Why Person of Interest makes me headdesk

So. Watching this show because my buddy Linda suggested it – “Person of Interest”. It’s about guy number 1, who’s some sort of super-agent James Bond whose vocal chords got set to “rough and mysterious” in childhood and who only ever loses a fight when plot demands; and guy number 2, who’s one of those genius programmers you keep hearing about.

This show takes a helluva lot of suspension of disbelief. I mean, sure, most film hacker/programmers are modeled after a 100-handed monkey with the brain of a thousand top programmers and thus manage to do in a single day what the entirety of Google does in a month, but this show’s programmer is just… yeah.

Look. The government told him to build a machine that spots the bad guys, ok? The terrorists. So he built a huge thing from scratch and made it check every surveillance camera, every phone, every e-mail, everything, to figure out who has criminal intent.

I can sort of suspend my disbelief for that.

He both constructed the thing as far as hardware goes, and wrote the program, as far as software goes. It’s 100% accurate.

I can sort of suspend my disbelief for that.

He initially made it work for New York, then it took him a pretty long time to get it working for the whole US (like, proportional time).

It doesn’t really work that way, but whatever. I can sort of suspend my disbelief for that.

The machine started seeing ‘small fry’ along with terrorists – you know, murderers and such. Which I can totally buy, because that sounds like one of the usual computer bugs. But for small fry, the machine doesn’t differentiate between victims and criminals.

…this is where my suspension of disbelief is starting to fail. What do you mean, it doesn’t differentiate?! There’s a huge difference between “I’m going to bash Johnny’s head in with a souvenir tomorrow at 8 o’clock” and “Lalala, I’m Johnny and I’m making fries tomorrow night at 8 o’clock”. I mean, come on!

And then there’s something else: the genius programmer/hacker/hardware person who built the damned thing is guessing as to its intentions. He supposes it knows what it’s doing. He ventures ideas about what the thing means to say.

This is where my disbelief grows too much to be suspended. It crashed down like a ton of elephants. So, the guy built the thing. From scratch. Did all the genius stuff to make it work. Wrote every line of code to make it function in the right way. Thought about every single aspect. And then… turned around and forgot everything he did? O_o

I’m starting to think the machine is actually a box with a psychic monkey inside, typing social security numbers and clapping for bananas. That would make more sense than the actual premise.

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