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Thread: Plot holes

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array
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    Aug 2013

    Default Plot holes

    This post is mostly about me but I hope you find it interesting. Please do also go on and on about your relationship with plot holes as well.

    So, about ten years ago I moved in with a new roommate who was super into the show 24. I would sometimes watch it with him in the evenings, enjoying the action scenes and especially enjoying pointing out all of the plot holes. And for this I was summarily banned from watching tv with him. Way to ruin a good time, bro. But to me it was a mystery how you could put all of the effort into creating a TV show and not fill in the blanks with something at least plausible. Far from plausible, it was often blatantly wrong. And this did not sit right with me. I would rather watch something a bit more realistic. Or something that didn't even try. Given me plausibility or give me straight up unexplained magic.

    I know what you're thinking. All sorts of TV shows, movies, books and even life are full of plot holes. If I can't manage to enjoy a single TV show without freaking out over such minor inconsistencies, how do I even manage to survive? And do I even have an imagination? Was I ever a kid?

    Yes, I was a kid, and yes, I have an imagination, although I don't tend to daydream about unicorns or being a mermaid. I used to enjoy reading books like the Chronicles of Narnia, although I vastly preferred speed-reading western novels such as those by Louis L'Amore, or spy books such as The Hardy Boys. And nowadays I prefer to read Wikipedia.

    On this topic I think it's interesting to contrast the pure-theory INTP with their more practical ISTP brethren. A couple of my close friends are INTPs and I *love* talking to them. With regards to philosophy we're just on the same wavelength, and we can complete eachothers sentences. We can almost talk without talking, which is freaking awesome.

    However, I dread it when they start talking about whatever books or movies they are into. I just can't stomach all of the abstraction that is apparently completely ungrounded in reality. And they have a remarkable ability to remember all of the details too, leaving me hanging while they talk endlessly. "Didn't you see that movie?" Yeah, I saw it, and I found the parts that you remember to be completely and utterly boring. I basically filtered them out as irrelevant, not worth my time, not worth remembering or nonsense.

    Of course, this filtering process is not for naught. By filtering out the implausible I feel I have become remarkably tuned to the plausible. This ties in with the ISTP's incredibly fast reaction times in emergency scenarios, in which they know exactly how to arrange their proximal environment in order to solve the problem as quickly as possible. I'm not going to sit there and theorize about it, doing nothing. Actually, I don't even have to think very hard to figure out the best course of action. I pretty much never consider implausible courses of actions in the first place, so doing the best thing for the present moment feels completely natural and hardly even requires thinking.

    I would like to briefly tie this in with the notion of suspending disbelief - am I doing it? Yes, I am definitely doing it. However, after you suspend disbelief, there is still a moment of judgement. And in that moment I feel I assess the plausibility of the idea. Is there any way to make this idea work given the tools that I have? If yes, continue ruminating along those lines. If no, move on to the next thought. This pattern of reasoning seems to be quite powerful. It can explain quick-witted clever philosophers such as George Carlin, and, if they have read extensively, it can result in ISTPs that can easily be mistaken for an INTx.

    As a bonus (for me), if you know of any good futuristic sci-fi movies that are close to completely plausible, I would really enjoy such a list

  2. #2
    You have a choice! Array 21%'s Avatar
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    May 2009


    I'm an NF so I'm never hung up on what actually happens in movies -- it's all about how they make me feel

    And maybe it's my Fe -- I try to 'correct' plot holes that I notice by imagining extra scenes or explanations that will make it work...
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  3. #3
    i love Array skylights's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    6w7 so/sx
    EII Ne


    I know what you mean about plot holes too and it bothers me to the extent of suspension of disbelief. Take the Harry Potter series - there's a lot of unexplained stuff in there. But I felt like throughout the books, I was never abruptly "pulled out" of the storyline by a sudden realization that the situation was completely unbelievable. That's the sort of experience that I seek, and what is meaningful to me. I desire full immersion and it bothers me if that's interrupted.

    As for my ISTP brother, I don't think he's much into fiction. He did like the deadpan humor of Napoleon Dynamite and he enjoys watching horror movies for the thrill. He'll also praise the nitty-gritty of well done action scenes.

    My INTP dad's a physician and we'd all sit around and watch House and enjoy Dad pointing out the medical inaccuracies He always said it was pretty decent as far as doctor shows go, though. Not so much fudgery that he didn't like watching - though he preferred the chemistry in Breaking Bad.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Pseudo's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    5w4 so/sx


    I live plot holes. In highschool my friends and I loved renting horribly bad movies and basically talking all over them and laughing. Noisy movie watching is fun. I think this is fine because I always think of my self as observing the movie, I very rarely feel like I'm in it. There's always a sense of separation I'm always thinking about who wrote it or what they might have happen next. Similarly with books I always like flipping to end the end rather than letting things be a mystery (though I've been trying to so this more). I have two NF friends who are horrified by this one especially can't stand me asking questions/theorizing while watching movies. He'd seen "looper" three times and still got annoyed when I quickly predicted that the kid was the rainmaker. He was still in the moment and wanted me to be too.

  5. #5


    Weird, I almost never spot plot holes. If I'm watching something, I'm genuinely interested, and my propensity to suspend disbelief is incredible. I just wanna experience what they're presenting.

    Afterwards, yeah, I'll start to piece things together more carefully, but I usually dream up reasons things happened the way they did. That's half the fun. One time I was analyzing the end of a book with a friend and he told me, "Yeah, but does the author even know that's what it means?" So lolz.

    My favorite futuristic hard science fiction series is the Sprawl trilogy. Corporate espionage, Voodoo AI programs, young punk hackers - it's got it all.

  6. #6


    Ah, plot holes. Suspension of disbelief only goes so far. Taken past that, the band snaps loose and you get hurled out of the work of fiction and right back into reality, immediately and forcefully. Bam. Immersion lost.

    See also: Seeing a movie that has a huge plot twist, then replaying the movie from the beginning (even if in your head) with that twist in mind to see if the movie actually makes any sense at all.

    Speculation can be fun -- What could be done with this story, or with this character, scene, piece-part, etc. ? Often, though, the author's messed his own fictional world up too much for me to care. If he can't get his straight, then there are plenty of other, more fulfilling universes out there for me to dabble in.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array
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    Aug 2011


    I do like mulling over a plot hole or two but it must be an interesting subject. If it is not then I would let it slide. Primarily it involves time travel. I love time travel in movies. I honestly analyse the heck out of it despite my type. If the butterfly effect is being underplayed e.g. a time line change produces an alternate timeline too close to the original then I am on the case. It's all in good fun however.

  8. #8
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Array Cellmold's Avatar
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    Mar 2012


    I only see plot holes once they are pointed out for me.

    Inferior Ti sheep and all that.
    "An upsidedown wire heart
    Being sucked into a periscope
    Still the mind is dull
    Like you need another excuse"

    … a theory is primarily a form of insight, i.e. a way of looking
    at the world, and not a form of knowledge of how the world is….
    .. all our different ways of thinking are to be considered as
    different ways of looking at the one reality, each with some
    domain in which it is clear and adequate….
    - David Bohm

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