Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor II
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The Neediness of a Writer
As we all know, when you write something, you put yourself "out there." You put your work up for criticism. We all dream of everyone loving our writing, and be respected, or loved, or both. A simple "good work" can make your day. However, your writing is not that special. People will disagree. Some will not like it. Others will hate. How do you deal with that? Answering this question would be the thesis for whoever wants to pick this topic.
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Her (2013) and the Question of Consciousness
What is to be human? What is to be conscious? Explore, analyze, and interpret Samantha (Scarlett Johanson) as a character in the movie Her through the lens of modern understanding of consciousness. The article can focus on the emotions, a real and tangible variable, of Theodore (Joaquin Phoneix) to argue in the authenticity of the relationship.
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Like the meme that went around saying that Breaking Bad would have lasted a 20 minutes visit to the doctor if it were in Canada.
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Two things. I don’t think we disagree that much. On to your first point. I agree that not every member of the audience rooted for Walter until the bitter end. I was one of those who stopped rooting for him; I wanted him death. Any other end wouldn’t have been satisfactory. However, I would ask: at what point did you stop rooting for him? He killed his first man on the pilot and choked to death the second on the third episode. For me, it was really easy to take the “high road” of self-righteousness and condemn Walter, yet I justified his first killings. He hadn’t any other option, right? I let Walter be evil. Since the pilot, I could have bailed, but I didn’t. I justified. I rooted for him. Then, it became harder to root for him, but for many wasn’t. That is the danger. We justify evil mostly when we don’t realize it.
This is the second thing. It is not that the show, I would argue, directs the audience towards Walter being evil, but the other way around. The audience lets Walter do his evil stuff, not the other way around. On the debate whether the sender or the receiver of a message it’s at fault for persuasion, I fall on the side that it is the receiver of the message, the audience, who has the power to not be persuaded. As I said earlier, we could’ve bailed on Walter from the Pilot. He killed a man, yet we justified his actions. That’s what I meant when I said that the audience let Walter be evil.
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Thanks for your response. I think I can get on board with Walter being a coward. Your earlier point goes right through the “truth bias.” With people we are closer, we are more likely to believe their lies because we don’t expect them to lie to us. In a similar way, I don’t know if there is a term for it and I haven’t looked if there is actual evidence, we are biased towards those that we like. Those who are family, friends, etc. are good people, right? Otherwise, they wouldn’t be our friends. Most friends and families of some criminals are surprised when they hear the news. How could he do that? He looked like such a good man. However, when they are strangers, we are more likely to think the worse of them.
Thanks for your thoughtful response. I completely agree, and as I said, once the audience likes the “family man,” we either keep watching and we keep liking him, or we just stop watching. Those are the only two ways to get rid of the Cognitive Dissonance. Few people watched till the end while hating Walter. Those who hated Walter, I would assume, just stopped watching the series. Those who were around until the end “had” to like him, otherwise, they would be in a state of Cognitive Dissonance, and we don’t work that way.
Right, but that is subjective. At a point in the series, I don’t know which one, I lost respect for him, but not everybody did. I met people who rooted for him till the end, and if given the opportunity to choose Walter’s fate, they would have made him survive and thrive. While researching for this article, I found a comment that was interesting. A guy on the internet said: “ok, he make a kid get sick. That is a crime, probably a misdemeanor, but I don’t know for sure, it was a plant, not a synthesized chemical compound,” as to justify his actions. The thread goes on and on, but this person would defend Walter’s actions with all his heart. He still rooted for him till the sick end.
I am with you, but various members of the audience disagreed.
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Interesting point. Even though I wouldn’t grant that Walter gets near with Hitler in levels of “evil,” (he “affected thousands of lives” while Hitler affected millions and reshaped the political global landscape) I don’t have a problem if you think that way. The reason being that it doesn’t affect the conclusion.
The reason I compared Heisenberg with Hitler was because Hitler epitomizes evil. If even the “most evil” human being (I know this is debatable, but nobody would disagree that he is up there) was likable, then someone who is not at the same level of evil, yet it is evil, can surely be likable. My point was to compare that both characters believed they had moral righteousness on their side. So, if you think that Heisenberg, in fact, gets near Hitler, I am happy about it.
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PD: To debate if they get near or not, I think we would eventually end up disagreeing whether which type of ethics, Utilitarian or Kantian ethics, has more value. The end or the act, which has more value?
Right, it just amazes me how Aristotle was right on point. Every other field would have outgrown someone as old as Aristotle, but he just got it right quite early.
Thanks! It was the best thing I’ve ever seen on any platform. You must watch it!