DuMont 1Nathanael DuMontEnglish 101Professor Bolton20 February 2012 Last Holiday: The Imperfection of Machines The Last Holiday, starring Queen Latifah, is about Georgia Byrd, a woman who is led to believeby her company’s doctor that she has a rare disease called Lampington’s Disease. The doctor tells herthat she only had three days to live. Before this discovery, Georgia has lived a quiet life, always dreamingbut never doing. She even keeps a “Possibilities” book in where she puts those dreams down. Whenshe finds out about her impending death, she says, “you wait and you wait for something big to happen,and then you find out you gonna die.” She apparently is not going to wait anymore, because she buys aplane ticket to Europe and starts creating experiences of a lifetime. At the end of the film, after she haseverything she has wanted, she finds out that she has been misdiagnosed due to the machine beingfaulty. The film shows that humans depend too much on technology and do not consider that themachines have defects. I agree that humans depend way too entirely on machines and think they arealways right, when, in fact, they have and still can produce error. These days, people rely way too much on machines, and sometimes don’t consider the fact thatthey may be wrong. People assume that the machine can’t mess up and accept the first result made bythe machine almost right away. The GPS navigation system, for example, is one of the technologies thatmost people assume are always right. However, the GPS, if not updated, could in fact be incorrect attimes. It may tell the person using it to turn onto a street, and, instead, they find themselves insomeone else’s driveway due to recent development changes. The GPS system must be updated to giveaccurate directions. The same goes for the machine the doctor used in this film. If he had checked and
DuMont 2updated it, he would have found error to it much sooner, and most likely avoided the situation withGeorgia. Trusting in one machine, especially one not used much by the doctor, should be questionedwhen it diagnoses someone with a serious disease. The doctor clearly states in the movie that they hadjust gotten that machine in for use, so it was fairly new. She should have gone to a second or thirddoctor and gotten another test to make sure there wasn’t a mistake. However, she accepted the firstdiagnosis that she was given right away. This misdiagnosis allowed her to be spontaneous and not letthings happen, but she believed she was on the brink of death in that state of mind. She might havecleared up the situation if she had gotten diagnosed by more than one doctor. People who aremisdiagnosed with such a serious illness as Georgia’s should have received more than one review and bymany other doctors. There are many people who do not update their machines and put too much reliance on thetechnology of it. An example would be security systems. Alarms have been known to go off atnumerous offices and buildings for no particular reason. If the alarms are not kept up with, theybecome faulty and start going off for no reason. The machine in this movie was the same way. Thedoctor did not keep up with it and did not use it a lot, so the machine gave a false report. Machines canproduce error to begin with, but if they are not up to date, then they have a greater chance of giving awrong outcome. Machines that are used every day, such as auto pilots on aircrafts, have to be used and testedfrequently so that the effectiveness of the system works. If the engineer decided that checking on theaircraft regularly was unimportant, the plane has a greater chance of having something go wrong with it,and could potential crash when many lives are at stake. It is vital to check on technology such as thisbecause it could easily turn into a catastrophic event otherwise.
DuMont 3 I believe that technology is an excellent source of finding answers and supplies us with muchneeded information, but, if it’s as critical as death, the situation should be looked over multiple timesinstead of trusting in the one and only result that is given. People have become too dependent on thetechnology of today. Machines are known to have glitches in their system, yet people tend to just trustthem one-hundred and ten percent. Machines can also be tampered with, and bugs can enter thesystem. Many people could be misdiagnosed today because they are as folly as Ms. Georgia Byrd was inthe film. Although it had a good outcome for her, in real life, the situation may not be as happy as herending. The film, Last Holiday, had a point of machines and technology not always being the mostdefinite error. The machines can create error and mess up, so we should not immediately accept theoutcome that they give the first time around. I agree that most times the machines are accurate, but,just as there is human error, technology can show us error as well.
DuMont 4 Work CitedLast Holiday. Dir. Wayne Wang. Perf. Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, and Timothy Hutton. Paramount Pictures, 2006. Film.