After reading this story the Cave of Steel I found the three Laws of robotics that Asimov created as he write throughout the story were very interesting. I like the series when Baley asks. “Why can’t a robot be built without the First Law?” “What’s so sacred about it?”. the first law is that the robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm,and Dr. Gerrigel explains the several reasons why this would be extremely difficult and unlikely. I been always thinking what will happen if alien really exceed in this world and if is possible can robot do all the work/homework for me but after reading this I think in a different perspective that if we have robot will they turn out in a way that we unexpected which mean they can be smarter than human and will harm us in different ways. i’m still curious/imagine what will happen differently if they invented the robot without the first law of robotic and will the robot take over all human space or maybe even eat the humans?
One moment that really stuck with me was when Lije’s wife, Jesse, came clean about her meetings with the Environmentalists. She was so bitter about Baley stripping her name of any power she thought that it held, so she went behind his back. Jezebel is a name associated with “painted lady’s” in the Bible, or prostitutes. Her final act of getting made up before leaving the station showed her indignation as a woman of status (higher up than most) in the face of her self-exposition. She may have went behind Baley’s back because he made her feel trapped and stripped of power; but in the end she kept her role as a faithful wife.
One moment that is very interesting was the shoe store incident. This incident is great evidence displaying R. Daneel’s short sightedness and inability to see the larger picture even while he believes he has already thought of the outcome and what he will do. There is a giant mob currently located outside the door of the store waiting to store in and cause trouble. R. Daneel forces the manager to open the doors. In this instant Baley is trying to stop a massive riot from occurring while R. Daneel is focused only on the logic of the situation. The logic here being that these robot clerks are registered and since that is so the people must be served by them. Baley is unable to explain the situation of a human’s hatred toward robots as he is more concerned that the crowd may find out that R. Daneel is infact a robot. This distraction allows R. Daneel to take charge of the situation and display his confidence. Unfortunately this confidence is only based on a lack of knowledge of the hatred. The problem is while R. Daneel posses the logic of what should be, the real issues is that people are prodomentally illogical and if they were logical like R. Daneel’s tunnel-vision in assuming that he can instantly change a person’s hatred by stating what people should be doing then they would have been served and already left the store. R. Daneel sees the angered people that are ready to rip the place apart and allows them in based on his logic. This is illogical. He should be able to know the hatred that people have for robots just by seeing it first hand. People have the ability to adapt to new situations if they choose to do so. Does R. Daneel have the ability to adapt? R. Daneel is so set in his plan and belief that the people must be served because there is nothing wrong with it. This is interesting because it brings up the question of who is programming these robots and what information they are and are not being given. This goes further as R. Daneel pulls out a gun and turns it on the crowd and orders them not to touch him or Baley as they exit. Later R. Daneel informs Baley that he never intended to shoot anyone. R. Daneel is so sure that he wasn’t going to shoot anyone but never took into account any variable interactions from the crowd but only his actions. There were so many people in that room that could have easily charged him and beat him. If that happened would he have shot?
There are many differences between the world of today and the world of Caves of Steel. One of these differences is the cities. What we consider a city in this day and age, is no where near the size in population or land mass. New York City in Caves of Steel has a population of about 8 billion and encompasses what we know as New Jersey, Philadelphia and Connecticut, while New York City we live in has a population of 8 million and boarders those three states. Even though this sounds impressive it is one of their big problems and one of our major concerns of the future. I am talking about over population. Even though they have controlled and limited child births. They are still running out of resources such as land and food. They live in huge apartment like complexes that are sized to just fit the person or people living in them, they were created for efficiency and they are still running out of room. The food they eat is mostly synthetic and it is rationed out so people don’t starve because even with synthetic food they still are running out of food. Even though these are two very different worlds they face some of the same problems and even though we are not at that point yet but Caves of Steel in some respects can be a very real and bleak future for us as a race, if something is not done by us soon to change the path we are on.
As I was reading Caves of Steel I was put into the mind set of the spacers were arrogant and the robots were just machines. In the beginning of the book space town was portrayed as a city lf the elites of the aliens and they seemed so much better than humans and they thought that as well. The best example of this is when Baley enters space town for the first time and he has to go this quarantine procedure. He had to take a shower and they took his blood to check for diseases, with everything we knew from the start of the book lead us to believe that this was due to the fact that humans were dirty. But to me there was a turning point for me. In the turning point my opinion of the spacers changed. This turning point was when Baley met Dr. Fastof. This was a turning point to me because he explained what the spacers wanted with Earth and the human race but also why they never come down to Earth and why when Earthmen come to space town they have to go through the quarantine process and it because they are afraid of diseases from mankind. I just thought that it was humbling for the spacer to tell this to a human and I think Baley thought so to or else I don’t think he would have considered the doctors argument so easily.
One of the themes that have stood out for me while reading “Caves of Steel” is the concept of socialism through out the book. One particular moment that stood out to me was when Elijah and R.Daneel went to a foreign kitchen to eat and discussed how the food around the world is exactly the same. He also discussed how they were allowed to eat certain because of his class and how they weren’t allowed to eat depending on whether kitchen was short or not. The food distribution in this book is controlled by one entity and is distributed to everyone in the world. Elijah is only allowed a certain amount of choices to eat, he cannot buy whatever he wants like in a capitalistic society. Another example of socialism in the book was how many children a family is allowed to have is controlled. Elijah is a level five so he is allowed to have two kids. This book was written during the 1950’s so this theme is very strange for this time period. I feel as if he was maybe telling his readers that socialism is the future or he was telling readers that it isn’t the future since their are many problems in the Caves of Steel.
