Sometimes I forget what it is that makes me want to critique, consume and contribute, culture. Then I see a piece of work that reminds me why, reason being it's all communication really and without that what are we?
Black Mirror has always been brilliant like a hyper play, this Xmas special didn't stray away from it's usual themes of the horrors of society creating a cautionary tale.
Largely it's about technology and it's advancement, people have these google glass like eyes, where there's no longer a need for a laptop or a phone
First act looks into reality, when a hapless young man seeks advice on dating what he gets is a guru who he consults and advises him on how to pick up girls ( sounds familiar with recent furore of blocking access to the UK of a pickup artist). We see him watch and guide yet not only is the guru watching there's a online forum of other people giving advice and pitching in to the guru equally seeing someone go about their daily life. It can easily be viewed as the trend we have to consume the lives of others through constructed reality tv series, how real can real be? here we have the answer although the guru can be considered the producers pushing for situations that cause entertainment to arise. It all turns dark and nasty when he picks up a women suffering from schizophrenia assuming that as she watched him off guard and caught him talking to people not present that he suffered the same. It eventually ends in her poisoning then both as the watchers look in with horror getting more entertainment then they could of bargained for.
Second act is about simulated experiences and artificial intelligence as we rely on technology more and more to do the menial tasks. A service is offered to observe and replicate and then extract your being, copying your mind and thought process essentially turning you into a robot that isn't aware they're a robot and then has to be punished and broken into before they understand they're not real. Who better knows themselves than them-self, the sim is there simply to be a PDA nothing more and nothing less. Entrapped in a digital sphere with nothing but these tasks to keep busy and entertained. it brings to mind that if AI's can process this much level of intelligence what's to stop them from envying and hurting their master although death of their owner would essentially mean that there would be absolutely nothing for them to do. Modern day Slavery yes although not real if able to produce thoughts and feelings then the ethics on this would have to be considered.
Third act is more like the JLO vehicle 'The Cell' using techniques to delve into the mind of a suspect except it's not the actual mind but a simulation of the mind yet that still holds the secrets that are hidden from the main mind and using technology such as speeding up time, it allows for eternal entrapment to be real and to do things that couldn't be done on the real human to the sim. In this age humans can block each other and then they become nothing but a pixelated blob with their words echoes, although the outline of the blob still allows the blocked to still possibly harm the blocker, with the use of a button it's easier to erase people from your life but at what cost ?
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