Doctor Who: The Robots of Death

The Doctor Who episode The Robots of Death explores a perennial theme in science fiction: the great potential for robots to make our lives easier and safer, the potential for them to do us great harm if they are misused, and the fear that any safeguards we put in place to avoid the second possibility may not [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Robot of Sherwood

Doctor Who has encountered king Arthur and many other legendaries, and so his dogmatic certainty at the start of the episode that Robin Hood never existed is puzzling. But we find out by the end of the episode that it is less about realism in relation to older episodes, but precisely about heroes and the legends [Read More...]

Robot Fundamentalists

The website IO9 highlighted my work on religion and artificial intelligence today. Click through to take a look. The chapter that article mentions is available on my Selected Works page. It is from the volume I edited, Religion and Science Fiction:. The coolest part was that a former student of mine spotted the piece even [Read More...]

RoboChrist

There was an interesting article recently about the movie RoboCop, suggesting that director Paul Verhoeven had preemptively connected the main character in the movie with Christ-figure typologies of the superficial sort that some would have inevitably come up with afterwards anyway. It is thus interesting to reflect on how storytelling may satirize – and at the [Read More...]

Jewish Androids

I finally got around to starting to watch The Big Bang Theory recently. It is hilarious! I was surprised by how much treatment of religion there is in the first half of the first season. I particularly liked the treatment of what it would mean to be a Jewish android, including circumcision and powering down [Read More...]

Robotic Church

I was intrigued to see the New York Times article today about something called “Robotic Church.” While one can find lots of examples of human beings going through the motions, this is about an artist bringing together multiple robotic creations of his, capable of making music, together in one place in Brooklyn to “make a [Read More...]

Angry Robot

As a creator of satirical music, I thought I’d share this piece by John Anealio, called “Angry Robot.” The lyrics deserve a close listen, since the song doesn’t just explore the familiar science fiction trope of robots and whether they can be kept from conquering us, but also what might motivate a robot to want [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Masters of Luxor

If there are parallel universes, there is surely one in which all Doctor Who fans know “The Masters of Luxor.” This story was originally intended to be the second episode or story arc in the series. Instead, “The Daleks” was chosen to serve that purpose, and the rest is history. But the story is an [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Chase

“The Chase” is the episode of Doctor Who which saw the departure of the remaining two of the original companions from the show’s beginning, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. In a very real sense, they were the main characters of the show, and the Doctor was a mysterious figure who had whisked them away for [Read More...]

Droids with Feelings (or is it Existential Angst?)

I’ve actually written some serious treatments of whether machines can ever be people, including in my chapter in Religion and Science Fiction. The series of posters that IO9 highlighted today about droids suffering from what they described as “low self esteem” actually seem to me to depict them doing more than that, reflecting on very [Read More...]

Where’s Wall-E?

From IO9. You’ll definitely want to click through, since it is much easier when the image is enlarged! [Read more...]


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