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David T. Cole

S01.E03: The Entire History of You

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This is the Google Glass episode. I thought someone was going to 'catch up' to a live feed of them watching themselves and get caught in some sort of feedback loop.

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So disturbing but I could totally see obsessing over expressions or little thinks if you had the ability to do it.

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I thought the glow in the pupils was delightfully creepy. 

 

I can see how people would want to see their memories over again, and experience certain things. But I think being able to see things so clearly over and over again would drive a lot of people insane. Some are inclined to obsessing over the behaviour of others or their own behaviour, so this just adds to that. Also, it would be tedious to have to watch everyone else's memories- like watching vacation videos but times a million. And yeah, listening to someone obsesses over something is pretty irritating- adding an additional audio visual component (being able to rewind and zoom) would just make it worse. 

 

Again, a very funny episode, despite the darkness in it. "We really hope to look forward to seeing you again." is so delightfully passive aggressive and bitchy.

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Yeah, I can definitely see people doing a lot of what was shown in this episode.  People reliving their old memories would be the next texting/social media thing...people would be uploading the videos to Facebook and Youtube.  I agree it would drive a lot of people insane and cause problems like this.  People would lose themselves in their memories and if you think texting and driving is bad, imagine going through your old memories and driving...

 

Again, fascinating episode focused on two very unlikeable people.

Edited by benteen
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I was torn. I really detested Liam through most of the episode, and then it turned out that he was right. I wished he had just convinced himself of the wrong thing based upon his over analysis. But who doesn't play back things in their head? Before Liam  was proven right, though, I was morally outraged over his coercing Jonas into deleting the memories of his wife, because, IF they had been telling truth, and the relationship was prior to the marriage, they are Jonas' memories, and Liam has no claim upon them.

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Just watched the episode, a very dark episode indeed, and surprisingly very funny ! 

 

I'm still wondering what happened to Fi (his wife) in the end... I really felt the show implied that Liam killed her, and it would be a coherent closure considering the fuckedupness of it all !

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Just watched the episode, a very dark episode indeed, and surprisingly very funny ! 

 

I'm still wondering what happened to Fi (his wife) in the end... I really felt the show implied that Liam killed her, and it would be a coherent closure considering the fuckedupness of it all !

 

Considering the character Liam's actor played in The Escape Artist, that's not a stretch. Speaking of that, with Jodie Whittaker as Fi, this episode was like 6 Degrees of David Tennant, except separated by only one degree.

 

The scene where the two were having sex while replaying erotic memories was delightfully creepy with the glowing eyes effect.

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I, too, liked the creepy eyes.

 

Younger me definitely would have obsessed over everything.  Well, maybe not everything.  I'd have been able to let the frayed carpet go.  But, yes, I can imagine the slow demise of humankind as everyone forgets to care about anything but their narcissistic concerns and finally reach a point where they are unable to move on.  The result: the opposite of reaching enlightenment/nirvana.  Maybe evolution slowly reverses itself for humans? 

 

Although I don't know what to do with the idea, (I am not good at philosophy or science fiction), I think the episode also raises the essential question about what makes us human versus, say, a machine, with pre-determined inputs.  Our world is fraught with conflict yet very interesting because people have different perspectives.  There is always the hope that the clash will resolve itself in a more sophisticated way.  But, in this world, people can browbeat each other to examine the evidence until they agree or someone just pretends to agree.  Where's the interest in that?  It sounds intolerable to me.  First of all, meetings generally suck.  Second, most consensus opinions are ...  I am sure you can fill in the blank.

 

Finally, on the most simple level, that was the most excruciating portrayal of a betrayal I have ever seen.  Like the two previous episodes, it magnified peoples' natural tendencies to a really gross extreme.  The only time I've felt that disturbed by a dramatization of a plausible couple is when teenage me saw the Elizabeth Taylor - Richard Burton version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  This episode could have been its great-grand-baby.

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This episode made me really uncomfortable because Liam reminded me so much of an ex that I had. He would analyze Facebook photos looking for me in the background to be doing anything wrong, constantly question my past, and so on. If tech like this had existed, I could easily seeing him force me to replay memories and zooming and picking out any detail that he had issues with. I'd be afraid to record anything for fear that it would be scrutinized... and if I didn't record it, I'm sure he'd question that as well. So, this episode resonated with me in a fully creepy way, and I could see this sort of tech being used abusively. I mean, imagine horrible guys who might upload sex videos of their one-night stands or ex-girlfriends. It would get out of hand quickly.

