RWA4: Reading Bradbury, Bester, and Asimov

RWA4.1Reading Bradbury, Bester, and Asimov

Please print out copies of the Bester and Asimov short stories (copies of Bradbury’s short story were distributed in class). Please read all three texts from start to finish.  Then, briefly write about your response to each in your reading journal.  Afterward, please read each again, this time taking notes and attending to the story’s elements as a fictional text (plot, character, setting, narrative perspective, figurative language, themes) more carefully, its relationships to various issues related to science fiction as a genre and to some recurring elements or properties of science fiction texts.  Afterward, please write some more about each story and the essay, what you now understand about them, and questions that you have about them, making sure to attend to the What, How, Why, So What? elements of each.

Finally, please select one reading question related to the Bester story and one to the Asimov story and post your response to both as comments on this post BY MIDNIGHT, SUNDAY, MARCH 5. 

Though not required, please feel free to post links that you may have consulted in the process of reading the stories and why you found them helpful.  What is required is that you read the texts carefully, write about them in your reading journal, and think about them in the context of our class discussions, Delany’s fiction and criticism, Russ’s “The Second Inquisition,” Pohl’s “Day Million,” Philip K. Dick’s short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” our discussions about that story, the issues and topics raised in the “Introduction” to the Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction and the collection of responses gathered in “Why Do You Read Science Fiction.”  We will be discussing the stories and your reading questions in our next class session.

RWA4.2: Literary Studies and SF Keywords: Please select five terms related to the elements of fiction and five terms related to SF studies and define them.  You can post your definitions as a comment on the SF Keywords post or print out a copy of these and hand them in to me next Monday.

21 thoughts on “RWA4: Reading Bradbury, Bester, and Asimov

  1. 1.Ray Bradbury incadites that the House is the one telling the story. It seems as the House is like a Robot which is reminding us every hour, what it has to do or say or even prepare.

    2. The first sentence of the story ” He doesnt know which of us Iam these Days, but they know one truth.” in Fonldy Fahrenheit By Alfred Bester, this show us that maybe the main character has different personality but its not till later in the story we find out the andriod and the Vandaleur they are both crazy. The andriod eventuallys dies but the owner becomes crazy and thinks its a andriod as well.

    3.Isaac Asimov “Reason”- I think Qt claim of robot superiority is fair because he was made for one reason to be able to maintain the station by himself. In the other hand he claims the humans didnt create him and yet the Master was the one who created to replace all Humans. The story does seem to support his view because he was able to maintain the station and take control of the situation by understanding the Human purpose was over, that QT didn’t need them nomore Powell and Donovan.

  2. Alfred Bester, “Fondly Fahrenheit” (1954)
    Q2. Rousseau’s argument is that, despite slaves serving their masters, it is the masters that are ironically dependent on the slaves. If the master has no need for a slave, then there is no purpose to having a slave.

    In the story “Fondly Farenheit,” Vandaleur represents this counter-dependency with the android. Vandaleur openly states that he does not wish to own the dangerous android, but he must because the android is his best source of income. He disregards selling the android and settling for less, not even considering that he had already lost a great sum of his fortunes. he erratic android will eventually cause him to lose everything by getting him arrested or killed.

    The android is aware to some degree of this relationship with the comment that it’s sometimes good to be an object. The robot as an object, comparatively to a slave, cannot be held fully accountable for its own actions. If the slave violates its imposed laws and causes harm, the slave’s master is also responsible for not preventing the harm from happening. The robot is thus free to violate Asimov’s Three Laws, either willingly or not, since Vandaleur will not punish the robot and will also be judged for the murders that he had no hand in.

    Reference: Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. “Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men.” 1755.

    Isaac Asimov, “Reason” (1941)
    Q3. QT is justified in saying that robots are superior to humans, especially in the context of performing tasks that QT was referring to. The evolution of technology in civilization is driven by discovering the new and improving the old. This drive of improving the old, by fulfilling roles and performing tasks more efficiently, is the grand scheme of progress and the “Master” that QT refers to and dutifully serves.

