In this episode, Clare and Hannah continue to geek out about robots, but to be honest we spend more time discussing humans. Typical humans, always talking about ourselves. We talk about the nature of beauty, being stewards of the earth, and something called an a priori cognitive structure. I feel smarter already.
Timecode Guide: Coming soon!
Silent Running (1972) dir. by Douglas Trumbull and starring Bruce Dern. Earth’s flora and fauna have died out and human beings subsist on synthetic food. The major terrestrial ecosystems have been recreated and preserved in giant domes on a space station, awaiting the day when the Earth can be reforested and repopulated by animals. But the powers-that-be upon Earth decide to scrap the project and destroy the domes. Mayhem ensues.
Wall-E (2008) dir. by Andrew Stanton. Earth has been despoiled by garbage. Human beings left the planet generations ago and now live in an artificial habitat in space. Robots trundle across the surface of planet Earth to pick up all the garbage and pile it up neatly. Other robots scan the planet for the re-emergence of organic life.
At 5:15, Clare and Hannah may have face-planted into the debate between Nominalism and Realism:
Hannah says, “If we didn’t exist, then neither would Beauty, because Beauty exists in us forming a conception of it…It doesn’t actually exist.”
To Clare, this seemed to contradict something we have discussed in earlier episodes: that Beauty is objective. It exists. It is part of the beautiful thing whether we appreciate or acknowledge it or not. (“Beauty Will Save the World” and “Are Artists and Actors Nothing More Than Liars?”)
12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
Biblical Series III: God and the Hierarchy of Authority (Jordan Peterson lecture)
The Darkhorse Podcast hosted by Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying
And finally, to our shame, somehow Clare and Hannah omitted any mention of Philip K. Dick’s outstanding science fiction novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and its iconic movie adaptation, Blade Runner. Bad nerds! No biscuit!
Clare is an independent author who would love it if you checked out her books! If you like exciting thrillers featuring real human beings (not robots) who rise to their full potential in the face of peril—you might enjoy The Keys of Death. It’s a veterinary medical thriller about a small-town animal doctor who gets tangled up in a whistle-blowing scheme against a big biotech company. Or, if you prefer shorter fiction, try Startling Figures, a collection of three paranormal stories.
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