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My Interpretation of "I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream"

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Getting Comfortable
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My Interpretation of "I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream"

First time poster, but I love discussing my viewpoint of this story
This contains spoilers for this story so read with caution!

Many people interperet this book as a statement on the filth of humanity, and I can definitely see why they have that point of view, especially if you've played the game, which was cowritten by the author of the short story and gives more in depth backstory to the characters. However, while I believe that there is some definite merit to this interperetation, I choose to read this story as a tribute to the resiliance of humanity.

At the end of the book (spoilers if you haven't read it yet, you definitely should it's a good read) the protagonist Ted talks about how even though he is damned for the rest of eternity as this amorphous creature, he still takes solace and happiness in the knowledge that he has taken away the things that made AM happy, leaving the computer with just him, a slug like creature who doesn't do anything that AM was keeping the humans around for. It reads as a "If I'm going down I'm taking you with me" sort of tale, and despite the dreary ending, I couldn't help but feel a small amount of satisfaction at the end.

I'd love to hear other people's opinions on this story and its author, I hear he's done a lot of interesting things during interviews :lol:
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Re: My Interpretation of "I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream"


Ohhhhh Harlan Ellison. I remember seeing that book, should be good. Click image below...

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Harry Marks
Wait honey...I'm on the last chapter!
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Re: My Interpretation of "I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream"

Ugh! I found the story fascinating, but in a really dystopian way. It previewed (not really, but still in a way) the Terminator dystopia that Ellison gifted us all with. I definitely prefer "Repent, Harlequin" and "Boy and his Dog" even though neither is much more hopeful.

I can see the point about the "pulling down the temple" theme, which did not much strike me when I read it long ago. Reminiscent of Sisyphus (whom we must consider happy, remember, according to Camus) or perhaps Prometheus chained to a rock.

What I do remember from reading it is the sadistic nature of AM. I am less worried about AI taking over and tormenting us than I was at the time, perhaps struck by the thought first from Ellison's story, but we had HAL in "2001" before that, and HAL was much more realistic. I am way more worried about biotech, which in my view has already escaped from any hope of control and is very likely to create dystopian cleavage between rich and poor on a scale that will make the old Eugenics movement look tame.
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Re: My Interpretation of "I Have no Mouth and I Must Scream"

Here is a link to the story if anyone is interested in reading it. As usual I'm late to the party, but I love me a short story so I stopped to look for it.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... -A7tbzCsbg

"I'm not insane, my mother had me tested"

Si vis pacem, para bellum: If you wish for peace, prepare for war.
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