Origin (Robert Langdon, #5) Origin discussion

loop holes in the story (SPOILER ALERT)

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message 1: by Anand (last edited Oct 19, 2017 08:53AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anand I understand that Edmond Kirsch set up things so that his own murder would publicize his theory. To achieve that, the AI Winston poses as the Regent and hires Avila, the assassin to murder Edmond Kirsh. So far it is all according to plan. After that, Langdon and Vidal escape the scene to go Kirsh's house and publish the video from there. Why should the Regent redirect Avila to stop them now? They are going to achieve what Kirsh wanted, right? Why put 2 innocent humans in harm's way when you could have had the AI itself publish the video after some time. Also, the AI willingly killed 2 of the 3 religious leaders to whom Kirsh showed the video. Was it part of Kirsh's plan or was it just the AI acting on its own?

Another loophole is that no self respecting scientist would publish their findings on social media. They would probably publish it in a scientific journal, get it peer reviewed and tested by independent parties. They would first build some credibility behind their idea before going public like this. This sounds too contrived to maintain the suspense rather than imaginative story telling.

Manikandan Jayakumar 1. Winston's plan was to make Ávila arrested. So Winston clued cops about Entry of Ávila through west gate but Ávila saw the cops and jumped the fence.

2. Kirsh's command to AI is to improvise as much as possible to increase the viewer's count. So, it was not Kirsch's plan to kill the Köves and Syed al-Fadl

3. Publishing in scientific journal - Running out of time and love to dramatize.
Edmond knows that he might gonna die in a week, so he might not be sure whether his paper will get reviewed or not in couple of days, also he loves to dramatize things(His entry to the presentation shows)

message 3: by Anand (last edited Oct 21, 2017 09:19AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anand 1. Winston could have simply asked Avila to hide in a hotel and clued the cops to find him there. No need to redirect Avila to go behind Langdon and Ambra.

2. Kirsh could have had the AI to release the video by itself after the necessary hype had been built. No necessity to make Langdon and Ambra to chase the clues and run all over the place.

3. Running out of time is not a valid reason. Kirsh was planning to release it after his death anyway. If he had published in a scientific journal, Winston could have acted on behalf of Kirsh in defending the thesis. I will concede to his love for dramatic reveal, but social media is a poor place for gaining credibility.

message 4: by Manikandan (last edited Oct 22, 2017 01:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Manikandan Jayakumar 1. Yes, that can be a possible way. But that depends on the author to decide. Its upto him to decide which is better for the novel.

2,3. Kirsch don't knows that he will be killed by AI. But he suspected that Bishop might kill him so he should have automated his presentation or should have not password protected. But both the ways it can be hacked. What i feel is telling Ambra and inviting Langdon was not a co-incidence.

Kirsch might have guessed that he will be killed by Bishop so he clued about the password to Ambra. Now Ambra have the clue and she should crack it which langdon can only do(& - et was thought by langdon to krisch), so he made the presentation with langdon's introduction. So that Ambra can trust Langdon.

*****This is totally my understanding, i may be wrong.*****

Keith Manikandan wrote: "1. Winston's plan was to make Ávila arrested. So Winston clued cops about Entry of Ávila through west gate but Ávila saw the cops and jumped the fence.

2. Kirsh's command to AI is to improvise as ..."

This summarises exactly how I read it too

Anand Manikandan wrote "Kirsch don't knows that he will be killed by AI.".

I think Kirsch planned on getting killed. He knew he was going to die in a week. He met the 3 religious leaders to establish a suspect. He then tells Langdon that one of them is planning to kill him. Why did he do these if he was not planning on getting killed and using it to improve his viewership?

message 7: by Cid (last edited Oct 23, 2017 03:26AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cid sorry, but Ai acting on its own is total stretch, E definitly planed whole thing to avenge his mother(being member of some religious cult?), he may let Ai *improvise details, but assasinaton of Religious leaders is ordered by someone(E to bring media attention? or 3rd person?) & like you say no point in whole chase & killing 2 agent thing!x,x facepalm

and whole thing about going to social media instead scientific journal is exactly becouse E know his theory is just that THEORY! like milion of others including one abut flat/hollow Earth!:) in short it's irrelevant, & just part of his revenge plot!:) facepalm may as well join my rant here & blame it all on medications E was using!:) https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

message 8: by Manikandan (last edited Oct 23, 2017 05:06AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Manikandan Jayakumar If its a revenge then should Edmond killed the Palmarian pope or someone Priest of Palmarian church?

I'm convinced that this is a whole plot of Edmond, he also know that improvise to any extent means Winston would kill him.

Nishari I thought the book was great but one thing that's really bugging me is that Kirsch showed the presentation to the religious clerics and stopped it at the apocalyptic ending. The version he showed the public was more hopeful since it didn't depict human extinction due to technology...but rather a fusion with technology.

I'm wondering why he didn't show them the true ending and knowingly put them in a state of panic and therefore wanting to stop him from revealing his discovery. It just seems counterintuitive if he initially went to them out of respect and to gauge their reactions.

Valdespino question’s this and speculates but it’s never answered or addressed afterwards. I can’t think of a real reasoning as to why Kirsch would do that. It makes me think that once Langdon put in the password, and Winston now had access to the presentation, he somehow added in the hopeful “happy” ending so that humans wouldn’t try to prevent the takeover of technology. They wouldn’t have anything to fear and therefore wouldn’t do anything about it.

