Your Questions About Robots And Empire

William asks…

Worth reading/getting Asimov’s work besides Foundation?

I already have the complete Foundation series (Foundation –> Foundation and Earth + Prelude to Foundation), and I, Robot as well. I know Asimov wrote a series concerning the early Earth/Robots (has Daneel Olivaw and Bailey), which from what I can see are about detective stories. There is also the Empire series written by Asimov, as well as a “Second Foundation” series by some other authors who wanted to pick up the Foundation storyline. I will throw in “The God’s Themselves”, I know it’s not part of the Foundation storyline but it looks like an intruiging book.

For those of you who have read these books, do you feel it is worth adding to them to a collection? I really enjoyed the Foundation series, and I tend to buy the books I want to read to build my own personal library, so I most likely would be buying these books. Does one series stand up above the others, or do you feel they are all pretty well written?

kenspong answers:

I loved the Daneel Olivaw books. I really can’t think of an Asimov book I didn’t love.

Lisa asks…

why does good always win?

why is it that in movies and videos etc, theres good guys and bad guys, and no matter how many nukes or guns or bombs or w-e the bad guys have, the good guys always come out on top? i mean, you would think that the bad guys would win at least once…even in a series, like star wars, sure the empire conquered the galaxy, but somehow a single jedi(with aid) managed to overthrow the empire…with the help of ewoks for crying out loud! teddy bears!! and i could follow up that question with what makes the good guys good and the bad guys bad? what makes good good and bad bad? the actions and behaviors, maybe so,but who said that those actions were good or bad? a long time ago someone must have said “nope, thats bad” and “good! thats very kind” if so, what makes them right and why do not question it? the buddha (i think i spelled that right) says that evil must exist so that good can prove its purity over it why…if evil is so evil, and good guys always win, why even have evil if good is always going to win? why have the guns and murders and violence and war if eventually the good guys are gonna win and we know that for a fact based on what we have seen before? why not just get rid of it now?(cuz then we would have won in that sense also?) and not just in movies, in real life too, the nazis were rollin thru europe without a care in the world, and a few years later the nuremburg trials were taking place….why cant the bad guys win for once? just for a little variety. im not saying i WANT them to win, im just sayin why not let the army of robots kick ass and keep on taking names in the next movie or something? the good guys get nuked and completely vaporized, i think that would be a very good movie…(but then some director would want there to a few survivors and, on their own of course, thwart the bad guys… does anyone else want to see some dang variety?!

kenspong answers:

Horror movies; mostly the bad guys win there (think The Others for example).

As for real life; history is written by the winners. If the Nazis had won the war, history would be so different. The victors aren’t about to identify themselves as the bad guys are they? Hence, throughout the whole of history, the good guys win. Whether you choose to believe that or not is up to you.

Michael asks…

Doctor Who question: Daleks (either post-Time War or New Paradigm) vs the Master’s Toclafane, who would win?

This question is what it says on the tin: in the Whoniverse, which of these two creatures would win a war against the other, the Daleks or the Toclafane?

Setting up the scenario, I’ll use as the base of the what-if battle, a relatively large force of New Paradigm Daleks, having reestablished on an isolated resource-rich planet, try to recreate the temporal experiments of all the other Daleks before them so they can exterminate a few problem species before they can ever become a problem. Unfortunately for the Daleks, their experiments accidentally rip open a rift above the world they are hiding on, all the way to the year 100 trillion, the literal end of the universe and the home era of the Toclafane (the spherical cybernetic head-things The Master used to take over Earth at the end of Series 3 of the new Doctor Who episodes), which the Toclafane detect, swarming in thinking they’ve got a chance to build an empire again. All six billion or so of the Toclafane swarm on the Dalek stronghold-world – and the Supreme Dalek screeches, “Alert! Alert! Mass number of sophisticated cybernetic constructs detected! They have human biosignatures! Find and EX-TERM-IN-ATE!”

I’d think the Daleks would be heavily outnumbered by the Toclafane, but say there’s one Dalek to every 3000 Toclafane, given the Daleks probably chew up a lot of resources making more of themselves. Remember that the Daleks are extremely advanced in terms of their battle-armour (a common assumption is the Daleks are robots – they’re in fact closer to cyborgs, and are basically a mollusc-like creature inside a tankette-like suit of armour, NOT a robot) and the Cult of Skaro were confident in thinking they could destroy the Cybus Cybermen at the Battle of Canary Wharf. Which side out of the Daleks or Toclafane would win?
I should have added: Doctor Who fans only.

kenspong answers:

“Doctor Who’ is fiction, written by individual authors.

