Thursday, February 28, 2013

Accelerating Asimov

Dangerous Government
In Berlin the other day, new Secretary of State John Kerry told the Germans that "Americans have a right to be stupid", a remark that Rush Limbaugh found to be either hilarious or outrageous, I'm not quite sure which. I didn't get to listen for very long, but the quote intrigued me for it's simple veracity, despite its derogatory overtones.

Americans have long enjoyed the right to be stupid so long as they hurt no one. We have also enjoyed the right to be well informed. We have enjoyed the right to work hard and be wealthy, or work just hard enough to get by. The important point being that the choice has always been ours to make with little regulation from the government. This article  in American Thinker, by Jeffrey Folks, spells out how the Liberals have been slowly changing all of that over the past few decades.

Specifically, Folks mentions Robert L. Heilbroner, the author of The Limits of American Capitalism, in which Heilbroner basically lays out the blueprint for what we see happening today in our government. Heilbroner's vision of a centralized ruling elite is exactly what the Democrats have been striving for, and what Obama has brought to fruition in his first term as president. Having by far the most czars of any previous president, Obama has seized control of most aspects of our lives, and roughly half the population has actually applauded him for the effort.

Obamacare Town Hall Meeting
Heilbroner's basic premise in the book is that the political elite has the "right and obligation to make fundamental decisions on behalf of the mass of citizens". As Obama and the Democrats have already proved with Obamacare, they wholeheartedly agree with Heilbroner, and we the people have been forced into compliance despite our vociferous protestations during the process.

In 1950, Isaac Asimov published a series of short stories that would later become the movie, I,Robot. The movie takes place in the year 2035, and robots are a routine part of life, for most people. Detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) does not trust robots because a robot rescued him from a submerged car and left a 12 year old girl to die. The reasoning of the robot was the girl's statistical chances of survival, something that Spooner never overcame.

Like our own situation here in America, the robots were bound by certain rules, known as The Three Laws, that dictated their role in society to one of servitude to the people. The Three Laws could not be broken by a robot, which ensured that the robots, despite being physically superior to the humans, could never harm a human. As the generations of robots were improved upon, they became more intelligent, and ultimately produced a central brain known as V.I.K.I. (Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence). V.I.K.I. was created by the manufacturer, US Robotics, to serve as the main control center for the robots.

The latest generation of robots, the NS-5's, were released to the public en masse, but suddenly began to round up the humans. V.I.K.I. mentioned that her reason for the takeover was to adhere to the First Law of Robotics: A robot must never harm a human being or, through inaction, allow any harm to come to a human. Deciding that humans were a danger to themselves, V.I.K.I. came to the conclusion that the robots must protect them from themselves.

Here in America today, we also have a set of laws for our government known as the Bill of Rights. The problem is, our leaders have decided that they know what's best for us, and must force us to adhere to their rules while ignoring our rules for them.

As Folks points out in the American Thinker article:
Everything that Heilbroner predicted is now coming to pass.  Attorney General Holder has waged a virtual war against Arizona's attempt to defend itself against unchecked immigration.  Congress has created an office of consumer affairs with broad powers to regulate financial transactions. A European-style bureaucrat has been appointed to direct the rationing of medical services.  And the EPA believes that it has the authority not just to police hunting and fishing supplies, but to regulate carbon dioxide, a natural product of the act of breathing.
How long do you think it will be before our government starts to decide what we will do for a living, or what kind of car we can drive, if they let us drive at all? This is not the country I remember as a boy, or even as a young man. The scary part is that half of us like it, apparently. And once they get our guns, it's all over for this grand experiment we use to call America.

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