Not only the biggest and shiniest

“If you start thinking that only your biggest and shiniest moments count, you’re setting yourself up to feel like a failure most of the time.”
Chris Hadfield, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

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Robots and compulsory labor

In the introduction of his novel “The Naked Sun” Isaac Asimov wrote about the origins of the word “Robot”, which is very  interesting:

“Mechanical human beings are to be found in ancient and medieval myths and legends, and the word “robot” originally appeared in Karl Capek’s play R.U.R., which was first staged in 1921 in Czechoslovakia, but was soon translated into many languages. R.U.R. stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots.” Rossum, an English industrialist, produced artificial human beings designed to do the labor of the world and to free humanity for a life of creative leisure. (The word “robot” is from a Czech word meaning “compulsory labor.”) Though Rossum meant well, it didn’t work out as he planned: the robots rebelled, and the human species was destroyed.”

Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun, pg. 4, loc. 60-64. Kindle Edition

Robot Rebellion scene from R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) 1928-1929

Source: Computer History Museum

Effort and victory

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.”
Mahatma Gandhi

I’ve just read this quote cited in the book:  “Inner Productivity: A Mindful Path To Efficiency And Enjoyment In Your Work” by Christopher R. Edgar

But, I have to say, I am not enjoying this book. It seems like a recollection of concepts from other authors discussed in a way that is confusing to me. In my opinion the book lacks personality and the author describes many methods that overlaps themselves and it doesn’t seem very practical or even credible to put all that into practice. I am half way through but I won´t give up. Not yet.

Outer or inner menace?

“Isn’t it sad that you can tell people that the ozone layer is being depleted, the forests are being cut down, the deserts are advancing steadily, that the greenhouse effect will raise the sea level 200 feet, that overpopulation is choking us, that pollution is killing us, that nuclear war may destroy us – and they yawn and settle back for a comfortable nap. But tell them that the Martians are landing, and they scream and run.”

    ― Isaac Asimov, The Secret of the Universe

           Note: I actually used this quote on my dissertation. I just thought it was perfect for a research based on sustentability and energy efficiency. After the turmoil of getting everything done I had almost forgot that I’ve used it there.