Monday, 6 October 2008

Emotion-To go where noVulcan has gone before

Now that David is back from his hols', conversations in the bothy can once again go to the dark side.
David's reading material is a constant source of fascination, usually challenging, often heavy and nearly always grim! I don't read grim and I don't do heavy, but I like to keep a note of the latest book that he is reading. David has a yen for social history and psychology, and takes much satisfaction in wallowing in the pain, suffering and collapse of the human race. He feeds on the melt down of the human spirit and pours over the details of broken down relationships.."flames of love all burnt out". Today's little book by Dylan Evans is called 'Emotion- A very short introduction'. In one chapter 'Why Spock could never have evolved', David mused that "Vulcans would have been to rational to have had sex", and that " It's not a question of whether he would survive, but how he had ever come to be in the first place". The emotionless, half human, half vulcan with the pointy ears and the go faster eyebrows was a bit of an enigma, I can't remember ever seeing his parents on Star Trek. So the question remains, which one of his parents was a Vulcan? In another chapter entitled 'The computer that cried', the author begins by mulling over the idea that someday machines might come to have emotions. Examples from science fiction films are given, such as 'Hal', the on board computer from '2001- A space odyssey', who screams in fear and pain when his circuits are finally destroyed. My own memory of this film is that of boredom, or maybe I was just tired and confused. I think I saw it at the cinema with my dad. Rather like a baby lying in its cot beneath a spinning mobile, the space station had a similar effect on me. It remains to this day the only film that has sent me to sleep, although I did walk out half way through 'Remains of the Day'. Lonesome in my memory is the space station , slowly turning in the nebular void to the delightful strains of 'The Blue Danube'. Okay, maybe I remember that there were some monkeys and a few bones. I am sure that if were to watch this film now I would love it and cherish it, and have the 2-disc dvd special edition. In the comfort of my own front room I could watch it again and again and again..... zzzzzz!

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