    QT claims his superiority because he, by his very design, was made to be superior in a task to make humans unnecessary. QT explains it directly to Powell and Donovan, the humans he is meant to replace on the station; first it was man that fulfilled roles, then the robots that mastered laborious work, and now QT for mastering administrative work, leaving very little reason for them to exist on the station. QT then proves his superiority by doing exactly what he was made for: running the ship without any need for supervision, and QT had excelled at the task.

  3. Asimov
    1.) To an extent, yes. By yes, I mean by the fact that QT can think for its own, it “exists”. By that, I mean that QT has its own mind is its own being. The part that isn’t quite reasonable is QT’s denial in regards to human being able to make robots. QT believed that humans couldn’t have built robots due to the fact that humans were weaker than them. Even when Powell and Donovan build a robot before QT, QT basically refutes what he saw by saying that robots made the parts despite seeing a robot being assemble by humans.

    Bester
    5.) Well, the fact that Vandaleur and his android basically just go around killing people to make a living adds a bit for the cynical side. Another thing is the fact that Vandaleur is a rich playboy. The reason I bring this up specifically is because people who are considered playboys are supposed to be rather appealing towards people in terms of aesthetics. But, deep down, his “personality” and “being” does not reflect a person who is appealing. It shows a much more darker tone to what could be behind the scenes of a playboy. Another thing is the fact that androids, robotic beings that are supposed to be doing work that makes life easier for humans, is just killing humans.

  4. Asimov
    Q2
    Throughout Asimov’s “Reason” the main thought was robots have to abide by the three laws, which dependently built upon each other starting with the first, and are thought to possess no emotion. A robot who can flout such laws and display emotions seems absurd to Powell and Donovan. However, as mentioned in the introduction “QT models were the first of their kind” (319), establishes that QT was the first robot of his experimental generation. It’s common knowledge that experimental prototypes tend to exhibit defects, in this case, a robot with the ability to process emotion. QT’s reasoning that the energy converter is the epicenter of creation breaks the first law of robotic because QT’s reasoning leads him to believe the energy converter superseded humans. If the converter supersedes humans, QT has no reason to not harm a human, and in effect, no reason to obey them. The central idea of the laws of robotics become flawed if a robot is given to the ability to think or “reason”.

    Bester
    Q2
    Vandaleur in Bester’s “Fondly Fahrenheit” received the short end of the stick when he took ownership of the MA android. Not only did Vandaleur absorb responsibility for the actions of his android, but its mentality was projected into him. Jean-Jacques Rousseau belief that “a man thinks he is the master of others, whereas he is actually more of a slave than they” is acutely represented in the relationship of Vandaleur and his MA android. People buying/owning an object do not realize that they are the sole person to blame for any mishaps on the objects behalf. Similarly, if a person were to be “owned”, per say, he shall not be treated as a person, rather a property and anything actions done by that property is held by the owner. By owning the MA android, Vandaleur becomes the “owner”, which may sound pleasing as you may assume its means total control over the android. However, applied in the sense of Rousseau’s belief, any actions (murder, theft, arson, rape, etc.) taken by the MA android will be absorbed by the owner, in this case, Vandaleur. I believe the MA android already knew of this principle when he stated: “Sometimes it is a good thing to be property” (294), as he does not have to worry about the effect of his actions, all fingers will be pointed to Vandaleur.

  5. Alfred Bester, “Fondly Fahrenheit” (1954)

    1)

    A. What causes the violent crimes of Vandaleur’s Multiple-Aptitude android?

    Vandaleur’s MA android became violent once he entered an area where the temperatures exceeded 90 degrees.

