Thursday, February 2, 2012

Case Study No. 0211: Vox NY-114

The Time Machine - The Vox Machine
Funny scene in this movie.
"Live long and prosper"
Tags: time machine vox spock live long and prosper
Added: 3 years ago
From: Synthy2000
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[Nineteenth-century scientist Alex Hartdegen has travelled in time to the year 2030, and is searching through the New York Public Library for information, when a hologram of an African American man appears behind him]
VOX: Welcome to Vox System. How may I help you?
[he turns, slightly stunned, but addresses the figure as if "he" were an actual person]
ALEX: Oh, I didn't see you there ...
VOX: Always seem to have that effect. How may I help you, sir?
[Alex points to a large silver structure in the middle of the room]
ALEX: What is that thing?
VOX: That is my photonic memory core, or PMC, as we say in the trade ...
[Alex notices Vox "fade" in and out, and tries to understand what is going on by looking behind the screen]
VOX: [waves at him from the other side] Over here, sir.
ALEX: What are you?
VOX: I'm the Fifth Avenue Public Library Information Unit. Vox Registration NY-dash-114.
[he displays a holographic image of his "license", which reads "NY-114"]
VOX: How may I help you?
[Alex pauses, still trying to process what he is seeing]
ALEX: Oh, a stereopticon of some sort.
VOX: Stereopticon?
[Vox seems initially confused by the term, but it quickly turns to a look of bemusement]
VOX: Oh, no sir. I am a third-generation fusion pod photonic with verbal and visual link capabilities connected to every database on the planet.
ALEX: Phototonic?
VOX: [speaking slowly] A compendium of all human knowledge.
ALEX: Oh ...
VOX: Area of inquiry?
ALEX: Do you know anything about physics?
VOX: Ah, accessing "Physics" ...
[he brings up a "file" marked with the image of a molecule]
ALEX: Mechanical engineering?
[Vox brings up another file]
ALEX: Dimensional optics. Chronography. Temporal causality. Temporal paradox.
[the once-eager look on Vox's "face" seems to drain away]
VOX: Time travel?
ALEX: Yes.
VOX: [matter of factly] Accessing "Science Fiction" ...
ALEX: No no, practical application ... My question is, why can't one change the past?
VOX: [slowly] Because one cannot travel into the past ...
[Vox begins to "walk" away]
ALEX: What if one could?
VOX: One cannot.
[Alex runs up to catch him]
ALEX: Um, excuse me ... This is something you should trust me on.
[Vox blandly begins pulling up more files]
VOX: Accessing the writings of Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells, Harlan Ellison, Alexander Hartdegen--
ALEX: Oh, tell me about him!
VOX: Alexander Hartdegen, 1869 to 1903. American scientist given to eccentric postulation. Bound writings include "Treatise on the Creation of a Time Machine."
ALEX: Tell me about the time machine.
VOX: "Time Machine" was written by H.G. Wells in 1894. It was later adapted to a motion picture by George Pal and a stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber which ran on Broadway for twenty years.
ALEX: No, that-that's not what I mean ...
VOX: Would you like to hear selections from the score?
VOX: [singing] There's a place called tomorrow, a place of joy ...
[several holograms of Vox appear and surround Alex, still singing]
VOX: Not of sorrow! Can't you see, it's a place for you and--
[Alex starts walking away]
ALEX: Thank you, that's quite enough.
[Vox re-appears to him as a single hologram]
VOX: Will there be anything else?
ALEX: Uh, no no. I-I think I'll have better luck in a few hundred years.
[as Alex leaves, Vox gives him the Spock hand signal]
VOX: Live long and prosper!
[Vox drops the fake smile and rolls his eyes]



The time travel Alexander stops in 2030 and learns that the Moon is being prepared for colonization. He visits the New York Public Library where he talks with Vox 114, the library's holographic, artificially intelligent librarian. He is given information on H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison and even one of his own papers, but the library does not have any information on time travel theory; Vox states that such a thing is impossible.




Wells, Simon (Director). The Time Machine. United States: DreamWorks, 2002.

Starring: Orlando Jones (Vox, future hologram librarian); Guy Pearce (Alexander Hartdegen)

Based on the Novel: Wells, H.G. The Time Machine. London: William Heinemann, 1895.

In the year 2300, visitors to the NYC Public Library (yes, the lions are still there) are greeted by a flat hologram named Vox who conducts a strange reference interview (missing the point, of course, but he does sing show tunes; how cool is that?). 800,000 years later, when the library and books are in ruins, he still provides information and carries the library in his 2-D head. Story hour is his recitation of Tom Sawyer. Notable quote: "If you don't like the answers you should avoid asking the questions." (The book differs a great deal; books have turned to dust and are otherwise not mentioned, and no libraries.)

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