Friday, November 18, 2011

The Absolute

So the name of this blog comes from a book by the Czech writer Karel Capek:  The Absolute at Large.  I'm on a Capek kick right now.  Just re-read War of the Newts and I'm currently re-reading The Absolute at Large.  Both novels are about mankind trying to exploit technology (is a newt a technology?) with a complete disregard for how technology acts on humans just as much as humans act on technology.  Capek was funny, funny, funny.  I don't laugh out loud at much stuff I read, but Capek's writing cracks me up a hundred years after it was first written.  I'm impressed by the lasting power of his sense of humor, but I'm amazed by his foresight: he invented the term "robot" in his play R.U.R. (which stands for Rossum's Universal Robots); he seems to have foreseen nuclear power with his "Karburator" from The Absolute at Large; War With the Newts shows a very sophisticated understanding of humanity's effect on our planet.

He's written other stuff.  I must read it all.

Here is what he looked like:

Here's something smart he wrote in The Absolute at Large:

"There came into the world an unlimited abundance of everything people need. But people need everything except unlimited abundance."

So, there you have it.  Demystified.  The Absolute.

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