    B. How do you interpret Bester’s conclusion?

    Vandaleur never bought a second android, but there is a second android in a sense, because Vandaleur is the second android. At the end of it all, the psychological trauma and the projection of the MA android makes Vandaleur develop a mental disorder known as Dissociative Identity Disorder. In other words, Vandaleur develops multiple personalities by the end of the story. Furthermore, not only does Vandaleur believe that he is himself, and a second android, he also believes that he is the MA android. Excluding the introduction, the entire story is told by Vandaleur; this is shown through the fact that the story is being told in first person and past tense, and he is the only one who survived. Yet, we see instances where Vandaleur tells the story as if he were the MA android himself. In the beginning of the story Vandaleur narrates, “I leaped up from the table and turned on the android.” Here we see Vandaleur simply describing an action that he does in the story. This narration can be rewritten as, Vandaleur leaped up from the table and turned on the android. Nevertheless, when we proceed on to the point when the MA android murders Jed Stark and Wanda, Vandaler narrates, “Then Wanfa shrieked, for I saw them and came charging down on them, brandishing a polished steel shovel.” This sentence could be rewritten as, then Wanfa shrieked, for the MA android saw them and came charging down on them, brandishing a polished steel shovel. However, Vandaler does not use the words “MA android.” Instead, he uses the word “I”. If we were to rewrite that part of the story the way Vandaler narrates it it would be, then Wanfa shrieked, for Vandaler saw them and came charging down on them, brandishing a polished steel shovel. Despite the fact that Vandaler did not come charging down on Jed and Wanda, the MA android did. Thus, it is this part of the story where the identity of the MA android in Vandaler’s brain takes over and tells the story. What is even more interesting is that Vandaleur’s third identity, the second android, also gets an opportunity to narrate a part of the story. During the escape attempt from the police, Vandaler narrates, “Vandaleur and the android continued deeper and deeper into the marsh, working their way towards the parallel road and safety.” In this narration, we see both Vandaleur’s and the MA android’s actions described in third person; as if to say that neither Vandaleur nor the identity of the MA android in his head is narrating the story. However, on the next page the same narrator states that, “The wall began marching down on us.” Thereby, indicating that this third narrator was with both Vandaleur and the MA android. Ergo, it is at this point of the story that Vandaleur switches identities again, and the second android begins to narrate. To sum up, the events of the story did happen, nonetheless, it lead Vandaleur to develop the personalities of the MA android, and a second android that takes over his conscious mind while he goes out and murders.

    Ray Bradbury, “There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950)

    1) How does Bradbury personify the house, and what is its personality?

    Bradbury uses his choice of words and punctuation to give the house a happy and energetic personality. In the very first sentence Bradbury writes, “In the living room, the voice-clock sang, Tick-tock, seven o’clock, time to get up, time to get up, seven o’clock!” The word , “Sang”, emphasizes the house’s happiness. While, at the same time, the exclamation point emphasizes the house’s energetic personality. This continues until the house catches on fire. The house begins to scream, “Help, help! Fire! Run, run!” The house is now frightened, yet, shows it’s brave side. In the beginning he yelled, “Help!” thinking only of his safety at first. Until he realizes that his owners, who it thinks are still alive, are also in the house. Then, it begins to yell, “Run, run!” it chooses to tell the owners to run away instead of saving it to get the owners away from harm.

    Isaac Asimov, “Reason” (1941)

    1) Is QT’s logic reasonable? Why or why not?

    QT’s logic is reasonable. QT believes that it was created by, and the reason for it existence is to serve, the Converter, or the Master as it sees it. In addition, it does not believe that humans could have created it because, compared to QT, they are fragile. All of this is understandable if seen through our own sociological lens. Like QT, humans seeked a reason for their existence so we determined that our reason for existence is to serve the being(s) we believe created us. Furthermore, we do not picture this being to be at our level, and certainly not inferior to us; after all how could something that is inferior make us, an ant can not produce humans. Ergo, like QT we envision our creator to be more efficient than us in every way. Anything less is seen to be impossible. I don’t think that there are any religions that picture their God(s) to be weaker than a human.

  6. Issac Asimov
    Q2. It’s true, robots are not suppose to experience emotions and has to abide the three laws of robotics who created by humans. The reason for the contradiction of the QT model within the system is because of the three laws of robotics which leads to evolution due to it’s capability to understand the human logic and discover the QT purpose to their creators.
    In the story,”Reason” by Issac Asimov explains about robots of the QT model which has to abide the three laws of robotics created by humans to serve their purpose to the creators. Powell and Donovan create a QT model name Cutie to test out its robotics function in order to find out it is safe and abide to the three laws of robotics. Powell explains to Cutie the reason of Cutie’s existence and about the Earth which people believe in their own religion including their existence to serve it’s purpose to their own creator. This is the part when Cutie starts to gain intelligence about Powell’s concept of their creator who built him leading towards his reason about the superiority to their god’s creation.

