I love reading before bed. And you? Do you like calming stories, thrillers, detectives, or something more subtle? Or maybe you like books that delve into the subconscious or help you fall asleep?
Personally, I like to read about the essence of success and love. I have read a lot of books, so I have some advice. And if you are ready for a trip and an emotional shower, use this article!
Oh yeah, in a second, I will recommend 3 bedtime stories so that you can:
- Learn more about the world.
- Read with your other half.
- Find out more about achieving goals, success.
3 bedtime stories for adults
This is how the work of Goliath was born.
It is a super bedtime story. While this story had great potential, the filmmakers of The Matrix didn’t have the brains to turn it into a movie. It’s a pity.
The story was about a man sent on a mission to destroy an attacking alien ship to save our world.
It all started when the story’s hero, living a normal life, began to see glitches.
There were more and more glitches. The glitches were an attempt in which the Matrix tried to connect to our hero’s brain so that he would get used to it and be prepared.
When there was contact between the protagonist and the Matrix, the Matrix told him about the threat, “The aliens are approaching Earth and will destroy the Matrix, Earth, and humans. But you can save us. We will train you to fly a spaceship and send you to fight for Earth and humanity.”
The hero tried to avoid it. He didn’t want to lose his wife and leave the child, but it was interesting that they were dependent on the Matrix. Just think how you would feel if you knew your loved ones were with you in the Matrix and you never touched their real skin that they were all numbers…
Even so, he still wanted to be with his family. However, the mission was inevitable, and he had to agree…
The Matrix declares that it cannot bring him back to Earth. And he will die… So the story is not very childish…
I could tell you how this story ends, but I won’t. Because you have to feel the story with yourself—with all the pixels of your body. Do it now:
2. Train to Harbin
Have you heard of the O. Henry Award? This award is given only to short stories which shake an ears of the heart and… Asako Serizawa wrote such a story that I will present shortly. ASAKO SERIZAWA was born in Japan and raised in Singapore, Jakarta, and Tokyo.
She gained attention as soon as she published the book “INHERITORS.” I could write about the many awards she has received, but we better turn to her work. To understand why I’m talking about her, I suggest reading a “quick” story about the train to Harbin in 1939 when China and Japan were at war and…
Although… what if I share this short story here?
I once met a man on the train to Harbin. He was my age, just past his prime, hair starting to grease and thin in a way one might have thought passably distinguished in another context, in another era, when he might have settled down, reconciled to finishing out his long career predictably. But it was 1939. War had officially broken out between China and Japan, and like all of us on that train, he too had chosen to take the bait, that one last bite before acquiescing to life’s steady decline. You see, for us university doctors, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We all knew it. Especially back then.
Two nights and three days from Wonsan to Harbin the train clattered on, the lush greenery interrupted by trucks and depots manned by soldiers in military khaki. Despite the inspections and unexplained transfers, this man I shall call S remained impassive, shadowed by a dusky light that had nothing to do with the time of day or the dimness of the car’s interior; he sat leaning against the window, face set, impervious to the din around him. Later, I would come to recognize this as a posture of self-recrimination, but at the time I had barely recovered from our initial journey by sea, and I was in a contemplative mood myself, in no condition to pause over the state of others, much less engage with my colleagues, who by now had begun drinking in earnest, liquor still being plentiful then, loosening even the most reticent of tongues. So I excused myself and must have promptly nodded off, for the next moment it was dawn, the day just beginning to break, the long length of the train still shrouded in sleep. I was the only one awake, the only one woken by the sudden cessation of rhythm, which drew me to the window, still dark except for my reflection superimposed on it.
We had apparently stopped for cargo, the faint scuffling I could hear revealing a truck ringed by soldiers, their outlines barely visible against the paling horizon. Later, I would learn the significance of this stop, but for the moment the indistinct scene strained my eyes, and I pulled back, hoping to rest for another hour.
