Literary Journey: Humanity, Machine, Free Will & Consciousness



hello welcome to literary life so today we're going to take a literary journey and to what does it mean to be human versus machine and what does it truly mean to have free will and to be self-aware and to have consciousness to love to be loved if these concepts that in and of itself on the surface may seem to be very easy to answer I felt like these books took me to places where the differentials became a little bit more blurry the implications became massive and just kind of left me in a state of just unrest because I I think it is a complex subject so I wanted to share these books with you um so that if you decide you want to pursue them you can in a sense to your own literary journey on these concepts and see what thoughts and feelings they stir up within yourself as we you know really consider these especially given the fact that some of these things are starting to advance so let's talk about the books um so the book that most recently has really spurred this on is the one I received from page one books this month machines like me by ambiguity so essentially this book is set around the 1980s but it's sort of like a lot of the world now set back in the 1980s which makes it kind of fun but these robots have been put out on the market and just a limited number of them Adams and the Eve's and there's like 10 12 each and the main character has recently come into some money and he's a techie he loves technology and he decides he's gonna get himself he's gonna invest in one and he ends up getting Adam and the way that these bots are set up is that they come programmed but essentially the owners get to do some of the personality selections kind of similar to Sims where you get to choose are they gonna be more extroverted introverted you have that range you can kind of set right but the other fascinating thing to it is that while these guys or gals are out living in the world and taking in all this new data there learning their machine learning so they're evolving yeah it's pretty damn cool so at what point at what point does that become like an identity in existence and free will the concept of exerting you know will against that of your owner is explored here and the other fun thing that's explored is that the main character has recently started a relationship with a female friend of his and what Adam comes into the picture and they all evolve a relationship of sorts I love triangles Forge so you are now starting to explore the idea of what attracts us to each other and what what does it mean when you love something that isn't defined as human or what does it mean to be loved by something that defined as human but what did not it is just subtle good so good so this is the first of the books if you want to go on this literary journey I would recommend the next one is the windup girl by Paola basa doesn't be I'm pretty sure did not say that right but we're gonna move on so this book is set in the not-too-distant future I mean it's a dystopian set kind of setting where the world market everything the global economy has completely collapsed and food due to genetic mutation our food sources have collapsed and corporations control our food they control our seeds which have been modified so that we they don't produce seeds you can't take a seed from a pepper and grow pepper any more and it's in this setting in the heart of Thailand specifically that we meet these robots which have been programmed to essentially be servants for pleasure and I do think that's happening like did somebody hear about it if not Google it it's a thing the main character one of the main characters in this book is one of those um robots who has essentially been enslaved for the duration of her life she was originally owned by I think it's a Japanese businessman and at some point she sort of just dumped and so she's essentially become like a prostitute in a brothel or was that even wherever it's a place where prostitutes are kept to service customers and um she's unhappy she's unhappy and she's treated horrendously and she experiences pain from being treated horrendously and it explores sort of that concept of slavery and free will and decency in the way we treat not just the people around us but our creations so this is another really fun book but it's set in this other kind of complex futuristic world like I said where you know the economy has collapsed and you if you don't just think about the implications of technology with this one but also have our food processes so it kind of brings in that element as well I'm going on something similar to that is he/she in it by Marge Piercy and I actually read this book several several years ago so this one's also set in the near future where Earth's been destroyed um by war and pollution and essentially the world is run by these giant corporations who if you work for them you know things are good you have resources but it's very tightly controlled I mean every aspect of life is dictated there are some free cities that are kind of like out and away from these major cities but they're poverty-stricken but they are free and it's within these free cities that I mean the main heart of the story takes place where what in one village or town a cyborg has been created um tech is like a big thing in this world and people are allowed to use technology but they use it to attack each other and as sense and essentially a woman who has left the big court controlled cities and was working for a big corporation returned to her home village which is Islam meets the cyborgs and again it's that sense of the relationship that develops between a nonhuman a machine and a human that is explored here and also the concept of like what does it mean to be a real person and what rights do these cyborgs inherently have and even essentially what rights do we as humans have right we're facing these it a dictatorial you know conditions that we're living under which is a whole nother story but it's explored here as well all right the rest what I'm going to recommend to you is the mechanical so the mechanical my aunt ERG Ellis is actually the first of a trilogy and this book is focused on these humanoids shocker and that's the thing Laurie that have been created via the use of alchemy and what's really interesting about them is that they're created with they have a compulsive compulsion to follow orders they actually experience pain if they're told to do something and don't abide by it and even the people who can give them orders are waited for them so if I'm the utmost authority and I give my cyborgs in order and my daughter comes along and gives it an order my orders set to trump to be weighted more because I am the almost authority right so all of this is very well thought-out and programmed in these cyborgs and they're called clunkers and this is also set in a world where an alternate kind of history it's set back in the 1900s and the Dutch have taken control of the global world using their robots but their army robots so they now control everything we have all these robots all over the place that are set to UM follow our commands and they're used for a number of different purposes some robots are programmed to be warriors summer program to be workers summer program to be companions a more intelligent and scientists and to work is you know medical in the medical field and that kind of thing so we have all kinds of different types but what's interesting is that a random smattering of them start to go rogue and they start to deconstruct the parts of themselves that give them that compulsion to have to follow orders and experience pain and again we get back to that you know them trying to become a sentient being that can think and control its own thoughts and it's good to have free will and it's just fascinating Lee explored so this is a really fun one again same kind of concept set in a slightly different world but I love the way that all of these I think shed a little bit of a different light on this dilemma and it brings a slightly different aspects of human nature into it that they kind of highlight as well so that is a if you have read any of these books and had thoughts or just want to pitch in to the conversation definitely do so below are a few of other books she would suggest that you think would align with this literary journey thrown below because I've definitely enjoyed these and I would um I would I would definitely we'll look forward to reading more myself um but as always thank you for watching and happy reading have a good weekend

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