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Old 15 July 2010, 12:40 AM
Saint James Saint James is offline
 
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Psychic Arthur C. Clarke on television

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"The main result of all these developments will be to eliminate 99 percent of human activity, and to leave our descendants faced with a future of utter boredom, where the main problem in life is deciding which of the several hundred TV channels to select."
- Arthur C. Clarke, The World of 2001, 1968
Frustratingly, my source does not give a context of what 'these developments' are, and a search for the exact quote turns up one posting on a message board, with a paraphrase turning up quite a few more. (so perhaps it is a slight misquote).

Best I can tell, "the world of 2001" was an article in vogue in 1966 and may also be in the book the view from Serendip if anyone has access to that book.
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Old 15 July 2010, 02:01 AM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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I know he's made similar sardonic statements (although he made others expressing hope for a future in which the amount of human labor will be reduced, giving people enough time for a really thorough education, and therefore a greatly elevated culture), but I don't recognize that particular quote off-hand. I own a copy of The View from Serendip but it's in storage, so I can't check it right away.
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Old 15 July 2010, 02:40 AM
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Bonnie Bonnie is offline
 
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The relevant section is indeed in The View from Serendip (pp. 69-70; viewable, in part, at Google Books), but it's also viewable in its entirety in this copy of "The Future Isn't What It Used to Be," a speech Clarke delivered at CalTech (and elsewhere) in April, 1970, available in PDF (see p. 9, second column).

-- Bonnie
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Old 15 July 2010, 03:15 AM
Saint James Saint James is offline
 
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Uplifted trained animals doing household work. Interesting. And sounding dangerously close to slavery. If we genetically engineer intelligent animals (other than ourselves) at what point would they be deserving of rights.

Thanks much for finding the info.
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Old 15 July 2010, 04:46 PM
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Dr. Winston O'Boogie Dr. Winston O'Boogie is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint James View Post
Uplifted trained animals doing household work. Interesting. And sounding dangerously close to slavery. If we genetically engineer intelligent animals (other than ourselves) at what point would they be deserving of rights.
The moment they rebel against their human masters, causing a nuclear war where the Statue of Liberty gets demolished so that Charlton Heston can find it several centuries later.
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Old 15 July 2010, 04:54 PM
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Darth Credence Darth Credence is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Saint James View Post
Uplifted trained animals doing household work. Interesting. And sounding dangerously close to slavery. If we genetically engineer intelligent animals (other than ourselves) at what point would they be deserving of rights.

Thanks much for finding the info.
I read a book a few years back that was about this topic - Sims by F. Paul Wilson.
The particular species is a more human like chimp, that is bred as slave labor that can be leased from the company that created them. Pretty good read - if you like Michael Crichton's work and the topic is something that is interesting to you, it's worth the read.
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Old 15 July 2010, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint James View Post
If we genetically engineer intelligent animals (other than ourselves) at what point would they be deserving of rights.
The point at which they can conceive of rights and freedoms and be trusted to take care of themselves.

IOW, the standard which we (in an ideal world) apply to the mentally ill. If they are a danger to themselves or others, then their rights are restricted.

Or, the rights we don't apply to pets. Depending on your viewpoint you could say that dogs and cats can grasp that they are not free. But until we can teach them to look both ways before crossing the street, we curtail their freedoms for their safety.

Of course, this gets tricky in the real world as not teaching the upgraded animals about dangers could be used to "justify" keeping them as slaves as they couldn't protect themselves. (Some slavemasters used this justification to keep blacks as slaves as they were "clearly" unable to take care of themselves.)

PS. This reminds me of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. Data, the android, was resigning to avoid being experimented on. There was a trial to determine if he was property or a being. The JAG asked if the computer on the Enterprise would be allowed to refuse a refit.

I always thought that was an easy question to answer. If anything has enough sense of self to fear its own death, then it is a being.

