The origin of Robotics

via themoviedb.org

When words become commonplace enough, it’s easy to assume that they have always been used, or that they are some how intrinsically related to whatever they refer to, but in reality a lot of the terminology we use comes from literature. Case in point:

10 Words You Might Think Came from Science (But are Really from Science Fiction)

In addition to that set of words, according to the OED, the term “robot” was originally a “reference to the mass-produced workers in Karel Čapek’s play  R.U.R.: Rossum’s Universal Robots (1920) which are assembled from artificially synthesized organic material.”

After all, words don’t just appear out of thin air with a predefined meaning. Someone has to come up with them at some point.

Are there any words, expressions, or phrases that you’ve been surprised to discover come from a book, movie, play or poem? (And don’t worry, Shakespeare will get his own discussion.)

More important than the iPhone. Really.

Every single day of our lives we are living with the effects of an invention so significant that it’s importance and influence can’t really be overstated. We probably never even think about it, and we are probably incapable of ever truly fathoming what the world would be like had it never come to be. This is a piece of technology so revolutionary and so unbelievably vital that it’s impact on history can be felt in countless ways. Nope, I’m not talking about your iPhone. It’s even more important than that (hard to believe, I know).

(via Goodreads)

That’s right, I’m talking about the printing press. (Technology isn’t all about computers and the Internet, after all, and you just know those fifteenth century early adopters were all over this before it hit the mainstream.)

Now, please allow me to indulge in a bit of a history lesson to set the stage.

Continue reading