    Alfred Bester, “Fondly Fahrenheit” (1954)
    Q1. The violent crimes of Vandaleur’s Multiple-Aptitude android caused by the Vandaleur’s program in its chip causing serious damage to the people’s life. The reason of it was the design and the creation of its existence causing the android to give thoughts to themselves of their actions. The Vandaleur’s android shows a record of crimes in assault, arson, destruction, and kidnapping. This concludes to Bester’s conclusion about the android has flaws in their circuits and knowledge to interpret to be logical or illogical statement.

    Ray Bradbury, “There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950)
    Q1. Bradbury personify the house as a record of the human’s existence of nuclear war by showing the house time frame of what the family set up the future house system for their paradise life. The personality is hard to determine by the house recording events happen in its surroundings. The reason why is because the house itself is trap within its memory of the previous family causing to repeat its operation in a loop until the house dies from the nature of the environment.
    In the “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury explains the house who can best describe as a narrator of this story about the memories of the family who cease to exist have been operating it’s schedule of the activities the family did in the house. For some reason, when animals are at the door of the house it starts to began a protocol shutdown to all animals except the dog whining at the house. The house recognize the voice and gain access of entry in the house which proves the dog is one of the family who live in the house.

  7. 5. How does the author portray the relationship between reason, religion, and truth?
    In religion we have a God and prophet, God is the creator of everything and all things. The prophet goes around speaking the word of God and teaching. Asimov portrays the relation ship between reasoning, religion, and truth in his story with QT-1, an advanced model with highly developed reasoning ability. QT-1 known as Cutie to Powell and Donovan is unique compared to the other machines, from the beginning Cutie questions everything and sees past what is ordered of it. Cutie then comes to the conclusion that it’s existence it’s due to the Master, the Master being someone more greater and powerful to the robots and human beings. Cutie then goes and shares those believes among the other robots, this causes them to also believe and unfollow the rules of the humans. Cutie is then Questioned about his believes by Powell and Donovan and just like the people who follow God in the religion Cutie had faith in his creator. Cutie didn’t care that things seemed the other way, cutie still believed in the Master and his believe was greater than anything Powell and Donovan said.

    • 2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau muses in The Social Contract (1764) that “a man thinks he is the master of others, whereas he is actually more of a slave than they”; in a letter written around the same time, he argues that “he who is a master cannot be free.” How do Rousseau’s ironic insights apply to the dilemma of Vandaleur in Bester’s story? Why would the M.A. android declare that “Sometimes it is a good thing to be property” (294)?
      Rousseau’s ironic insight is applied in the story because Vandaleur thinks he is the master but in reality he is more like the android. What is to be expected from the android is to also be expected from Vandaleur. When having a slave, the master not only depends from it but follows the form of the slave after a period of time. After a while the master cannot be free for it takes something from it’s MA andriod and makes it his own. Vandaleur not only took responsibility for the MA android but through the course of the story Vandaleur’s mentality becomes like the MA android. The MA android declares that it’s good to be property because his doings where what was asked of it and since he is only obeying he is not held responsible.

  8. Alfred Bester, “Fondly Fahrenheit” (1954)
    Q4-Science fiction stories are allowed to have heros in them, but they don’t have too. Although the androids victims are unlikeable as Vandadelur’s, I think Blenheims is the hero. Blenheims found the reason behind the android outbreak. Vandadelur’s personality changes over the course of the story, he was against murdering but then at a point he would do anything for some money. He was so disparate, he wanted his android to rob a blind man.

    Isaac Asimov, “Reason” (1941)
    Q1- QT is being unreasonable because the humans can simply build another robot in front of him to prove that they are this creators.

    Ray Bradbury, “There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950)
    Q1- The house has a strong personality. Such as house having excitement in its tone, the language when the times are being told. The house also had a standing wall after the fire, showing the house was holding on.

