My favorite thing about Madison Li joining the Institute is that everyone in the SRB is like “yeah, Dr. Zimmer is in charge but we haven’t heard from him in a while…” and Madison is just keeping her mouth completely shut about that one time James’s punk ass kid ran into her lab in Rivet City, shot Zimmer and his courser in the head, and was like “It’s ok, Harkness said I could!”
“The Commonwealth itself is nothing but a war-ravaged quagmire of violence and despair. Inside the sealed environment of the Institute, however… but the Institute’s affairs are none of your concern. Your undeveloped mind couldn’t even begin to comprehend what we’ve accomplished.” - Dr. Zimmer
I mean, come on. We all know you’ve had… episodes. You’re great… until you’re not. But you got a couple of whirligigs in there, you know? Which was fine before, but not so much if you want to be the boss.
Membranipora sp. (a bryozoan found on seaweed and kelp)
Dr. Bruno Pernet & Dr. Russell Zimmer
California State University, Long Beach, California, USA
Technique:Stereomicroscopy (image processing in Photoshop) (20x)
“The colony of animals was growing on kelp, and Dr. Russell Zimmer, a bryozoan expert, showed me how to section the seaweed so that one could turn a “strip” of the colony on its side in a drop of seawater and photograph it with the feeding tentacles (the lopnhophore) extended.” - Bruno Pernet
“The Commonwealth itself is nothing but a war-ravaged quagmire of violence and despair. Inside the sealed environment of the Institute, however… But… the Institute’s affairs are none of your concern. Your undeveloped mind couldn’t even begin to comprehend what we’ve accomplished.”
Slave owner is a harsh term. Harkness is, no matter how advanced he may be, a machine created by the institute, and as such, property of the institute. I mean, if my roomba malfunctions and somehow ends up halfway across town, do I deserve to be shot dead for going to retrieve it?
Are you comparing an intelligent, sentient being to a Roomba
That’s like comparing a human being to a flower. Both forms of life, both need food and water and an atmosphere to breathe in to survive, but does a flower deserve the same rights as a human?
This is an age-old issue in science fiction, whether or not AI should be considered life or not, but like. You’ve met Harkness. You know he can think, act for himself, show emotion. You know just how scared he was of Zimmer and the Institute and the slavery he was kept in, and how far he went to escape captivity. He went so far as to change his face and wipe his memory to create the perfect atmosphere for an escape. Imagine that. Imagine changing your identity to the point where you can’t even recognize yourself, to the point where you’re willing to forfeit everything, just to escape. That is how bad the slavery was. And yes, it was slavery, and Dr. Zimmer is a slave owner.
When parents create a sentient life, and choose to keep that life around, they have an obligation to properly provide for it, and to treat it as a person. And when a scientist creates sentient life in a lab, they have the same responsibilities. You cannot just create living, thinking people and then force them into your way of life – a way of life that denies them basic human rights.
Harkness is not human, but he is a person. Isn’t reducing him to a machine and comparing him to a Roomba far more harsh – like, above and BEYOND harsh – than calling Zimmer a slave owner?