History Headscratchers / TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951

1st May '16 10:56:10 PM doornik1142
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** It's important to remember that this movie was made long before the "robot apocalypse" concept was widely popularized. It shouldn't be surprising that 1950s writers and audiences wouldn't notice the scary implications that this story would have with future generations. It's also worth noting that in the original short story this film was based on, the robot (there called Gnut) literally WAS the overlord. At the end of the story when the character Sutherland implores Gnut to tell his masters that Klaatu's death was a tragic accident, Gnut responds "You misunderstand. ''I'' am the master."
7th Feb '16 8:31:10 AM maxwellsilver
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*** The story doesn't say the rules are eternally unchanging and immutable, it just says they are enforced by incorruptible machines. The fact that the rules are enforced without bias or emotion doesn't imply the rules can never be changed.

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*** The story doesn't say the rules are eternally unchanging and immutable, it just says they are enforced by incorruptible machines. The fact that the rules are enforced without bias or emotion doesn't imply the rules can never be changed.changed.
*** Yes, machines are incapable of bias, corruption, bigotry and emotion, but what about the people who programmed them?
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7th Feb '16 8:28:56 AM maxwellsilver
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**** The story gives zero indication such a system is in place, so it isn't a reasonable assumption, it's more EpilepticTrees.
18th Dec '15 2:16:19 PM ChristopherA
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** He didn't have enough room in his hands to hold billions of items so everyone can have a look.
18th Dec '15 2:11:14 PM ChristopherA
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*** Given how much knowledge Klaatu later shows about Earth (he blends in just fine), you wonder if this is a secret test of character - are the earthlings so violent they would actually try to kill him just because he pops a harmless little surprise on them? Kind of hard on poor Klaatu, though.



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----*** The story doesn't say the rules are eternally unchanging and immutable, it just says they are enforced by incorruptible machines. The fact that the rules are enforced without bias or emotion doesn't imply the rules can never be changed.
12th Oct '15 1:16:23 AM maxwellsilver
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* A little bit of FridgeHorror. Klaatu's benevolent and peaceful organization of planets has put the instruments of law and order in the hands of a robotic police force. They're just machines, and so they are not susceptible to corruption, coercion, bigotry, or bribery. But neither can they interpret, or even ''understand,'' the laws they've been programmed to enforce; they can only follow orders, identify violations of the law, and mete out appropriate punishment. Unless the robots like Gort are only used for big things like national defense or foreign relations, this means that the galactic justice system is nothing more than a vast machine, blind to extenuating circumstances, chugging along for its own sake regardless of the citizens it was designed to protect. The people of this organization have effectively mechanized their consciences, leaving them "free" to do anything except upset the status quo, for which they would be coldly and swifty punished. So Klaatu's warning to the people of Earth is less, "Stop being unenlightened monkeys," and more, "Don't anger the robot overlords."

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* A little bit of FridgeHorror. Klaatu's benevolent and peaceful organization of planets has put the instruments of law and order in the hands of a robotic police force. They're just machines, and so they are not susceptible to corruption, coercion, bigotry, or bribery. But neither can they interpret, or even ''understand,'' the laws they've been programmed to enforce; they can only follow orders, identify violations of the law, and mete out appropriate punishment. Unless the robots like Gort are only used for big things like national defense or foreign relations, this means that the galactic justice system is nothing more than a vast machine, blind to extenuating circumstances, chugging along for its own sake regardless of the citizens it was designed to protect. The people of this organization have effectively mechanized their consciences, leaving them "free" to do anything except upset the status quo, for which they would be coldly and swifty swiftly punished. So Klaatu's warning to the people of Earth is less, "Stop being unenlightened monkeys," and more, "Don't anger the robot overlords."


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**** The story gives zero indication such a system is in place, so it isn't a reasonable assumption, it's more EpilepticTrees.
16th Mar '14 6:46:44 PM seekquaze1
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*** I think it is reasonable to think systems are in place to change things if need be. Humanity has a tendency to quibble over every word and try to find a loophole in every law. They do a wrong and either try and blame someone else, avoid responsibility or play word games. Court cases can go on for years or decades because of it. Klaatu was putting it in simple terms that this is not tolerate. There are probable methods to arbitrate disputes between races, but violence is not considered an acceptable solution. If humanity tries to attack another race humanity will be destroyed. There might be a scale issue to ensure a few renegades do not ruin it for everyone, but collective punishment like this forces all humans to try and prevent a few rogue members or nations from breaking the law.
7th Aug '13 9:32:01 AM Anarquistador
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** But absolute, immutable rules do not account for cultural growth and change. Klaatu himself says, "We do not claim to have achieved perfection." Which means he acknowledges that his society's legal system is flawed, or at least imperfect. What is the mechanism for correcting those flaws? For changing the rules if need be? For leniency if it is warranted? If the rules are enforced solely by machines, there is no mechanism in place. A compassionate, intelligent individual like Klaatu can realize that improvements could be made, but is powerless to make those improvements.
2nd Jul '13 8:03:23 PM Hyrin
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** If they can't agree to meet in the same room to hear a message from a highly advanced alien being, why should anyone believe that they are capable of learning to behave peacefully? It's a SecretTestOfCharacter.


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** Could be more intended as "These are the rules you have to follow now that you have reached this level of technology. There's no skirting around the rules, for they are enforced without pity or second-chance due to the danger of breaking the rules."
25th Mar '13 8:11:19 PM Ardashir
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** "They're just machines, and so they are not susceptible to corruption, coercion, bigotry, or bribery." ''But what about the people who programmed them?''
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