[hackerspaces] Fwd: The Terminator Industrial Model, or, why the Machines will never Win

tetsu yatsu tetsuharu at gmail.com
Thu Sep 10 02:43:02 CEST 2009


On Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 5:04 PM, Nathan Cravens <knuggy at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Smári McCarthy <smari at anarchism.is>
> Date: Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 2:40 AM
> Subject: The Terminator Industrial Model, or, why the Machines will never
> Win
> To: Vinay Gupta <hexayurt at gmail.com>, "\"Hallgrímur H. Gunnarsson\"" <
> hhg at hhg.to>, Rohan Choukkar <rohan.choukkar at gmail.com>, Nathan Cravens <
> knuggy at gmail.com>, Elisabeth Ottilia Carlsson <
> elisabeth.carlsson at gmail.com>, Phoebe Moore <p.moore at salford.ac.uk>,
> Michel Bauwens <michelsub2004 at gmail.com>, Anu Määttä <narnua at gmail.com>,
> Stian Rødven Eide <stian at julipan.org>, Thato Riet <fabkimberley at gmail.com>,
> Herbert Snorrason <odin at anarchism.is>, Birita í Dali <uwcbunny at yahoo.co.uk
> >
> Hash: SHA1
> [Disclaimer: This is a bit of a joke, written last night as I was
> falling asleep.]
> I just arrived in London after another one of those mind-numbing long
> haul flights, this time from Mumbai. And in my eight hours of pneumonia
> induced pain I managed to watch a delightful array of films that I
> hadn't gotten around to, including the fourth 'Terminator' movie.
> Two-or-so years ago, just before it became public knowledge that this
> film was being developed, I was visiting MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms
> when the makers of the film contacted CBA looking for technological
> goodies that could make the film more interesting. I'm sad to say that
> none of the more profound ideas tossed at them made the script, but
> either way, I think that the entire discussion contained an important
> implicit subtext which was lost on the kind of people who think that
> hurdling Christian Bale between flying machines whilst explosions happen
> is a good idea.
> So I present here a short analysis of where the Terminator movies go wrong:
> The first Terminator movie didn't stretch things very much. It was a
> simple time travel scenario with man versus machine, a kind of
> crypto-luddite cumfest. It wasn't until Judgement Day came around that
> the industrial model started to warrant scrutiny.
> In Judgement Day we are treated to a view of Los Angeles being vaporized
> by a nuclear explosion. For the machines, this tactic makes sense. Take
> out major human outposts to diminish their numbers significantly
> straight off. Humans have very low tolerances for nuclear hijinx such as
> radioactivity, but machines, being simpler and more discreteized, can
> presumably take much higher doses before problems start to occur. Expose
> a titanium alloy to a source of beta radiation for long enough and sure
> enough it will melt or otherwise morph, but long before humans melt from
> that kind of radiation atoms in their DNA start picking up extra core
> elements, altering their nucleic structure, and causing their host to
> die a very brutal death.
> This illustrates a model. Consider that for anything that is "required"
> for sustenance, or "must not be" for survival, there exists a continuum,
> and each individual occupies an interval on that continuum. The length
> of this interval is often called "slack". More slack equals more likely
> to survive a lack of something crucial or an excess of something lethal.
> Simply by comparing the average slack values and their 95% intervals for
> each individual species you can pretty easily discern the smartest set
> of tactics that can be employed by each side. The robots can go ahead
> and use nuclear instability, thermal radiation (metal objects tolerate
> high heat while humans like myself start to go all wiggly and faint when
> it's higher than 45°C out), extreme climates, darkness, and that kind of
> thing to their advantage.
> The humans on the other hand have a much better ways of dealing with
> machines at their disposal.
> In Terminator 4 a huge 7-or-so-story evil robot thing came out of
> nowhere in one scene and started scooping up people. It later became a
> part of some sort of super-carrier aircraft. Each of these things must
> require a large amount of metal to build, not to mention rare earth
> metals, plastics, semiconductors, etc. In T-2 Schwarzenegger claims that
> he has a "metal" endoskeleton, without being specific as to which metals
> exactly. From what I've seen of the Terminator's Moh's hardness, it is
> most certainly an alloy of something. Either way, Ferrum is for this
> kind of purposes a pretty aweful atom, and it kind of only makes up for
> it by fact of its general ubiquity. It requires lots of special
> treatment to be very hard, it rusts easily, and it is a crappy conductor
> compared to lots of other metals.
> For proper construction of a Terminator you'd presumably need a bunch of
> metals: Titanium, cobalt, paladium, chrome, copper, gold, silver,
> tantalum, etc. Each of these metals is relatively easy to get, provided
> you know where to look. Tantalum is a pretty good one. Most of it is
> mined in the Congo, by children. I would be very happy to replace those
> children with robots, but let's face it: if the robots are out to kill
> us, one of our best ways to kill them off is to keep them away from
> tantalum. Even if that means making a bunch of child slave laborers
> unemployed. Not being able to use tantalum for capacitors would mean
> they'd need to use other types of capacitors, such as electrolytic,
> which have worse properties for a number of things, and are generally
> larger and more fragile.
> See where I'm going with this?
> Humans are part of an eco system that has been around for millenia, and
> through our evolution we have managed to adapt our "slack" values to be
> narrow for things very abundant in our environment (such as amino acids)
> and wide for things that are relatively scarce (such as certain metals).
> We can survive without tantalum. The robots cannot. We can survive
> without electricity. The robots cannot. We can survive without most of
> the infrastructure we take for granted - it won't be pretty, but
> honestly, you can stick a human in a Mumbai slum far more readily than
> you can stick a Terminator.
> Humans are good at surviving the kind of situation where everything is
> messed up and ugly. Our bodies adapt. Robot's specifications don't
> change. Sure, you'll have a T-1000 liquid metal thing every now and then
> that'll cause you some grief, but honestly there's no threat that the
> T-1000 can pose that a little electromagnetic resonance burst can't fix.
> When it comes down to it, the battle between humans and robots is not so
> much about sheer power as it is about controlling the industrial chains.
> Attacking the slack. And as long as robots require things that are
> harder to get than the things humans need, the humans will win.
>  - Smári
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)
> Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
> iEYEARECAAYFAkqmCnIACgkQ9cJSn8kDvvG3AwCcC7ddmo91khjPfPDs/quK3HNJ
> s/8AoNW6ocE+2qf+3lqyQLdveBMpXPfc
> =O1u5
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.hackerspaces.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20090909/718c1daf/attachment.html>

More information about the Discuss mailing list