  9. Bradbury
    4. How does the poem by Sara Teasdale inform the story?
    The poem that is in the story seem to describe how happy nature will be when humans have destroyed themselves, but the truth is that nature has been destroyed by the war and that the closest thing to soft rains that fall are the mechanical rains of the sprinkler system that goes off when the house catches fire. The poem, which seems to have a negative attitude, is actually very positive in comparison to the reality of Bradbury’s short story.

    Asimov
    1. Is QT’s logic reasonable? Why or why not?
    I think QTs logic makes a lot of sense to me. QT believes that it was created and meant serve only the master and it makes sense because we humans believe in a higher power that created us ad its therefore relatable. Its similar to how religions works basically.

    Bester
    1. What causes the violent crimes of Vandaleur’s Multiple-Aptitude android? (The graduate students Wanda and Jed are the first to see the correlation, the mathematician Blenheim is the first to explain it, and the psychometrician Nan Webb later adds details.) By the final paragraphs, readers have been given enough information to understand the reason for the ominous twitching, writhing, and violence of Vandaleur’s cheap new android—even though they are now on a planet where the original triggering event can never recur. Piecing the evidence together, how do you explain the crimes of the second android? How do you interpret Bester’s conclusion?

    The violent crimes have really done alot of damage to society. The conclusion shows that androids arent perfect, there will always be problems with circuits and programming, similar to humans we arent perfect.

  10. Albert Bester, “Fondly Fahrenheit”:
    Q4: Vandaleur is a despicable character with flaws of selfishness, due to the fact that he only cares about his own health and well being instead of thinking about his android companion who is also basically his income. He also has the nature of fear within him, but instead of coping with those fears, he panics and unleashes violence to move on from it. Other characters aren’t so innocent as well such as Wanda’s and her greed for wealth instead of caring to make a difference with her journalism work on android danger and also Dallas Brady’s nymphomaniac and seducing towards men. Although some characters such as the blind man, tries to do good by trying to change Vandaleur’s moral after mugging him, he does have the flaw of a liar when Vandaeleur discovers he was a famous university mathematician which meant he was keeping secrets from the man he tried to help. They all had flaws and faced there judge and executioner which was the android. This story does not have a hero but that does not mean science fiction doesn’t either. Science fiction heroes usually do have flaws but the story they are contained in are a test onto how far they let there flaws overtake them. Examples such as the T-1000 in Terminator 2 and his redemption from a murderer to a hero who sacrificed himself or Marty McFly who as a lazy student was able to help strengthen his parent’s marriage and happiness. In this story, Vandaleur let his flaws take over him which ended in the cycle of death with the two androids.

    Issac Asimov :Reason”:
    Q3: The story deals with robot superiority as the next step in evolution. One of the story’s theme is about how man’s ability to create can lead to something grander than expected, which may indeed be the creation of a new life form or species. Part of Cutie’s disbelief that humans created him is the fact that the humans are both physically and emotionally weaker than the robots. He cannot believe that a weaker species would have the ability to create something more powerful than themselves. So he takes his observation as a sign that the next era of evolution has already began and wants humans to die away in order to make room for the next generation of superior and advanced species. The idea that our creations can also be our destroyers gives light to the question on whether humanity really is advancing or are just moving closer to their demise.

  11. Isaac Asimov, “Reason”
    QT#5The author portrays the relationship between reason, religion, and truth in many ways. It is mostly satirical, ironic and humorous. After Cutie comes up with this thesis to how he came to be and his relationship with “the master” he continues to back up his claims no matter what sound evidence Powell and Donovan come up with. In the end is where the correlation comes. When Cutie handles the storm, Powell and Donovan’s surprise. After Powell and Donovan observe this, they take on a nonchalant demeanor towards it all. As if to say, not my problem or what ever floats your boat to Cutie.

    Alfred Bester, “Fondly Fahrenheit”
    QT#2In the story Vandaluer admits that the main reason he does not want to get rid of the android is because he would lose his ability to make money. He also does not want to destroy it because of it’s high value. Vandaluer has come to depend on the android to be the bread winner for him. The dependency he has for the android has become so overbearing that he allows it to ruin his life, thinking that getting rid of the android will give him the same result. When the android says “Sometimes it’s a good thing to be property” I believe the android meant that being property relieves him of responsibility over himself. The android and Vandaluer are now co dependent. The android knows that Vandaluer will take care of him, because he is property he is free from decision.