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Liam turned out to be right but it annoyed me because he was such an absolute obsessive asshole and I didn't feel any sympathy for him.

The tech here is fascinating but not only would it cause problems (it would be more dangerous than texting while driving), you also have a matter of invading other people's privacy, corporate espionage, people being misinterpreted during a meeting, etc.  This technology would never be allowed for so many reasons but you always have to remember that this is Black Mirror and it's still fascinating to watch a story like this.

Edited by benteen

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Of the three episodes in the first season, I think this one probably felt the most personal and horrifying.  While I can see the positive aspects of this type of technology, I can easily imagine younger me using that technology to obsess and over-analyze everything.  Arguments would've been so much worse, and definitely would've became much more about "winning" and proving one's point instead of compromising.  Petty grudges would've been held on much longer, especially with all of the memories of the incident that caused the grudge constantly at easy access.  Cyberbullying would've been taken to a whole new level.  Seriously, the worst parts of middle school and high school would've been magnified by a million times.  

 

As for the story itself -- I'm fairly sure that not only did Liam kill his wife, he also killed the baby.  It's obvious that no condom was used (hence why Fi was so reluctant to share her memories), which would've put the parentage of the baby into question.  

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When Liam first invited Jonas over, I thought he might be setting it up to watch Jonas with his wife (which would have made for a better episode, lol).  So we have a cheater of the worst sort (knowingly having another man's baby when you and your husband are trying to have one and covering it up, egads!), married to a stalker of the worst sort (his vindication in the end does not change the fact that he is an obsessive weirdo).  The bigger implications of the abuse of this technology and the extreme violation of people's privacy isn't touched on as much, though we get a hint of it when the security guard asks Liam to play back some memories so he can identify faces.  Realistically, you could never view people's memories like that.  Our brains don't record things like a video camera.  If you look around a room, close your eyes, and try to describe the entire room in detail (down to objects on shelves, etc.), you can't do it.  Or you walk down a street and pass a bunch of people, you won't remember the details of the people you just passed.  We might be able to one day retrieve some kind of imprint of memories, but it wouldn't look like live streaming.  Looking at an old photograph or video would be far more accurate.

Edited by Dobian

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I thought the implant basically worked as some kind video recorder/DVR that allowed people playback.

Anyway, Liam was fucking hot- like wow, he looked like an older, English version of Nick Jonas. And then Jonas was pretty damn hot as well- the eyecandy was definitely working for me this episode. It almost made up for what awful people these all were.

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As for the story itself -- I'm fairly sure that not only did Liam kill his wife, he also killed the baby.  It's obvious that no condom was used (hence why Fi was so reluctant to share her memories), which would've put the parentage of the baby into question.  

I didn't read it that way- I felt like she and the baby basically left, and Liam was left alone with his own thoughts and memories driving him insane.

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It seems that despite being a few decades in the future (it's commonplace enough that the emergency services aren't even able to respond to someone without the technology), they don't have self-driving cars.

Curious that the dinner table debate between having or not having a grain didn't include the middle ground of "have a grain, but this time keeping it encrypted". (Given that phone/laptop full disk encryption is now standard, I'd hope the possibility of not encrypting would never happen - but I can see some equivalent of having one's phone unlocked.)

People don't have backups of their entire life's memories? I can just imagine ransomware threatening to delete everything you ever recorded.

One of the scariest aspects for me was the routine of scanning people's recordings as part of airport security. We've already seen this being done for people's phones in the US, potentially being able to grab everything on the device or connected online services - it's not hard to see this scanning becoming routine; also see the demands that people hand over all online passwords to be able to fly to the US.

On 2014-12-28 at 8:57 PM, NorthstarATL said:

I was torn. I really detested Liam through most of the episode, and then it turned out that he was right. I wished he had just convinced himself of the wrong thing based upon his over analysis. But who doesn't play back things in their head? Before Liam  was proven right, though, I was morally outraged over his coercing Jonas into deleting the memories of his wife, because, IF they had been telling truth, and the relationship was prior to the marriage, they are Jonas' memories, and Liam has no claim upon them.

