The Cliffs of Insanity: The A.I. That’s Better Than the Vision

Mad men, Peggy
Striding into work like a boss. Image via AMC/Mad Men.

Welcome to this week’s adventures in climbing the cliffs of insanity in pop culture. It’s mostly been a good week. Lois Lane: Fallout was released, Marvel’s Agent Carter was renewed and Avengers: Age of Ultron is in theaters, though I’m looking forward to Pitch Perfect 2 with as much anticipation.

Plus, the biggest romance review publication, Romantic Times, called my newest book, Phoenix Inheritance, “an all around great book.” (See full review at the end of this column.)

Of course, there was the whole thing with Black Widow’s characterization in Age of Ultron that Joss Whedon claims didn’t cause him to leave Twitter but Cindy White already covered that mess nicely here earlier this week.

However, to the group angry with Widow’s characterization, let me point you at The Flash television series and Iris Allen’s characterization, which is flat out terrible. Call that out. Go, get to work before the same creators mess up the new Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow showsIf enough people point out the problem, the creators might feel a need to solve it.

Onto more fun stuff, like, the best science fiction show on television, Tom Brady’s balls, and hype fatigue.

The Machine Has More Personality than the Vision or Ultron

the machine, person of interest, Finch, Root, Shaw, Reese, Fusco
The Machine speaks. Image via ABC television.

This week, I watched a story about two artificial intelligences at war with each other, with the good one imprisoned and nearly defeated by the evil one.

I wasn’t watching Avengers: Age of Ultron.

I was watching the season finale of Person of Interest.

The Machine has never had a semblance of a human body. It barely has a voice. It speaks to its creator via words on a computer screen.

Yet when its fate remained up in the air at the end of the finale, it hit me hard. I have feels for the Machine.

I’m worried about the potential death of a completely disembodied entity on a television show, as worried for the Machine as any of the other cast members.

Person of Interest started as a police procedural show with a tiny bit of SF, via a computer program that somehow predicted when civilians were about to become victims or perpetrators of a crime. With its creative use of flashbacks and subtitles that depict the Machine’s thought processes, Person of Interest has always been more than that. Each season has upped the stakes for the core team and utterly shuffled the deck. Things continually get worse.

This year, it looks like Samaritan, the evil AI, won, while the Machine, who was taught by its creator to value life, is on life support and might not be the same entity even if revived.

Person of Interest is not only the best SF show on television, it’s one of the best SF shows ever. You should be watching. Go watch, because renewal is uncertain. Binge watch. The show is made for it, with the backstory revealed in bits and pieces. The characters are terrific, the women on the show are amazing, and the slow build of the relationship between Root and Shaw is textbook in how to build a romantic relationship.

You don’t have to take my word for it, either. Listen to Lumberjanes creator, Noelle Stevenson, on Twitter.

Brady’s Balls

Yeah, I just like saying that. I’m juvenile that way. If you follow pro football, you might have noticed that the NFL released a report this week that said it was “probably more likely than not” that some New England Patriots employees and Tom Brady in particular deliberately deflated footballs for a competitive edge.

Reports have that the NFL spent $5 million on this “well, probably, maybe, likely” report that holds no proof, though has over 240 pages.

One wishes the NFL would be as concerned with the #1 pick in their draft possibly being a rapist.

If we’re going to use the “more likely than not” standard, perhaps the NFL should run with it and investigate to make sure that rapists don’t become the face of an NFL team.

Ah, well, no need to spend $5 million on that, right?

I’m Tapping Out on Casting, Trailers, and Exclusive Sneak-Peaks 

Lately, Hollywood’s hype machine has been churning out massive amounts of information about films before they’re released.

I’ve had enough.

Yes, okay, nice that Martin Freeman is going to be in Captain America: Civil War. I guess. The movie just started filming so, mostly, I don’t care.

I don’t care about the announcement that Civil War is currently filming.

I don’t care about set photos or the latest changes to Captain America’s uniform.

I don’t care about anyone’s uniform changes.

I don’t care about any casting decision in any Marvel movie right now. No, not even Captain Marvel because I won’t know how that casting choice works out until I see the movie.

I don’t care about those fifty zillion sneak peak trailers.

I care if the movie is good.

And the only way I’ll know if the movie’s good is when the movie’s finished and reviews roll in. If it turns out to be a movie I’m on the fence about seeing, okay, I’ll watch a trailer.

I’m tapping out of the rest of the hype. Hi, I’m Corrina, and I have hype fatigue.

Finally, here’s that promised review!

Everyone have a Happy Mother’s Day Sunday.

romantic times

Writer, Mom, Geek and Superhero. though usually not all four on the same day. Author of the award-winning Phoenix Institute Superhero series and the steampunk novel, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract.