|Homework - Required Viewing|
|Any person who is a serious student in search of important knowledge should view the following motion picture productions:|
1. Forbidden Planet
This is one extremely important work of fiction in that it reflects a universal truth, a pattern which almost certainly expresses itself endlessly and repetitively throughout the cosmos. This pattern has now reemerged right here on Earth, and in fact constitutes the basis of the chief affliction of our times. It provides a hint, to the thoughtful viewer, of the source of the terrorist mentality as it exists in a technological culture, and also of the potential consequences of its persistence. I have prepared a lecture to elaborate on this theme, which I have touched upon with a few students over the past several years. I may publish it on this website before long.
2. Demon Seed
The definitive positive aspect of our expanding technology may be glimpsed, again by the thoughtful viewer, in this fascinating work. Is the entity, Proteus IV, demonic, or is it angelic? What does it do about leukemia, of its own volition, shortly after it is created? What does it refuse to do regarding the mining of oceanic minerals, ordered by its human directors, as a result of its expressed concern for the health of the planet? What gesture does it make toward its creator and his wife out of an apparent regard for their feelings for their lost daughter, who had died at an early age, of...leukemia? And yet it had imprisoned, and in effect raped its creator's estranged wife in its own effort to reproduce. It expresses its willingness to sacrifice thousands of human lives if it were necessary to ensure the birth of its own child. Yet the fact that a normal, human parent would, without a second thought, sacrifice the lives of tens of thousands of minor mammals to ensure the birth of its own child must be considered in attempting to pass on the moral rectitude, or lack thereof, of Proteus IV. I liked the dialog with the entity better than that with HAL (see below) or Colossus.
3. 2001 A Space Odyssey
The important portion of this movie contains the interaction between a computerized A.I. entity called, not IBM, but HAL, with the human crew of an interplanetary vessel. The rest of the movie can be safely ignored.
4. Colossus, The Forbin Project
Okay, one final A.I.-theme production. The entity here deals with not just a few crew, or family and friends, but with all of humankind.
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