PPS. Which brings up my rule of intelligence. If a being understands pointing, then it is intelligent.
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Old 15 July 2010, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Winston O'Boogie View Post
The moment they rebel against their human masters, causing a nuclear war where the Statue of Liberty gets demolished so that Charlton Heston can find it several centuries later.
I didn't think the war was caused by the apes or by their "rebellion" against humans. I thought it was caused by humans simply being humans, and the apes rose to domination of the world in its aftermath.
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Old 15 July 2010, 06:24 PM
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One prospect I find interesting is the creation of intelligent beings that can perform mental tasks at a human (or superhuman) level but nontheless do not and can not desire freedom.

Quote:
My gift to industry is the genetically engineered worker, or Genejack. Specially designed for labor, the Genejack's muscles and nerves are ideal for his task, and the cerebral cortex has been atrophied so that he can desire nothing except to perform his duties. Tyranny, you say? How can you tyrannize someone who cannot feel pain?

Chairman Sheng-ji Yang
"Essays on Mind and Matter"
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Old 16 July 2010, 03:50 AM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I didn't think the war was caused by the apes or by their "rebellion" against humans. I thought it was caused by humans simply being humans, and the apes rose to domination of the world in its aftermath.
I think that's the implication from the original movie, but if you follow the film series through at least Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, you see that the apes were bred as workers and did eventually rebel. There's a bit of time-paradox involved, since the rebellion is led by a descendant of the future apes who were thrown back in time to our present in the third movie -- so it's possible that the rebellion didn't occur in the original timeline; but it does seem clear that the more intelligent apes were developed intentionally by humans before the catastrophe, rather than evolving greater intelligence afterward.

As I say, this is only if the sequels count....it may well have been the attention of the original writer that humans destroyed their civilization first. (Perhaps the fallout accelerated the mutation rate, causing the intelligent apes to arise faster than they could have naturally.)
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Old 16 July 2010, 05:10 PM
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Dr. Winston O'Boogie Dr. Winston O'Boogie is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
I think that's the implication from the original movie, but if you follow the film series through at least Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, you see that the apes were bred as workers and did eventually rebel. There's a bit of time-paradox involved, since the rebellion is led by a descendant of the future apes who were thrown back in time to our present in the third movie -- so it's possible that the rebellion didn't occur in the original timeline; but it does seem clear that the more intelligent apes were developed intentionally by humans before the catastrophe, rather than evolving greater intelligence afterward.

As I say, this is only if the sequels count....it may well have been the attention of the original writer that humans destroyed their civilization first. (Perhaps the fallout accelerated the mutation rate, causing the intelligent apes to arise faster than they could have naturally.)
Yeah, the original movie certainly implied that the humans killed themselves, and the apes took over; the timeline I used assumed the sequels counted, because the "animals-as-slaves" was integral to the 4th movie.

I read the book years and years and years ago; the only thing I remember specifically that differed from the movie was that ....

*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
If you think you will ever read the Pierre somefrenchguylastname (Bierre?) novel, don't read any further!
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***

(was that enough spoiler space?)

The book was written in the first person, and the protagonist escaped the planet. The book was his memoirs, put into kind of a "space bottle" (think message-in-a-bottle); you find out at the very very end, that a female chimpanzee astronaut was reading the book.

****

OK, I did something intelligent - I checked Wikipedia. The novelist was Pierre Boulle (so I was pretty close); the guy escaping and sending a space "message-in-a-bottle" was spot on. Looks like there were a lot of differences, however.
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Old 16 July 2010, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Credence View Post
I read a book a few years back that was about this topic - Sims by F. Paul Wilson.
The particular species is a more human like chimp, that is bred as slave labor that can be leased from the company that created them. Pretty good read - if you like Michael Crichton's work and the topic is something that is interesting to you, it's worth the read.
Michael G Coney develops a similar theme with his "specialists" in his Cat Karina/Celestial Steam Locomotive/Gods of the Greataway series. For example human/raccoon beings are trained to be nurses as they have dextrous fingers while there is a scandal about whether an opera diva is hippo/human. I read these way back in the 80s.
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