Andrei Barbu's Reviews > Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology

Gods and Robots by Adrienne Mayor
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did not like it

Racist, narrow, ahistorical, shallow, and lazy.

This book is disappointing and intentionally mismarketed. I doubt most people would read it after an honest description. The vast majority of the book is just looking at the same Greek myths over and over again reinterpreting them in absurd and ahistorical ways. There's just about one chapter to do with technology or machines here. Otherwise it's only myths and only Greek myths, as if there was nothing else in the ancient world.

Pretending that nothing else exists and that you can write and market a book about general ideas shared across societies like this and only use Greek myths is shameful and frankly racist. Even the small amount of text to do with China and India (a few paragraphs) implies that all their ideas on machines came from the West.

The book is so committed to its narrow minded and racist ideology that it goes to absurd lengths. Even the most trivial examples, of say, Japanese manga are carefully chosen to be those that are set in the West, and designed to make it seem as if the genre originated there. A cursory look on Wikipedia shows one how ridiculous this is.

I won't even comment on how misguided and poorly researched the last chapter that attempts to connect with AI is.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 12, 2019 – Shelved
November 12, 2019 – Finished Reading

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