Author Topic: EP151: Behind the Rules  (Read 24344 times)

High 5

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Reply #25 on: April 01, 2008, 09:01:18 PM
This story would have been boring if it didn't have a clone in it.
Now, it was twice as boring.




Yeah, well..how is your Dutch then eh?


Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #26 on: April 01, 2008, 09:30:47 PM
This story would have been boring if it didn't have a clone in it.
Now, it was twice as boring.





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CGFxColONeill

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Reply #27 on: April 01, 2008, 11:04:17 PM
I felt like this was another social science fiction rather than regular SF
at least the borderlands cafe story did not pretend to be SF due to one very minor point in the story ( the cloning )
interesting story but definitely social science

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Reply #28 on: April 02, 2008, 05:20:25 PM
Ugh. Really, I mean that. Just ugh.

The problems with this story are so myriad I am not even sure I can start

...

My personal take on this story is that it's an allegory for a relationship in today's world: Girl spend life trying to make Boy happy, while not worrying about her own happiness (Jackie1). Girl wakes up one day and realizes Boy is a self-absorbed idiot and needs to change or she'll leave (epiphany). It's like she's found herself (clone). Boy says he'll change (Artist). Walk off into sunset. The beginning, IMHO, sounded to me like something added to make the story SF, an excuse to start the story with someone being a doormat. She didn't need a clone, that part is extraneous.
 

This isn't a story, it's a situation.  There's a story here, but the author hasn't told it.

I agree that this story was boring, trite, pointless, a true waste of space.  It was worse than "Lust for Learning" because it didn't even have an original idea going for it.  It's a big wad of nothing.

As much as I love EP, Steve, if you buy many more of these I'm going to stop listening.  Minus a thousand out of ten.



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Reply #29 on: April 02, 2008, 05:51:04 PM
I'm surprised by some of the hate on this one.  Some of it (the flaws of logic swhankie, in particular), makes a lot of sense to me -- somewhat blowing my own suspension of disbelief.

That said, I didn't feel the cloning was extraneous.  How would this be the same story if cloning wasn't involved?  I'm still not clear on that. 

I didn't see that Jackie1.0 was really alive fulfilling her dreams until the jogger stopped.  That surprised me.  And I thought she was the real villain of the story (although villain's a pretty harsh word -- maybe just the least sympathetic).  The Artist might've been so self-absorbed he didn't give Jackie1.0 but if we're to take him at his word, she didn't help him see it either.  And the Clone really got a crappy deal out of the whole thing.  This was the most fascinating part of the story for me -- how Jackie2.0 was groomed to be something, and then realized she didn't have to fall into the pre-selected mold, after all.  (She might have anyway, but she tried to be honest about it all with the Artist, which is more than Jackie1.0 did.)

The drugs reminded me of a number of things -- the drugs in the Giver, sure, but also the drugs in Garden State.   

So maybe not perfect, but I enjoyed listening to it.


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Reply #30 on: April 02, 2008, 09:49:44 PM

The drugs reminded me of a number of things -- the drugs in the Giver, sure, but also the drugs in Garden State.   

So maybe not perfect, but I enjoyed listening to it.

The drugs reminded me of a really cool, fast song I heard somewhere... maybe by JoCo?  ;)

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DKT

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Reply #31 on: April 02, 2008, 10:03:20 PM

The drugs reminded me of a number of things -- the drugs in the Giver, sure, but also the drugs in Garden State.   

So maybe not perfect, but I enjoyed listening to it.

The drugs reminded me of a really cool, fast song I heard somewhere... maybe by JoCo?  ;)

No more drugs for that man!


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Reply #32 on: April 02, 2008, 10:21:58 PM
Hm...maybe I should have explained the "cloning was extraneous" a bit better. So, here's a stab at it:

Leave out the word "clone" in the story, and you have the same story: A doormat of a woman, groomed by society/parents/religion/TV/whatever to be a Stepford wife. Smile, be sympathetic, and for cripe's sake don't mention have you needs. Your happiness is him being happy. She didn't need to be a clone for this to be the story. In fact, it's been told many times without a clone. Jackie1 was so removed from the story that leaving her out of it, or simply making her another ex-girlfriend, wouldn't have changed th story at all. Jackie 2's "She was so perfect, and now I have to live up to her" thing is the same obsession many women have. So, again, being a clone wasn't intrinsic.

I realize it would have changed it in small ways, but not the meat of the story.



bolddeceiver

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Reply #33 on: April 03, 2008, 02:27:11 AM
Jackie1 was so removed from the story that leaving her out of it, or simply making her another ex-girlfriend, wouldn't have changed th story at all.

I would argue that the original Jackie was central to the story.  If this were just about a a societally conditioned doormat, it would be an entirely different story; the Artist's displaced resentment of Jackie', Jackie's selfishness, and Jackie''s feelings of betrayal were the emotional content of the story, and I guess that if a reader so limited by the "oh no this isn't all about the big S" as to ignore all that the story would be as bad as everyone seems to think it is.



eytanz

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Reply #34 on: April 03, 2008, 08:27:45 AM
I'm surprised by some of the hate on this one.

