What do you think about the characters' naivete re technology and basic science?

Use this forum to discuss the June 2019 Book of the month, "Cynthia and Dan: Cyber War" by Dorothy May Mercer.
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Nisha Ward
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What do you think about the characters' naivete re technology and basic science?

Post by Nisha Ward » 13 Jun 2019, 16:32

In reading this book, I've found some very weird bits that don't make sense in a modern context. When Sky first meets Cynthia, he assumes that she doesn't know what a smart phone is and then Cynthia doesn't seem to understand basic things like sex leading to pregnancy and what Plan B is and how abortificents work. Furthermore, I've also found this with Tim, who's supposed to be this geeky, nerdy guy into computer science and technology not knowing how to hide IP addresses or how computers can connect wirelessly.

In the context of the book, neither of these things make any sense. What do you guys think? Were there other examples of this?
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 14 Jun 2019, 12:21

Nisha Ward wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 16:32
In reading this book, I've found some very weird bits that don't make sense in a modern context. When Sky first meets Cynthia, he assumes that she doesn't know what a smart phone is and then Cynthia doesn't seem to understand basic things like sex leading to pregnancy and what Plan B is and how abortificents work. Furthermore, I've also found this with Tim, who's supposed to be this geeky, nerdy guy into computer science and technology not knowing how to hide IP addresses or how computers can connect wirelessly.

In the context of the book, neither of these things make any sense. What do you guys think? Were there other examples of this?
I agree with you about Cynthia's lack of common sense. Unless she has been living under a rock for her whole life, how can she forget that unprotected sex causes pregnancy? Even scarier, STDs! The fact that she had no idea what Plan B was confused me. Why was her character made to be so clueless?

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Post by Nisha Ward » 14 Jun 2019, 12:27

Stephanie Elizabeth wrote:
14 Jun 2019, 12:21
Nisha Ward wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 16:32
In reading this book, I've found some very weird bits that don't make sense in a modern context. When Sky first meets Cynthia, he assumes that she doesn't know what a smart phone is and then Cynthia doesn't seem to understand basic things like sex leading to pregnancy and what Plan B is and how abortificents work. Furthermore, I've also found this with Tim, who's supposed to be this geeky, nerdy guy into computer science and technology not knowing how to hide IP addresses or how computers can connect wirelessly.

In the context of the book, neither of these things make any sense. What do you guys think? Were there other examples of this?
I agree with you about Cynthia's lack of common sense. Unless she has been living under a rock for her whole life, how can she forget that unprotected sex causes pregnancy? Even scarier, STDs! The fact that she had no idea what Plan B was confused me. Why was her character made to be so clueless?
Yes! Thank you!
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Post by Everydayadventure15 » 16 Jun 2019, 20:35

I also thought it was really weird that she was this so-called head of security for the senator but didn't think to check her car for tracking devices when she got suspicious of Dan knowing exactly where she was.

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Post by Nisha Ward » 17 Jun 2019, 01:17

Everydayadventure15 wrote:
16 Jun 2019, 20:35
I also thought it was really weird that she was this so-called head of security for the senator but didn't think to check her car for tracking devices when she got suspicious of Dan knowing exactly where she was.
Yup, or that she let him into her home immediately after the blow up and didn't question how he knew she was there.
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Post by briellejee » 18 Jun 2019, 04:33

I agree with you about Cynthia's character being clueless in most things. Surely, a woman of her "intelligence" (considering she's part of the cyberwar plan), knows that babies don't come out just because. I guess these plotholes were overlooked. But then again, this being bordered on technological aspects, have no excuse for that, because, I mean, duh? It is such an obvious flaw.
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Post by Nisha Ward » 18 Jun 2019, 09:16

briellejee wrote:
18 Jun 2019, 04:33
I agree with you about Cynthia's character being clueless in most things. Surely, a woman of her "intelligence" (considering she's part of the cyberwar plan), knows that babies don't come out just because. I guess these plotholes were overlooked. But then again, this being bordered on technological aspects, have no excuse for that, because, I mean, duh? It is such an obvious flaw.
It's not just the pregnancy aspect but it being juxtaposed against her supposed expertise in other areas.
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Post by Chlabonte923 » 19 Jun 2019, 13:00

One of my big gripes was the Major was supposed to be helping them write code and when the string of code came up on the computer, he says, what's this and it has to be explained to him and he has to be told to push enter. At that point, I wondered if the author had to have a certain amount of words because there was no need to tell us he clicked enter.

