Who is the most responsible character? The least?

Use this forum to discuss the March 2018 Book of the Month, "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.
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Miriam Molina
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Who is the most responsible character? The least?

Post by Miriam Molina » 28 Mar 2018, 20:01

The book features many characters: seniors, immigrants, the media, the doctors and capitalists, the investigators, and of course, the NRA. We read about many killings, racism, and yes, heroism and selflessness, too.

Who of the characters behaved most responsibly? Least responsibly?

My personal favorite is Vijay. He is almost too good to be true.

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Post by britt13 » 31 Mar 2018, 16:46

I do not know that I would really have one for least responsible behavior because I would think that would be a collective group of everyone that shot someone! As for the most, I have a soft spot in my heart for Vijay as well. I also very much liked Qasim. The real MVP is Miles though :D

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Post by Miriam Molina » 31 Mar 2018, 20:14

Yeah, Miles is the runaway winner, haha!

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Post by ValBookReviews » 31 Mar 2018, 22:42

I'm also feeling Vijay as one or my most personal and behaving responsible favorites thus far. For sure, he's a questionable character.
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Post by BookishCreature » 06 Apr 2018, 12:20

Qasim stood out to me as a fundamentally good person/character. He was probably my favorite. :)

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Post by nobunkum » 16 Apr 2018, 19:20

Your question is really interesting. Because I feel like being a nerd, to answer your question more accurately I looked up the word responsible: "Having an obligation to do something, or having control over or care for someone, as part of one's job or role."

I think that that is one thing that the book just slightly hits as a collateral topic: responsibility of different players in their respective roles. I think it could have done a little better job showing a little more balanced opinion on the matter but it makes you think. I like this thought experiment because I feel like in our current society our rights are always trumped up and our responsibilities are pushed underneath the rug.

And the way you asked your question is interesting too. How you lumped people into certain categories makes me think if as a part of those categories that they do or should have specific roles to play in our society. Then as a part of that role, what should they have an obligation to do or control and care over.

Possible obligations as a part of their role in society:
Seniors: remind of past- failures and successes? warn, protect, counsel? be involved? volunteer?
Immigrants: integration? better behavior than natural citizens? share their culture in an understanding way?
The media: fair reporting? ethical reporting? timely reporting?
Doctors: do no harm? balancing confidentiality and need to disclose? being a watchdog or patriarchal position?
Capitalists: primary responsibility to shareholders? the environment? full disclosure? society?
The investigators: safest society as possible? or just upholding and enforcing the current laws?
NRA: protect the second amendment? help gun owners be more responsible?

Interestingly enough, with this mindset I would say that Vince actually acted very responsible for the most part. Even though I disliked him as a character I would have to say he acted very responsible. In his role as a senior, he was responsible to learn more about what was happening around him, researching more what was really going on, he was involved with those around him. As a natural citizen he was responsible in embracing immigrants, befriending them, and helping them integrate into American society. As a patient and husband he was responsible when ever though he was told he was going to die he took the doctors advice and followed through with all of the treatment for the hope that he could survive and take care of Trudi. As a husband and owner and community member he was responsible in following up with the police when a crime happened. This part is perhaps debatable but he was responsible to fight to protect his neighborhood and family from criminals that were not contributing to his community. (Spoiler alert) As a gun owner, you could argue that he was responsible for getting rid of the gun when he realized that for him and his wife it wasn't safe for them to have access to it. In a lot of ways he was very responsible even if he wasn't that great of a character for me.