I thought like that for a bit, but I think we can still be morally outraged over assault and threats. One partner gets drunk and has sex; the other partner gets drunk, then drives and commits assault.
 

On 2016-12-20 at 6:58 PM, benteen said:

This technology would never be allowed for so many reasons but you always have to remember that this is Black Mirror and it's still fascinating to watch a story like this.

I don't see what would stop it from being allowed though. The technology would arrive, and attempts to stop it would be impractical, and it would leave people, companies and Governments struggling to deal with the implications. We might see Governments trying to bring in dumb/draconian laws (e.g., it's unfeasible to ban computers or mobile phones; but we've seen the US and UK talking about "banning encryption"), as well as seeing how they can take advantage of them (see the airport security).
 

I agree with methodwriter85 about them being recorded videos - also see the dinner table conversation, about how people's memories can become misleading or even false, so it seems like the device wasn't intended to extract from memories?

Edited by mdwh
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On ‎7‎/‎30‎/‎2017 at 3:37 PM, mdwh said:

 

I don't see what would stop it from being allowed though. The technology would arrive, and attempts to stop it would be impractical, and it would leave people, companies and Governments struggling to deal with the implications. We might see Governments trying to bring in dumb/draconian laws (e.g., it's unfeasible to ban computers or mobile phones; but we've seen the US and UK talking about "banning encryption"), as well as seeing how they can take advantage of them (see the airport security).

 

While companies would want to jump at this kind of technology, the ability to commit corporate espionage and gain trade secrets would be staggering.  There's invasion of privacy issues, national security issues, doctor/patient, lawyer/client privileges.  Plus, this would become even more dangerous on the road than texting and driving.

It would be great for criminal investigation to be sure and like in the episode, it would be an amazing tool for analyzing what you did right or wrong in a job interview.  But the privacy, national security and corporate espionage implications are too dangerous and extensive for this kind of technology to be allowed.

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On 7/24/2017 at 6:44 PM, methodwriter85 said:

I thought the implant basically worked as some kind video recorder/DVR that allowed people playback.

Anyway, Liam was fucking hot- like wow, he looked like an older, English version of Nick Jonas. And then Jonas was pretty damn hot as well- the eyecandy was definitely working for me this episode. It almost made up for what awful people these all were.

I didn't read it that way- I felt like she and the baby basically left, and Liam was left alone with his own thoughts and memories driving him insane.

I agree. Fi took the baby and left, leaving Liam to torture himself with what he lost.

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Wonder if people who opted out of the implant, like the woman, had negative consequences from the government since the implants were shown to be used at security checks.

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I'm watching the series for the first time and I really love how each of these episodes really are relatable on some level. This episode was not my favourite, but it was really interesting to analyze it as a whole. I think this one was quite relatable, because I think having the ability to see your own memories and analyze them whenever is a terrifying power to have, as evidenced with Liam. I think, without the grain, he'd probably be a decent guy. But with the grain, with the ability to see memories and watch and analyze over and over, it turned him into his worst possible self. He became incredibly obsessive, which turned him into the biggest asshole because those memories controlled him. It probably led to his damaged relationship with Fi. We never witnessed one moment that was really romantic or happy with the two of them by present day; it's only through their memories, possibly before Liam really went crazy obsessive with the grain.

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I liked this episode the best of the three.  Its the most relatable and realistic, in a strange way

ANd I agree I don't think it was a recording of the person's brain produced memories.  I thought it was a camera in the eyes that recorded it all to be played back

Also felt no sympathy for Liam.  Got what he deserved.  They obviously had problems before all this, since he left for a week or so when she had the affair. 

I don't think he killed his wife and baby though.  I think she just left, and smart to do so. 

I wasn't sure what the business meeting at the beginning had to do with any of it, other than to just introduce the concept. 

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I wasn't sure what the business meeting at the beginning had to do with any of it, other than to just introduce the concept. 

I think it may have served both to introduce the concept and, by his repeatedly watching it, exacerbate his insecurities, which play a part in the rest of the episode.

