From time to time, I like to upload papers that I write for classes or research. Today, I’m highlighting a blast from the past — a paper I wrote as a final in my AP English Literature class for High School, my senior year. Here’s a bit from the conclusion:
Ultimately, with the formation of the Zeroth Law, the Robots task themselves as the guardians of humanity, instead of just an agent of labour. Amid all the blatant contrasts of cool and calculated Robots; irrational, weak humans; and a Dr. Susan Calvin who likes Robots much better than humans, it becomes very clear that Asimov believed Robots to be far more human than humans ever could be. Chris Sullentrop summarized Asimov’s moral with the observation that “[a]lmost without exception, anytime Robots in
the book appear to be doing wrong or seeking to harm their human masters, it turns out that the suspicious humans are misguided; the Robots, as programmed, are acting in man’s best interest.” Sullentrop continues on, stating that “Asimov’s faith in the rule of Robots was genuine and based on his faith in the rule of reason. He viewed his nowcanonical Rules of Robotics—the code for Robot behavior used in his books—as a roadmap for human ethics. Just as Asimov’s machines are better than people at calculating mathematics, they’re superior at coming to moral judgments as well.” If Robots can come to superior moral judgments every single time, and if Robots can eventually come to a point where they can completely transcend the hard-wired, unbreakable Three Laws of Robotics – not for global domination, but for protection of the human race – not much keeps Robots from exceeding the humanity of their own creators.
I’ve made this paper available through PDF and through Issuu. Let me know if you want it made available through any other methods.
On 26 Feb 2013 in All, Full Papers, Fun.
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My ability to write here on such a regular basis has slowed down a bit, but I wanted to at least announce why. The reason is I’m spending a lot of time organizing a gaming convention at my university, Denison University.
March 23 – 24, 2013
Burton D. Morgan Building
100 West College Street, Granville, Ohio
Den Con 2013 is a free gaming and anime convention held at Denison University, open to the public, and hosted by the Denison Gaming Guild. The convention features 20 hours of non-stop board games, card games, role-playing games, video games, anime screenings, and more! The event starts at 9am on March 23 and ends at 4am on March 24.
See our website, DenisonConvention.com, and Facebook event for more information.
On 12 Feb 2013 in All, Fun, Me.
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This is a very short play I submitted to our One Act Festival. While the script was not chosen to be preformed, I would like to publish it here so that others may read it.
Mr. Lloyd his desk, reading a newspaper. Jim enters the room, sheepishly. A third Narrator character stands to the side of the scene.
Narrator (talking directly to audience): Mr. Lloyd is a manager at a Fortune 500 company. He’s been having a rough week, but is relaxing with his morning paper. Right before Mr. Lloyd is about to get to work, Jim enters to inquire about his job. Mr. Lloyd responds without even looking away from his newspaper.
Jim (nervous): Uh… Mr. Lloyd… About that… uh… promotion?
Mr. Lloyd (without looking away from paper): Speak straight, sport! I don’t have all day.
Narrator: Jim clears his throat and clarifies what he means. Then Mr. Lloyd elaborates.
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On 1 Oct 2012 in All, Fun.
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This essay is really short and not on nearly as important of an issue as some of my others. However, it still bothers me all the same. Consider this a quick public service announcement: Please stop multiplying by 100 to convert a decimal into a percentage.
Seriously, this is honestly and without exagerration the fourth class I have been in where the professor has informed us that to get a percentage we should multiply by 100. Yes, it annoys me enough that I keep track. And it’s not just Denison, but my high school. …and this.
What’s wrong with this?
Well, .59 * 100 is not 59%, it’s 59, or 5900%. 5900% is not 59%. A conversion should not involve growing by a factor of 100.
What’s the matter?
The problem is that there’s a simple fix — tell people to multiply by 100%. .59 * 100% = .59 or 59%. Works perfectly.
Why are you so neurotic about this?
I don’t know. I don’t think I’m a naturally neurotic person. All the data points you get about my personality from this blog are sample bias anyway. This one just bothers me.
Is this really such a big problem?
No, but my brain isn’t really well equipped to keep track of the scales of problems. For good or for bad, this “multiply by 100″ endemic has a similar irksome-based valence to me as “people are dying from malaria”. This is one reason why I don’t let my philanthropy be dictated by my first-order intuitions about valence.
On 12 Sep 2012 in All, Fun, Mathematics.
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Editor’s Note: Noticing that I was doing something called NaNoWriMo on my blog, Emily Matthews contacted me by email and asked me to post this essay on my site. I was happy to oblige. If you want to do a guest post, let me know. (Keep in mind that the opinions here are not my own, but that of Emily Matthews, and I may not agree with everything said in this essay.)
Emily Matthews is currently applying to masters degree programs across the U.S., and loves to read about new research into health care, gender issues, and literature. She lives and writes in Seattle, Washington.
For NaNoWriMo scoring purposes, I am counting this as one of my 30 essays, but not towards my goal of writing 50000 words.
Novel writing is a lonely, discouraging pastime.
While many people have a desire to write a book, very few succeed, and even fewer ever see their novels in print. Many would-be authors lose hope when the words they write don’t resemble the words they’ve seen in print, and give up long before the project is completed. NaNoWriMo enables people to get over their insecurity and finish the book.
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On 24 Nov 2011 in All, Fun, Guest Post.
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