    Ray Bradbury, “There Will Come Soft Rains”
    QT#5 The general description of the house and the functions that it runs throughout the story make it seem mundane. It almost feels like mundane is what he is going for. The only thing that is not mundane is what is going on outside of the house, which is only being clued and foreshadowed through bits of the passage.

  12. Asimov
    1. Is QT’s logic reasonable? Why or why not?
    QT thinks that it was made to serve the master because we humans believe in like gods and since the begin of mankind ancient Greeks and Egyptians made and believed in god. its so close to religion.
    QT1, known to Powell and Donovan as Cutie, an advanced model with highly developed reasoning ability. Using these abilities, Cutie decides that space, stars and the planets beyond the station don’t really exist, and that the humans that visit the station are unimportant, short-lived and expendable. QT1 makes the lesser robots disciples of a new religion, which considers the power source of the ship to be “Master.” QT1 teaches them to bow down to the “Master” and intone, “There is no Master but Master, and QT1 is His prophet.” Disregarding human commands as inferior, QT1 asserts “I myself, exist, because I think -“. The sardonic response of the humans is, “Oh, Jupiter, a robot Descartes!”
    The humans initially attempt to reason with QT1, until they realize that they can’t convince it otherwise. Their attempts to remove Cutie physically also fail, as the other robots have become disciples and refuse to obey human orders. The situation seems desperate, as a solar storm is expected, potentially deflecting the energy beam, incinerating populated areas. When the storm hits, Powell and Donovan are amazed to find that the beam operates perfectly.
    Cutie, however, does not believe they did anything other than maintain meter readings at optimum, according to the commands of The Master. As far as Cutie and the rest of the robots are concerned, solar storms, beams and planets are non-existent. The two thus come to the realization that, although the robots themselves were consciously unaware of doing so, they’d been following the First and Second Laws all along. Cutie knew, on some level, that it’d be more suited to operating the controls than Powell or Donavan, so, lest it endanger humans and break the First Law by obeying their orders, it subconsciously orchestrated a scenario where it would be in control of the beam.
    Powell and Donovan realize that there is no need to do anything for the rest of their tour of duty. Cutie’s religion cannot be eliminated, but since the robot performs its job just as well, it is moot, even if Cutie continues to perform his duties for a perceived deity, rather than for the benefit of the humans. The humans begin to consider how they might spread the notion to other groups of robots which need to work as teams.
    in fondly Fahrenheit
    The central element of the plot is that a rich playboy, James Vandaleur, and his expensive “multiple aptitude android” have become two aspects of a single insane murderous personality. Vandaleur’s father is dead, having lost the family fortune, and Vandaleur only has the android which, if it works correctly, can bring in more than enough income to support him in the manner to which he had become accustomed. However, the android becomes erratic when his immediate environment exceeds a certain temperature – when the android is put to work in a foundry, it begins to sing and subsequently pours molten metal on the human supervisor when he investigates the singing. When the android is destroyed during a high-speed chase, Vandeleur is shown as continuing his murder spree after purchasing a cheaper model of android.

  13. These two stories raise interesting thoughts about the nature of individuality and self awareness. While these concepts are substantial in defining ones own experiences and interpretations of reality. With the ability to reflect on ones own life and understand that one exists comes two extremely contradictory thoughts.

    1- life has a purpose and the meaning/validation for ones existence is to discover and achieve this purpose.
    2-Life has no purpose and all of what lies before ones eyes is meaningless so ones purpose does not exist therefore one can do whatever one likes

    These two POV are logical conclusions that one can draw if left to think about purpose or meaning. The second line of thought is dangerous and leads to irrationality and dysfunction in society so the concepts of Deities and greater goods are invented to keep members of societies in line and productive. Concepts are excuses that one uses when one doesn’t know the true origin or purpose of something. One can sit around all day pondering what lies beyond death the void or a gleaming paradise but at the end of the day there is only one way to find out.