And Cynthia, just how is she head of security but doesn't seem to grasp simple things? I shook my head a lot reading this book

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Post by AntonelaMaria » 19 Jun 2019, 16:00

Nisha Ward wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 16:32
In reading this book, I've found some very weird bits that don't make sense in a modern context. When Sky first meets Cynthia, he assumes that she doesn't know what a smart phone is and then Cynthia doesn't seem to understand basic things like sex leading to pregnancy and what Plan B is and how abortificents work. Furthermore, I've also found this with Tim, who's supposed to be this geeky, nerdy guy into computer science and technology not knowing how to hide IP addresses or how computers can connect wirelessly.

In the context of the book, neither of these things make any sense. What do you guys think? Were there other examples of this?
I think I pointed it more the once in these comments how annoyed I was with Cynthia as this "strong" woman that she is supossed to be and turned out to be opposite. I forgot about suspense and tech part of this book but I agree with you there are several times when things in that area don't make much sense.

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Post by Nisha Ward » 19 Jun 2019, 17:17

Chlabonte923 wrote:
19 Jun 2019, 13:00
One of my big gripes was the Major was supposed to be helping them write code and when the string of code came up on the computer, he says, what's this and it has to be explained to him and he has to be told to push enter. At that point, I wondered if the author had to have a certain amount of words because there was no need to tell us he clicked enter.

And Cynthia, just how is she head of security but doesn't seem to grasp simple things? I shook my head a lot reading this book
Oh my god. I totally missed that because I was already confused as to how they expected to get his co-operation without offering anything in return while simultaneously appearing shadier than shady as a group.
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Post by Nisha Ward » 19 Jun 2019, 17:20

AntonelaMaria wrote:
19 Jun 2019, 16:00
Nisha Ward wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 16:32
In reading this book, I've found some very weird bits that don't make sense in a modern context. When Sky first meets Cynthia, he assumes that she doesn't know what a smart phone is and then Cynthia doesn't seem to understand basic things like sex leading to pregnancy and what Plan B is and how abortificents work. Furthermore, I've also found this with Tim, who's supposed to be this geeky, nerdy guy into computer science and technology not knowing how to hide IP addresses or how computers can connect wirelessly.

In the context of the book, neither of these things make any sense. What do you guys think? Were there other examples of this?
I think I pointed it more the once in these comments how annoyed I was with Cynthia as this "strong" woman that she is supossed to be and turned out to be opposite. I forgot about suspense and tech part of this book but I agree with you there are several times when things in that area don't make much sense.
I think it has to do with the author's views on Cynthia's role in relation to the men in her life. Like, in the back of the book when she discusses the loose ends she says something like, of course Cynthia is going to move on to Sky because Dan didn't propose or something and it had me confused because Cynthia didn't even seem to know what she wanted? She was just really naive and ceded her role as leader when a guy was around. In some cases, like with the miscarriage and with Glenn running the operation, it made sense. In everything else, it didn't.
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Post by lisalynn » 21 Jun 2019, 07:17

The characters don't know because the author doesn't know. Write what you know, and if you don't know, research it.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 21 Jun 2019, 07:33

Nisha Ward wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 16:32
In reading this book, I've found some very weird bits that don't make sense in a modern context. When Sky first meets Cynthia, he assumes that she doesn't know what a smart phone is and then Cynthia doesn't seem to understand basic things like sex leading to pregnancy and what Plan B is and how abortificents work. Furthermore, I've also found this with Tim, who's supposed to be this geeky, nerdy guy into computer science and technology not knowing how to hide IP addresses or how computers can connect wirelessly.

In the context of the book, neither of these things make any sense. What do you guys think? Were there other examples of this?
I think the author tried to push the story along without paying attention to the character profiles.

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Post by Nisha Ward » 21 Jun 2019, 08:23

lisalynn wrote:
21 Jun 2019, 07:17
The characters don't know because the author doesn't know. Write what you know, and if you don't know, research it.
Mm, true and this is where my displeasure with the book stems from. It's clear that not enough research was done for the cyber war part but we got a whole lecture about plan B and the abortifacient.
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Post by Nisha Ward » 21 Jun 2019, 08:24

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
21 Jun 2019, 07:33
Nisha Ward wrote:
13 Jun 2019, 16:32
In reading this book, I've found some very weird bits that don't make sense in a modern context. When Sky first meets Cynthia, he assumes that she doesn't know what a smart phone is and then Cynthia doesn't seem to understand basic things like sex leading to pregnancy and what Plan B is and how abortificents work. Furthermore, I've also found this with Tim, who's supposed to be this geeky, nerdy guy into computer science and technology not knowing how to hide IP addresses or how computers can connect wirelessly.

In the context of the book, neither of these things make any sense. What do you guys think? Were there other examples of this?
I think the author tried to push the story along without paying attention to the character profiles.
Pretty much and it was the wrong move because in doing so it just highlighted all of the book's flaws.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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