Being Negative About Positronic

Isaac Asimov filled his robots with positronic brains. Positronic was largely a buzz word. The recently discovered (1940’s) positron inspired the name. Asimov may have known more. Like for instance the positron was the antimatter version of the electron. So presumably positronics worked like electronics. A reason to go over to the dark side of antimatter was never given.

Personally I can’t see any positronics being worth the risk of making on-Earth robots out of it. Antimatter has one very troubling feature. When it comes into contact with matter there will be a mutual destruction. Matter-antimatter explosions are a whole level worse than hydrogen bombs. Do you really want a robot with a positronic brain cleaning your house? Are any safeguards good enough, later in the life cycle of the robot, when you have millions of decaying robots, all exposed to different things?

 Positronic brains are silly and should be dismissed easily.

 Still, Star Trek: The Next Generation’s creators thought the positronic brain was so good that they had to get themselves some of that. That show’s robot, Commander Data, also used a positronic brain.

 Maybe they were silly to try this tack.

 Still I can’t get the idea out of my head that there could be an awesome ST:TNG movie where the Enterprise is stuck and needs to leave an area stat. But there are no Dilithium crystals to make the ship go. I can just see Geordi La Forge say to Captain Picard, “If I could just have Commander Data’s head, I could jury rig it into a powerful power source!” Everyone could have a tear soaked goodbye where only Data keeps a dry eye. But of course Data sacrifices himself for the good of the many.

 And if it was my movie, I’d end with Geordi saying “Whoops!” and then a terrible explosion would destroy the Enterprise.

About Larry Russwurm

Just another ranter on the Internet
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