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Archive FuturisticMagical > R.U.R. by Karel Čapek (May 2018)

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message 1: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (last edited Apr 26, 2018 08:49PM) (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
R.U.R. by Karel Čapek

R.U.R. is a 1920 science fiction play by the Czech writer Karel Čapek. R.U.R. stands for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum’s Universal Robots). It premiered on 25 January 1921 and introduced the word "robot" to the English language and to science fiction as a whole.

The play begins in a factory that makes artificial people, called roboti (robots), from synthetic organic matter. They are not exactly robots by the current definition of the term: they are living flesh and blood creatures rather than machinery and are closer to the modern idea of androids or replicants. They may be mistaken for humans and can think for themselves. They seem happy to work for humans at first, but a robot rebellion is on the rise!

Enjoy!


message 2: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8955 comments Mod
I read this play about a month ago and it is still fresh in my mind. It is a fascinating look at the early days of science fiction.
As I was reading it, I was thinking about what the production of the robots and asked myself, "Do the scientists have any idea of what they have created?"
It is a suspenseful, interesting play.


message 3: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Rosemarie wrote: "I read this play about a month ago and it is still fresh in my mind. It is a fascinating look at the early days of science fiction.
As I was reading it, I was thinking about what the production of..."


I'm excited to read this one! I've heard a lot of great things about it! It is definitely a giant for such a small book lol. Karel did create the name robot after all!


message 4: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
If anyone is interested, I have included an audiobook if you can't find the book in a used bookstore or Barnes and Noble!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeOSl...


message 5: by Rafael, Brazilian Master of the Bookshelf! (last edited Apr 27, 2018 12:41PM) (new)

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 537 comments Mod
WHERE DOES THE WORD ROBOT COME FROM?

In this link there are the explanation for the coining of the word robot. Be aware. There are spoilers about this play.


message 6: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6296 comments Mod
Patrick I found a PDF version.

http://preprints.readingroo.ms/RUR/ru...


message 7: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) Neat!!! I really want to read this - hoping to find the time :)


message 8: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Inkspill wrote: "Neat!!! I really want to read this - hoping to find the time :)"

Looking forward to it! :D


message 9: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8955 comments Mod
This book is a fairly fast read, and interesting as well.


message 10: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
I'll be starting this either today or tomorrow.


message 11: by Peter (new)

Peter (slawophilist) | 105 comments I am in as well. Some years ago I read War with the Newts, so I am looking forward to reading this book.

BTW: "Robot" is also the name for the socage in the kingdom of Bohemia that peasants had to render for up to 90 days on fields of their landlord.


message 12: by Joseph (new)

Joseph (jsaltal) | 6 comments I wouldn't mind reading R.U.R. I haven't read it since high school.


message 13: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 6296 comments Mod
Peter and Joseph we are happy you have joined in on this Short Story read.


message 14: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (last edited May 03, 2018 07:31PM) (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Old Rossum “wanted to become a sort of scientific substitute for God…His sole purpose was nothing more nor less than to prove that God was no longer necessary (I-7).”

Old Rossum wanted to create man. We read further and see that Old Rossum failed. Young Rossum knew that man couldn’t create a living flesh human being so he created a machine that could reason. As the story continues we really see what makes human beings—human. Are human beings human because of our flesh and bones or because of our free will, soul, intelligence, etc.? In your opinion, did they actually create a human being?


message 15: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8955 comments Mod
It may have been the translation, but to me the scientists at the beginning of the novel seemed to lack "human-ness" since they were so absorbed in their project.


message 16: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) Finally, found the time to start reading this, as I read the rest I will think about your question Patrick.

In the meantime, if you haven't come across this, here's a link to an article about rebuilding R. U. R, the first was built in 1928. This article has old footage of the first one and a photo of the new one, in their design it's more machine than human, not how I imagined it as I was reading the first act.


message 17: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) sorry, forgot to add the link, here's it is
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/eric-r...


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Fascinating! To think that as I wandered through Brixton, I passed just yards from where Eric the Robot was hidden.


message 19: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Thank you for the link Inkspill!!


message 20: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) You're welcome for the link, and what a coincidence that Mark walked passed the spot, can I just say wow!!!

Patrick, I was thinking about your question - Hmmm, tricky.

The text makes references to the soul, and the robots also mention (in the last act) they are just behaving the way humans do, so ummmm, I'm going to go for yes ????


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

... but do humans have a soul?


message 22: by Suki (last edited May 18, 2018 12:06AM) (new)

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 89 comments This was a fascinating read.

(view spoiler)


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Whether souls exist or not, animals obviously have empathy with their own kind, sometimes even with humans. I cannot see why a robot should not behave in this way. Also I would expect some robots to be good, and some to be evil.


message 24: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) Yeah, definitely a fascinating read Suki.

I'm not sure what a soul is to answer your question Mark, I always get the sense it means different things to different people. Maybe, one day science will have an understanding of it ???

Interesting question though.


message 25: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Suki wrote: "This was a fascinating read.


I found it very ironic that the robot Helena was dismissed by Doctor Gall as being beautiful but useless: "God, what a failure! [...} she's good for nothing. She wand..."


It was. I really enjoyed it too!


message 26: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "Whether souls exist or not, animals obviously have empathy with their own kind, sometimes even with humans. I cannot see why a robot should not behave in this way. Also I would expect some robots t..."

The story addressed some of these issues. Did you agree with Capek's idea of higher intelligence? What did you think about the play?


message 27: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Whether people believe in a human spirit/soul it is documented that when someone dies they immediately loose 21 grams. That's the same for everyone.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Where is that documented Patrick?


message 29: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (last edited May 18, 2018 07:10AM) (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
Mark wrote: "Where is that documented Patrick?"

It's online


message 30: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
There was also a movie about it too I believe


message 31: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) I found this article http://www.abc.net.au/science/article...

basically saying it's not as straight forward to explain, it must be really hard to pin down an answer for this question

Patrick, is this the movie https://www.theguardian.com/film/2004... you're referring to?


message 32: by Patrick, Friend of Muad Dib (new)

Patrick | 655 comments Mod
The movie is was called 21 grams. I haven’t seen it in a long time.


message 33: by Inkspill (new)

Inkspill (runinkspill) I've heard the title, didn't realise that's what it's about


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War with the Newts (other topics)

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