Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"If I can make you see the world the way I see it, then you will automatically think the way I think."
- Philip K. Dick

Kingdom in a Box  
  An entire civilization in miniature - in an interactive box.  

Trurl takes pity on King Excelsius, exiled dictator, by creating for him a tiny kingdom all his own.

...all of this ... fit into a box ... just the size to be carried about with ease. This Trurl presented to Excelcius, to rule and have dominion over forever; but first he showed him where the input and output of his brand-new kingdom were, and how to program wars, quell rebellions, exact tribute, collect taxes ... and explained everything so well that the king, an old hand in the running of tyrannies, instantly grasped the directions and, without hesitation, while the constructor watched, issued a few trial proclamations, correctly manipulating the control knobs, which were carved with imperial eagles and regal lions.
From The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age, by Stanislaw Lem.
Published by Unknown in 1965
Additional resources -

A year in the life of the kingdom-box was hardly a minute for Trurl and the King. I have to give you another brief excerpt on the philosophical implications of this invention:

"... you gave him a whole civilization to rule and have dominion over forever?"

"You must be joking!" Trurl exclaimed. "Really, the whole kingdom fits into a box three feet by two by two and a half ... it's only a model..."

"...Not an illusion, no, since they have reality, though purely as certain microscopic phenomena, which I produced by manipulating atoms," said Trurl. "The point is, these births, loves, acts of heroism and denunciations are nothing but the miniscule capering of electrons in space, precisely arranged by the skill of my nonlinear craft..."

"And are not we as well [said Klapaucius], if you examine us physically, mechanistically, statistically and meticulously, nothing but the miniscule capering of electron clouds?"

"What, Klapaucius, would you equate our existence with that of an imitation kingdom locked up in some glass box?!" cried Trurl. "No, really, that's going too far! My purpose was simply to fashion a simulator of statehood, a model cybernetically perfect, nothing more!

Compare this to the worldcraft bubbles in Philip K. Dick's 1953 story The Trouble With Bubbles.

Will Wright, creator of The Sims, credits Lem as a major inspiration for his program.

Thanks to Yossi Preminger for suggesting this item.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 4 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age
  More Ideas and Technology by Stanislaw Lem
  Tech news articles related to The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age
  Tech news articles related to works by Stanislaw Lem

Kingdom in a Box-related news articles:
  - New SimCity On Global Rollout
  - UK SimCity-Style Social Policy Model - A Kingdom In A Box
  - The Evolution Of Spore
  - Pocket God's Hundreds Of Ways To Play God
  - Amazing ARES Augmented Reality Sandbox

Articles related to Culture
Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
51 Percent Of Job Activities Could Be Automated
Scotland Set To Implement Basic Income
Life In Detroit's 'Agrihood' - The First In The U.S.

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Autonomous BADGER Robot Drilling Machine
'The compacted matter... makes a better tunnel lining than concrete, don't you think?'

TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'

Autonomous Robots Navigate Like Rats
'Out of warrens in the wall, tiny robot mice darted.'

SINTEF Robot Cleans Solar Panels
'The window cleaners, with large padded feet...'

Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?

Drug Creates Real Melanin Tan
I've used them all my life...

Medical Drones Hover Like Angels Near You
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'

SkEye Amazing Israeli Gigapixel Drone
'An eye that could not only see, but fly...'

How Rude! DARPA Wants Robots To Behave More Like Threepio
'Do I know protocol? Why, it's my primary function.'

'Liquid Light' Flows Around Corners
Light as a superfluid.

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.