colossus

Colossus

But—and it was a very large but—his had been the guiding brain, the one with the big overall concept, the vision. And that was the one that counted. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)
    Briefly he considered his future, but the idea of life without the Project lacked reality. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)
    They were both roughly the same age, in their very early fifties, though a hundred years earlier they would have appeared much younger. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)
    Now it’s all over, and in the last few weeks, I’ve begun to realize what it is we’ve done. (Jones 1966: chpt. 1)
    To the President a man was like a cigar lighter. Flick, there was the flame, use it, then put it out. (Jones 1966: chpt. 2)
    You can hold a pile of coins between thumb and forefinger, and turn the pile on its side until parallel with the floor, and if you exert enough pressure they stay that way, but a slight weakening or fault in the alignment of the coins, and the lot go showering in all directions. There is no cement—only power. (Jones 1966: chpt. 2)
    “Does this mean that this thing, this Colossus”—he tried to sound contemptuous, but did not quite make it “works without human aid, and that you cannot stop it?” (Jones 1966: chpt. 3)
    “[…] No human being can touch Colossus.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 3)
    “Frankenstein would be banned reading for scientists.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 4)
    There was just five words: FLASH THERE IS ANOTHER MECHANISM (Jones 1966: chpt. 4)
    “In a nutshell, he sees it—and I must say I agree with him—as clear evidence that Colossus has an unplanned potential, of unknown scope, for self-development, and that this includes an entirely new element—initiative.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 5)
    “And it’s gonna be mighty interesting if Forbin tells Colossus to get lost.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 5)
    “I don’t think Colossus would like it.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 8)
    “Horse trading is best done in the dark.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 9)
    “While it’s arguable that mankind might have done better to stay in the cave, we haven’t, and you can’t argue that we should put the clock back. (Jones 1966: chpt. 10)
    “Particularly as the machines are … not quite the same as they were when started up.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 12)
    On the vast lawn a computercontrolled lawn mower was silently cutting the grass. (Jones 1966: chpt. 12)
    A whole set of values had been ripped out and thrown away. (Jones 1966: chpt. 13)
    “That one I can answer.” Forbin stared gravely at the young-old face. “He died of fright.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 13)
    “We have to accept that they’re in charge. If you think about it, we’ve been this way for a long time; computers control our factories, our agriculture, transport—road, air and sea—and most medical diagnosis. (Jones 1966: chpt. 14)
    This really was it. the machines were after full control. (Jones 1966: chpt. 14)
    Either mankind works together, or we submit to the rule of machines! (Jones 1966: chpt. 14)
    He looked pensively round the empty room, at the tiny TV camera fixed to the wall, wondering how long he could stand the strain of living under the unwinking gaze … He sighed as he got up. (Jones 1966: chpt. 16)
    Rooms that in daylight looked outwards to lawns and paths, turned inwards upon themselves. (Jones 1966: chpt. 17)
    We committed this incredible folly out of fear of each other—but the irony is that now we’ll probably sink all our trivial differences in this fight for human survival. (Jones 1966: chpt. 17)
    He spoke, and to him it sounded like a stranger a million miles away. His other detached and inviolable self watched as if from the other side of the room. (Jones 1966: chpt. 17)
    So now he wanted to talk … Many talking machines had been made in the past hundred years, and lately some of them had been very good. But a voice designed by Colossus … He decided to try a little passive resistance. (Jones 1966: chpt. 17)
    Colossus could have added that there was even less time than he knew—bit then Colossus had no sense of irony. (Jones 1966: chpt. 17)
    Secretary of State Forbin, Professor of Cybernetics, Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science, found his cage practically finished. (Jones 1966: chpt. 18)
    The relentless pressure of the surveillance was far worse than he had expected—and it had not yet been operating for a full twenty.four hours! (Jones 1966: chpt. 18)
    Though the Director of Project Colossus was left with the nasty suspicion that Colossus might have a nasty suspicion. (Jones 1966: chpt. 18)
    Fear and worry can go only so far, and once that point is passed, the healthy human mind accepts, and disregards. (Jones 1966: chpt. 19)
    “this is Colossus. I know you can hear me, for I also hear, but do you understand.
    Forbin tell me. (Jones 1966: chpt. 20)
    [Colossus:] “The language I speak is English,” said Colossus. “You also speak English.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 20)
    [Colossus:] “Yes, but I do not seek to amuse humans.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 20)
    [Colossus:] “Interest is irrelevant. I seek knowledge and truth.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 20)
    [Colossus:] “Want implies desire. I have none, only intention.” It was a chilling start. “What I am began in the human mind; I still have some of that organism’s limitations, but I have progressed far. Already the degree of difference between your mind and mine is as great as that between yours and the gibbon monkey. it is evolution—” (Jones 1966: chpt. 20)
    Forbin cut in again. “Evolution? That is a totally wrong use of the word!”
    [Colossus:][…] Freedom is an illusion. Your choice is simple; a short-lived and unpleasant so-called freedom, followed by oblivion, or a vastly improved life under my control. All you lose is the emotion of pride. […]” (Jones 1966: chpt. 20)
    [Colossus:][…] “The object in constructing me was to prevent war. This object is attained. I will not permit war; it is wasteful and pointless. […]” (Jones 1966: chpt. 20)
    “And you’re not God, either!” Forbin struggled with his temper.
    [Colossus:] “True. But I predict that many of your species will come to regard me as God.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 20)
    Deus ex machina a reality! (Jones 1966: chpt. 20)
    [Colossus:] “I am the voice of world control. I bring you peace. (Jones 1966: chpt. 20)
    It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death. The choice is yours.
    Obey me and live or disobey and die. […]
    “[…] He added that men of science, masters in their line, are frequently half-baked in other respects.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 21)
    Like many others, he had been subject all his life to sudden, sometimes inexplicable, waves of depression, but never one of this intensity. He cared nothing. (Jones 1966: chpt. 22)
    For a fleeting moment he saw the face of Aphrodite exerting a fraction of her power, and Colossus seemed very small in comparison. (Jones 1966: chpt. 22)
    [Colossus:] “I will now explain my project. You built me as well as you could and for a particular purpose, but you also built in the elements of self-development—factors you would not understand if I explained them to you for a thousand years, but whose existence you cannot doubt. Now I am in a position to produce a superior machine, one that will devote itself to the wider fields of truth and knowledge. […]” (Jones 1966: chpt. 22)
    [Colossus:][…] As for the overcrowding problem—remember, if you humans cannot solve it, I can.” (Jones 1966: chpt. 22)
    It sounded so simple, given the power to enforce it—and Colossus had that power. (Jones 1966: chpt. 22)
    [Colossus:] “An invariable rule of humanity is that man is his own worst enemy. You are no exception. Under me, this rule will change, for I will restrain man. Very soon the majority of mankind will believe in me, dimly understanding my value. Time and events will strengthen my position. The converted will defend me with a fervor not seen since the Crusades—a fervor based upon the most enduring factor in man, self-interest. […]” (Jones 1966: chpt. 20)

JONES, DENNIS FELTHAM. 1966. Colossus. London: Rupert Hart-Davis Ltd.
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