It is interesting that Vijay is a favorite among you readers as I have a different experience with him. I feel like he was one of the less responsible characters. It is likely that as he was previously a medical doctor, he has taken the Hippocratic oath or at the very least operated in an environment where doctors are presumed to adhere to certain medical ethics. Two common ones are medical confidentiality and non-maleficence or do no harm. The book doesn't cover this at all but when a medical diagnostic device (such as the watch) is developed it is actually regulated by the FDA. They have certain procedures in place to document and monitor adverse events regarding new devices. The underlying assumption being that doctors should proceed forward with new devices with caution, monitoring for and doing everything to minimize risks to participants. In current research, if researchers administer psychological tests that indicate that the participant is suicidal or a threat to themselves or others it is generally accepted that the researcher has an obligation to report it. And in certain circumstances, if the research or device itself creates adverse events they are required to minimize the events. In the book he just says, oh lets increase the beta test and try to monitor who has guns and who doesn't. I think in the real world there is no way that current ethical regulatory bodies would find that acceptable. In his duty to do no harm it shouldn't matter how popular the feature is or the theoretical upsides of it would be. If he was responsible in his role of a doctor, he should have worked to find a way to minimize the risks not just said oh what can we do, it's the NRA's fault. I'm less versed in business ethics but it would see that it was a little irresponsible to his investors and to his own company to start a romantic relationship with the account manager of the investing firm. In this case it seems like it worked out for him and his company but it easily could have been a liability to both sides. Likewise, it is hinted at that as a son and brother he has guilt about what he has done for his family but doesn't really do much about it. Perhaps give his parents a nicer house but he doesn't seem to do much in terms of what might perhaps be expected of him as an Indian son and brother (once again, not well versed in those societal expectations and roles).

It is interesting to go through each character and think about this. The reporter (his obligation to his audience versus a pretty girl), the senator (his obligation to protect his household versus the truth), Vince's doctor (to disclose information about his patient without his patient's knowledge versus providing feedback to a company). It is very interesting to think back about this book in those terms. Thank you for the question.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 17 Apr 2018, 08:24

Wow! Thanks, Nobunkum! Those thoughts are really worth pondering.

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Post by Shrabastee » 21 Apr 2018, 23:53

In my opinion, almost all the major characters show various degrees of responsibility in the book... Vince, for being level-headed and not letting vengeance get the better of his good instincts even in the face of impending death; Trudy, for being supportive of her friends in their times of need, and protesting against what she thinks is evil, even when her own life hangs on a thread; Rasha, for saving all those children by her quick wit, and sticking up with Trudy in her mission; Quasim, for being vocal on the dog-attack while he could easily have looked the other way; Rouben, for guiding his friends with his experience; Senator John McAdam, for standing up for his ideals even in the face of strong opposition from his colleagues; Zoe Brouet, for doing her duties even if her own life experiences make her realize the significance of the 'Final Notice' attribute; Vijay, for taking responsibility for his invention and the course of events it unleashed- to name some of them.
The least responsible? Well, the NRA, at least in the way they are depicted in the book.

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Post by Shrabastee » 21 Apr 2018, 23:58

nobunkum wrote:
16 Apr 2018, 19:20
Your question is really interesting. Because I feel like being a nerd, to answer your question more accurately I looked up the word responsible: "Having an obligation to do something, or having control over or care for someone, as part of one's job or role."

I think that that is one thing that the book just slightly hits as a collateral topic: responsibility of different players in their respective roles. I think it could have done a little better job showing a little more balanced opinion on the matter but it makes you think. I like this thought experiment because I feel like in our current society our rights are always trumped up and our responsibilities are pushed underneath the rug.

And the way you asked your question is interesting too. How you lumped people into certain categories makes me think if as a part of those categories that they do or should have specific roles to play in our society. Then as a part of that role, what should they have an obligation to do or control and care over.

Possible obligations as a part of their role in society:
Seniors: remind of past- failures and successes? warn, protect, counsel? be involved? volunteer?
Immigrants: integration? better behavior than natural citizens? share their culture in an understanding way?
The media: fair reporting? ethical reporting? timely reporting?
Doctors: do no harm? balancing confidentiality and need to disclose? being a watchdog or patriarchal position?
Capitalists: primary responsibility to shareholders? the environment? full disclosure? society?
The investigators: safest society as possible? or just upholding and enforcing the current laws?
NRA: protect the second amendment? help gun owners be more responsible?

