Blind and deaf, we’re doomed

Artificial intelligence has been threatening our world far longer than most would think. Abbreviated as AI (why bother with longish words that would force you to remember how to spell them, right?), artificial intelligence has been behind the recent social developments.

How do we know?

Simple: promoters of the New World Order (NWO, another abbreviation) haven’t been too shy about it. It’s their mantra.

Those supposed to replace people have been known as Robots. It’s not a new word, either: Czech painter, writer and poet Josef Čapek invented it in 1920. His younger brother Karel was working on his third stage play. It featured automatons who would eventually rise up against the humans who had invented them. He thought of calling his anti-heroes Labors. The older brother suggested changing the name to Robots.

Why?

Most importantly, the word itself, Robot, is firmly rooted in the Czech language: robota means hard, involuntary labour.

And it also precipitated an ingenious play with words in the drama’s title: Rossum’s Universal Robots (Rossumovi universální Roboti in Czech original), abbreviated (again!) as RUR: the Czechs use the word rozum (read rozoom) to describe reason as ability to think, or as intellect.

History of warnings

Karel Čapek’s play wasn’t the first attempt ever to describe what can happen when artificial beings do humans’ work. History of what we have got used to call science-fiction (sci-fi, yet another abbreviation) has been strewn with such works. But it was the Čapek play that caught imagination all over the wide world.

Premiered in Prague’s National Theatre on January 25, 1921, with two advance performances staged by an amateur troupe in the north-eastern Bohemian city of Hradec Králové a couple of weeks earlier, it would appear in Aachen (Germany) that same year (1921), in Warsaw, Belgrade and New York in 1922, London, Vienna and Zurich in 1923, Budapest, Krakow, Paris and Tokyo in 1924, and thence, the list has become almost endless.

The word robot would become a part of a worldwide vernacular, with only very few knowing whence it had come (the great American science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov comes to mind as one of those few).

It was precisely because of this play that Karel Čapek, a mere 30 years old at the time of RUR’s premiere, would be nominated for the Nobel Prize.

Karel Čapek would be nominated seven times, and just as he was close to winning it, he would pass away on Christmas Day 1938, from complications caused by a bout with pneumonia.

In a tragic sense, he was lucky: the Nazis had him on their list of the most important people to be arrested as soon as they occupy then-Czechoslovakia. That happened in March 1939. The Nazis had his brother Josef’s name on the list, too, and the elder Čapek did not survive. He died in a Nazi concentration camp, just a few days before the end of the Second World War.

Why all this biographical data?

Because these two warned humanity not only against the dangers of socialist (and utopian) dictatorships. The Čapek brothers predicted the abuse of technology in the name of destroying humanity as we know it.

Yes, Nazism is but one branch of a tree known as socialism. Communism, fascism and social democracy (in alphabetical order) are the others.

All of their works are in one way or another humanistic, and Karel Čapek’s essay, titled Why I Am Not A Communist (original title: Proč nejsem komunistou), has been one of the many of his works kept under wraps when Czechoslovakia fell under communist rule.

Here’s the tragedy: universities show off with pride their AI (artificial intelligence) courses, hoping to drum up custom from all over the world. We’re on the cutting edge of modern civilisation, they are saying, and if you learn this new science from us, your employment opportunities will multiply.

Reality differs wildly.

Irrelevant discrepancy?

As R. D. Francis, American screenwriter, author, music and film journalist, compiled the most important (or best known) science-fiction movies on B&S About Movies, the most striking feature emerges: almost all of the works he describes deal with future without caring much about what the future thus described will mean for humanity.

R. D. Francis, whose work is available at Amazon, Smashwords, and B&S About Movies, goes into considerable length describing Karel Čapek’s RUR: this, after all, seems to be one of the very few works that have real social impact.

We’re living at an age when way too many modern charlatans are trying to convince us that their innovations are good for us. Be it superfast communication systems like the vaunted 5G, or the genetically modified foodstuffs, or the so-called smartphones that let you turn your heating systems on while you’re driving home from wherever you had been, add your own features and be amazed.

We’re being fed the propaganda line that all of this is good for us.

Karel Čapek’s Rossum’s Universal Robots (or RUR, should you wish) is sufficient proof that this claim is open to serious questions.

Yes, some of the innovations may look as if they were making our lives easier, thus more meaningful. We now have time to enjoy all kinds of intellectual, mental and emotional pursuits.

The proof is in the pudding: do we have that time? And if we do, are we using it?

The answers are straightforward: no, and no again.

Not all innovation equals progress.

The sooner we realise this, the better hope we have of surviving as people. But we’re getting way too close to the point of no return.

Karel Čapek warned us a hundred years go.

2 thoughts on “Blind and deaf, we’re doomed

  1. rdfranciswriter November 20, 2021 at 05:37 Reply

    Thank you so very much for this! Each are great movies that need to be remembered and discussed . . . and perhaps give us pause to think what we are moving towards.

    Here’s to your article inspiring another to continue the thought. A very insight read, indeed.

    Like

  2. Peter Adler November 20, 2021 at 12:32 Reply

    and thank YOU for your contribution, too!

    Like

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