I know that would technically go against Winston’s programming, but he was a super advanced computer constantly learning to the point where he killed his creator. Maybe he set out to become like his creator. Kirsch basically died to make his dream of a better world come true. Winston knew he would be terminated soon after Kirsch died, therefore maybe one of his final acts was to ensure the creation of what his take on a better world would be – human extinction leaving behind a world of only technology.

Lol, sorry for the long post, but like I said, it’s really bugging me that Kirsch made that choice…it just doesn’t make sense.


Miguel Montes I am the same. I don't understand why Winston or Edmond changed how the presentation ends. If the command from Edmond was to make his presentation view by as many people as possible it would make much more sense to leave the presentation with the "cathastrophic" ending.

I thought Winston was going to explain to Landong why the presentation was changed.

But I like that Dan Brown make a point to the general people (I am a techie person, I read a lot about this) that we should be carefull with AI, machine learning and how we manage this.

message 11: by Anna (new)

Anna Thank god i finally found someone who is thinking about the changing of the presentation!

I think another possible solution might be that Winston isn't as nice as he seems to be, because firstly he decides to kill Edmond. So why shouldn't he change the presentation so that no-one "fears" the consequences of technology and AI. Do we really know that he has deleted himself? He might still be "alive".

Of course, this is somehow a really negative interpretation but worth thinking of it, at least that's what i think :D

message 12: by Emily (new)

Emily O'Donnell Why would Winston kill Edmond if he didn't know the password to the presentation? Did he plan on using Langdon before they "met?" Otherwise he would have no way of publishing it so it wouldn't have mattered how much attention it got.

Kelly All this, plus, what was in the "incriminating" text that Valdespino received? We never found out! A lot of loose ends in this one, and I don't think I'll read the next Robert Langdon one, just because of the treatment of Christianity in this one. Divergent fringe sects/individuals do not equal mainstream Christianity! Of course DB has always been a critic of Christianity, esp. Catholicism, in his books, but he seemed to turn from "critical" to "downright hostile" in this one.

message 14: by Rod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rod Paul Great read! Enjoy this book, I did.

message 15: by Alla (new)

Alla I think Edmond expected to show the apocalyptic version of the presentation and Winston changed it. Winston killed Kirsch and others. Kirsch's character is dramatic and eccentric but not ruthless and unemotional. Winston did all of this not because he is evil, but simply as a matter of logic. If Krisch will die anyway why not use his death to advance his discovery? If religious leaders were in the way they needed to be removed. If the tech takeover is inevitable, why instill chaos rather than make it positive? Is Brown telling us that logic devoid of emotion leads to murder?

Maggie Every Dan Brown book seems elongated to the nth degree. Seems that each story would be best served as a short story at one third the number of pages. It is irritating how often he repeats concepts and phrases. This is the last DB book for me.

Victoria I am with Alla on this. Winston cannot be good or evil, he's a computer programme. It was a matter of logic. And whilst AI is still not to the level where it can make decisions, it IS advancing in that direction. Google Assistant learns from interactions it has with humans. The pace of growth is slower, but this is not impossible. Just watch the 'Duplex' video from Google I/O on YouTube.

Also, to the last comment - I SO AGREE. I know it's a tried and tested formula for DB but this one didn't work for me. Way too long and repetitive, it was driving me crazy to read. I probably won't read the next one, if he continues to flog the horse.

message 18: by Becky (new) - added it

Becky Anand wrote: "I understand that Edmond Kirsch set up things so that his own murder would publicize his theory. To achieve that, the AI Winston poses as the Regent and hires Avila, the assassin to murder Edmond K..."
In the end, Langdon realized Winston had killed Kirsch, without Kirsch actually telling the computer to do so. That was what startled Langdon so badly in the final chapter. The computer had taken it upon itself to have Kirsch murdered on live TV to increase viewership, knowing Kirsch was dying anyway, and having it's final directive from Kirsch being "increase viewership in any way possible".

message 19: by David (new)

David Gadd Just finished the book, my question is - why did Winston send Avila to kill Langdon?

message 20: by Fabian (new)

Fabian i finished the book today and there is really one thing that bugs me out:

Winstons plan was to kill Edmond but why did he warn Langton that somthing ist going wrong during the first event? He should have known that Avila is the only one not using his headset.

William Desperado Well actually , if you read /re read the book carefully enough you will see that
●Kirsch was not part of the whole murder plot thing. He just told Winston use all creative ways to increase viewership , for which Winston plans the on screen murder of the scientist , which was a logical idea as anyway Kirsch was gonna die of cancer in a few days.
●But when Winston arranged Avila to kill Kirsch , he expected it to happen after Kirach had triggered the password and started playing the pre recorded presentation and not before it. That's why Winston got alarmed and alerted Langdon when he saw Avila pre emptively going to kill Kirsch , before the original presentation had been triggered. Since Winston didnt know the password he didnt want Avila to kill Kirsch yet.
●He sent Avila after Langdon as explained was to be caught by the police , but as explained in the book Avila jumped the fence which caused all that misshap.
●The imam was killed may be beacuse the Imam was of the strong opinion of releasing details of Kirsch's presentation themselves preemptively to present tge facts in reframed softer way that suits their religious needs.

Matthew Williamson Effectively the book is based on Nick Bostrom's paperclip maximiser - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrum...

Kirsch did not know he was going to die, that was a logical choice Winston made to increase viewership.

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