quotations about machines
It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are.
CLIVE JAMES, The Crystal Bucket
One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men, but no machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
CROFT M. PENTZ, The Complete Book of Zingers
Our predecessors endeavoured to make men into machines; we are endeavouring to make machines into men.
CHARLES EDWARD JERNINGHAM, The Maxims of Marmaduke
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, Sceptical Essays
The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralizing. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.
OSCAR WILDE, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
Machines will follow a path that mirrors the evolution of humans. Ultimately, however, self-aware, self-improving machines will evolve beyond humans' ability to control or even understand them.
RAY KURZWEIL, Scientific American, June 2010
Thoughts are no more than electrical surges in the brain. Sexual arousal is no more than a flow of chemicals to certain nerve endings. Sadness is no more than a bit of acid transfixed in the cerebellum. In short, the body is a machine, subject to the same laws of electricity and mechanics as an electron or clock.
ALAN LIGHTMAN, Einstein's Dreams
Machine makers always run the risk of becoming totally machine.
FRANK HERBERT, God Emperor of Dune
It is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature.
NIKOLA TESLA, "Experiments With Alternate Currents Of High Potential And High Frequency"
We have used the words "mechanical life," "the mechanical kingdom," "the mechanical world" and so forth, and we have done so advisedly, for as the vegetable kingdom was slowly developed from the mineral, and as, in like manner, the animal supervened upon the vegetable, so now, in these last few ages, an entirely new kingdom has sprung up of which we as yet have only seen what will one day be considered the antediluvian prototypes of the race.
SAMUEL BUTLER, letter to the Editor of the Press, "Darwin among the Machines", June 13, 1863
We are survival machines -- robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes.
RICHARD DAWKINS, The Selfish Gene
I visualize a time when we will be to robots what dogs are to humans, and I'm rooting for the machines.
CLAUDE SHANNON, The Mathematical Theory of Communication
Machinery is the chief symbol of modern civilization; it represents a great sin.
MAHATMA GANDHI, Hind Swaraj
Machines smart enough to do anything for us will probably also be able to do anything with us: go to dinner, own property, compete for sexual partners. They might even have passionate opinions about politics or, like the robots on Battlestar Galactica, even religious beliefs. Some have worried about robot rebellions, but with so many tort lawyers around to apply the brakes, the bigger question is this: Will humanoid machines enrich our social lives, or will they be a new kind of television, destroying our relationships with real humans?
FRED HAPGOOD, Discover Magazine, June 2008
You do not need to be Alan Greenspan to understand that the more things a machine can do, the bigger the market.
FRED HAPGOOD, Discover Magazine, June 2008
The machine has no feelings, it feels no fear and no hope ... it operates according to the pure logic of probability. For this reason I assert that the robot perceives more accurately than man.
MAX FRISCH, Homo Faber: A Report
Machinery makes men like itself.
GERALD STANLEY LEE, Inspired Millionaires
Sometimes ... dreams are all that separate us from the machines.
DAN SIMMONS, The Fall of Hyperion
Compassion--that's the one thing no machine ever had. Maybe it's the one thing that keeps man ahead of them.
D. C. FONTANA, Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer
To know the machine one must know where each part belongs, and what its office is.
HORACE MANN, Thoughts