Freefall 1961 - 1970
Freefall 1961

Day of the dead

Sorry for the delay. Do we still have time to get to the play?
We're good. Now, let me see if I understood what you and Mr. Raibert were saying.
The robots are using the same brain design as you have. Does that mean they're people?
They're as much people as I am.
You may want to rephrase that. For some folks, it will be easier to think of you as a non-person than the robots here as people.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1962

Day of the dead

Stop. Uhm. There's no dogs allowed in the play. Except helper dogs. Is that a helper dog?
I'm here to help if he ever needs to know the difference between a Bosonic polariton and a Fermionic polaron.
Uhm. Okay. I guess that counts. You can go in.
I wish they had quantum physics helper dogs when I was in college.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1963

Day of the dead

Who were you waving to?
Ms. Ambrose. I don't think she saw me.
Don't you want a cell phone? Your communications are disabled. You won't be able to follow tweets or updates about the play.
I'm good.
I want to watch this play without distractions. The way people watched plays hundreds of years ago.

Color by George Peterson


Freefall 1964

Day of the dead

What did you think of the play?
It was a lot of fun. I loved the costumes.
Genetically, Don Juan did everything right. He slept with many women. He killed off his male rivals. Heaven and hell were used as an allegory for whether or not society approved of his actions.
Sorry. Am I over analyzing this?
You wouldn't be an engineer if you didn't.

Color by George Peterson

Cameo by Hortmag

Freefall 1965

Day of the dead

Did the ending of that play seem like Deus ex Machina to you?
Qwerty! Dvorak! Were you at the play as well?
Yes. Top row. Explosive decompression section.
Winston, these are Qwerty and Dvorak. They're friends of mine.
Are… are you guys the music duo Cyber Rap?
Told you we should have worn dark glasses.

Color by George Peterson

Deus ex machina from the Latin? In ancient Greek theatre the word mechane was used to describe a crane that allowed an actor to be lifted above the stage (allowing him to “fly”). In ancient theatre the phrase referred to a god who appears in the denouement of a performance with the help of special mechanisms “coming down from heaven” and solving the problems of the characters. In modern literature the expression is used to indicate an unexpected resolution of a difficult situation, which does not follow from the natural course of events. In Russian there is a similar expression, “a piano in the bush”.

Freefall 1966

Day of the dead

Yes, we are Cyber Rap.
Great to meet you. Do you write your own songs or do you have a programmer?
We write a lot of our own music. We also cooperate with other humans and robots.
We're currently writing a ballet for some of the larger earth moving robots.
It will be the world's first combination of dance and terraforming.
We're calling it “Making Swan Lake”.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1967

Day of the dead

What does your owner think about this?
I think he'd be proud of us. Well, except for one tiny incident.
We did learn an important lesson.
No matter how much you miss your owner, it's considered bad form to dig up and motorize their corpse.
Which wouldn't have been so bad had mister “information wants to be free” kept his diagrams to himself.
But you must admit, that was the most memorable “day of the dead” celebration ever.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1968

Day of the dead

Sorry about your owner. It must be tough to be immortal.
We're not immortal. Our neural nets are projected to last 60 to 80 years.
But can't you make copies of yourself?
A copy is not me. If I die, I'm just as dead whether a copy of me exists or not.
Besides, imagine if your back up copy got into the wrong hands.
We're talking a serious case of identity theft.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1969

Day of the dead

If a copy isn't the original, what do you think about the Star Trek teleporter?
Disintegrates the person on the pad. Dead. Creates a teleporter clone at the destination.
Do you suppose teleporter clones have souls?
I would think so.
With all those nearly identical copies being disintegrated, Star Trek heaven must be a very confusing place.

Color by George Peterson

Freefall 1970

Day of the dead

We should top off our batteries before heading home. There's a small cafe nearby. Would you like to come? They have coffee.
Why not? I've never been invited to coffee by a conscious machine before.
I'm not completely convinced we are. There is the “Chinese room” argument when applied to microprocessors.
I might simply be imitating consciousness to such an extent that even I am not conscious of the fact that I'm not conscious.
Do they serve drinks where we're going? I might need one.

Color by George Peterson

Chinese room

This website uses cookies. By using the website, you agree with storing cookies on your computer. Also you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy. If you do not agree leave the website.More information about cookies