I Kant believe what the world is coming to

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Doctorow 81-end

*purposely leaving the big part about Julius' malfunctioning memory out of this blog, for that will be added into my research paper*

 "live -headed flight from Toronto" (92)

even little details like this are disturbing. For God's sake, people knock themselves out over sheer boredom. Guess it's a way to fast-forward through the mundane parts of life.

"there wasn't a single bit of tech more advanced than a film loop projector in the whole place"

Have any of you ever been to the Haunted Mansion? There are mechanical arms moving doors and coffin covers open, visible strings suspending spiders, obvious heads hidden behind gravestones, and other creaking mechanisms. All the visible elements of production make the ride even that more effective. the scariest part of the mansion is the graveyard because I know the heads are going to pop up and I have to sit there and wait. It seem that in futuristic Disney World, the more high tech something becomes, so does it become more uninteresting and sterile.

Speaking of uninteresting, who else is bothered by those Pixar movies? Yes, it's great that the audience can now see the details of a drop of water on a blade of grass, but there is something to be said about the process. Long gone are the days of animators sitting at desks drawing cell by cell renderings of characters. Pixar movies are meant to make the world seem more realistic, but the world they create is faker than fake. The 3-Dness, for me, makes the movie seem more fake than a traditionally animated one.

"there wasn't a shred of recognition in them. She'd never met me" (118)

In an "Eternal Sunshine"-esque tactic, Zed had edited her memory and removed every though of Julius. While I understand the appeal of removing pain caused by a breakup (oh, it's been a bad week, trust me), I would never want to erase my ex from my memory. People come and go out of our lives, but I believe their imprints on our minds enrich us in the long run. We learn different things from different people. I am a better person for having known him and would never want to cut him out of my life or memory. No matter how much it hurts. There's something very wrong and abnormal about having memories of only good times. But values have changed since what would be considered our present-day.

"why bother with surgery when you can grow a clone" (128)

And while you're at it, why bother erasing your pencil marks when you can just get a new page? This is blatant waste, but in this world bodies are expendable. Julius' condition is evidence that nothing can be perfect, and there will always be a need for somebody, however small, to be able to fix it. Unfortuntely, due to his low Whuffie, Julius is not considered important enough to devote time to.

"he presented me with a clever little handheld...it had much of the functionality of my defunct systems" (164)

I believe what Julius is talking about is either a PDA (are they connected to the internet) or an i-phone type device. In our times, they are an extension of the brain, but in this future devices like the PDA and i-phone would be considered prototypes of the brain.

"plan a murder, kill yourself, have yourself refreshed from a backup made before the plan" (196)

What a "perfect crime". If you have no memory of the incident, you are technically "innocent". Hope to go this never happens; the polygraph test, while not yet perfected, would be rendered useless. Something like this would be an invitation to criminals. I am reminded of Kant's philosophy. He states that every action should be weighed as a maxim, which means you have to think about if your action would be able to be repated by everyone. If not, the action is immoral. Kant calls this the "universal law" test. 


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I thought of the deadheading on the airplanes as absolutely absurd. It reminded me of people that knock themselves out with sleeping pills so they don't have to deal with a long flight, car or train ride. I mean are people that distant that they would rather be comatose then interact with one another?

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