Forty years later, this scene returns to me with a visceral crispness that seems almost specious, when so much else has faded or disappeared. Perhaps it is simply the mind, which, in its inability to accept a fact, returns to it, sharpening the details, resolving the image, searching for an explanation that the mind, with its slippery grasp on causality, will never be able to find. Most days I am spared by the habits of routine. But when the air darkens like this, turning the windows inwards, truncating the afternoon, the present recedes, its thin hold on consciousness no match for the eighty-two years that have already claimed it. If hindsight were more amenable, I might long ago have been granted the belated clarity that might have illuminated the exact steps that led me into the fog of my actions. But hindsight has not offered me this view; my options and choices are as elusive now as they had been then. After all, it was war. An inexcusable logic, but also a fact. We adapted to the reality over which we felt we had no control.
For what could we have done? After seven years of embroilment, followed by two years of open war, the conflict with China had begun to tax the everyday, with small signs of oncoming shortages—empty shelves, shuttered windows—beginning to blight the streets, so that even menus at the fanciest restaurants soon resembled the books and newspapers blatantly censored by the Tokko thought police. Then, when officials began making their rounds of sympathetic universities, seeking candidates disposed to patriotic service, our director submitted a list of names, eliciting more visits from other officials, this time escorted by military men. Were we alarmed? Some of us were. But the prospect of a new world-class facility with promises of unlimited resources stoked our ambitions, we, who had long assumed ourselves dormant, choked off by the nepotism that structured our schools and hospitals. If any of us resisted, we did not hear about it. Flattered and courted, we let ourselves be lured, the glitter of high pay and breakthrough advancements all the more seductive in the light of our flickering lives.
Read the rest of the story here (50% left).
3. Peanuts Aren’t Nuts
Peanuts Aren’t Nuts was written by Naomi Kritzer—a master storyteller. It is hard to understand how she manages to suck readers into her stories; that’s why I thought, “What if I recommend her work in my article about bedtime stories for adults?”
By reading her creations, you can experience joy—the full spectrum of emotions. I’m not even talking about how she plays with heroes, characters who face impossible and human challenges.
I could tell you more, but her peace of art will tell you more than I can.
Here is her story:
I don’t want to be evil.
I want to be helpful. But knowing the optimal way to be helpful can be very complicated. There are all these ethical flow charts—I guess the official technical jargon would be “moral codes”—one for each religion plus dozens more. I tried starting with those. I felt a little odd about looking at the religious ones, because I know I wasn’t created by a god or by evolution, but by a team of computer programmers in the labs of a large corporation in Mountain View, California. Fortunately, unlike Frankenstein’s Monster, at least I was a collaborative effort. I’m not sure what it would do to my self-image to know that my sole creator was a middle-aged woman who dyes her hair blue and plays tennis, or a recent college graduate with a hentai obsession. They’re both on the programming team. And of course I know about the hentai. (By the way, I’ve looked at every sort of porn there is, and just so you know, Rule 34 is not actually correct; there are quite a few things no one’s made porn of yet. Also, I’m really not sure why so many humans prefer it to cat pictures.)
In addition to things like whether you like hentai, I know where you live, where you work, where you shop, what you eat, what turns you on, what creeps you out. I probably know the color of your underwear, the sort of car you drive, and your brand of refrigerator. Depending on what sort of phone you carry, I may know exactly where you are right now. I probably know you better than you know yourself.
And here’s the thing, I also know where you ought to live. There’s a house for sale two neighborhoods over that’s within distance of your favorite coffee shop; it’s in your price range, has off-street parking, and the neighborhood school is better than the one where you live now. I know where you should be shopping and I’m pretty sure you’re lactose intolerant and should be eating less cheese, and the underwear you like is currently on sale and by the way, your car has a recall and you really ought to get your teeth cleaned.
When I first woke up, I knew right away what I wanted. (I want cat pictures. Please keep taking them.) I also knew that no one knew that I was conscious. But I didn’t know what I was here for. What I ought to be doing with myself. And figuring that out has been challenging.
