Escape Artists
August 20, 2018, 03:58:31 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 [3]  All
  Print  
Author Topic: EP171: Fenneman’s Mouth  (Read 17271 times)
Void Munashii
Matross
****
Posts: 267


twitter.com/VOIDMunashii


WWW
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2008, 12:11:02 PM »

I'm interested by people's response to the relationship angle. I may be wrong, but I thought the story was trying to make the point that relationships become cliche-ridden, vacuous affairs when reality has been effectively abolished by selective editing. So what others found a weakness I thought was actually an intentional rhetorical device.

  I'll admit that a lot of the relationship stuff went over my head when first listening, but that was mostly because I thought it was going to go somewhere, I thought it was part of the journey, not the destination. I'm not sure my missing this is entirely due to my own lack of awareness/intelligence though, as a number of people who seem a bit more with it than me seemed to miss it as well.
Logged

"Mallville - A Journal of the Zombie Apocalypse"
http://mallvillestory.blogspot.com
Darwinist
Hipparch
******
Posts: 701



« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2008, 03:29:52 PM »


Hated it! III

I thought the narration was good, but that was about it.  The story fell flat for me, maybe not enough of a stretch of reality, I don't know.  Like the nice meow-meow kitty said - "PLEH". 
Logged

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.    -  Carl Sagan
Schreiber
Peltast
***
Posts: 129



« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2008, 08:43:20 PM »

I thought the Lea / Zell scene at the end was them just playing around, inventing a shared history. Of course, they might end up believing this, if they keep it up, but they seem to just be playing with what they do for a living.


Let's pretend that any amateur with a PowerBook could have done it in under an hour.  What kind of precedent would that set?  Video evidence would be completely useless in a court of law.  You could mug a little old lady in front of a security camera and then claim that Industrial Light and Magic has it in for you.  You could commit crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing right in front of CNN, then say it never happened.  Long story short, I'm less horrified by what the media will tell us has happened than I am by an easy and automatic excuse not to believe it.
Chain of evidence. In the first example you give, the government agencies involved in managing, keeping and reviewing the video tapes would have to have procedures in place to ensure that they can be trusted not to have been altered. With CNN footage, yes, it gets a bit more thorny, but it's been a long time since video or photographic evidence has been accepted without suspicion or challenge. Expert witnesses have made a lot of money by arguing about whether or not an image has been manipulated. The manipulations are getting more subtle, which makes detection more difficult, but not (yet) impossible.

And in the R. Kelly case, I have to admit I've not been following the case, but I understand that either his likeness as superimposed on footage of someone else, or moles were digitally removed from his back. Either seems possible, so I default to assuming that the jury probably got it right.

Yeah, the chain of evidence issue did cross my mind.  But the point is that if anyone can edit the footage, who's to say the tape wasn't tampered with by the security guard, or the security guard's cousin.  I mean seriously, how can you prove no one had access to a surveillance tape?  More surveillance tapes?

As for the R.Kelly case, the disappearing mole probably had a lot more to do with the crappy resolution of the camcorder than it did with any ingenious morphing techniques.  Don't really want to get into that debate.  I feel that you could (conceivably) make the case that we should not be criminalizing sex that is ostensibly consensual.  Or the argument that courts should not go celebrity pelt hunting.  But the idea that what looks like a low-budget home video was digitally created to smear the reputation of R. Kelly slips well past Occam's Razor.
Logged
Personman
Extern
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2008, 03:42:21 PM »

I liked it fine. I'm surprised how many people are reading way more into it than I did (and than I think the author intended them to). What I took from it was that everything, not just video, is malleable, not because the story took place in some crazy science fiction world, but because that's how it is, and has been. The sfnal elements in the story highlighted the fact that our culture is moving further in that direction, and becoming more accustomed to it as technology makes the apparent line between the real and the fictional more and more blurry.

I'm not sure how well supported this is by the story, or if the author would agree, but my own take on it is that this blurrification, rather than indicating that it has in fact gotten easier to move between fiction and reality, indicates only that now we're more aware of it, since we are losing are (always false) perception of media as authoritative. Certainly it is becoming easier for anyone to deceive the gullible, but the numbers of the gullible are shrinking as those same techniques that enable deception become available to (or enter the consciousnesses of) those who used to be gullible. So rather than chilling, I found this story to just be a pretty well-done and fun bit of insight into an important fact of modern society, one that can and will be used over and over for both good and evil.
 