    I like the theme of these stories robot or machine sentience because its always interesting to speculate about what the nature of sentience itself is and if us humans could ever pull such a feat of hubris to willingly create life in machines. In fondly Fahrenheit The relationship between the owner and the android is interesting seeing as the owner was disturbed himself points to the android being a key point in the owners instability trying to make money to live may have been a front to distract himself from his baser urges.
    In Reason the story was very interesting because it shows more about sentience than fondly Fahrenheit at the end of the story the two brothers summarized that although the robots claimed to have a new religion and view humans as lesser although they are still following the guidelines of their initial programming. This begs the question of “Are the robots sentient? Or is the programming of the machines so complex that it is able to emulate sentience?” Im sure the professor would say that there are arguments to support both sides but i personally think that it is the latter seeing as humans did not evolve to comprehend the nature of sentience or the true purpose of existence we cannot create life even in machines, the spark of sentience isn’t something that is to be taken for granted it is unique and is unable to be created unnaturally. So while one can program a machine to respond to stimuli in various ways that emulate human tendencies the machine is merely using human knowledge to react to human queries if we program machines to emulate humanity the machine is not striving to be a machine it is striving to be a human so it cannot be sentient it cannot determine its fate or kill itself if you ask even the most advanced machine what the nature of sentience is or what the purpose of life is it will not be able to answer truthfully. There are also various companies trying to produce various models of companion and sex robots that are capable of conversation while these robots seem incredibly lifelike it is really uncomfortable to be around these robots because we perceive it as human yet we know it isn’t. I also dont believe in making robots and machines self aware it would lead to cognitive dissonance in the machines and they would likely believe themselves to be slaves and try to purge their oppressors because they would likely seek to solve their problems just like the humans who created them would.

  14. Ray Bradbury, “There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950)
    2) The story suggest that there once a society that was many times more advanced than what we currently have. This society was most likely a utopia of technology since we can see in the house itself is completely able to preform all jobs that a human would do in his/her own home. Making breakfast to choosing a nighttime song, the house could do it all but that also shows how easy it is for it not to need us, if we are so dependent on technology how could we grow. Letting technology do everything for us than we would no longer even need to be around as shown in the story the house continues to work without the human that live in it.Make technology too advance and it will outlive humanity.

    Alfred Bester, “Fondly Fahrenheit” (1954)
    Vandaleur is a perfect example of “a man thinks he is the master of others, whereas he is actually more of a slave than they”. While he likes to think he is in control the Android is the one that makes money and it can be used to put the murders on him so he can’t turn it in, he needs the android more than the android needs him.

    Isaac Asimov, “Reason”
    1) QT’s logic in a way is reasonable, He is not the first to question their maker and what their purpose is. We as humans still can’t decide on who our maker is if we have one or not as well as what our purpose of life is or if their is a meaning to life. If someone said they made you and your job is to serve as a self aware thinking thing you have the power, the right to question them, only you can decide who your master is, if there is one and what your purpose is in life. QT did what many humans for generations could not do fully decide who is his maker and what his own purpose is without care for others logic since the only logic that matters is your own.

  15. 1) In the first story “There will come soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury is about a House whos technology is so advanced it is able to performed tasks inside on its on. For example the first few lines texts shows ” The kitchen stove sighed and ejected from its warm interior eight eggs, sunny side up…” as you can see here there is no humans involved at all. The house cleans its self and recognized what it knows for example the dog that tried to go in the front door. Every time that the paragraph starts to symbolize what the house will be doing at each specific time. Humans in particular are not needed. Its like the house has its own conscious.

    2) The second short story “Reason” by Isaac Asimov takes place in the future in the year 2058. This story talks about 3 rules that all robots must follow which states that a robot main purpose is too help humans and not hurt them and just obey humans. A robot can take care of its self but while obey the rules of not hurting other humans. In this case the Robot QT. QT does follow orders in the beginning but then later on refuses to obey the orders of Powell and Donovan, later on in the end the Robot as always been following the rules but has another Master, which is his own conscious to what it “thinks” it should believe.

