Carry on, this post will not give you any ideas.

This post will be separated into each piece. I would like to get my thought on paper about “The Machine Stops” before I watch Metropolis. So I apologize if the second part is a tad late.


“The Machine Stops”

Aside from giving me my new favorite catch phrase, this was an excellent read. I was amazing on how short this was but it was able to guide you into this amazing “what if”, while also telling a compelling story. The first thing that caught my eye was that it was ambitious space travel, but remaining on earth and expanding from there. Normally when I think of future I think of sky towers, full cities within buildings. Not the idea of people individually living in isolated hexagons. Yet this idea seemed comfortable. Something that would seem probably at the time. I guess the grand idea of space travel did not enter their minds at the time. Its scary to think that even at that time, we thought that humans would become to reliant on machines to even function normally. Being born immune to the sound of a loud machine. Being forced to live enclosed, but still managing to be social. The idea that “Ideas” have been demoted to something to trivial. Where something so beautiful as the Himalaya Mountains can not invigorate your mind.

Reading though the ending was here something clicked in my head. For some reason I was getting faint feelings that this was all familiar. That when i realized that a Video Game series called Portal was based on this.

That one section in the game takes place in the sequel to the first one. This is where you are woken up from a slumber to perform physical and metal wellness exercise. At one point specifically you are told you look at a picture of a mountain. Then asks if you have not been mentally invigorated listen to this classical music. I guess this is not really a big deal to most, but seeing something and realizing that “Oh this is what it is based on” makes it worthwhile.




4 thoughts on “Carry on, this post will not give you any ideas.

  1. True. If the machine in “The Machine Stops” was given a voice and personality, Glados definitely comes to mind, so does Shodan from System Shock. Admittedly I’ve never completed either game. That is where the similarities end. Where Portal and System shock have one protagonist or small group of people against one antagonistic Machine, “The Machine Stops” tells a tale where an entire race submits to a machine. The most interesting thing with this comparison is that in “The Machine Stops” the machine doesn’t need a personality as it is given one by the millions of people it oversees. So far as we know, it had no artificial intelligence but it had more influence than either antagonists from the two games mentioned.

    I think Bioshock and Deus Ex make better examples in this case. As we center on protagonists within a society fighting it or against it, rather than in isolated instances of their respective worlds.

    Welcome to Rapture anyone?

    • Its funny that you mention that, because in portal the machine is controlling test subjects (humans) to perform test for her enjoyment. So the similarities are all over the game. Also I never thought about the relationship to the bioshock franchise.

      • Care to elaborate on the extra similarities ‘all over the game’ you see? Remember, that in “The Machine Stops” the machine wasn’t given sentience. It was just a sophisticated life support tool that carried out its functions given to it from past humans. It had no agenda, unlike Glados who had a personality and was a ‘sentient’ being capable of making its own decisions.

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