some h̲e̲r̲ inspired thoughts…

some her inspired thoughts #1

her-poster

38:30 Samantha “…are these feelings even real, or are they just programming?”

Where do feelings reside, where are they formed, and where do they spring from? Most people who stem from a scientific background will probably tell you that our brain is responsible for those things we call feelings. But what are feelings? They are things that we like to group together under this wide-ranging category: feelings. It’s just a word. It could just have easily have been sensings, or thinkings, couldn’t it? Something ‘touches’ us – that’s what we believe we ‘feel’. But where is it felt, and is that the place those feelings reside, or just where they happen to be when we feel them? Is the brain solely responsible for every ‘feeling’ that we ‘feel’, or could we consider those ‘feelings’ to be far more complex? Again, science (and scientists) will tell us that it has all the answers and that it (the ability to feel) is merely a chemical reaction in the brain, and that that reaction is then transmitted to other regions of the body via the nervous system in order that the body is able to respond to the mind’s seemingly intuitive capabilities. So, from a scientific standpoint, feelings in the human body do not seem all that different from the form of programming that Samantha suspects are responsible for the ‘feelings’ that Samantha encounters; and with that in mind I would ask, like Samantha: can any of our feelings be said to be real?

When we think of Samantha, a consciousness without an easily identifiable physical form (no physical brain/body), can we believe that there is the possibility that Samantha can actually feel? I will resist the urge to use the gendered pronouns of ‘she’ and ‘her’ w/r/t Samantha, because although I am aware that Samantha’s voice is that of Scarlett Johansson (factoid: initially that of Samantha Morton), Samantha is not Scarlett Johansson and therefore does not possess a body as Ms Johansson does, so without the recognisable features associated with what we deem to be the ‘biological female’, it is foolish at best to think that we can refer to Samantha as a ‘her’ or a ‘she’, despite the film’s title suggesting that we do so. This thought is made clear when we consider how Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is asked to choose between that of a ‘male’ and ‘female’ voice for his OS. Having chosen the ‘female’ voice, and during his introduction to the OS, Theodore asks its name. Samantha, comes the reply – a name chosen, arbitrarily, from 180,000 names that are scanned in 2/100th of a second from a book entitled, How to Name Your Baby. A name, we are told, chosen because of its sound: Sa-man-tha (meaning ‘listener’, and believed to be the ‘female’ version of the Aramaic name, Samuel – the suffix ‘antha’ perhaps Greek inspired from anthos, meaning ‘flower’).

So, Samantha could have had a ‘male’ voice or a ‘female’ voice, and Samantha could have been named Bob, if that name’s sound had appealed to the OS whilst scanning the baby name book. Therefore, Samantha could be said to be both he and she, whilst at the same time being neither…

…which leads me to…

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...reading, thinking, and thinking about reading... ...and then writing... View all posts by the textual silence project...

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