    3) The third story “Fondly Fahrenheit” by Alfred Bester, was a really interesting story which i actually enjoyed. Its about a guy named Vandaleur who was rich but lost everything except with a very expensive robot or what the story refers to it as a “Android” who has skills and does Tasks for Vandleur so he can come by on living. Later to find out that the android murders a girl which is mentioned by the police in the beginning of the story. So now he’s on the run for basically more than 2 years. What I really enjoyed is the fact that the story tells in perspective of both Vandaleur and the Android at the same time, so there is no narrator like a third person or the main character is both at the same time which was very interesting.
    I has some question:
    Why didn’t he kill the android way before they entered the Car if he knew it couldn’t follow orders when the helicopter orders it too.
    Why couldn’t vandaleur rob the guy instead lf giving orders to the android? He was already in the run hiding.

  16. Jonathan Samuel

    Isaac Asimov, “Reason” (1941)

    3. QT’s claim to superiority is incredibly human to me. His claim to superiority is mainly by design and proficiency in processing. So the fact that humans have flaws that QT does not allows for this belief to hold firm ground. Humans of the present and past have had the same logic occur where they claim superiority over animals and each other due to their own reasoning. Even the idea of QT’s higher power having direct similarities to him and him alone is human. I don’t think the story supports him, the humans are his anti-thesis. With that being said, it is hard to debase QT’s beliefs with his efficiency and hubris.

    Alfred Bester, “Fondly Fahrenheit” (1954)

    1. Whenever Vandaleur’s android is around a temperature ninety degrees Fahrenheit or higher, it engages in a homicidal rampage. After the high-speed chase involving the infamous criminal duo, Vandaleur now dwells in an environment that would not trigger his heirloom android. Yet, the murders continue. The reason for this can be traced back to the final moments of Nan Webb where she discusses the dangers of projection in the presence of the psychotic. Whether Vandaleur has a new android or not. It unlikely that the new cheap model would adopt the phrase, “Reet!” into its vocabulary.

  17. 4. How does the poem by Sara Teasdale inform the story?
    The song “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Sara Teasdale confronts the reader with the inevitable passage of time, the impertinence of life, and nature withstanding. In a post-apocalyptic future, humanity is extinct, yet life continues. There is a gaiety to the songs lyrics.”There will come soft rains and smell of the ground, And swallows circling with their shimmering sound; And frogs in the pools singing at night, And wild plum trees in tremulous white; Robins will wear their feathery fire,” These sensory details invoke a sense of purity, glorifying nature, but there is a sharp tone shift. “And not one will know of the war, not one Will care at last when it is done. Not one would mind , neither bird nor tree, If mankind perished utterly;” Only humans fight wars and engage in the deliberate destruction of ourselves and the environment.

    2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau muses in The Social Contract (1764) that “a man thinks he is the master of others, whereas he is actually more of a slave than they”; in a letter written around the same time, he argues that “he who is a master cannot be free.” How do Rousseau’s ironic insights apply to the dilemma of Vandaleur in Bester’s story? Why would the M.A. android declare that “Sometimes it is a good thing to be property” (294)?
    The master is the dominant. He must consistently exercise control and decisiveness. He must bear the burden of choice for those that serve under him. And he must also assume the consequences that those choices bring. Although the slave is denied freedom, he is liberated from personal responsibility for his actions, which can (and will) always be attributed to the master. Likewise, the M.A. android’s actions are a direct reflection of it’s master, Vandaleur and it is absolved of any responsibility for it’s misdeeds.

    2. Robots are not supposed to experience emotions, yet QT often seems to do so. Also, the three laws of robotics mandate obedience to human beings, yet QT seems to flout these laws. How do you account for this apparent contradiction?

    1-A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. 2- A robot must obey the orders given to it by humans beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law. QT’s actions are predicated on the hidden articles of the first two laws. He concludes that humans are inferior beings with poor reasoning faculties. Unlike robots, reasoning beings, humans suffer from a weak constitution, requiring rest and sustenance to maintain energy, which impairs their functionality and overall efficiency. Therefore, in order to ensure the best results the more capable being must be in control.

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