Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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It is shocking enough that Navvy Jim is dedicated. It is shocking enough that Navvy Jim is sincere and earnest in his desire to play rock-paper-scissors; and more, that the robot has shown indications of sensibility, indications of conceptual flexibility, as if Navvy Jim were capable of imagining situations where it could conceivably be correct not to play rock-paper-scissors, or not to win. Once, for instance, when Eldri was puttering around and working on a Candyland-playing robot — the concept being more difficult than it might at first appear — Navvy Jim’s eyes took soft light in the background, and Eldri heard him wonder this:

“If I must kill a man, ought I also to defeat him in the game?”

Eldri expressed concern: “Jim.”

The robot tilted its head. It regarded him. “Tell me, sir; does it make an action moral to win rock-paper-scissors with it, or does it make rock-paper-scissors immoral when the things one does with it are bad?”

“You should not experience such concerns,” Eldri had explained.



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