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Hall 1 James Hall Mr.

Blockus English 4 Science Fiction August 22, 2013 Humans and their Relationship with Technology Many people say that humans are too dependent on technology in todays world, and it is apparent in many science fiction genre short stories, that the authors of the 1900s felt the same way, even before the invention of many of the things we take for granted today, as in Isaac Asimovs Little Lost Robot, and E.M. Forresters The Machine Stops. There are people however, that see technology, and a human dependence on technology, in a different aspect, a more positive aspect, and that is also apparent in such short stories as Slow Sculpture by Theodore Sturgeon. In the story Slow Sculpture by Theodore Sturgeon, the human race is not overdependent on technology, in reality, the human race portrayed in this story is not dependent enough, in fact, it seems as if the people in the story (with the exception of one or two characters) are scared of technology, and unable to see what technology could be used for to better their lives, and the lives of many of the people around them. The author makes this point very clear when the woman is ready to be injected with the miracle serum that will stop the wild cells in her breast from making the cancer any worse. When she sees the laboratory of the doctor that is supposed to be curing her, she seems to get a little uneasy, shying away from the technology that could be used to save her life. This feeling goes away as the story progress, and she becomes more open to the technology and the advances that this doctor has made in

Hall 2 his one shot cure for cancer. In all, this story sheds a very positive light on the use of technology to make life better for everybody. A story with a very different point of view is E.M. Forresters The Machine Stops, in which the human race has been forced underground and forced to become dependent on technology to live, most prominently, The Machine that takes care of their every need. Some way or another, in this story, the surface of the earth has become toxic, and driven the people of earth underground, into isolation from everybody else. They are dependent on The Machine and are very wary about saying anything bad about The Machine, or going against what The Machine wants for them. When one of the characters in the story decides that he no longer wants to be dependent, and that he wants to go to the surface of the earth, he is scolded by his mother, whom he has not seen in person since birth, who says that he must not say or do anything about or against the machine. He does not take this into consideration, and visits the surface anyway, and discovers that the human race really does not need to be dependent on the machine, but does not take into account that people cannot be on the surface of the earth for long periods of time, and eventually causes the downfall of mankind when he begins his movement to liberate the humans from the machine. In this story, the authors attitude about technology, and humans being dependent on it, is quite the opposite of that of Sturgeon, in that Forrester is saying that if we become too dependent on technology, we may, through human nature, cause the downfall of mankind. The third and final story is Little Lost Robot by Isaac Asimov. In this story one robot of twelve robots that were manufactured without having to follow the three laws of robotics gets lost, and threatens humanity with a robot revolution of sorts. When the robot gets lost, the

Hall 3 lead doctor on the project using the robots, does not know that the twelve were manufactured without having to obey the three laws of robotics, and goes into a long-winded explanation of how, if this robot were to escape, and make it to earth, that it may threaten humanity, because it has free will, and does not have to follow any of the three laws of robotics, making it a danger to humans, because it can freely cause harm to anything in its path, and still want to protect its own existence. In this story, the author is trying to say, if we become so dependent on our technological creations that we begin to have the need or desire to change it, then our creations may no longer become dependent on us, and that could pose a big threat to humanity.