list comprehension question

Peter Hansen peter at engcorp.com
Wed Mar 27 13:19:10 CET 2002


Laura Creighton wrote:
> > > >Peter Hansen:
> > > > If it's a bot, you don't have to apologize.  Bots feel no emotion.
> > > > And you're safe, too -- remember the First Law.
> > >
> > > Tisk tisk.  Only half of the apologising you do for the other person.
> > > The other half you do for yourself.
> >
> > Not sure I understand the sentiment, but perhaps it would have
> > helped you if I included an explicit smiley?  That _was_ a joke.
> > Happily, I think from Tim's reply he understood and took it that way.
> > (The reference to Asimov might be obscure to some.  Sorry.)
> >
> > Thanks for the gentle advice though. :)
> >
> > -Peter
> 
> Ick, i thought that _was_ from Asimov, but now that I looked that up,
> it isn't there.  So the new question is -- where did I read that?  And
> clearly a long time ago ... I haven't been to the tree I remember reading
> the book in for at least 25 years ....

>From "I, Robot" and others, the Three Laws of Robotics.  (I just happen
to have been rereading this on the weekend, so I guess the thought
stuck.)

First Law was "A robot may not injure a human being or, through
inaction, allow a human to come to harm".

Second: "A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings
except where such orders would conflict with the First Law".

Third: "A robot must protect its own existence as long as such
protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law".

* * *

I'm told your posting was "definitely a form of humor"
although there's uncertainty whether it was sarcasm, irony, or 
something else (uncertainty mostly on my part :-).

Not sure we're on the same wavelength, but as long as no one 
meant to offend anyone else, I guess we'll survive even if I
still don't understand what just happened. :-)

-Peter



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