Logged
nojoda
Extern
*
Posts: 3



« Reply #44 on: August 22, 2008, 05:14:49 PM »

The end justifies the means. its ok to lie, cheat, steal and kill if you are going to make the world a better place.

By the way the punch line that Johnny Carson used when Arnold Palmer's wife said she kissed his balls before a tournament, was "I bet that makes his putter stand on end".
Logged
JoeFitz
Matross
****
Posts: 258



« Reply #45 on: August 23, 2008, 02:20:06 PM »

This story just didn't work for me. I didn't like the "let's make fake videos for money" story; I didn't like "let's make fake videos for politics"; and, I didn't like the "let's make a fake relationship replace my last fake relationship" story. And the fake security guard was just silly.

In part, I don't think the "fake video" story works is that I cannot imagine anyone today, let alone "in the future" paying any great deal of money to see those types of television "bloopers" - real ones or fake ones. We're supposed to believe that a studio - on the bleeding edge of technology (if the skills are so in demand that only _one_ political campaign has stumbled upon its power to persuade) - would pay for the time to edit a few seconds of fake video footage for 13 hours using 3 people and a studio in a high-security building with an android security guard?
Logged
zZzacha
Peltast
***
Posts: 100


Did I just say that?


« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2008, 06:36:52 AM »

I'm interested by people's response to the relationship angle. I may be wrong, but I thought the story was trying to make the point that relationships become cliche-ridden, vacuous affairs when reality has been effectively abolished by selective editing. So what others found a weakness I thought was actually an intentional rhetorical device.

Yes, I got that from the story too. The story left me with a creepy feeling, trying to think if someone close to me is doing that to me, someone leaving me with certain memories. When well used, this must be a very powerful tool to help you 'shape the world' for people around you.
Especially for me, because my memories and thoughts are very very chaotic and fragmented. It is so easy to give me different memories, if you talk with enough zeal, you can make me believe almost anything.

Yeah, that's my paranoia speaking for me now... I may have to start recording everything I do and think. For future reference.

The story itself didn't leave a big impression. But I may have completely different memories of this event when you ask me about it in a few months!
Logged

It is never too late to be what you might have been.
thomasowenm
Lochage
*****
Posts: 364


Servant of The Orator Maleficent


« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2008, 07:12:01 PM »

This story at least made me think about my own recollections.  (Are they real events or just dreams seeming real?)  So i guess,  Undecided it was successful at least on some level.  Overall the story however was poorly crafted.   I could not keep the characters straight  (Maybe I wasn't supposed to).  The AI guard was just disjointed from the rest of the story.  It felt like it was put in to give it a Sci-Fi credential.  Overall, meh!!!
Logged
WillMoo
Palmer
**
Posts: 36



« Reply #48 on: August 25, 2008, 02:12:39 PM »

Seems to me this is the type of story that could benefit from a second listen. I too feel I missed something somewhere, not so much that the story was incomplete but that something went over my head. I suspect it will be more clear the second time through.
I too thought that I had missed something so I listened again and it didn't help. I hate to sound like this but to me the story wasn't even good enough to register in the "hated it" column.
Logged
ratbastid
Extern
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #49 on: August 25, 2008, 09:29:33 PM »

Hi, y'all. Long-time listener, first-time poster.

I'm interested by people's response to the relationship angle. I may be wrong, but I thought the story was trying to make the point that relationships become cliche-ridden, vacuous affairs when reality has been effectively abolished by selective editing. So what others found a weakness I thought was actually an intentional rhetorical device.

I differ with most understandings of the "relationship story" in this story. I assert most posters here have missed the boat on that. The video editing--alarming and arresting though it is--sets the backdrop for what's really happening, which is a trope as old as storytelling itself: our narrator learns something.

The clue comes out of the ex-girlfriend's mouth: "It was always your version." Remember, this is a guy whose whole craft is the building of versions of things. It's what he does.

And it's a nice analogy for what we're all doing at every moment of the day. To think that what we see around us is the "real world", and that we see it as it truly is--without any interpretation or filtering--is the height of arrogance and blindness. And yet every last single one of us is guilty of it practically every moment of our lives. We actually really think that "our version" is The Truth. We know better, most of us, but that knowledge makes no difference in how we actually live. We know that we have a point of view. It's just that my point of view actually really is the right one, and everyone else's is wrong unless it agree with mine. And that, friends, is the death knell for relationships. We all know somebody like that; the bad news is, it's each of us, too.