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I thought it was hard to dislike Liam too much when he was right about everything.  His wife cheated on him, and likely continues to "re-do" the event, and more than likely his baby is not really his.  He obviously could tell something was wrong when he was in the same room as both of them, it just took his continued digging and digging to find out the truth.  His continued analysis of events didn't cause the problem, it was his wife's cheating.

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On ‎10‎/‎1‎/‎2017 at 7:06 PM, LittleIggy said:

Wonder if people who opted out of the implant, like the woman, had negative consequences from the government since the implants were shown to be used at security checks.

She didn't opt out, hers was stolen and then she never got another one put it.  You do wonder what problems it would cause.  She couldn't get the police to come out because of it.

I was puzzled by the people at the party.  The hostess didn't seem to know anyone - she couldn't introduce the new woman when she got there.  There was lots of talk about the "old gang" but no one said who that was.  The whole time I was wondering if they were all fake.  

And how did Fi get away with the baby when Liam had wrecked the car?

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This is the first and only episode I've watched so far.  Wow.  I kind of wondered if the woman who said hers was stolen didn't remove it herself in a similar obsessive fit.  I can imagine going over old relationships can make some people crazy and want to get rid of the temptation to keep reliving the horror.

I thought it was telling that the only entertainment these people seemed to have revolved around going over past scenes in their lives.  It's a dark and dreary concept to keep reliving one's failures and only natural to want to analyze every human interaction to death trying to figure out people's hidden motivations, etc. when one has the opportunity to view them again and again.  I knew right away that Liam would be proven right because that would be the worst case scenario and of course the point of this is to show us how the lack of privacy that technology can bring us is pushing us toward a worst case scenario.  I wonder how most people in that society would not end up totally neurotic and obsessed with going over their pasts to an unhealthy extent.  I'm sure some people would want to see their spouses' pasts just to check up on them and whether they've been honest before they had a reason to suspect something.

One would think, though, that a society that had such advancements towards identification would also leave no doubt as to the paternity of a child.  But it's typical of dystopian societies to not be consistent in a lot of ways and have quirky aspects like ultra modern everything but everyone drives around in 50+ year old cars. 

I was actually shocked to find out that this episode was so many years old already as I had no idea how long the series has been around when I saw it.  I can imagine that it was even more mind blowing when it first came out.  This one will stick with me.  I haven't watched any other Black Mirror episodes yet.  I can imagine it will be hard to top this one.

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1 hour ago, Yeah No said:

This is the first and only episode I've watched so far.  Wow.  I kind of wondered if the woman who said hers was stolen didn't remove it herself in a similar obsessive fit.  I can imagine going over old relationships can make some people crazy and want to get rid of the temptation to keep reliving the horror.

I thought it was telling that the only entertainment these people seemed to have revolved around going over past scenes in their lives.  It's a dark and dreary concept to keep reliving one's failures and only natural to want to analyze every human interaction to death trying to figure out people's hidden motivations, etc. when one has the opportunity to view them again and again.  I knew right away that Liam would be proven right because that would be the worst case scenario and of course the point of this is to show us how the lack of privacy that technology can bring us is pushing us toward a worst case scenario.  I wonder how most people in that society would not end up totally neurotic and obsessed with going over their pasts to an unhealthy extent.  I'm sure some people would want to see their spouses' pasts just to check up on them and whether they've been honest before they had a reason to suspect something.

One would think, though, that a society that had such advancements towards identification would also leave no doubt as to the paternity of a child.  But it's typical of dystopian societies to not be consistent in a lot of ways and have quirky aspects like ultra modern everything but everyone drives around in 50+ year old cars. 

I was actually shocked to find out that this episode was so many years old already as I had no idea how long the series has been around when I saw it.  I can imagine that it was even more mind blowing when it first came out.  This one will stick with me.  I haven't watched any other Black Mirror episodes yet.  I can imagine it will be hard to top this one.

Glad you enjoyed it.  I just started watching this series in the last 3-4 months or so, you can go through them all pretty quickly. 

This is one of the better episodes overall I would say, but there are some that top it, so check out the others. 

Many revolve around different variations of these same concepts of social media, technology taking over our lives

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4 hours ago, DrSpaceman73 said:

Glad you enjoyed it.  I just started watching this series in the last 3-4 months or so, you can go through them all pretty quickly. 