As with all fiction, the winner in any battle is the one which an individual author makes out to be the winner.

Jenny asks…

What do you think of this plot for one of my stories?

Okay, here it is. (It’s fiction)

The year is 2012, and a worldwide economic depression DID happen.These are the aftermath: Anarchy spreads, democracy becomes unpopular, the event is now taken advantage by terrorists, some parts of the world owned by corporations or gangs, and a few secretive scientists ,convinced humanity cannot survive due to it’s physical and mental weaknesses developed due to it’s dependence on economics, tried to create new versions of posthumans.

The story revolves around a teen boy who first had a normal life. However during a terrorist attack he met two mysterious people who reveals his true identity:
he was created by a rich child genius who suffered severe social stigma due to his radical, antisocial beliefs and medical/mental problems. He made a deal to two other prodigies who can promise him materials needed to build his greatest (secret) creation, a psionics(telekinesis, mind control)-based posthuman. When the deal came too late, however, he commited suicide, and the others, feeling pity, instead “reincarnated” the child into his creation.

With his identity now known, he discovers that the problem is not in the economy, but in human society itself (corruption, discrimination, class conflict, etc) itself. He influences other people, humans and posthumans alike, to start a series of revolutions that enables him to create a state by 2020, at the cost of his loved ones.

In 2030, this new empire, which was ruled by a monarchy, where minorities have their own state governments and which praises both science and nature, has only three classes: posthumans, robots and humans, all of equal rights. The protagonist decides to create another posthuman (female) to aid in his still ongoing plans to revolutionize the world. The female, however, realizes that the protagonist was going more and more insane due to previous traumas, so she attempts to find out and “wake him up” but fails and gets tortured, provoking pity among the masses.
The protagonist soon realizes that his empire and ideas, like any others, is also imperfect and also has trouble, and finally he realizes what a big jerk he was, being controlled by unfulfilled desires and politicians who attempt to make a more troubled world. He reconciles with the female, starts a final revolution, and succeeds in making a world a better place, but at the cost of his life.

kenspong answers:

Democracy won’t become unpopular. Trust me.

Ruth asks…

Why is the military so disrespected in America, they are the ones who deserve the most respect?

You don’t show respect by paying them crap pay. We have homeless vets— that is SICK! Lets buy Puff Daddy another Rolls Royce… he only has 6. Meanwhile a guy with no legs fought for his country and can’t even get a decent wheelchair. This country is pathetic in its VALUE system. You know who you are too. Are you a soldier or are you a pathetic individual that disrespects those that die for you… you COWARD?

Yesterday I asked why the military get paid so little for the hard job that they have. Not to mention its a lot of labor work, sacrifice, you get shot at, psychologically damaging. Worst of all… the vets are treated like outcasts.

The answer was supply and demand and our value system went to hell. Basically soldiers are seen as “stupid, robots, untalented, …. you name an ignorant thing to say about the heroes of our country and i heard it yesterday.

The best job in the worst has to be a soldier… not only is it the toughest, you get treated the worst for you efforts.

No wonder a Marine grunt has enough pride in himself to stand up and fight the devil; if the devil would ever stand in front of a Marine.

I think its obvious who the greatest people on earth are…. they are the ones that protect you and you treat them like shit for it and they still take it. A grunt can take it… they can take anything.

WHEN AND WHY do we have this value system to reward our easy fun ignorant jobs like entertainers who are just greedy over the real men and women that do the real work for this country.

If all the laborers and military went on strike for a week…. every rich pansy in AMERICA would be begging on their knees for you to be respected more.

America has no respect for its own and that will be its demise.

I’m an American and ashamed to call myself one in this greedy disrespectful country… until the military and the labor force get some respect…. this country will continue to fall. The Roman empire collapsed… don’t think this democracy style of govt with 51% win and 49% lose is going to last. We ain’t no Rome… and Rome fell.

You all are in for a big surprise… and soon!

/end rant… carry on shallow low lifes… I’ll be in the trenches with the winners in life that will graduate with honor.

kenspong answers:

Well said brother!

Basically all that a soldier ever looks for, for his/her efforts is appreciation. You just showed it. They don’t want money, medals or parades. A simple thank you goes a long way.

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