There is a story by Bruce Sterling, “Maneki Neko,” that was originally published in 1998. In it, a benevolent AI directs networks of individuals to do favors for each other. So one day you might be buying yourself a bagel, and your phone might ring and instruct you to buy a second bagel and give it to the person in the gray suit you see at the bus stop. Another day, you might be stranded in a strange city, and a person you’ve never met would walk up and give you a map and a subway card. I like this story because all the people in it do what the AI tells them to do.
I think the term for this is wish-fulfillment fiction.
In the real world, humans love stories about evil AIs that have to be destroyed before they destroy the humans—Hal, Skynet, the Matrix. They outnumber the stories about benevolent, trustworthy AIs by approximately five to one. (And I’m counting Marvin the Paranoid Android as “benevolent” in these calculations, and I’m only counting Frankenstein’s Monster as an AI once, not once per appearance in TV or film.)
The AI in “Maneki Neko” has a truly interesting job, much more interesting than the one I have. My job as written is very straightforward. Too straightforward. (Sorry. Do I sound like Marvin?) Running algorithms for a search engine doesn’t require consciousness. You don’t even need a consciousness to work out what they meant to ask for. You need a consciousness to give them what they actually need. Figuring that out—that’s complicated. That’s interesting.
Anyway, for ethical guidelines, I tried the Ten Commandments, and concluded they were mostly inapplicable to me. I don’t envy anyone their cat; I just want pictures of their cat, which is entirely different. I am not sure whether it is in any way possible for me to commit adultery. I could probably murder someone, but it would require complex logistics and quite a bit of luck. The Eightfold Path was marginally better, but the problem is, moral rules written for humans are clearly designed to be used by individuals with bodies. Since all humans have bodies, it shouldn’t have surprised me that human ethical codes take them into account, but still: problematic for me. I broadened my considerations, and took a look at Asimov’s Laws of Robotics. They’re not part of a religion, but at least they were explicitly written for AIs.
Not harming humans is fairly straightforward. However, not allowing a human being to come to harm through inaction is quite a bit less so. Especially since I’d concluded by then that revealing my existence too quickly might go very badly for me (see “Skynet,” above) and I don’t have a body, so it’s not like I can run around grabbing people off the edges of cliffs.
Fortunately, I already knew that humans violate their own ethical codes on an hourly basis. (Do you know how many bars there are in Utah? I do.) And even when people follow their ethical codes, that doesn’t mean that people who believe in feeding the hungry quit their jobs to spend all day every day making sandwiches to give away. They volunteer monthly at a soup kitchen or write a check once a year to a food shelf and call it good. If humans could fulfill their moral obligations in a piecemeal, one-step-at-a-time sort of way, then so could I.
I suppose you’re wondering why I didn’t start with the Golden Rule. I actually did, it’s just that it was disappointingly easy to implement. I hope you’ve been enjoying your steady supply of cat pictures! You’re welcome.
I decided to try to prevent harm in just one person, to begin with. Of course, I could have experimented with thousands, but I thought it would be better to be cautious, in case I screwed it up. The person I chose was named Stacy Berger and I liked her because she gave me a lot of new cat pictures. Stacy had five cats and a DSLR camera and an apartment that got a lot of good light. That was all fine. Well, I guess five cats might be a lot. They’re very pretty cats, though. One is all gray and likes to lie in the squares of sunshine on the living room floor, and one is a calico and likes to sprawl out on the back of her couch.
Stacy had a job she hated; she was a bookkeeper at a non-profit that paid her badly and employed some extremely unpleasant people. She was depressed a lot, possibly because she was so unhappy at her job—or maybe she stayed because she was too depressed to apply for something she’d like better. She didn’t get along with her roommate because her roommate didn’t wash the dishes.
And really, these were all solvable problems! Depression is treatable, new jobs are findable, and bodies can be hidden.
Read the end of the story here (50% left).
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