|Asimov’s ‘Robotics’ FAQ|
It is a subject of debate in Nationalist circles as to the real extent of “Jewish genius.” To what degree is the undoubtedly disproportionate Jewish influence in a nation’s intellectual life the product of innate racial talents? Or is that influence merely the result of academic parasitism and mutual Jewish promotion? The purist Nationalist attitude is, of course, that the talents or otherwise of an alien race is irrelevant because a nation’s destiny is its own, and their presence is improper whatever the case, but still we have an interesting topic for discussion.
Consider, by way of example, the promotion by the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio 3, supposedly the epitome of British culture, of Gershwin and Bernstein as a) American and b) classicists, when in fact they are neither. It is not merely a question of them supplanting Beethoven, Williams or Vivaldi, but of relegating to obscurity greater talents of European blood. More significantly, for a cacophony of sound is as naught to scientific confusion and disarray, we are subjected to the deification of Einstein, whose questionable theories are treated as if they had been given on tablets of stone; the disastrous influence of the cocaine-inspired ramblings of Freud, a.k.a. King Anus; the mendacious anthropological convolutions of Boas; and this unholy trinity is but the tip of a diabolical iceberg, displacing the greater minds and honest instincts of scientists of European stock whose names we have never heard.
So, shorn of mutual back-slapping, hand-ups, Oscars and the like, and clambering onto the shoulders of giants with such unseemly alacrity that the giants themselves sink into relative obscurity, what remains of Hebrew “genius”? Here Isaac Asimov, Lithuanian Jew, writer of entertaining fantasies about robots etcetera, discloses the origins of the etcetera in an account which, should there be any doubt, is reproduced verbatim. And in order not the prejudice the reader let it only be said that there is evidence to suggest that nothing remains at all except for a tenuous grasp of reality and a glib tongue.
THE WORD I INVENTED
Robotics has become a sufficiently well developed technology to warrant articles and books on its history and I have watched this in amazement, and in some disbelief, because I invented it.
No, not the technology; the word.
In October 1941, I wrote a robot story entitled “Runaround,” first published in the March 1942 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, in which I recited for the first time, my Three Laws of Robotics. Here they are:
These laws have been quoted many times by me in stories and essays, but what is much more surprising is that they have been quoted innumerable times by others (in all seriousness) as something that will surely be incorporated in robots when they become complex enough to require it.
As a result, in almost any history of the development or robotics, there is some mention of me and of the Three Laws.
It is a queer feeling to know that I have made myself into a footnote in the history of science and technology for having invented the foundation of a science that didn’t exist at the time – and that I did it at the age of twenty-one.
The Three Laws, and the numerous stories I have written that have dealt with robots, have given many people – from enthusiastic teenage readers to sophisticated editors of learned magazines in the field – the idea that I am an expert on robots and computers. As a result, I am endlessly being asked questions about robotics.
What I will do, then, is write a question-and-answer essay on the subject. It will take care of just about all the major questions I am forever being asked and it should make it unnecessary for anyone to have to ask me any questions on the subject again.1
1. But I am dreaming. The questions will continue, I know.
2. Psychohistory, which I also invented, has entered the scientific vocabulary, but, alas, not in the sense of my invention.
Isaac Asimov, Counting the Eons, Granada Publishing, London 1984 pp. 30-33.