A Fascinating Dinner
by Bear Hunter
I’m enjoying my time in Seoul. Today I took a tour of the city. I could go on about all the things I saw but it’s just straight forward tourism, nothing all that interesting.
Last night I finally got the chance to meet the good doctor Victor. Victor invited me out to a BBQ restaurant where you cook your own meat. He thought I’d find it novel. I didn’t have the heart to tell him the trend had picked up in North America.
We discussed my flight, the tragic crash of the Malaysian flight and the schedule for the coming week. He assured me – many times over – that everything had been planned out to the tiniest of details. The drone has been through rigorous tests with both radio and satellite controls. All systems are at peek performance and the sensors are all responding to their respective algorithms. He mentioned that it is still very much unknown how the drone’s sensors will respond to brain waves. He assured me that all safety precautions have been taken and that there are specific vocal commands the operator can recite if he feels any need to abort. Personally, I’m confident in the doctor’s expertise and preparation.
While washing down some kimchi with some imported beer – nasty wherever it’s served I discovered – and I felt the need to ask, “Doctor, why did you ask to go under the name of Victor as an online alias?”
He chuckled for a moment and then his voice took on a more serious tone, “My father was a Korean politician back in the 1960’s. The government was in a constant state of fluctuation.”
I know next to nothing about Korean history so I sat and listened.
“We would take frequent trips to the United States as a family so that my father could steep himself in the culture and language of what he saw as a ‘truly democratic’ nation. As a child of eight or nine I was never too keen on trips to museums or reference libraries. To pass the time I fell back on my favourite pass-time, reading.”
“Did you bring books along with you?” I asked.
“No, no.” he replied “My father insisted we travel light with only the bare necessities. I found my own means of learning western culture… I enjoyed pop culture and science fiction books. One really had an impact on me, Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’. I was amazed by Victor Frankenstein’s accomplishment of bringing about new life from old but…”
“But what?” I was engrossed.
“The doctor never really knew what was going on inside the monster’s head. He could only deduce or should I say guess by what he saw with his eyes.”
“Appearances can be deceiving I agree.” as I did.
“So true.” he answered. “Late at night I would imagine being inside the monster’s body myself, feeling what he felt and seeing the world through his eyes. I wanted so bad to know what it would be like to see through the eyes of something that was cold and dead.”
He paused for a moment, expression frozen. I was getting a little scared, I thought that maybe he had undercooked his pork and it was coming back up on him so I asked, “You alright Victor? Let me get you a napkin.”
He came out of his trace and chuckled the most unexpected chuckle and said, “I’m fine, it’s all coming around full-circle. I often wondered if things would have turned out differently with the monster if Frankenstein had been able to get inside of his head, really get in there. I worry about robots and artificial intelligence eventually getting away from us. I want to make sure we never lose touch and that we can alway empathize with whatever it is we create. Always be able to monitor its inner most workings…”
Victor took another pause. His latter words caused me to take pause as well. That look in his eye when he said, “Always be able to monitor its inner most workings…”
I’m very excited about the coming week but I also had an eerie feeling come over me. I had to type out this blog, something inside of me urged me to do so. I’m not sure why myself. I have switched on some privacy settings so that Victor doesn’t see the post, I don’t want to upset him. I’ll let him give it a read after the trials are over and the pressure is off. I hope this post doesn’t upset him. I’m sure when everything goes as planned he’ll be in such a good mood that he’ll find this post nothing short of humorous. The man does enjoy a good laugh after all.
– Bear Hunter