The Pampering Machine

You know that John W. Campbell series of stories, beginning with “The Machine” and continuing with “The Invaders” and several other stories in The Machine series? In this series, The Machine grants humanity everything it wants. Humanity becomes indolent. Ambition dissipates. And aliens easily conquer the planet Earth. I’ll never forget the way that Campbell describes the sense of horror that kicks in, where humanity, stunned by the fact that it has been coddled for so long and has never known anything in the way of self-sufficiency, lets out a great collective cry as it realizes how naked and vulnerable it is against the invaders.

As it turns out, Campbell may have been right all along. We do seem to be heading that way.

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4 Comments

  1. Kári Tulinius July 31, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    Wow! That brings back the memories. The first science fiction I read was a collection of Campbell stories that included The Machine Series.

    Interesting how The Machine turned out to be parents, which probably just goes to show… something.

  2. Man, that’s just like that David Bowie song, “Savior Machine,” except that there the Machine realizes what’s happening and complains bitterly about the fate humanity has set for itself!

  3. Super over simplification and giving super significance to Mel Gibson. This is more attention than needed. He was arrested and drunk and you are implying that he has impacted world history, get a grip! This is paranoia at its finest.

  4. Lydia: What the hell does this have to do with Mel Gibson?

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