them. Is this the (simplified) case? Based on the anecdotal evidence of a straw poll of library holdings and bookstore shelving there does seem to be a bit of a poor showing of that stuff. I saw lots of robot books with Isaac Asimov on the cover, but they were all by other people under the "Isaac Asimov's Robots Presents" rubric!
― James Redd and the Blecchs, Thursday, 17 April 2008 13:11 (twelve years ago) link
Actually, re: the p.g. wodehouse thing and the on-air discussion about his "stolid" style, I remember Asimov saying he preferred nineteenth century literature and never read any twentieth century literature at all -unless it was written as if it was the nineteenth, I guess.
― James Redd and the Blecchs, Thursday, 17 April 2008 13:22 (twelve years ago) link
has anyone ever read harlan ellison's screenplay for i,robot? (my possibly-minority opinion: it's AWFUL, mainly cuz HE and IA don't mesh at all, stylewise or anywisewise)
― J.D., Saturday, 19 April 2008 09:37 (twelve years ago) link
I could well imagine that. Didn't read it, did read his novelization of his original treatment for The Starlost.
What was the famous story about their meeting ,something like this
At the sci-fi convention
Young Harlan: "Are you Isaac Asimov?"
Isaac Asimov: "Yes, I am"
Young Harlan: "You're nothing!"
― James Redd and the Blecchs, Saturday, 19 April 2008 11:56 (twelve years ago) link
Later on he claimed what he said was "You're not such a big deal."
― James Redd and the Blecchs, Saturday, 19 April 2008 12:12 (twelve years ago) link
haha wiki sez that asimov tht this collaboration would lead to: "the first really adult, complex, worthwhile science fiction movie ever made"
haha yes feat.dr susan calvin as realised by harlan ellison be still my feminist heart oh my
― mark s, Thursday, 24 April 2008 12:51 (twelve years ago) link
H4rlan E. corrected my friends grammar on the picket line during the writers strike in L.A. Told him "You're a writer, my good man, don't use the world 'like' so much." Then he stepped into a waiting car and drove away.
― James Redd and the Blecchs, Thursday, 24 April 2008 13:20 (twelve years ago) link
Haha, see if you can find an IA poem called "The Foundation Of Science Fiction Success" from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.
― James Redd and the Blecchs, Friday, 25 April 2008 01:06 (twelve years ago) link
― Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 8 January 2020 16:06 (six months ago) link