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Arc-Vile
Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:44 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 08 Nov 2006 Posts: 41906 Location: Bronx 1990
Smart, suspenseful, satirical tales that explore techno-paranoia with stories that tap into the collective unease about the modern world.

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Arc-Vile
Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:44 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 08 Nov 2006 Posts: 41906 Location: Bronx 1990
BLACK MIRROR

San Junipero

Season: 3
Episode: 4
Director: Owen Harris
Writer: Charlie Brooker
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Mackenzie Davis

“Ooh, Heaven Is A Place On Earth”

In a seaside town, a shy young woman and an outgoing party girl strike up a powerful bond that seems to defy the laws of space and time.

WARNING: If you have not seen this episode, don’t read the rest.

This episode of BLACK MIRROR is probably one of the most profound television show I have seen in a long time. Right from the very beginning small pieces of the puzzle are unveiled. For me everything illuminated once Yorkie is told to find Kelly in another decade. Basically the twist is that the town, San Junipero, is a computer-generated universe that comes with an afterlife option. Let’s take a look:

Nostalgia therapy is a real thing that’s being tinkered with and we are treated to it in the whole episode through songs, fashion and technology. The thing is, there is basically continuous syncing going on between the virtual world/avatar and the 'real persons' brain. When the body dies, the avatar remains. No more syncing. When you look at it that way, the avatar really just is a copy.

Tucker's Arcade seems to be an homage to Flynn's Arcade in the movie TRON, right down to the opening establishing shot. Of course the original TRON came out in 1982 and was about a guy (Flynn) who gets uploaded into a virtual gaming world. And Flynn was played by Jeff Bridges, who 6 years later played a guy named "Tucker" in the film TUCKER, which happened to be about a futurist inventor who was ahead of his time (in that case it was about cars).

What about the name of the city? All I could find is that Junipero Serra is the name of the highway that runs from San Francisco to San Jose through Silicon Valley... right where we can expect TCKR Industries engineers and product designers to work/live/brainstorm.

This world also features others aspect similar to video games. The bartender is a NPC, a Non-Player Character”. He is part of this world, to moderate, to see that everything works properly. Much like in The Sims video game, these characters are there to make your stay more or less enjoyable. Seriously I could go on forever about the similarities with the video game industry.

In the end, everything came down to a choice between nothingness and “living”.

Would you live forever in a virtual world? Living decades or centuries in the same environment, probably repeating yourself again and again.

If San Junipero was intented to be a heaven on earth why are there still people who seemed unhappy (Kelly's boyfriend). That is why the Quagmire (a hardcore club on the outskirts of town where people can get into all kinds of crazy, gloomy shenanigans) is essentially the episode's way of acknowledging, in shorthand, the existence of this problem, without dwelling on it at the expense of the love story as the main focus.

And what was Kelly's final decision? Did she really decided to stay in San Junipero? Was she really there? Sure she was living miserably but after her speech about her husband and daughter did she really decided to go with Yorkie?

Remember Davis, who’s the arcade player, when he says to Yorkie’s character, “this was kind of the first video game (Bubble Bobble) to offer a two-player role at the end”. Well… we see two endings when the credits roll. First of Yorkie driving off in her car alone. Then after more credits, we see the life with Yorkie and Kelly. Did Kelly really pass over or that this is just a virtual Kelly?

They all have their own relationships, how they’ve come to be in San Junipero and their own histories.

What if our current world is actually the digitalized version but we are not aware of it?

There's several theories that suggest this is likely true. The basic reasoning goes something like this:

Just think about how many computer simulations we're running on earth at any given time. From the simplest game of Pong being played somewhere to super computers running massively complex simulations.

Now let's say it's a given that at some point in time, technology will progress to the point where it's trivial to simulate worlds or even universes with the level of complexity of our reality.

When that happens, there will be only one true reality. But countless simulations of realities so complex it's inhabitants think theirs is the one and only true reality. There's no reasons the inhabitants of the simulations aren't running sufficiently complex simulated realities of their own.

At that point it's statistically unlikely you're living in the one true reality as opposed to one of the countless simulated ones.

And what about human subconsciousness, can it be transported to a digital consciousness?

