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Good Short Story by Asimov

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  • Good Short Story by Asimov

    I stumbled upon this at Digg. It's been a few years since I read it and I thought I'd link it here.

    The Last Question

    The ending is great. It really makes you think.

    Spoilers may be contained in comments below, so read the story (5 minutes MAX) then read the comments.











































    space for spoilers :)
    ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
    No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

    <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.


  • #2
    Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

    Great story! I had not read that one before!
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    • #3
      Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

      I wonder if Carl Sagan had read that, he would have found it amusing, but impossible.

      Good post, I love pondering the cosmos.

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      • #4
        Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

        Great story, reminds me of "Ring", a book by Stephen Baxter I read a while ago.



        TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran

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        • #5
          Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

          Yeah, it really is neat. I like how he constructed the Cosmic AC and how humans communicate with it (via thought) and then slipped in that ending. It was like an "ah-ha! Hmmm?"

          A subtle nod to prayer and omniscience and then there it is :)
          ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
          No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

          <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.

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          • #6
            Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

            So the Cosmic AC (born from its machine predecessors, originally constructed by man) is 'god' since it created light again. So technically man would be its own god if it were able to create new light somehow, or a singular event of creating a new universe full of light.

            Even then any universe created would always be finite and dying. Or maybe I don't understand.
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            • #7
              Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

              Anyone read "the good earth is dying" ?
              He's writings are exelent, and I admire his views on war.
              The essay is at the end of the book Sigmund F./ A. Einstein " why war" a letter exchange.

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              • #8
                Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

                Genesis 1:3, Aero.

                The first words of God in the Bible are "Let there be light." Genesis 1:3 is basically the last sentence of the story, with one word changed.

                This literary device links the AC to God. It's brilliant.
                ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
                No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

                <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.

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                • #9
                  Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

                  Great short, Rincewind. Thanks for posting.

                  I had read this story back in college, for a Science Fiction class. I had forgotten all about it, and it was fun to read it again.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

                    You'd think at some point this hyperintelligent computer would figure out how to turn off the Caps Lock key.

                    Good story. Reminds me of his Foundation series.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

                      So if the whole process is repeated again what will the new AC do with the old AC?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

                        Originally posted by Obi View Post
                        So if the whole process is repeated again what will the new AC do with the old AC?
                        Isn't that making an assumption that the two will interact? And even if they do interact, they will probably do the same thing as the "current" AC did with the previous AC.

                        [drill][medic][conduct][tg-c1][tpf-c1]
                        [ma-c2][taw-c1]

                        Principles of good Sandbox Etiquette:
                        Assume good faith - Be polite, please! - Work toward agreement. - Argue facts, not personalities. - Concede a point when you have no response to it, or admit when you disagree based on intuition or taste. - Be civil. - Be prepared to apologize. In animated discussions, we often say things we later wish we hadn't. Say so. - Forgive and forget. - Recognize your own biases and keep them in check. - Give praise when due.

                        Treat others as you would have them treat you

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Good Short Story by Asimov

                          This story reminds me of Voltaire, "If there were no god, it would be necessary to invent Him." On a lighter note, I love how Asimov is able to link so many things to his own writing and make it humorous when you put it all together in your head.

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