Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Machine of Death- Chat

It sounds like many of you are really enjoying the book, I'm glad to hear that.

Just want to remind you all that the chat is this Sunday, January 16 at 3pm PST. Please make sure that either Amanda or I have your screen name to invite you to the chat, and RSVP here if you plan to partake in the discussion.

Via Amanda, here are some things to think about for the discussion: "I'm curious to hear what you thought of the format of this book, as a collection of stories that sometimes conflict in their explanations. Which version of the story did you like the best, in terms of the circumstances of when/where one gets tested? The role of government? Cause of death as freedom versus entrapment? Focus on young people in so many of the stories? The role of irony, and the inherent ambiguity of words? Just some thoughts for our pending discussion..."

Looking forward to Sunday.


  1. I should be on maybe not the whole book read.

  2. I have not read all of the book so I will not be in the chat, so here are a few random comments.

    I really liked the format of the book. With so many different stories a range of responses to the machine could be explored.

    I like it best when people get to chose if and when they get tested and the results remain private. However, a minimum age should be set like 16, 18, or 21. If parents are allowed to test their infant children disastrous results will follow. As it is parents worry way too much. A cause of death for a child would send them overboard.

    If the machine were reality tomorrow, I would not be too worried about the government and companies using the information against people. Discriminating against people is already legally blocked in cases of age, gender, race, and disability. Cause of death discrimination would be outlawed as well and lawsuits would be filed against violators.

    How the people reacted to their known deaths explains a lot about them. I think it magnified their existing insecurities or strengths. The fatalistic people were probably pessimists before they took the test.

    If the machine did become real, I would start a business interpreting negative cards in positive ways. I would tell the Prison Knife Fight child he would be arrested as a political prisoner in a distant country and probably win the Nobel Peace Prize for giving his life to fight a tyrannical regime.