There are many differences between today’s world/society verses the one that is portrayed in Caves of Steel. In today’s society humans are the ones that create the machines and technology that are being built. We make the technology so that it can make life easier for us. Another thing would be our ways of transportation. In our society we us cars, buses, and trains to get from one place to the other. On the contrary in the novel they used other ways to transport from one place to the other, such as spaceships and lived in domes separating themselves from the “humans and/or spacers. In addition to that they had external differences. As humans we get sick or may have symptoms or signs of being sick and with the proper care we can be cured. The robots didn’t have to deal with being sick because they lived in an atmosphere that was sanitized.
There was a particularly interesting message coming across on page 121 from the conversation between Baley and Dr. Fastolfe. It is this conversation that we are first enlightened about the Spacers’ true intentions on Earth. Here, Fastolfe explains the Spacers’ concern for the fragility of Earth’s equilibrium, as well as their desire to find a way to help earthmen. It is the ongoing theme of imprisonment that arises here, as Fastolfe and Baley debate the possibility of earthmen emigrating to new worlds. It is as though the earthmen have an ignorant acceptance of their “imprisoning caves of steel.” They go about their lives eating rationed, government developed foods, sharing small government allotted living spaces, obeying the rules of hierarchy set forth by the Cities, and literally fearing the “outside.” They are even blind to the help the Spacers and robots are trying to give them (which is not entirely their fault, as the Spacers didn’t exactly explain the purpose of Spacetown to Earthmen), and won’t even consider the idea of going into space.
This imprisonment characteristic is one that contrasts our world in some aspects. We have an unyielding desire to explore further into space and deeper into the oceans/forests where as earthmen wouldn’t dare leave their safe City walls. Additionally, we live in a world of consumerism and materialism (at least in the U.S) where people constantly live outside of their means. The idea of rationing today would not be easily accepted, unless in legit situations like natural disasters, or maybe, war. Some people today might accept living in tiny government allotted housing. I mean, who hasn’t been or known someone who shared a little one-bedroom apartment with 4 people until they “made it big” in the city? But the overall desire, I think, is to move out of the city eventually and have a nice big house for your family. I think that although their world differs from ours greatly in some ways, it is not so far off that it couldn’t actually happen. Overtime though, our world’s ideals would have to change quite a bit for us to actually fear the outdoors or accept prison-like living.
The separations of people or groups are present in both worlds, making caves of steal similar to our own domain. A significant difference is represented in scale; the spacers seem to have a pessimistic view on earth dwellers. As a result both sides live with little interaction, promoting misinformed stereotypes. Division because of believes, ideas and views currently exist but not at the scale which is amplified within ‘Caves of Steal’. The threat of diseases appears to be enough reason for the spacers to reduces contact of an entire planetary colony. It is interesting how this future interpretation follows a path that resembles our history. Isolation between civilizations has always encouraged some form of conflict when contact is made. It may not be violent, but one side seems to benefit only.
Currently automated machinery is seen as a benefit, providing efficiency and reducing human error. Caves of steal portray a world where both humans and robots are contending for jobs opportunities. The living standards have also decreased to ensure an efficient system. It is ironic that advancing technology echo’s a convenient lifestyle in our world, but is seen as a hurdle in CoS. Reducing freedom to further increase productivity seems to defeat the purpose of robots and technology in general. While this does not accurately reflect our current situation, this future is possible with machinery being more capable of undertaking human objectives or task.
As I read caves of steel, I came across “Each city became a semiautomous unit, economically all but self-sufficient. It could roof itself in, grid itself about, burrow itself under, it became a steel cave, a tremendous, self-contained cave of steel and concrete,” Page 15. This section caught my attention since it explains the reason for the title. Besides the title reference, the title “caves of steel,” refers to the city full of people unable to be free; trapped within the busy city, divisions of classes and etc. This page stood out because it explains reasons behind the misery of the people in the city, as well as the given the title. The theme of the story is imprisonment; confined within the city of loss for the future, confined in a society of fear against the spacers and confined in a city of unwanted change. The fact that the city people don’t want changes makes them less likely to accept the spacers or gain any help from them. The lack of knowledge of outer world situation makes them afraid of moving forward. These people live their life working, fighting to keep their place within the city, lacks the interest to explore. They are concealed yet, they don’t want help; don’t want advanced technology, greater life force and a better world to live on from the spacers. The people are the ones concealing themselves in a cage of steel and concrete.
There are many differences between our world and alien worlds. In “Caves of Steel,” many aspects of differences between the spacer and humans appear. For instance, the spacers and humans live in divide sections within the city. The two divisions do not enter unless it’s for business situations. Spacers have a limited population as for humans there isn’t. The spacers provide better improved technology then the humans. An example of comparison shall be R Daneel; a spacer like robot with advance movement, speech, looks and etc. while man made robots are only capable of storing and non- fluent movements.
Besides the difference in technology, exterior influences are marked as well. Humans may worry about viruses such as a cold, fever or other diseases however; many of these symptoms can be handled in a well-cared situation. As for spacers, there are no such things as a common cold or diseases, they live in a specified atmosphere; cleaned and sanitized. To the spacer’s knowledge one touch or atom from a humanly bacteria may kill them instantly. Human bodies have grown an immune system to protect them from obtaining a disease while, spacer does not; due to never getting sick.
Human’s knowledge of the outer world is still brief; not knowing how many planets are out there, if any life forms and if any human like creatures are living amongst the planets. Spacers with their well-developed technology can travel through space; to planets and planets far across the galaxy. Their advance robots may receive outer world information as well, to better improve acceptance in various conditions.