VISION AFORETHOUGHT

Common sense analysis of this, that and the other

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Just returned from seeing Oblivion, a visually utopian movie that has a very original plot, even if the multiple references to other movies shows lack of imagination, unless done out of respect? Anyway…

<Minor conceptual spoiler within>

…the movie (or is it film?), is, like most of the apocalyptic dystopian efforts of this forthcoming summer, one of those that makes you think about what it is like to be human and question our potential future.

</end spoiler alert>

Oblivion is very relevant to goings on in the world today, and one of those things that has since the mid 1990s (when I woke up) made me wonder if Hollywood is either very visionary or in cahoots with the powers that be to prepare us for our inevitable future, from the exaggerated (but accurate to date) effects of climate change in The Day After Tomorrow to the guilty until proven innocent reversal of non French law in Minority Report.

  1. The Boston bombs and more recent but nipped in the bud just in time potential attack on a train from Canada to New York bring up the issue of increased surveillance – with one senator calling for armed drones in (US) cities. #omg #yikes #wrongtarget
  2. Advances in health and biotech makes it possible for parents to have babies at increasingly older age(s), not to mention flawless designer babies – a legal non repressive alternative to the ideals of Nazi Germany.
  3. Increasingly effective artificial intelligence and data mining technology (related!) mean that our gadgets know more about us than we do and can deliver pre-emptive information before we seek it. But to whom?
  4. Many other similar or related issues that like the above have already been discussed around the world.

Traffic warden - or eliminator of traffic wardens, you choose!

You dropped a cigarette – Prepare to die!

So, Dear sentient human, do we take the above concepts to their inevitable conclusion – because we can – or like when offered a line of Charlie by a controlling manipulative fiscally motivated ‘friend’, calmly depart the room head held high and continue as we are, relieved at having walked away from a potentially regretful uncertain future?

Fight back club: Wisely choose, human.

P.S. I went into Oblivion having for the first time ever in my movie viewing history accidentally known about a major plot ‘twist’ in advance. That thanks to clicking a link in a gadget blog comment without noticing a not very clear “Spoiler alert” warning. Fortunately, this didn’t ruin the movie that much because it had enough going for it anyway unless you don’t like TC.

P.P.S. In 1993, whilst living in the US, I started to write a short story predicting the misuse of drones. Work meant I didn’t complete it, but I think you’ll get the idea from the completed text.

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Written by Oflife

April 23, 2013 at 11:44 pm

2 Responses

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  1. “3. Increasingly effective artificial intelligence and data mining technology (related!) mean that our gadgets know more about us than we do and can deliver pre-emptive information before we seek it.”

    You know this is where my area of expertise is 🙂

    Yeah, perhaps my research is going to aid the implementation of dystopia…. who knows… as Abney Park sung in the song “The Secret Life of Dr Calgori”:
    “His mechapede policed old delhi”
    (its a great song, listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iySJykzz7Dk )

    I’m a utopian rather than a dystopian and anything I research and develop will be in the direction of freedom, equality and community rather than policing, centralisation and such like.

    That all aside, I’m pleased to hear a good review of Oblivion. I’ve not seen it (yet), but I’ve heard some bad reviews. So thank you 🙂

    Daniel Lewis

    April 24, 2013 at 7:53 am

    • You’re a guy of good conscience, so such technology will be in good hands. 🙂 It is the more nefarious use in breaching privacy (for profit) or misuse by the authorities that should be of concern. Re Oblivion, some dislike movies that appear a vehicle for Tom C, but I was drawn to the visuals, superb drone mechanics and thought provoking plot concept.

      Oflife

      April 24, 2013 at 12:33 pm


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