While fossicking around in the library last night, I found an old notebook in which a much younger me had recorded quotes of note (to me anyway). I’m away the next couple of nights so I thought that I would schedule blog updates for my away days to keep things ticking over. So here goes…And now I see with eye serene The very pulse of the machine; A being breathing thoughtful breath, A traveller between life and death; The reason firm, the temperate will, Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill… A perfect thing, nobly planned,
To warm, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright…
– William Wordsworth; ‘She was a Phantom of delight‘, l.21^8 (published 1807)
On googling this today I found that the long-forgotten source from which I drew this quote has in fact shifted the focus from a woman to a machine; possibly this has been drawn from one of the Bolo series’ that illustrate how an artificial intelligence can become in time truly aware.
I was quite fascinated with this series when I first discovered it – I was only 9 or 10 when I got my first exposure to the Bolo story…I had invested my pocket money in the Tales of Time and Space anthology…and there it was, Keith Laumer’s The Last Command and the Mark 28 Bolo LNE (Lenny)…many years later, I discovered the Bolo anthologies and theme enduring theme that ethos and values are more important warrior attributes than flesh or metal.