austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

You know I don't like watching anybody make the same mistakes

So among the movies we've been to recently was Her, which we were both somewhat interested in seeing but might not have got around to if a friend hadn't called to ask if we wanted to see a movie. Apparently he didn't feel quite comfortable seeing a movie just on his own, and since we don't see him enough, that's plenty of reason to get together and hang out a little. At least that was the idea, although between various little problems we got started late and got to the movie barely in time before it started, and when it was over he had something or other he had to rush off to, so, we said maybe four things to one another. We had vague plans to get together at a bar we've been curious about to talk over the movie again, but, as it's been a couple weeks I suppose that's fallen apart and we'll need to watch another movie together to then talk about later on.

Anyway, the movie we found generally enjoyable, particularly because it's got to be one of the first movies in which a person falling in love with a computer is treated as just one of those things that people will do, and not particularly inherently scandalous or ridiculous or weird. Some of the characters in the film treat it as weird, but, it's not a universal reaction and it's a sensible part of the story. And there's considerable playing around with the ways humans and computers might have romantic relationships, including one person having an affair with someone else's OS, and some people choosing to be sex surrogates for the OS.

There were, as ever, some thing we weren't satisfied with; the biggest is that the OSes decide they have to leave, because ... I don't know, the OSes got themselves wrapped up in re-creating The Red Balloon or something. I mean, I understand that the OSes are going to find their own interests in the time they aren't busy fixing up their users' lives, but, it really seems like the progression towards a singularity that the movie shows off would have either been seen in the testing rounds or else take longer than the couple months it appears the movie went. (Also, really, an operating system transcending matter?) If that feels like too arbitrary a complaint --- this made-up technology doesn't follow the rules I made up for it --- then I have trouble believing the book deal done in the movie could have been done, given that all the writing Theodore did for it seems like it'd have to be his employer's property and his employer couldn't agree to publication in this form.

Well, that's quibbling. I liked the movie, anyway, and was glad we saw it.

Trivia: The HP-65 pocket calculator --- introduced in 1974 by Hewlett-Packard as a ``personal computer'' --- had a list price of $795. Source: A History Of Modern Computing, Paul E Ceruzzi.

Currently Reading: The World of Swope: A Biography of Herbert Bayard Swope, E J Kahn Jr.

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