P. W. Singer Welcomes Our Robot Overlords in Episode 3 of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

Illustration for article titled P. W. Singer Welcomes Our Robot Overlords in Episode 3 of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

P. W. Singer, author of Wired for War, discusses robots in the military and the intersection between video games and war in this rerun of Episode Three of The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy.


The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy is hosted by John Joseph Adams and David Barr Kirtley.

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Read on for this episode's fabulous SHOW NOTES! (Note: Show note time signatures may me slightly off, as the show was re-edited prior to this rebroadcast-it's the director's cut! This episode originally aired on January 18, 2010, on Tor.com.)


0:00 Introduction

0:42 Dave and John introduce the show

Interview: P.W. Singer

01:14 About author Peter Warren Singer, his book Wired for War. and his other works: Corporate Warriors: the Rise of the Privatized Military Industry, and Children at War

02:12 Interview begins

02:22 War robots in use today in air and on land, from the Predator drone to medic robots REX and REV


04:29 Undersea military robots, including the Robolobster. We are not making this up.

05:19 Robots in the new domains: outer space and cyberspace

05:59 Are military robots really a step forward?

07:52 Soldiers and their relationship to military robots

09:43 Combat pilots vs. drone pilots

13:18 Big butts and strong bladders: how technology affects roles in modern warfare


14:25 The relationship between video games and war: games patterned after war, and training soldiers using video games

16:25 A side effect of "militainment": Avatar Fatigue

16:57 When should we buy our robot attack insurance? On strong AI and self-will

19:09 Ways in which robots could be used against us, and the Open Source Warfare phenomenon


21:12 "Oops" moments with your robot, both comical and tragic

22:13 Robots, the law, and accountability

23:53 Robots, wetware, and the Luke Skywalker Effect: the present and future of cyborgs


26:04 Androids: why would we make robots look and work like us?

28:11 Why is science fiction better at predicting the future than government is?

31:16 End of interview

Dave and John talk about some of the science fiction works mentioned during the interview


32:05 I, Robot by Isaac Asimov, and the Three Laws of Robotics

34:47 Dave talks about one of the short stories in I, Robot, "Liar"

37:03 John talks about Robocop 2 and its Three Directives

39:33 Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. The book, the movie and the Sarcos Suit


41:36 Short story, "Descendent" by Ian Banks

41:59 Armor by John Steakley

43:20 The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

44:47 Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

46:00 Old Man's War by John Scalzi

47:06 Movies: Terminator and The Matrix

50:22 On robots and eternity: Short story "Sleepy Joe" by Mark Laidlaw and Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams


51:53 Dave on Robocop and the portrayal of corporations in films

53:20 More on the influence of Starship Troopers

53:58 More on I, Robot, the movie vs. the film

56:30 John contrasts the way science is portrayed in the work of Michael Crichton and Robert J. Sawyer, and the guys discuss the Techothriller genre


01:00:13 Show wrap-up

Thanks for listening!

Illustration for article titled P. W. Singer Welcomes Our Robot Overlords in Episode 3 of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

John Joseph Adams is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the bestselling editor of the anthologies By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), Seeds of Change, andWastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. His most recent books are The Living Dead 2 and The Way of the Wizard, and he is currently assembling several other anthologies, including Brave New Worlds and The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination. Barnes & Noble.com named him "the reigning king of the anthology world," and his books have been named to numerous best of the year lists. In addition to his anthology work, he worked for more than eight years as an editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction,and is currently the editor of Lightspeed Magazine and Fantasy Magazine.

Illustration for article titled P. W. Singer Welcomes Our Robot Overlords in Episode 3 of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy

David Barr Kirtley has published fiction in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy, Weird Tales, Lightspeed,Intergalactic Medicine Show, On Spec, and Cicada, and in anthologies such as New Voices in Science Fiction,Fantasy: The Best of the Year, and The Dragon Done It. Recently he's contributed stories to several of John's anthologies, including The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, and The Way of the Wizard. He's attended numerous writing workshops, including Clarion, Odyssey, Viable Paradise, James Gunn's Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and Orson Scott Card's Writers Bootcamp, and he holds an MFA in screenwriting and fiction from the University of Southern California. He also teaches regularly at Alpha, a Pittsburgh-area science fiction workshop for young writers. He lives in New York.

Snownotes compiled by (former) podtern Christie Yant

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Hey guys, I'm loving these podcasts, but where are all the episodes between #3 and #23?