Talk:R. Daneel Olivaw

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Just to let anyone who is listening know[edit]

Just to let anyone who is listening know - I just posted a link to this in a comment on slashdot, so this page will probably get a half dozen edits in the next couple hours. --Raul654 13:33, 18 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Also Known As...[edit]

I'm not sure it's a good idea to have Daneel's alter ego names listed in the opening paragraph of the article -- wouldn't those constitute spoilers, since it's supposed to be the big surprise in Prelude to Foundation that Demerzel and Hummin are one and the same, and he's actually Daneel? I'm going to remove the parenthetical "also known as" from the opening sentence, since the alter ego names are listed in bold later in the article (below the spoiler notice). -- Dan Carlson 13:15, Jun 10, 2004 (UTC)

Dan - yes, I'm inclined to agree. →Raul654 15:11, Jun 10, 2004 (UTC)

Same problem with redirection

I don't know if this is the right place to note this, but I think there's another (major) spoiler due to the fact both Chetter Hummin and Eto Demerzel pages link to Daneel's one. Even though linking those pages is a good idea, is there any (reasonable) way to prevent users being redirected without any spoiler warning? →ale_bahgat 12:10, Nov 2, 2005 (UTC)

I thought so, too, and then I read Talk:Eto_Demerzel. -- Perfecto Canada 01:58, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Giskard invented the Zeroth Law, did he not?[edit]

I changed this line:

Daneel invents the Zeroth Law of Robotics after both robots come to see the incompleteness of the existing Laws of Robotics.

To read:

Giskard invents the Zeroth Law of Robotics after both robots come to see the incompleteness of the existing Laws of Robotics.

From Prelude to Foundation:

(Daneel speaking to Seldon):
But I had a . . . friend twenty thousand years ago. It seemed to him that there should be a still more general rule than any of the Three Laws. He called it the Zeroth Law, since zero comes before one.
The robot who first advanced the Zeroth Law died--became permanently inactive--because he was forced into an action that he felt would save humanity, yet which he could not be sure would save humanity.

This indicates, to me, that Daneel cannot have been the inventor of the Zeroth law. If anyone has better information, please correct me.

[[User:Shred|Shred -§-]] 01:51, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Daneel invented the Zeroth Law[edit]

I have here Robots and Empire. It's the spanish translation, but it's a good one (Plaza & Janés Editorial). I roughly translate (chapter 63):

(Daneel to Vasilia)
There is a law that is supperior to the first law. «A robot cannot hurt the human race or, through inaction, allow that the human race being to come to harm.» I consider it now the Zeroth law of Robotics. The first law should say: «A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm, except where such action would conflict with the Zeroth Law.»

It was Daneel the one who invents the Zeroth law. I suppose Daneel says later that Giskard invented the Zeroth law because it was through their mutual discussion that he was able to state it. Further, if I recall correctly, it was Giskard the one that mentions that something is incomplete in the Three Laws of Robotics, but it was Daneel the one that invented the Zeroth law.

So, I change the line to the original form.

--Canek 22:05, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This is correct. Daneel invented it.--Againme (talk) 16:48, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Except that it's not. Giskard was only able to do what he did because he extrapolated the Zeroth Law for himself and used it to override the First Law. Daneel was only the first to give it a proper wording and perhaps apply it better to himself (not shutting down even with the uncertainty of his plan, even psychohistory wasn't a really that accurate). (talk) 12:05, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

This is going to sound horribly petty but.... in the article introduction it says Daneel was contructed to be impossible to disinguish from humans "like many robots of the period."

If memory serves, Daneel was one of a kind at the time (other than Jander). In fact, a lot of "Robots of Dawn" revolved around Falstofe's rival trying to get the secrets of humaniform construction. Even during the time of "Robots and Empire" humaniform robots were quite rare, at least in deployment.

My point is, Daneel was very much *unlike* the robots of his period, him being a humaniform. Should the introduction be changed?

No definition is given for the "period" that is encompassed by that statement. While Daneel was the first, and unique at the time, it seems well established that others were constructed in fairly short order, with varying degrees of perfection in their emulation of humans. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:10, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Violation of the Three Laws[edit]

Was or did "Hummin" violate the three laws of robotics? He was seen "protecting" Hari Seldon at the begining of Prelude to Foundation, wasn't he?? - Plau 15:16, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

It is possible that the thugs were humaniform robots themselves, sent there by Hummin/Demerzel. Or, maybe Daneel was able to weigh the options of protecting the future inventor of psychohistory vs. injuring two thugs, and was capable of choosing the former (through Zeroth law).
I thought the fact that the thugs reacted strongly to a weak insult pointed out that Hummin was using his powers on the thugs. IMHO it makes more sense to think of it as action under the zeroth law. --Kjoonlee 16:08, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Or maybe the thugs were humaniform robots.... --Kjoonlee 06:44, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:ElijahBailey.gif[edit]

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What about further appearances in Asimovian fiction?[edit]

Having just concluded the Aurora trilogy, written by Mark W. Tiedemann, I am left to wonder why such appearances are not a part of this article. While R. Daneel is not ever named outright, it is made clear in the final pages of the third book in the trilogy, Aurora, that Ariel's assistant, Hofton, is in fact Daneel. Elements of his overarching work to guide humanity are also part of the resolution to the entire situation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:17, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Why "Daneel" and why "Olivaw"?[edit]

I've read everything from "I, Robot" to "Foundation's Edge", among others in between, and I've never found an explanation behind Daneel's name. It would seem some etymological derivation of "Daniel Oliver". According to Wikipedia there was a British botanist and a congressman from New York, USA in the 19th century, both named "Daniel Oliver". Maybe Asimov was fascinated with one of them or these are familial names he is honoring in his books? Does anyone know? (talk) 15:35, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

We have to look at 2 things:
  • Internal logic.
  • How the Good Doctor usually named characters.
Robot Daneel Olivaw is an Auroran Robot. We know that Specers gave up Terrestrial Names even before the events of Mother Earth (novelette) because they began to see themselves as superior to Earthlings.
The Good Doctor dealt with the problem of making names of people in the far future and of aliens both pronounceable and other-worldly by letting classical cultures of the first millennia BCE inspire his names. He would derive his names from Roman, Grecian, Hebrew, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Persian, Indus, Indian, and Chinese names.
Olduvai Gorge is a site of early hominins and has a similar name. Robot Daneel Olivaw has a similar name and is the first of a new kind of Humaniform-robots Doctors Sarton and Fastolfe create.
Robot Daneel Olivaw has a name reminiscent of classical names. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:22, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
What you wrote just might described some of the way Asimov went about creating names. But it does not explain the choice to specifically evolve "Daniel" and "Oliver". "Olduvai" is an interesting mention; did you read about that influence some where or is it your own thinking? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:04, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

It's worth noting that Asimov was fond of wordplay. Being keen on crosswords and the like, it seems to me that "Robot Daneel Olivaw" looks very much like an anagram of *..something..*. The best I could come up with is "I, brave new load tool", which I suppose is vaguely plausible. Maybe someone else could have a go at cracking it?

Of course, it might be a complete red herring and mean nothing at all.... (talk) 13:58, 20 April 2013 (UTC)