tales by the unexpected

My story, my tales, my life

Categorie: cyberpunk/dystopian

Black Mirror: why this title?

They could have chosen a more apt title. Maybe something snazzy even. But why Black Mirror? Why a title so simple? They could have taken something like “The matrix” or “Ghost in the shell” and made a title referencing those. Maybe a title referencing “1984”, or any work by Philip K. Dick. Why did they use a scrying mirror, but it’s more common name, as their title?

Because they show us an alternate future, a future ingrained in the things we do now, the things we are researching now, so they show us the future we are headed towards.

Some things in Black Mirror already became a reality. In China they are using a system based on popularity as a form of currency, obviously there is the reference to the pig scandal with the real former British Prime Minister, although because of very different reasons. There is the caricature of Waldo and American government now.

Black Mirror is showing us a future. A future that we are headed towards with the technology we have today. A future that doesn’t look like it’s making us any happier. Although, some of the episodes have a more bright future, most of them are indeed, black.

Most people don’t like being confronted with such a bleak view of the future and would opt for something happier, something more optimistic. This show obviously isn’t for them. This show is for those that like to look at the future and look at the implications our choices of today have on that future. Thintelligence is not an option here. This is how the chess game of real life plays out. You make choices now and they are reflected to you back when you least expect it.

The same is what Black Mirror is showing us. We look at the future as it is presented there and see the impllications of technology we invent now. How the technology in the future might infect us then. This is what “Our final invention” tries to warn us from.

As you might notice, I am not an optimistic person. I have a depression disorder. Although I continue on living, I don’t see any hopes for a good future for all of humanity. This is what Black Mirror shows you. I don’t think you can live a life without depression if you think about it enough, on a wide enough level.

Black Mirror doesn’t go away and paint a pretty picture. It shows us human nature, in all it’s colours. Although there isn’t an episode yet focused on disability, there are dark episodes, and those make you think just a tad bit harder.

Next in the series, I will be talking episode per episode and the ideas explored within and my view on these ideas.

Black mirror: a new blog-series

For those of you who haven’t seen black mirror yet, you should. This series on my blog will talk about the profound ideas in the series and talk about what are the implications of that kind of future and how we are going there, as some of the things in Black Mirror have become real. Some of the ideas have happened and had implications for that person.

I will talk abouthe philosophy from the series and what ideas influenced it. I will also add my personal opinion in these pieces, so they will be a combination of subjective and rational.

There will be spoilers in this blog serie, so beware if you haven’t watched the series yet, and if you haven’t yet, but are reading these blog articles I hope this blog inspires you enough so you will start to watch this anthalogy, as it is a great watch for those of us that like their entertainment with a bit of though-provocing.

How my view on society came to be

I know i have a very dystopian view on society. I had it since i was 16, since i started to think over my life up until then. You might think that it is pessimistic, that it is grounded in a dark view of society. I rather see it in an honest view of society, because i don’t like to be told how to think, or buy by society

Don’t get me wrong. I tried to belong. I tried to be a healthy member of society. I looked at my peers and saw what interested them. I tried to emulate them, be more like them. I was a blank slate once.

Most of the things I picked up came from emulating others… otherwise I would still be that blank slate. I learned and stole mannerisms and ideas and clothing styles with my eyes, from people i looked up to.

The first people i looked up to, was my sisters, so I tried to be with them as much as possible, tried to see and hear what interested them. It was the 90’s and boysbands didn’t interest me much, although I still like the occassional song. Backstreet back for example. They were into heavy thumping music, with a very repetitive rhytm. Hardcore. Cd’s by thunderdome were played regularly in their room. I liked the ones with the funny texts, happy hardcore.

I tried to emulate them well into my teens when I was the only “gabber” as they called people who were dressed like me. Skaters were the opposite group. Long hair, to my short hair, baggy trousers almost showing their complete boxers, to my “tight” jeans.

I switched over… when that fad was over and i was relentlesly ridiculed for my long hair.

Everything changed for me, when I watched the matrix. Still one of my favourite movies. It,must have been in me the whole time already. My parents divorce must have been played a big role as well, as it made me a loner as well. I, as I have said before, was one of the few with divorced parents. The brainwashing by my mom starting to lose its grip.

I moved the matrix. I don’t think there is a documentary in the world about the matrix in english that i haven’t watched. I started to,read philosophy, started to love the brain-in-a-vat-theory, as i now love the simulation-theory.

I loved philosophy, eventually also started reading psychology and became more me. Became less like everyone else. I was the weird kid, in a long black coat. I wasn’t gothic. I was a loner. I wasn’t and didn’t try to be anymore, like anyone else.

i started to watch clips like “money is debt” on YouTube and started to realise that society isn’t a Utopia to live in, even more so, when you see that it isn’t a Utopia. Even more so, when you have given up on ever belonging inside the big crowd, like i once wanted.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a dull, pessimistic person to live with. I just accepted me more, accepted how society works more. I still don’t like society, but if i were to be angry all the time, i would become the hermit again i once was.

Cyberpunk

I define as a Cyberpunk myself. I was previously interested in Steampunk, as I loved the aesthetic of the whole steampunk movement, and I love the thinking behind it, that we as a society throw away to much and nothing is made durable anymore. I still adhere to that last idea though. I still think that we as a society throw away to much. Look at a statement made by Nokia ages ago, that cellphones are made to be thrown away every 5 years, that they don’t last any longer. Or Moore’s law, that a computer is renewed every 18 months, so there are people, gamers especially, that buy new sets of computer parts every 18 months, to be able to brag about the latest new gadget.

I love the aesthetic of the cyberpunk movement as well. To live and breathe with computers. To be able to automate half of the things you do in the house, by programming and making the electronics yourself. I love gadgets and computers. I really, really wanted to learn how to program and my love for domotica was ignited once I visited the house of the future so many years ago here in Belgium. There I saw new technology, things I would never own in my life at home, because I grew up rather poor, but now as an adult (almost 30…pffft), I can buy and make them myself.

I would rather program them myself, for one reason: so I don’t have to listen to what a factory tells me to do. If they upgrade the shit and want me to upgrade with it. Now I can decide myself what I’m going to do, and how I’m going to upgrade and what I want my stuff to do, and I know what’s in the code as well. Nobody is going to be coding something else in my stuff, no camera is going to spy on me.

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