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The Truth Machine: A Speculative Novel de…
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The Truth Machine: A Speculative Novel (edição: 1996)

de James Halperin

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaConversas / Menções
444842,273 (3.8)1 / 14
Prepare to have your conception of truth rocked to its very foundation. It is the year 2004. Violent crime is the number one political issue in America. Now, the Swift and Sure Anti-Crime Bill guarantees a previously convicted violent criminal one fair trial, one quick appeal, then immediate execution. To prevent abuse of the law, a machine must be built that detects lies with 100 percent accuracy. Once perfected, the Truth Machine will change the face of the world. Yet the race to finish the Truth Machine forces one man to commit a shocking act of treachery, burdening him with a dark secret that collides with everything he believes in. Now he must conceal the truth from his own creation . . . or face his execution. By turns optimistic and chilling--and always profound--The Truth Machine is nothing less than a history of the future, a spellbinding chronicle that resonates with insight, wisdom . . . and astounding possibility. "PROFOUND." --Associated Press… (mais)
Membro:sigma76
Título:The Truth Machine: A Speculative Novel
Autores:James Halperin
Informação:Ballantine / Del Rey (1996), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 332 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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The Truth Machine de James Halperin

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In the future, according to author James L. Halperin, world crime can be wiped out by a 100% accurate lie detector. Citizens of the world are required to pass lie detector tests in order to gain a driver's license, have children, move to a different state, get hired, and so on. However, the very inventor of this amazing lie detector has committed a horrible crime, and must hide his criminal secret from the world. (And to say anything more on the matter would be a plot spoiler.)

It's a good, thought-provoking premise. Unfortunately, the characters are poorly developed, and there are so many plot-holes that I was unable to suspend my disbelief. Good beginning, good ending. Really, really slow middle.

Call me a pessimist, but I find it extremely hard to believe that Earth will have a functional World Government within the next fifty years, or many of the other things that Halperin predicts. Can you see 60% of the current American public voting for "the Swift And Sure Anti-Crime Bill," which guarantees immediate execution for any person who commits three felonies? Too many innocents would be killed in the pre-Truth Machine era. I doubt many people would support this unless criminals could be detected with absolute 100% certainty.

As for the Truth Machine itself...there was not enough evidence in the book to support this foolproof machine. People would come up with a way to fool it. That's what hackers are best at. Humanity consists largely of innovators; we improve upon other people's ideas and inventions. Some desperate people would start training themselves to believe their own lies as truth, thereby tricking the machines. Programmers would tamper with the machines and then sell their results to rich criminals. And computers have a looooooong way to go before they reach a level even close to flawless operation...if they ever will.

Even if you are willing to suspend your disbelief to the heights which this book demands, there isn't much to like. It's philosophy with a thin veneer of plot thrown over it.

Review originally published on my website. ( )
  Abby_Goldsmith | Feb 10, 2016 |
To all intents and purposes it's more a thought experiment than a novel. The characterisation is perfunctory, the plot episodic and the central idea of an infallible lie detector inadequately explored.
I found a number of its base assumptions to be problematic - private finance and big business are central to any positive
developments in society;
killing criminals is OK;
and crucially, that a Truth Machine is a good idea in the first place, and would be accepted unquestioningly by a quiescent populace.
It felt like the author only looked at the "technical fix" side of the story and didn't even consider the political and social consequences of all these assumptions. ( )
  SChant | Jul 9, 2013 |
Do you think you need "The Truth Machine" ?
To know truth does not always make us happy and be relieved.
But,I think "The Truth Machine" need for murder and spy and so on. ( )
  natumi.s | May 19, 2010 |
A great book! More near future than science fiction, it concerns a man who, when affected by a terrible crime, decides to make it his life's work to create a completely foolproof lie detector. The rest of the book explores the impact on his life and on society. What happens when it becomes normal for people to be expected to tell the truth - all the time? Very well done. ( )
  Karlstar | Apr 24, 2010 |
What happens if the technoloy to detect a lie is finally perfected? This story describes one man's drive (obsession?) to develop such an technology... and all its consequences. ( )
  warkruid | Jun 29, 2008 |
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Prepare to have your conception of truth rocked to its very foundation. It is the year 2004. Violent crime is the number one political issue in America. Now, the Swift and Sure Anti-Crime Bill guarantees a previously convicted violent criminal one fair trial, one quick appeal, then immediate execution. To prevent abuse of the law, a machine must be built that detects lies with 100 percent accuracy. Once perfected, the Truth Machine will change the face of the world. Yet the race to finish the Truth Machine forces one man to commit a shocking act of treachery, burdening him with a dark secret that collides with everything he believes in. Now he must conceal the truth from his own creation . . . or face his execution. By turns optimistic and chilling--and always profound--The Truth Machine is nothing less than a history of the future, a spellbinding chronicle that resonates with insight, wisdom . . . and astounding possibility. "PROFOUND." --Associated Press

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