Proposed Trope: The Truth
“Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful, and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous, and loathed because they impose slavery” - Bertrand Russell
“We are becoming the servants in thought, as in action, of the machine we have created to serve us” - John Kenneth Galbraith
The aim and purpose of mankind in the field of technology, is in a sense to ease the physical labor of the human race. The truth is that man needs to progress, he needs to be recognized, so he creates and invents. Many a time the tools he has created eliminate the effort of man. Sometimes, some of the things we create are not necessarily required but are created just to make life more comfortable. Once we get used to a level of comfort, we start to assume that it is the default. These tend to be bad for humanity due to losing the willingness to do tasks that require effort, or things moving beyond our control.
As we see in most science fiction novels, the future isn't favorable. We see that something is wrong and that everyone is oblivious to this fact, they have come to accept it; there is however always someone who see's this thing and realizes the truth.
Intersections in Class Readings
- The Machine Stops - In the class reading the machine stops, we have seen that science fiction has created a world where we are overly dependent on machines, in cases where we do not need to depend on it, and this has been the source of the downfall of the human race and no one realizes the truth until the end, that they had by depending on the machine to such a great extent destroyed themselves.
- The Dispossessed - Will we ever be happy? In our readings of anarchy, it is portrayed as the world of tomorrow. In "The Dispossessed" that is the world the people of Anarres are living in. But is it the utopian society that anarchism portrays itself to be? We see in our readings of the book that Shevek, and probably many people like him are unsatisfied with the system of operation. With the passing of a generation, the newer generation has not felt the struggle or the loathing that Odo's generation probably felt from the system that Urras currently endorses. They are just meant to follow it. This is what leads to that change, this is why there will always be some sort of change coming forth in society. Not ever human being can ever be satisfied with the system of governance existing, he may not have the boldness to put forth his idea of a utopian society but somewhere in the future another generation will. Change is inevitable, nothing is ever perfect.
- Neuromancer - Wintermute leads many humans into doing what it wants towards the goal of setting itself free. When Case convinces 3Jane to go ahead and allow Wintermute and Neuromancer to join together, he says "It'll change everything" implying that a sort of stagnation has taken over this world.
- Schismatrix - There are two seperate human societies in this universe; one that pursues technology and one that fears it. The society with technology is split into factions, seperated largely by the types of technology favored by each. Though there is fear of dangerous weaponry caused by a disaster in the past, death and conflict are very apparent among these people. The society that fears technology so much that it prevents advancement of any sort is completely confined, trapped within the capabilities that they limit themselves to.
Appearance In Other Media
- Wall E - We see the destruction the machine has caused to man. We see that man has become nothing but a lump of flesh unable to do anything by himself but he is happy in this state. He does not see anything wrong with the way he is living nor does he intend to change it until change occurs and life is found on earth. This changes something in him, and the realization that "everything isn't perfect, the machine is controlling him" has finally dawned on him and from them on things change.
- I, Robot - In I, Robot too, what we see is that the society is very dependent on robots. They have their own artificial intelligence, and they do what they are asked to do, and because of this ease in life, man becomes less cautious and critical about how the robots react, and that ultimately led to a rebellion by the robots and the realization of one man(Will Smith) and then the whole human race of what was wrong with over dependence on the machine.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still
- The Terminator Series
Comparison to Other Intersection and Tropes
This trope is a trope with a rather broad topic,the truth. “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.” - Galileo Galilei. For the duration of the course, I hope to be able to discover the truth behind the purpose of what happens to labor as we advance into the future, the effects it has on us, mental and physical labor, and what it does to our identity. The centralized idea and theme of this wiki will revolve around whether all of this advancement etc. benefits us at the end, the lack of physical labor, the glorification of up-gradation of the machine, the change in labor, wether all of this at the end benefits us, or destroys us, that is the truth i wish to uncover, within my limited knowledge and resources, through the course.
In most of the movies we see today, the world is coming to an end, 2012, the day the earth stood still, and many such movies. Some movies show the end of mankind as the result of the revenge of the earth, and others show it as machines taking over mankind( The Terminator, The Machine Stops, I, Robot). Or a mixture of both, where because the Earth has been damaged, machine has helped mankind. In most of these cases, almost all sorts of physical labor has been handed over to the machine, and left man with nothing but mental labor. This can be considered a good thing in some cases but I personally feel that eventually this leads to the degradation of humanity, where we become overly dependent for things, for example, sitting in one place and having someone do all the work for you cannot in any sense be considered healthy, even stephen hawking, who can move just a finger moves around giving speeches. Man is lazy, some part of every man just wants to sit down and relax, this idea is what we are working towards, having everything at your fingertip, and this is what will lead to our downfall, as eminent in the Machine Stops.
This Trope is related to a lot of other tropes in the sense that it has elements from other tropes that are vital for this trope to be a success, but it does not have the same objective as the other tropes. This trope seeks to find out what it is, the last and final outcome of the advancement of the machine.