A Fire upon the Deep Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who does Ravna think created the Riders?

2. Who must do the talking at Saint Rihndell's Repair Harbor?

3. How does Tyrathect feel when using the new radio outfit?

4. With whom has Steel run out of patience?

5. Why does Pham power up his weapons?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In chapter 15, Steel tours his dungeons, where the "raw material" is driven crazy to serve as the basis "blank packs." The dungeon is described in horrifying detail and contrasted with Woodcarver's processes aimed at the same goal, but bounded by "traditional ethics." Discuss the following:

1. Though Steel's methods are more horrific than Woodcarver's, their end goal is the same. Is this goal ethical? Why or why not?

2. Do you think what Steel and Woodcarver are attempting to do is moving the evolution of the Tines forward? Why or why not?

3. What do you think Steel and Woodcarver want in creating blank packs? Are there other ways of obtaining the same end without dubious means?

Essay Topic 2

Steel admires the workmanship of the unburned coffins where the children are in suspended animation, but he recoils at the thought that the pups in suspended animation could mature and destroy his world--and that other ships might follow. Discuss the following:

1. Does Steel have legitimate concerns about the possible problems a ship from space could bring?

2. Is attacking the occupants of the ship the wisest course? What other actions might Steel have taken instead of attack? Would one of them have been more advisable?

3. How do you think Steel might have fared in the long run had he made friends with the Olnsdots rather than killing them?

4. Why does Steel leave Jefri alive? Is there any compassion at all to his decision?

Essay Topic 3

In the Prologue, narration writes that the scientists know some intelligence is watching their work and waiting to pounce. They know that, like earlier humans, they are playing with fire, but the potential reward is tremendous. Discuss the following:

1. Considering the billions of sentient creatures that are wiped out of existence by this intelligence, could any potential reward be worth the possibility of unleashing an evil intelligence?

2. In the early part of the 21st century, Artificial Intelligence is just now being looked at as something that is possible, though many have fantasized about the idea for decades. Do you think the rewards of developing a machine with artificial intelligence is worth the risks? Or are there risks? Compare/contrast the possible rewards with the possible risks of developing artificial intelligence.

3. Do you think artificial intelligence could actually develop into an evil egomaniac? What is the artificial intelligence's main concern when the humans are working with it in the prologue?

4. Much of what is developed in labs in the "real" world has both a positive side and negative side. Consider the side effects of some medicines that can alleviate or cure disease. How does one determine when the balance of good swings too far towards the negative aspects?

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