Robota, "Forced Labor"
March 3, 2018 10:49 AM   Subscribe

 
That was right up my street, loved it. Exploring these themes has been my pet project lately. Along similar lines, I've been loving this book I received as a holiday gift, Technology and the Virtues: a philosophical guide to a future worth wanting. Without spoiling the video too much, I'll just say that the book really dives deep into the video's final thoughts, i.e., what (or who) matters.

I'm not on mainstream social media anymore so it's hard to evaluate if what I'm saying next is grounded in anything other than a feeling, but I do get the sense that there may be similar subtle shifts in others' relationships with technology too. Meaning not that we're rejecting it (I embrace technology wholeheartedly in my life, just not with any meaningful lifelines to Facebook, Twitter, Amazon etc) but that we're taking a more mindful approach and starting to develop an ethical framework around it all. At least I hope so.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:02 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Insightful, erudite and concise, although I have one quibble: I think Mr Kallgren has confused Robert A Heinlein with L Ron Hubbard.
posted by Major Clanger at 2:00 PM on March 3


Nice, but after a promising start, the potted history of SF skews a bit sausage fest.
posted by meehawl at 2:07 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Major Clanger: That was a reference to the rumor that Robert A. Heinlein made a bar bet with LRH about starting a religion. Though it's a good story, it's apparently not true (even according to anti-Scientology sources).
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 6:58 PM on March 3


I really enjoyed this. It opens a can of philosophical worms to say that there is no AI on the show, though, doesn't it? Isn't Nanette technically AI once she is copied onto the USS Callister? There is still a real live Nanette on planet earth, and the one in the miniscule misanthropic online role-playing game is made of 1's and 0's--an intelligence manifested by a computer. So if we say that there is no AI on this show, aren't we saying that the digital copy of Nanette is as human as the earth Nanette? I'm not sure I can get behind that. Nothing against digital Nanette.

To be sure, digital Nanette is meant to be empathized with in the way that a viewer would empathize with a person; I think maybe that's what the video should be saying, because if we don't do that, the mechanics of the story collapse a little bit. If you think Daly is in a regular video game with no stakes, then who cares? I think this is an aspect of modern sci-fi worth paying attention to--when we are meant to empathize with robots, AI, etc. and when we aren't. I had major, major issues with Ex Machina because of the way the story vacillated between treating its android women as androids or women, depending on when it was convenient. Thankfully, I don't see that same issue with Black Mirror.
posted by heatvision at 5:48 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


What I'd say is the show never considers the humanity of anything that isn't directly simulating humanity. Things that are intelligent decision-makers, are just in implacable pursuit of a goal, like the dog or the bees. Or they are sophisticated pattern-matching, like AR filters that can reliably turn humans into monsters or hide upsetting images. These are all complex problems that the show accepts can be solved without anything approximating humanity, right up until a simulation of a specific person becomes necessary.
posted by RobotHero at 9:29 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


These are all complex problems that the show accepts can be solved without anything approximating humanity.
posted by RobotHero


Eponysterical.

Also does anyone else have an anxiety 'hump' they need to surmount before clicking play Black Mirror? I'm still crawling slowly through season 3.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:05 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]


Major Clanger: That was a reference to the rumor that Robert A. Heinlein made a bar bet with LRH about starting a religion. Though it's a good story, it's apparently not true (even according to anti-Scientology sources).--Rev. Syung Myung Me

That link you gave gives pretty solid evidence of a bar conversation with LRH about starting a religion to make money. Maybe it wasn't a bet, but to me that's just quibbling about the details.
posted by eye of newt at 5:53 PM on March 4 [1 favorite]


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