The Human Survival Handbook: Part 2 – The First Law of Humans

Back in 1942, science fiction writer Issac Asimov, developed three laws for robots in his short story Runaround.  The three laws he developed were:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Those are some pretty solid laws for robots.  The real purpose behind these laws is humans don’t want robots to take over.  An interesting concern considering how much technology influences and controls a human’s life.  But a smart phone, regardless of how smart it is, doesn’t have a face and can’t walk.  Humans are only actually scared of robots with arms and faces taking over, but that’s a discussion for another chapter.


Legs or some kind of tracks are a moot point.

Part of Asimov’s reasoning for creating the three laws was a literary device.  It created some hard and fast rules for a fictional world.  And it allowed those rules to be bent for dramatic storylines.  Humans have their own laws, but unlike robots, most humans are unaware their laws exist.  They function without any removed knowledge of the laws they follow.  And also unlike robot laws, human laws have no regard for other humans.

You might think humans being unaware of the own laws they follow is a terrible thing.  But the thing is, most humans prefer it that way.  It’s easier on them for a myriad of reasons, including less guilt and responsibility for their actions, just to name a couple.  For non-humans, this is fantastic news.  This means as you read this handbook, you’re going to have all the information on you humans you need, can use that information, and the humans will have no idea how you know so much about them because they have no idea why they do what they do.  It’s like being a football team that knows all the other teams plays when the other team doesn’t even know their own plays.  I know, it’s pretty awesome when you think about it.

football play

Wait, what play are we doing?

Okay, let’s start with the most core and basic programming of all humans.

The First Law of Humans:  Humans do what they want to do.

It seems simple enough.  People doing what they want to do.  But even though humans do what they want to do, they will vehemently argue with you that they don’t do what they want.  They will give you any number of lengthy and long excuses as to why they are not able to do what they want.  But when you really start watching humans and how they operate, it becomes plainly clear that they do what they want.

The human author Jim Rohn said, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way.  If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”  That sums up humans in a nutshell.  And humans love excuses to not do what they want.  Not enough money, not enough time, not enough duct tape.¹  And humans will go above and beyond logical means to do something they want to do.  In fact, in almost every case where direct force is not a factor, you can cite the First Law for why a human does anything.

It’s always important to remember the First Law with any interaction with a human.  For example, humans keep pets.  Dogs are a common pet of humans.  There are two ways to deal with a dog, persuasion and force.  Much like a human, a dog is going to do what it wants to do.  If a dog wants to play in the rain, it will play in the rain.  If you don’t want to deal with the smell of wet dog for hours on end, then you don’t want the dog to play in the rain.  That means your choices are to persuade the dog to come in out of the rain with a treat or something better than playing in the rain.  Or you can make the dog come in by force, either by threatening the dog by yelling or by physically bringing the dog in out of the rain.

Humans won’t like this next statement because humans like to think they are better than dogs.²  But humans are animals just like dogs are animals.  Except dogs tend to be more loveable and don’t over-charge you for coffee at fancy coffee houses.  The only difference in dealing with humans is that humans live in a society.  That means in established human society, there is nothing you can say or do to make a human do what you want them to do.  You only only hope to persuade them to do what you want.  That seems like a lot of work, and, without knowing much about humans, it is a lot of work.  However, just like persuading a dog is easy if you understand dogs, humans are the same way.  Humans can be quite easy to persuade once you understand how they work.  Late night infomercials prove that.


Wearing a bathrobe backward seems like a bad idea until everyone else is doing it

Now that you know the First Law of Humans, if you’re an intelligent human or a non-human, your brain or positronic net is already firing on full thrusters running scenarios through your brain bucket and light bulbs are going off all over the place.  Humans and their behavior is already starting to make a lot more sense to you.  You could really stop reading right now and be 100 times better in your interactions with humans.  But why stop at 100 times better when you can be 1000 times better!  And no, that wasn’t some sort of cheap persuasion trick to get you to keep reading.  Okay, it totally was, but there’s a lot more to humans and how they work than just the First Law.  And the First Law will only get you so far.

Check out the other parts of The Human Survival Handbook here.

¹ Humans have an odd obsession with certain things.  Duct tape is one of them.  Humans think it fixes anything.  But duct tape is only effective in certain situations, like joining duct work and kidnapping.

² Humans think they are better than any quadruped, regardless of size.  That is partly why humans are so afraid of robots taking over and of raptors being able to open doors.  And speaking of dinosaurs, it’s also why humans need a movie like Jurassic Park to show them what a horrible idea making dinosaurs is.  And even though the majority of humans saw Jurassic Park, there are still some who are trying to make dinosaurs.  Anyway, humans see dogs and cats much the same way and even keep them as pets.  Now upon first inspection, non-Earthlings might think dogs and cats are in charge.  If there are two creatures, and one creature is feeding and picking up another creature’s poop, who would you think is in charge?  However, humans view their pets as inferior creatures.  Yeah, there’s a lot of hypocrisy with humans.  Don’t believe me?  Try opening an interstellar zoo where the prime attractions are humans.

About BatDoc

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Posted on February 10, 2014, in A BatDoc Original, Original Series, The Human Survival Handbook and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. roberthenryfischat

    Reblogged this on robert's space and commented:
    pls it’s taking out ieds/

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