Machine Man
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Page 21.
Machine Man (serial)

When I was fifteen, I was almost killed by a shirtless man in a Dodge Viper. He came around the corner of the suburban street I was crossing and accelerated toward me. I think he expected me to scurry out of the way. But I didn’t, because I was fifteen, and it was more important to appear tough to strangers than live. I think the shirtless man shared this philosophy, because his car jagged toward me. I was sure I was about to die. I probably would have, if the vehicle had been anything less than a triumph of engineering. But at the last possible second—a second too late, in a different car—the Viper slid to a smoking halt before me.

The driver leaned out the window and screamed abuse. This was when I saw he was shirtless. He wore mirror shades and chunky jewelery, which flew around as he gesticulated. He stabbed fingers in my direction to emphasize points I couldn’t hear over the torrent of perfectly reproduced music pouring from his stereo.

Eventually he finished, and the Viper swerved around me. I watched it slingshot around the next corner. It was lucky nobody was coming the other way.

I hefted my schoolbag and continued walking. It occurred to me that we had, as a civilization, reached a milestone. We had begun making better machines than people.


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Machine Man subscriber Yannick (#3858)

Location: Heist, Belgium
Quote: "he reads things"
Posted: 5546 days ago

I think Charlie should change his name to "Data" when he's done building himself a body.

Ajna (#3795)

Location: USA
Quote: "Judge if you want. We are all going to die one day. I intend to deserve it."
Posted: 5546 days ago


"A shirtless man in an Dodge Viper"? Really? An Dodge viper? *An*?

*Tsk, tsk*

As for the page itself... When is this happening? I figure machines were better than people the minute they built that loom with the punch-out cards for settings that doubled as the first computer. That thing kicked the crap out of everyone else, and it sure as all get out wouldn't have run *me* over.

Machine Man subscriber Impotent Verse (#3907)

Location: Cambridge, UK
Quote: "On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog"
Posted: 5546 days ago

"We had had begun making better machines than people."

That's a "Woah!" moment.

And I think it means better in that Machines are more dependable, reliable and stable than a lot of people... Except for 'puters, of course; the hardware gets better, faster, smaller but we compensate by making the software buggier, slower and more bloated ;)

Yes, I'm a Software Engineer, pour on the hate!

Machine Man subscriber coolpillows (#3749)

Location: new york general sort of vicinity
Quote: ""It's not working" -- Joseph Clark"
Posted: 5546 days ago

Interesting that just before this, he's about to get injected with benzo-8 memory-erasing drug. Kind of like, when your short-term memory gets erased, you go back to the long-term stuff...gotta' have something to hang your hat on.

BTW, just been reading pages on my mobile and not the comments at all. BUT just read the Max Barry-blog-ness and I noticed the real life posting of his daughter breaking her arm and being given gas before setting the arm, so as not to kill the pain, but erase the memory of the pain. Is life imitating art, art imitating life or is the story of the machine read on the machine written in real life imitating the life of the real life writer who is living life and then the artificial life is a machine that's folding back in on itself and then....ahhh....gotta' go.....

Machine Man subscriber Adam (#24)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "Why do I blog? Simple, because Max Barry blogs."
Posted: 5546 days ago

"It occurred to me that we had, as a civilization, reached a milestone. We had begun making better machines than people."

Max Barry. You have just earned a spot in my favorite quotes on facebook. This may be my favorite page thus far. Good work.

-adam speicher

the-tine (#472)

Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Quote: "Coming soon to a planet near you."
Posted: 5546 days ago

Right behind you, Adam. As someone who learning to drive and almost ran over a pedestrian yesterday, this book has officially changed my life.

And it's only on page 21!

Machine Man subscriber Jarrad (#837)

Location: Hobart
Posted: 5546 days ago

Haven't commented yet but would like to say Machine Man is awesome, I'm loving it every day.

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 5545 days ago

Typo corrected!

stanley becker (#5283)

Location: black hole
Posted: 4832 days ago

Memory must involve observation ....... so give us the details, eg.,"perfectly reproduced music pouring from his stereo" should read "perfectly reproduced Led Zeppelin's 'Staircase to Heaven' poured from his stereo" seeing as you describe him [the driver] as a macho "medallion man" and thats the type of heavy metal he might listen to. This is a sub-plot which features the life of Deus in Machina heh heh

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