As slight as the tale was, I don't get the hate.

Veering off topic here, but this is growing into a pet peeve. Why are all discussions reduced to a three-way contrast between "love", "sort of like", and "hate"? Why is it impossible to express any level of dislike for anything on an internet forum without people thinking that you hate it?

No-one who posted a negative review used the words "hate", "loathe", "can't stand". Shwankie said "ugh", and that was the strongest word used against it.

And it matters. You can say "As slight as the tale was, I don't get the hate" and sound reasonable. If you say "As slight as the tale was, I don't get why people disliked it" you sound silly. People can dislike things for all sorts of reasons, but hate is a strong emotion and needs justification. By calling the negative reactions "hate", you are trivializing the people holding them.

So, anyway, just to clarify - I don't like this story. I don't hate it, either. I don't have any emotions whatsoever about it. If there wasn't a forum thread about it for me to read, I'd probably have forgotten all about it by now, a few days after I heard it. That's a sign of a bad story. The few stories out there I really hate, I remember very well.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 08:29:16 AM by eytanz »



DKT

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Reply #35 on: April 03, 2008, 04:23:56 PM
I'm surprised by some of the hate on this one.

As slight as the tale was, I don't get the hate.

Veering off topic here, but this is growing into a pet peeve. Why are all discussions reduced to a three-way contrast between "love", "sort of like", and "hate"? Why is it impossible to express any level of dislike for anything on an internet forum without people thinking that you hate it?

No-one who posted a negative review used the words "hate", "loathe", "can't stand". Shwankie said "ugh", and that was the strongest word used against it.

And it matters. You can say "As slight as the tale was, I don't get the hate" and sound reasonable. If you say "As slight as the tale was, I don't get why people disliked it" you sound silly. People can dislike things for all sorts of reasons, but hate is a strong emotion and needs justification. By calling the negative reactions "hate", you are trivializing the people holding them.

So, anyway, just to clarify - I don't like this story. I don't hate it, either. I don't have any emotions whatsoever about it. If there wasn't a forum thread about it for me to read, I'd probably have forgotten all about it by now, a few days after I heard it. That's a sign of a bad story. The few stories out there I really hate, I remember very well.

Eh, sorry if I came across too harsh.  I didn't mean any offense.  Mostly, I used that word because I'd just read this:

This isn't a story, it's a situation.  There's a story here, but the author hasn't told it.

I agree that this story was boring, trite, pointless, a true waste of space.  It was worse than "Lust for Learning" because it didn't even have an original idea going for it.  It's a big wad of nothing.

As much as I love EP, Steve, if you buy many more of these I'm going to stop listening.  Minus a thousand out of ten.

(Emphasis mine, obviously.)  Those seemed like pretty strong words to me, mostly because I didn't find the story any of those.  But Nobilis, did, and that's cool.  I'm not picking on him, his opinion's just as valid as anyone else's.  I just didn't share it.  That's all I was saying. 

And like I said, I found some of the other responses to the story, including shwankie's, to be enlightening -- she made some good points and really blew some of this story's logic for me.

That said, I'll think twice about using the word now.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 04:25:31 PM by DKT »



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #36 on: April 04, 2008, 02:31:40 AM
I can certainly see where someone would read several posts in a thread from different folks "not liking" a story, and think "wow, they hated this!"  But for the record, if I REALLY hate something, I either don't say anything at all...


...or I say it about George Lucas.

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deflective

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Reply #37 on: April 04, 2008, 04:55:51 AM
Veering off topic here, but this is growing into a pet peeve. Why are all discussions reduced to a three-way contrast between "love", "sort of like", and "hate"?

habit from the social bookmarking sites? i make it a point to comment when i like a story, kind of an upvote to encourage similar stories.

maybe if we had a chance to rank stories (as at rotten tomatoes) it would open up the thread for more general discussion. then again, probably not.



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #38 on: April 04, 2008, 12:42:57 PM
Veering off topic here, but this is growing into a pet peeve. Why are all discussions reduced to a three-way contrast between "love", "sort of like", and "hate"?

habit from the social bookmarking sites? i make it a point to comment when i like a story, kind of an upvote to encourage similar stories.

maybe if we had a chance to rank stories (as at rotten tomatoes) it would open up the thread for more general discussion. then again, probably not.

Bleh... I'm all for the "wisdom of crowds" stuff when it comes to wikis and social bookmarking, but stories like these are meant to be taken individually.  It's a very intimate thing, and having ratings attached to them would destroy a bit of that ... for me, at least.  I would say "do what you want, and I'll just ignore it", but I feel pretty strongly about this.  It's why I won't read forum threads before listening to a story.

