Wednesday, October 12, 2005

ROBOTS!

The highlight of my day consisted of finishing Isaac Asimov's Robot series, which begins with The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, The Robots of Dawn and Robots and Empire. I find it interesting and funny that I'm read that of order though, as follows: Robots and Empire, The Naked Sun, The Caves of Steel then The Robots of Dawn. I advise anyone who wants to read them to read them in order. I don't say so because they need to be read in order to understand the idea. Asimov has done a pretty good job at keeping them standalone. I say read them in order because reading them out of order may spoil some of the parts in the earlier books. Actually. . .you could probably read the first three out of order without a problem but reading Robots and Empire does spoil The Robots of Dawn a little.

I really appreciate Asimov's idea, which doesn't surprise me one bit. I read a couple of his books in the Galactic Empire series, I, Robot (Which actually counts as the first book in the Robot series but is really only important for reasons of nostalgia in The Robots of Dawn) and Robot Dreams. I can't even begin to approach his ideas because they're quite vast and profound.

Nonetheless, the Robot series did help me to think quite a bit about my thesis in utopianism, most specifically on my paper about Kiryat Yedidim, a kibbutz that was/is in Israel/Palestine, based on a couple books by Melford Spiro, Kibbutz: Venture in Utopia and Children of the Kibbutz: A Study in Child Training and Personality. Asimov addressed the idea of displacement, but in terms of job displacement or possibly even racial displacement. . .but not in the form of being displaced geographically (even though that may have some aspects to it) but possibly in some kind of social sphere. Somewhat hard to describe, but I have the feeling that the closest analogy has to do with job displacement. I still have a bit to go in this direction, but Asimov got me started pretty good in this direction. Next, I want to get reading the Galactic Empire series again then finish up the Foundation series.

I also found my musings on cycles of anger (I've entered into one recently in regards to the Christian Right and their loudest spokesmen, the Neo-Cons in power in the US and people like Pat Robertson) pretty useful when it comes to this paper, as I have found the feelings of being involved in cycles of anger that some people in the kibbutz feel and the potential for job displacement and social alienation felt by others in Kiryat Yedidim create an interesting balance that keeps the community going without any of either extremes destroying it. More on this one in my thsis and, maybe, book.

Until tomorrow, though, I've got a couple things to do before hitting the sack. Night!

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