This is one of the better episodes overall I would say, but there are some that top it, so check out the others. 

Many revolve around different variations of these same concepts of social media, technology taking over our lives

Thanks, can you direct me to specific episodes that you think top this one?  

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8 hours ago, Yeah No said:

Thanks, can you direct me to specific episodes that you think top this one?  

Season 4 I think the consensus is USS Callister is the best.  Its probably the funniest of the whole series, which tends to be light overall on comedy  I also enjoyed Black Museum. 

Arkangel in Season 4 is a pretty much a variation of this episode

Season 3 I think Nosedive is my favorite

I think most episodes are overall very well done though. 

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1 hour ago, DrSpaceman73 said:

Season 4 I think the consensus is USS Callister is the best.  Its probably the funniest of the whole series, which tends to be light overall on comedy  I also enjoyed Black Museum. 

Arkangel in Season 4 is a pretty much a variation of this episode

Season 3 I think Nosedive is my favorite

I think most episodes are overall very well done though. 

Thanks for the recommendations!

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On ‎2‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 11:24 AM, Yeah No said:

Thanks, can you direct me to specific episodes that you think top this one?

My favorite it White Bear - but I have watched Entire History of You many times. Definitely my second favorites. I always think about how great it would be because I wouldn't have to pay attention in meetings! I mean, I don't anyway, but with a grain I could just pull up a re-do if/when I needed the info. BUT! I do obsess about things anyway (part of living alone) so I think a grain would be a very bad, dangerous thing for me.

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On 17/02/2018 at 2:52 AM, Yeah No said:

Thanks for the recommendations!

Personally, I'm a fan of the near-future dystopias of tech promising something good, but ultimately coming with too much unintended consequence.

My favourite episodes are 1.3 (this one), 2.1 (Be Right Back), 2.2 (White Bear) and 2.S (White Christmas).

I think Netflix neutered some of that, and reduced the quality when they doubled the episodes and farmed out some of the writing, though 3.3 (Shut Up And Dance) and 4.6 (Black Museum) reach the highs.

 

The other episodes are still worth watching; but those 6 I keep going back to, even knowing how they turn out.

Of course, everyone's different and takes different things from each episode; trying to get a consensus opinion on any black mirror episode seems like a fool's errand.

Edited by Which Tyler
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On 2/16/2018 at 8:33 PM, DrSpaceman73 said:

Season 4 I think the consensus is USS Callister is the best.  Its probably the funniest of the whole series, which tends to be light overall on comedy  I also enjoyed Black Museum. 

Arkangel in Season 4 is a pretty much a variation of this episode

Season 3 I think Nosedive is my favorite

I think most episodes are overall very well done though. 

Because of all the Easter Eggs from previous shows in Black Museum, it would be better to save that for last. JMO. Honestly, there are so few episodes per season it wouldn't take long to watch them all.

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On 12/14/2017 at 1:38 PM, Hanahope said:

I thought it was hard to dislike Liam too much when he was right about everything.  His wife cheated on him, and likely continues to "re-do" the event, and more than likely his baby is not really his.  He obviously could tell something was wrong when he was in the same room as both of them, it just took his continued digging and digging to find out the truth.  His continued analysis of events didn't cause the problem, it was his wife's cheating.

I have to disagree with this.  Liam was an asshole, a jerk, no matter what his wife was doing (no wonder she cheated, married to an asshole like Liam).  I think if this tech was real, humankind would cease to exist because people would obsess over every little thing until they went mad.

The point of this episode to me was, are we better knowing or not knowing?   Would knowing make your life better?  Would it make the child's life better?  Would anybody be happier if the truth came out.

BTW, If Liam wanted to find out if the baby was his, then have a fucking DNA test, asshole.  In the end, that's really the only way to tell.  

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I can’t believe anyone completely sides with Liam. He was an obsessive ahole who couldn’t let things go and repeatedly used the tech to go over events to the point of obsession. At the very least, one could say both of them were at fault for various things, but Liam took it too far. He kept obsessing about a man his wife dated years before they were married. Sure she fibbed a bit about the length of the relationship but she didn’t really owe him the full truth for something that was before they got together. And he got what he deserved, being alone without his wife and child

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