Pasiphae Inc. [English]

Thank you for calling me. My name is Dædalus. Inventor, programmer and robot designer, you’ve seen the CV. Oh, you heard about me? Yes, I'm that one. Well, you may have heard extravagant stories. Anyway, I’ll be honest: I didn't care of what would come out from that Mino project. I'm an engineer, one of the best, and Pasifæ Inc. had a problem and the money, a lot of it. Beautiful offices, sumptuous labs, great people to work with, gorgeous health insurance and pension plans, stock options, fringe benefits... all you can wish and then more. Above all, I can tell you that was a damn challenging project. Really impossible. Lot of research to do, stellar budget for prototypes... Exciting! The project requirements were clear, precise: the company really knew what it wanted, even if it was something absolutely... er... unconventional. And technically nearly non-feasible. You know, coupling a Poseidon Bull device to... well, I won't bother you with the details... But really, it wasn't for the money. It was the idea that challenged me, overcoming the technical hurdles. As that Oppenheimer guy once said: «when you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success». That's precisely what I did. So, I built that robot. It was a thing of beauty and it worked like a charm, flawless, a complete success! Well, how could I possibly foresee the outcome? Man, I admit that it was a pretty ugly thing, and I understand the government was a bit troubled having it go around scaring people. “Uncanny” they said... But of course: the “what to do about it” problem was also a technically sweet problem... So they hired me again and I designed The Maze™. Technically speaking, it was an “open orientation confinement device” for the outcome of Mino project, and I can assure you it was a beautiful thing too: an elegant solution, a stylish design, no moving parts at all… Pasifæ Inc. was delighted. But of course those bureaucrats in the government were annoyed because of maintenance costs and those accidents with all that people getting lost… Now, I can understand, but this is the way the world goes, isn't it? I admit this thing was quite disruptive, but what? Would you stop innovation and go back to the dark ages, would you? So those jerks made up a case and closed me in The Maze™, so I had to flee... And that was at the same time my masterpiece and also my biggest sorrow. Building wings, learning to fly... Nobody did this before me. But my poor Icarus, my dear kid, he was too young, too bold. I told him at least a thousand times: you have to keep in control of technology, you know, know its limits, the risks, anticipate all the possible consequences of any action... Excuse my emotion. But that's too sad a story, please don't ask.
Well... So it goes... But now let me say that I find your project absolutely fascinating, and I’d love to help you to blend… what was it? Mixed AI and Mind Uploading? Anyway, I’m the man for you! Do I have that job?

A.Cammozzo (c)2017


The Daedalus/Pasiphae Myth: «Meanwhile, Minos had married Pasiphaë, [...]. But Poseidon, to avenge the affront offered him by Minos, made Pasiphaë fall in love with the white bull which had been withheld from sacrifice. She confided her unnatural passion to Daedalus, the famous Athenian craftsman, who now lived in exile at Cnossus, delighting Minos and his family with the animated wooden dolls he carved for them. Daedalus promised to help her, and built a hollow wooden cow, which he upholstered with a cow’s hide, set on wheels concealed in its hooves, and pushed into the meadow near Gortys, where Poseidon’s bull was grazing under the oaks among Minos’s cows. Then, having shown Pasiphaë how to open the folding doors in the cow’s back, and slip inside with her legs thrust down into its hindquarters, he discreetly retired. Soon the white bull ambled up and mounted the cow, so that Pasiphaë had all her desire, and later gave birth to the Minotaur, a monster with a bull’s head and a human body.» Robert Graves, The Greek Myths (Penguin UK, 1990), 94.

Oppenheimer torn position on A- and H- bomb. «However, it is my judgment in these things that when you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb. I do not think anybody opposed asking it; there were some debates about what to do with it after it was made» US Atomic Energy Commission – Personnel Security Board, “Proceedings: Hearing of Robert Oppenheimer – Volume II”, p. 95 (Washington DC., 1954), hearings/Vol II Oppenheimer.pdf.

«Because I have always thought it was a dreadful weapon. Even from a technical point of view it was a sweet and lovely and beautiful job, I have still thought it was a dreadful weapon.» US Atomic Energy Commission – Personnel Security Board, “Proceedings: Hearing of Robert Oppenheimer – Volume V”, p. 740 (Washington DC., 1954), hearings/Vol V Oppenheimer.pdf.