Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tired are your splendid soldiers – To the future turned, we stand!

Just finished the third season of Black Mirror, a hip, smart, and modern* take on the Twilight Zone/Outer Limits. American adaptations of foreign programs often lose a lot in translation, but Netflix has done a great job of keeping the general feel of the British originals, e.g., minimalist pastel aesthetics, slow-motion-backed-by-ostinato-soundtrack sequences, etc.** while integrating certain themes unique to the American milieu.

It's got technological alienation and dehumanization, The Singularity, emulated minds, big data, social media, law, politics, AI, robotics, augmented/virtual reality! It fills a niche that has been empty since Star Trek: The Next Generation (sorry, Fringe doesn't count). It's all there. Almost.

 However, the dystopian outlook towards technology is predictable. This series really could have used input from someone like Robin Hanson to provide depth. Not balance, but depth; though, a portrayal of the genuine benefits of future technology would go some way to providing that depth.

* I.e., ticks all the focus group approved boxes

** Broadchurch also did this. Maybe it's a British thing.

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