Interestingly enough, with this mindset I would say that Vince actually acted very responsible for the most part. Even though I disliked him as a character I would have to say he acted very responsible. In his role as a senior, he was responsible to learn more about what was happening around him, researching more what was really going on, he was involved with those around him. As a natural citizen he was responsible in embracing immigrants, befriending them, and helping them integrate into American society. As a patient and husband he was responsible when ever though he was told he was going to die he took the doctors advice and followed through with all of the treatment for the hope that he could survive and take care of Trudi. As a husband and owner and community member he was responsible in following up with the police when a crime happened. This part is perhaps debatable but he was responsible to fight to protect his neighborhood and family from criminals that were not contributing to his community. (Spoiler alert) As a gun owner, you could argue that he was responsible for getting rid of the gun when he realized that for him and his wife it wasn't safe for them to have access to it. In a lot of ways he was very responsible even if he wasn't that great of a character for me.

It is interesting that Vijay is a favorite among you readers as I have a different experience with him. I feel like he was one of the less responsible characters. It is likely that as he was previously a medical doctor, he has taken the Hippocratic oath or at the very least operated in an environment where doctors are presumed to adhere to certain medical ethics. Two common ones are medical confidentiality and non-maleficence or do no harm. The book doesn't cover this at all but when a medical diagnostic device (such as the watch) is developed it is actually regulated by the FDA. They have certain procedures in place to document and monitor adverse events regarding new devices. The underlying assumption being that doctors should proceed forward with new devices with caution, monitoring for and doing everything to minimize risks to participants. In current research, if researchers administer psychological tests that indicate that the participant is suicidal or a threat to themselves or others it is generally accepted that the researcher has an obligation to report it. And in certain circumstances, if the research or device itself creates adverse events they are required to minimize the events. In the book he just says, oh lets increase the beta test and try to monitor who has guns and who doesn't. I think in the real world there is no way that current ethical regulatory bodies would find that acceptable. In his duty to do no harm it shouldn't matter how popular the feature is or the theoretical upsides of it would be. If he was responsible in his role of a doctor, he should have worked to find a way to minimize the risks not just said oh what can we do, it's the NRA's fault. I'm less versed in business ethics but it would see that it was a little irresponsible to his investors and to his own company to start a romantic relationship with the account manager of the investing firm. In this case it seems like it worked out for him and his company but it easily could have been a liability to both sides. Likewise, it is hinted at that as a son and brother he has guilt about what he has done for his family but doesn't really do much about it. Perhaps give his parents a nicer house but he doesn't seem to do much in terms of what might perhaps be expected of him as an Indian son and brother (once again, not well versed in those societal expectations and roles).

It is interesting to go through each character and think about this. The reporter (his obligation to his audience versus a pretty girl), the senator (his obligation to protect his household versus the truth), Vince's doctor (to disclose information about his patient without his patient's knowledge versus providing feedback to a company). It is very interesting to think back about this book in those terms. Thank you for the question.
Wow! Needless to say, it was very thoughtful of you. I agree with you on your analysis of Vijay's character, while his intentions seem good, his actions are somewhat puzzling, particularly those regarding the alpha and beta tests. Also, I could not believe that he couldn't have persuaded his family to enjoy a relaxed and more comfortable life, although in the end, they seem to have come around. Thank you for your views.

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Post by holsam_87 » 29 Apr 2018, 23:43

Miriam Molina wrote:
28 Mar 2018, 20:01
The book features many characters: seniors, immigrants, the media, the doctors and capitalists, the investigators, and of course, the NRA. We read about many killings, racism, and yes, heroism and selflessness, too.

Who of the characters behaved most responsibly? Least responsibly?

My personal favorite is Vijay. He is almost too good to be true.
I think all the characters showed degrees of responsibility, with Vijay being the most since he had good intentions for creating the watch and technology. The one who was least responsible was Vince since he actively went looking for the two men that attacked him and Miles. My favorite character is Miles, mainly because I love dogs and enjoyed how he interacted with his owners.
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“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

—J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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Post by prospero360 » 01 Jun 2018, 18:05

I'd say Miles is the most responsible

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Post by CheyenneR » 18 Jun 2018, 22:58

I will say Rueben was the most responsible, at the very least he tried to be. Trudi would be the least responsible. solely for the whole NRA bit towards the end and getting Rasha to go along with it.

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