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Author Topic: EP723: How Did it Feel to be Eaten?  (Read 593 times)

divs

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on: March 21, 2020, 05:27:06 PM
Escape Pod 723: How Did it Feel to be Eaten?

Author: Amit Gupta
Narrator: Peter Behravesh
Host: Tina Connolly
Audio Producer: Adam Pracht

Escape Pod 723: How Did it Feel to be Eaten? is an Escape Pod original.

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“I was an elderberry,” I announced, glowing with pride.

“How did it feel to be eaten?” he asked.

It seemed an odd question, but a response came unbidden, so I voiced it, “It was an honor.” My words surprised me, but they felt true.

“The Queen of England ate me,” I added. How did I know this? Who was he? My cheeks flushed with embarrassment. I didn’t feel like a berry. Did berries feel embarrassed?

“I didn’t know she was the Queen at the time,” I admitted.

“Yes,” agreed the man who I could not see and did not know. “Let’s try another.”




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Fenrix

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Reply #1 on: March 24, 2020, 10:49:37 PM
And remember, this is for posterity, so… be honest. How do you feel?

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


divs

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Reply #2 on: March 27, 2020, 10:58:59 PM

*bawls*

"...interesting"



Cyber Spirit

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Reply #3 on: April 03, 2020, 04:44:41 AM
Really loved this story.  It was nice to take this journey(s) with the main character.  Although I am not a Buddhist, I once read a book on Buddhism which talked about the large number of lives required to achieve enlightenment, and I thought the technological shortcut to do it in one lifetime was very creative.  Good stuff! 



DerangedMind

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Reply #4 on: April 06, 2020, 04:00:41 PM
I had very mixed feelings about this story.  I liked it - sort of.  And disliked it - sort of.

I think one of the issues I had with it was the premise that truth doesn't matter, it's what it makes you feel that matters.  Good or evil doesn't matter, only motive.




digitig

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Reply #5 on: April 08, 2020, 04:49:24 PM
Oh dear; no.

With a background in conservative evangelical Christianity, I am all too familiar with the sort of story- and character-light evangelistic material that can come from that scene, and this just triggered all my learned reflexes against being preached to - changing the religion doesn't change the bad feeling it gave me. Escape Artists can handle religion well - I recall good stories with Hindu and Muslim settings - but here I felt the religion was instead of a story instead of a context for it.



Languorous Lass

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Reply #6 on: April 08, 2020, 06:55:32 PM
I also found this piece to be a sermon attempting to masquerade as a story, and not succeeding.  It might have been less annoying if the main character hadn’t been so much of a Gary Stu — achieving enlightenment faster than any other pupil in Virtual Buddhism!   Give me an average person struggling to understand themselves and the universe. 



Cyber Spirit

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Reply #7 on: April 08, 2020, 09:15:54 PM
I think one of the issues I had with it was the premise that truth doesn't matter, it's what it makes you feel that matters.  Good or evil doesn't matter, only motive.

I think this is a good point.  I didn't think of the unreality of the narrator's situation-- the fact that all his lifetimes were simulated and populated by simulated characters/situations (if I am remembering/interpreting the story correctly).  It reminds me of the philosophical thought experiment Nozick's Experience Machine https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-meaning-in-imperfect-world/201903/pleasure-or-reality-the-experience-machine-debate.  In the thought experiment, psychologists invent a machine in which you could live in a personalized simulation, like the Matrix.  The psychologists can guarantee that you will be happy in this machine as everything is designed around you and your desires.  While you are in the machine, you don't even know it is a simulation.  However, every person and situation you encounter within the machine is simply a programmed simulation and not real.  Nozick then asks whether or not you would choose to live in this machine or if you would choose to life a genuine, authentic life. 

For me, while I like the idea of this shortcut to enlightenment, the idea of pursuing it via this method is a bit less appealing if those encountered in the simulations weren't real.  But would it be bad to achieve some manner of genuine enlightenment through an artificial means?  That is, if you think the narrator is achieving genuine enlightenment at all...  I admit, I kind of just rolled with the whole enlightenment thing, so it is interesting to hear the thoughts of Languorous Lass and digtig-- adds a whole new element of considerations for me.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2020, 09:41:53 PM by Cyber Spirit »



AM Fish

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Reply #8 on: April 12, 2020, 09:32:57 PM
I had very mixed feelings about this story.  I liked it - sort of.  And disliked it - sort of.

I think one of the issues I had with it was the premise that truth doesn't matter, it's what it makes you feel that matters.  Good or evil doesn't matter, only motive.

That is how I felt to be listing to this story. 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
  But I liked the reader and perhaps my criticism of the story is just me being distracted.



CryptoMe

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Reply #9 on: June 17, 2020, 03:41:42 AM
So, I did find the story thought-provoking, but probably not the way the author intended. For one, I didn't see that the MC did, in fact achieve enlightenment, though that could be due to *my* lack of enlightenment. Secondly, I would have no interest in doing this to achieve enlightenment. I would, however, be really, really interested in doing this just to experience more; more time, more things, more different ways of living, etc.  I want more input, mostly for the sake of more input..... ;D