The Most Intriguing Theories About 2001: A Space Odyssey

By Cheryl Eddy

Dery_Bad coverio9 has delved into the “HAL can be read as gay” idea before, with this excerpt from cultural critic Mark Dery’s 2012 bookI Must Not Think Bad Thoughts: Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams.The insightful piece is well worth reading in full, but it begins with Dery’s assertion that 2001's most memorable character, supercomputer HAL 9000, fails the Turing Test—except not in the way that you’re thinking:

Not Alan Turing’s classic blindfold test for artificial intelligence, which the ultra-intelligent machine could pass “with ease” as Arthur C. Clarke notes in the novel on which Stanley Kubrick based his movie, but the test that Turing himself failed (albeit deliberately): that of passing for straight.


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