Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Monsters We Create

Science and technology, like all original creations of the human spirit, are unpredictable. If we had a reliable way to label our toys good and bad, it would be easy to regulate technology wisely. But we can rarely see far enough ahead to know which road leads to damnation. Whoever concerns himself with technology, either to push it forward or to stop it, is gambling in human lives.

Freeman Dyson ~ Disturbing the Universe

Mary Shelley warned us. So did Edith Nesbit and Kurt Vonnegut. It was certainly the main theme of Freeman Dyson’s book. Joseph Conrad called it “the horror.” Even John Grisham picked up the ball and tossed it around in his novel Jurassic Park.

We are responsible for our creations—even when they turn out to be monsters.

Many writers have recognized this and have called on the human race to be careful. The Magic City is real; our “toys” remain with us once we give them life. But I think writers must also set the example and be careful of the monsters they create.

The Saurons, the Voldemorts, and the Kurtz’ of the literary world may be essential to the plot of a novel; but I think all deserve a chance at redemption. They may all be like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster—a lonely heart in need of love. Why, even humans are like that.

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