Monday, February 27, 2017

Reader's Diary #1452- Ted Chiang: The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling

If you've seen the Black Mirror episode "The Entire History of You" you'll immediately recognize the premise of Ted Chiang's "The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling." It involves new bio-technology that revolutionizes memory. Cameras are implanted into people's eyes which record every waking minute of their days. It's aided by secondary technology which allows people to think about specific moments and have them replayed back almost instantly, either in one's mind or on an external screen for others to view.

Questions of plagiarism aside, what Chiang does with the idea is quite different. Not better, necessarily, but there's further philosophical debates that make it a very interesting take. Themes of written language versus oral storytelling, colonialism, the purpose of remembering and forgetting are all explored. It is all very well done.

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