Nanotechnology and Mary Shelly
As we get closer and closer to the
real production of sentient beings, I think we should go back and read the old
1817 classic work called "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly. Unfortunately the way
that book has been popularized in movies is completely distorted and is not what
one could learn from the book itself. I highly recommend reading that
book. The movies try to show the message of the book as if the meddling in
nature's work and "acting" God is bad and try to scare one of doing that.
Whereas the book tries to show the dangers and what one has to *predict* and
compensate for when making such an attempt, albeit *acting God*. At least this
is my understanding of the book.
But regardless of one's understanding of Mary Shelly's book, I think the book gives one a good understanding of the feelings of the new sentient beings and the kind of things one should watch for when developing these new artifacts.
BTW, among the new books of our times in the same vein, I would recommend Pamela McCorduck's "Machines Who Think". But as I noted nothing can replace Mary Shelly's great classic. A real work of literature where one can really feel the feelings of the new creatures and their tormenting at their creators for not having thought of the agony they are going thru.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher
April 16, 2002