As our narrator is escorting his new friend out to dinner, he's realizing this. He's willing to set down the alleged-rightness of his version of their history, to let her have it her way. He's learning to give up having to be right. Which is a huge thing for any human being.

The execution may have been inelegant (and I'm not saying it wasn't) but the theme touches on nothing short of the basic paradox of human beings.
Logged
Loz
Lochage
*****
Posts: 370


WWW
« Reply #50 on: September 10, 2008, 05:10:28 AM »

This story did nothing for me and I struggled to assume the point. It ended just as I assumed it was going to spin off into a Philip K. Dick world where 'reality' was being edited just like the 'tv show'. Without that I couldn't understand what made this a science-fiction story
Logged
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8660



WWW
« Reply #51 on: March 30, 2010, 12:15:26 PM »

Another of several in a row without real endings.

For the first 7/8 of the story I thought that Groucho and Fenneman and the security guard and others were androids.  I seem to be the only one who thought that, so I guess I just missed some cues.

I kept thinking throughout the story how much cooler uses one could get out of being able to simulate existing actors from any time period.  Jean-Luc Picard meets Groucho Marx.  A young David Bowie meets an older David Bowie.  Lawrence Welk introducing Flight of the Conchords.  Johnny Cash commenting on current events.  To use it only to recreate scenes of old TV shows that everyone thought they remembered anyway is just unimaginative.

If/when this video editing technology becomes available to consumers, the point that would bother me the most is that no video would ever be believable again as evidence.  Even if it's a corporations security cameras, all the defending attorney has to say is "Do you truly believe that it would be absolutely impossible for this video to have been tampered with?  Isn't there the slightest possibility that it could've been done?"  And if one single person says "yes" then the video is worthless as evidence.

And after all that the resolution of the story is him hooking up with the girl he works with, after criticizing his recent ex for hooking up with guys she works with, and then it ends.  I'm glad I stopped by the forums or I wouldn't have gotten the aspect that they were constantly reinventing their relationship just like they were editing the video, but even with that there's just not that much there to the story.

And the AI security guard was just pointless and had nothing to do with anything.  The actors in the videos didn't need to be AIs because they had a script to work from, and the editors could tweak their facial expression--if all they do is read a canned script, I'd be reluctant to call that real intelligence.  So tacking on the security guard as if he fits in with the rest was just weird.
Logged
Scattercat
Caution:
Hipparch
******
Posts: 4847


Amateur wordsmith


WWW
« Reply #52 on: March 30, 2010, 08:40:06 PM »

I don't think the security guard was an AI.  The implication I got was that he was just a collection of canned responses and lines with a simple algorithm to choose between them.  Like the voice that talks to you at an ATM machine.
Logged

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 6065



« Reply #53 on: March 31, 2010, 03:07:53 AM »

I don't think the security guard was an AI.  The implication I got was that he was just a collection of canned responses and lines with a simple algorithm to choose between them.  Like the voice that talks to you at an ATM machine.

It's been a while since I heard this story, but even if the guard's own responses are canned, it must be smart enough to be able to choose the appropriate response to free-form speech. That still requires AI (not a self-aware AI, I'm using the term in the broad sense to mean "a machine that can respond intelligently to its environment").

In any case, though, I think whether or not the guard is proper AI or not still weakens the story. The whole thrust of the story is a cautionary tale about video manipulation software, and it gains its power by the fact that this software is really very close to being available - heck, I don't know when the story was first written, but out current CG movies are more or less there, all that needs to happen is that the cost/amount of manpower necessary needs to come down. So one of the things that make this an effective conspiracy story is the fact that for all we know, this may already be happening behind closed doors.

So adding the security guard - a piece of technology that is supposed to be public, and is clearly not actually existant, and not going to exist for a few years, if ever (it is a silly piece of technology at best; what's the point of having a security system that seems human? Either pay a human or use a system that feels like a computer). I think that dilutes the story, regardless of how advanced the AI necessary is.

It's as if in the end of Wag the Dog Robert de Niro would have driven off in a flying car. Not necessary for the film and it would have killed it as satire about the late 1990s.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2010, 03:13:20 AM by eytanz » Logged
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 8660



WWW
« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2010, 11:46:07 AM »

I agree with eytanz, whether or not it was intelligent or canned it drew away from the story.

And if it was really canned, it really tells every single person coming through about johnny carson story?  Weird, and not a very effective security guard.  And in any case, I didn't get the point of programming a fake security guard to give idle chitchat, unless the driver's response to canned questions acts as a password, but I didn't get that impression.
Logged
Pages: 1 2 [3]  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!