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"Universal" by David Schwitzgebel

PostPosted: December 06, 2016, 08:36:45 PM
by KateStuart
I love this story, the flashbacks, the detail -- weJoin 3.7, weBots, weFamily. The emails from the babelcollective. There's some nice imagery.

The article was a bit long-winded, and for being so long-winded it didn't add that much to the story. Not that it added nothing, but I don't think it added enough.

The article aside, there's so much to enjoy about this story: Don's resistance; his syncopated thought patterns when he's shying away from the horrible truth; the ugly coincidence of his being laid-off and his wife being recalled as defective; all the details we are left to fill in for ourselves; and even poor Don's inability to stand against the pressures of society.

Re: "Universal" by David Schwitzgebel

PostPosted: December 08, 2016, 09:59:20 AM
by Megawatts
David uses many elements that we find ‘Stream of Consciousness’ to convey his story, which often borders on experimental writing. His thoughts and feeling jump out at us and give us a picture of a reality that is not alternate, but a reality that exists partially within a dream like state.

The story isn’t important. A study of the writing is important. Just imagine if the story were about a soldier dying on a battlefield? Imagine the thoughts and feeling of a condemned man facing Lethal Injection or the Electric Chair? Imagine the life of a very active-athletic person who becomes a paraplegic. Writing similar to this story can approach the answers to question like the ones I proposed, and often place us into the world that the story has created.

The beginning did grab my attention, and that is a plus for every story.

Interesting story—nice job!!!

Re: "Universal" by David Schwitzgebel

PostPosted: January 03, 2017, 10:14:44 PM
by gmdiamond
Nice job dealing with what I believe is an extremely important topic. Yes perhaps it could be edited down just a bit for readability, but on the other hand, it endeavors to describe human thought -- which is neither simple nor compact -- and does so admirably.

I like the Babel reference. A story not so much about building a tower, but about arrogant humans trying to get to heaven on their own, through technology, while rejecting not only the Divine but even the simple merits of humility.

The trajectory of modern technology is arguably frightening and dehumanizing, and Mr. Schwitzgebel has devised a compelling cautionary tale to drive home the point. Thank you for your story and your choice of a topic.