I guess my opinion is that given a choice between "two thumbs up" and "YMMV", I'd rather have the latter.

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Reply #39 on: April 04, 2008, 12:46:23 PM
Veering off topic here, but this is growing into a pet peeve. Why are all discussions reduced to a three-way contrast between "love", "sort of like", and "hate"?

habit from the social bookmarking sites? i make it a point to comment when i like a story, kind of an upvote to encourage similar stories.

maybe if we had a chance to rank stories (as at rotten tomatoes) it would open up the thread for more general discussion. then again, probably not.

Bleh... I'm all for the "wisdom of crowds" stuff when it comes to wikis and social bookmarking, but stories like these are meant to be taken individually.  It's a very intimate thing, and having ratings attached to them would destroy a bit of that ... for me, at least.  I would say "do what you want, and I'll just ignore it", but I feel pretty strongly about this.  It's why I won't read forum threads before listening to a story.

I guess my opinion is that given a choice between "two thumbs up" and "YMMV", I'd rather have the latter.

This is why we just have normal threads.  No polls.  No point system.



Yossarian's grandson

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Reply #40 on: April 05, 2008, 04:38:52 PM
For Geek Dad Intro chat, be sure to check out the Geek Dad Intros thread (Geek Moms and Geek Mums are welcome, too, of course).

Thanks, I'll do my gushing there from now on. ;D



Steven Saus

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Reply #41 on: April 06, 2008, 01:18:08 AM
I liked this episode, especially when combined with Pseudopod's take on Heartstrings.  Steve's said more than once that science fiction is holding up a funhouse mirror to our own society (or something to that effect), and this does it well.

I haven't read other people's comments yet.  I'm sure that someone else thinks that it was over the top, too trite, too heavy-handed, and too improbable.  That things like that don't - and can't - happen any more.  I don't agree with them.  To me, this story is truth.

I heard this story earlier in the week.  It helped resolve a bad argument my wife and I were having yesterday.  It helped me understand things from another point of view.  The situations don't exactly match, but there were enough similarities to get me out of the cycle of just reacting.  It helped me stop following my manual long enough to help my wife put her manual aside too.

And then we smiled, and cried, and laughed.

Being able to remember this funhouse mirror helped me see my own situation a lot more clearly.

Thank you for bringing this story to us.

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wakela

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Reply #42 on: April 07, 2008, 12:04:56 AM
I liked it, but I can't argue with any of Shwankie's points. 

I think the cloning was central the story.  The story was about being a clone, i.e. being created for a purpose, and being a child and an adult at the same time.  Maybe the theme of woman-as-doormat is so tired that I completely ignored that aspect.  Although I am usually very sensitive to whether or not the sciency part of a science fiction story is really necessary, I liked this story because I felt like it was one of the rare cases when it is.

There were lots of unbelievable aspects, but I was willing to give them a pass because I sympathized enough with Jackie2. 




Chey

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Reply #43 on: April 07, 2008, 04:13:32 PM
I too agree that cloning was central to the story.  If not for cloning the Artist (as another commenter dubbed him) would have to court another woman, and perhaps risk learning from the mistakes of the prior marriage or grow with the new woman.  By cloning herself the Artist was able to just continue life with nary a hiccup.  What amazed me about this arrangement is that he was ok with it all.  If my spouse wanted to leave, would it really be a smooth transition.  I can just visualize the conversation.

“No really hon, you won’t even care that I’m gone.  I got you a Chris 2.0!  He’ll do everything I do now but without the angst and ennui.”

Riiiight, like I’d buy that for a moment.  And if the situation were to happen, why would I want an exact copy of what just left me?

I’m a bit surprised that instead of focusing on what type of person gladly accepts a replacement wife; most of the commentators are focused on her emotions and reactions.  I thought of her as a foil for him.  Her dependence on drugs to curb her emotions and retard the growth of her personality brought to mind ‘mother’s little helper’, and the frustrations of the fifties housewife trapped in a world where she exists only for the pleasure and comfort of her man.  We’ve moved past that in many ways, but there are still a lot of women (and some men) who are still in much the same situation.



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Reply #44 on: August 03, 2008, 09:56:43 PM
I kind of agree with eytanz, honestly. I thought the story was okay while I was listening to it, then forgot about it. I only remembered it other than now because Polyamory Weekly did a show called "Read The Fucking Manual" recently. The concept is valid, and I can definitely make connections to my own life (clones aside), but the story didn't really grab me.

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Reply #45 on: July 20, 2010, 04:13:47 PM
I liked this one, but more for the horror aspects that it didn't talk about much explicitly--mostly the concept of giving away an "object" version of yourself as a decoy to escape your unhappiness.  I don't think I could ever do that--even if you're not a particularly empathic person, it's a little easier to imagine wearing someone else's shoes when they have the same feet as you.

I didn't much care for the doormat main character, but at least there was a reason for this incarnation to be a doormat.