People like to think that their body is a transportation system for their mind. Basically that the human mind is a self contained entity that could be copied, transported, stored etc. and the body is just a vehicle.

It's much more accurate to say that your mind is an operating system for your body. It's main purpose is keeping body intact for reproductive reasons.

Your entire perception of reality is the result of the processed input of a tiny number of extremely limited senses. Like the eyes that see a tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Your nose that detects a limited range of chemicals, mostly based on threat or usefulness to your body. Ears that hear in a small range on the auditory spectrum.

And all that limited and flawed input is processed, filtered and extrapolated by your brain to provide you with a very incomplete and deeply flawed perception of the world around you.

Not only that but your entire sense of self is defined by your limitations. Take time for instance. We have a limited lifespan and our lives are defined by time and how much we achieve in the time we have. My life's work, I don't have time for that, you're late, I'm late, this is taking too long, we need results now, carpe diem.

A lot of the emotions that make us inherently human stem from social necessity. Which is why we tend to find it quite easy to dehumanize those who don't share many of our values.

Our very personalities, our “souls” are just the sum of our experiences as we experienced them through the lens of our limited perception of reality.

Now imagine uploading a human mind (whatever that is) to a computer. Are you going to simulate all of our human limitations, even though you don't have to? Are you going to simulate a limited lifespan? If you don't, how does an immortal human find common ground with mortal ones? How are they going to value life. People find it hard enough to value the lives of those in a significantly different economic or cultural situation. Even mere distance can wear away our value for human life.

When you are a digital human. None of the things that make you human have to apply. It would be trivial to turn yourself into something utterly inhuman. And I've yet to see a human being who says no to increased ability. We practically live our lives through devices as primitive as a smart phone. Can you see humans saying no to what digital life offers?

Finally… unlike what some are saying, this episode has a dystopian and obviously terrifying ending. They are stuck in this infinite timeless place where their life has no meaning. There is no structure, no goals. Immortality in any sense is horrifying and immoral. What makes humans human is death.

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Arc-Vile
Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:14 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 08 Nov 2006 Posts: 41906 Location: Bronx 1990
BLACK MIRROR

Nosedive

Season: 3
Episode: 1
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Charlie Brooker, Rashida Jones & Michael Schur
Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard & Alice Eve

An insecure office worker is trying to keep her "score" high while preparing for her oldest childhood friend's wedding.

WARNING: If you have not seen this episode, don’t read the rest.

Don't let the pastels fool you - this “future” is grim! In Nosedive everybody rates everyone they interact with on a scale from one to five, and anything under four stars is seen as a failure.

It is an interesting concept that actually is a bit too similar to what happens nowadays. Rate our friends (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). Rate our potential dates (Tinder). Rate our rides (Uber). Rate our food/experience (Yelp). Rate our thoughts/comments (Reddit). All of which, are supposed to determine our status as a functioning member of society.

Sadly it is pretty much exactly what America is like. If you're not constantly fake laughing and playing the game of social politics correctness, you get f*cked over hard.

It is also about how we now feel pressure to please everyone. This is amplified on social media where you see nothing but perfectly curated images of others who are apparently thinner, richer, happier, and more vegan than you. Remember when the lead character Lacie carefully bites the cookie and then spits it out. She created this beautiful image ("Heaven!") when really the coffee wasn't good and she didn't even eat the cookie.

The ending was probably the only time that Lacie (superbly played by Bryce Dallas Howard) ever talked to someone without being worried about a totally artificial rating. Remember when her brother says the apartment she's looking at is a "prison of fake smiles" and at the end of the episode she ends up in a real prison with her first real smile. The irony is that the only people who are actually free are in prison.

Beware as everything you do can be judged, publicized, recorded.

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Arc-Vile
Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:40 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 08 Nov 2006 Posts: 41906 Location: Bronx 1990
Anyone watches this?! You all should!

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Arc-Vile
Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:42 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 08 Nov 2006 Posts: 41906 Location: Bronx 1990
Can't wait for the next season!

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Arc-Vile
Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:11 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 08 Nov 2006 Posts: 41906 Location: Bronx 1990
Black Mirror Season 4 is complete shit! Seriously what the fuck happened? After 3 amazing seasons... disastrous.

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