Fast technology in the series ‘Black Mirror’; Are we moving too fast for our own good?
“Black Mirror” is a 2011 series that purposes to show the advancement of technology in the new world we are living in. In real life, technology is controlling so much of human lives that there is a cause of alarm. This paper discusses the effects of fast technology in the series “Black Mirror” and the prediction and prophesy of a bleak future. The paper poses that humans are moving too fast for their own good. Fixated on the concept of showcasing the different types of devices and software on technology, the hit series has numerous anecdotes of what humans should expect if current digital trends are something to go by. The future will be determined by the actions of humans today. It has been showcased elsewhere how technology is going too fast for our own good. Agreeably, technology has its advantages. Using literature from a myriad of sources, it should be noted that the predictions and prophesies from the series are things that we should wait for.
The basis of the film series Black Mirror is that no matter how easy, bright and useful technology might be, the end will not be well with humanity. Destruction of relationships and endangering the privacy and security of humans has been termed as reason why we might want to take a look at what technology has in store for humanity. This paper purposes to discuss how first technology is evolving and the effects it has on our lives as we know them. The stand-alone episode series focuses on one technology at a time focusing on a particular aspect of life that will be endangered in future. There is a wide scale of purposeful study on the effects of technology would require a clear understanding of the movie and the various episodes as presented.
There are different aspects of technology that the series “Black Mirror” presents. The fact that technology is moving too fast and is a danger to the structure of humanity cannot be overemphasized. The paper will begin by the explication of the series, often finding out the history about the series. The writer and creator of the series will be evaluated on the basis of the stories that are created. The difference in the stories will be aligned to the dangers that are presented through the use of technological devices and a different manner in which the “Black Mirror” and globalized connections create.
The next part of the paper will handle specific literature about the fastness of technology and how it has influenced the lives of men as known today. After the literature review, the paper will again move on to the different parts of discussion. The discussion will feature different episodes of the series with supporting literature on how technology is moving fast and the effect it has had on humanity. A succinct conclusion will then be presented. In the paper, the argument is that technology is moving too fast and without the control that humans have the power to, then the world is bound to perish because of the effects of technology.
The dedication of modern entertainment reflects the state of affairs in relation to humans in their interactions with technology. The first aspect one has to understand before moving to the discussion is that literature exists on the topic of effects of technology. The world over has witnessed concerns on whether there are ways in which humans can better utilize technology for their good (Adorno & Horkheimer, 2002). One author that is presented with the best tactics of involvement features the different areas of operation that humans have.
In the advent of the use of the “Black Mirror”, there have been various issues that must be understood to ensure that there is enough reason to celebrate. The “Black Mirror” has brought about various issues that if evaluated and understood, will give an expressive manifestation of the lives of human beings in a way that the “Black Mirror” is driving us to lead our lives. In Nicholas Carr’s article ‘Is Google Making us Stupid?’ there are various points being presented for the argument that indeed, the use of the “Black Mirror” is turning America’s population (and the world) at large into zombies that would like to think of themselves as millenials. In fact, Carr’s argument are so insightive and lead the reader into a self-assessment escapade of ascertaining the motivation around Carr’s article. It is also important to consider the different manner in which the humanization of the computer machine is considered. It is therefore necessary for all the audience to introspect into the various issues raised to include how processing of information will be done. In the discussion, the essay will focus on the different view – points that have been handled through time and the manner in which rhetorical appeals have been used in his article to ensure that there is a truth and belief in what the author is saying. For assertions that are made in the essay, Carr uses different stylistic devices to make reality the computer that has zombie the human thought as will be discussed below herein.
To begin with, it is important to state that there is always a manner in which reading from “Black Mirror” sources disorients human thought. Reading from the tone that Carr adopts, it is as if his mind has been erratic since he began reading from the “Black Mirror”. In his assertions, “I get fidgety, lose the thread, [and] begin looking for something else to do.” (Online). This implies that reading over the “Black Mirror” completely alters his nomenclature from the natural self that he keeps mentioning was a better place. In his discussion of hyperlinks, Carr talks about them propelling one towards information that they could never have thought of if they were indeed reading on their own accord. The interpretation of this should be evaluated with a sound countenance of the different manner of discussions that have been made through reading of “Black Mirror” material. Already, Carr feels disillusioned and he does not seem to in himself carry out the very acts of intelligence that he used to carry out during his time before Google.
Carr’s discussion on the distraction of human beings through reading material online should point us to what we have been experiencing over the last period of 20 years. When reading on the “Black Mirror”, there are various pages one can visit for that little distraction from a gossip column that pops up while we are glued to our screens. To understand the nature of advertising, different companies have come with mouthwatering advertisements on different pages of the “Black Mirror” which will distract the reader from the points they are supposed to be gaining knowledge from. Through this distraction, reading will be periodic and incoherence. There are different studies which speak to the coherence in thought affected by coherent reading. Therefore, if someone were to be distracted, then it means that they would not get the very information they were seeking like that individual who was concentrated on a book. Using his stylistic rhetorical appeal study from the University College of London, Carr’s article quotes;
“It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of “reading” are emerging as users “power browse” horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.” (Online).
In explaining the above quote, Carr introduces a new term, “intellectual technologies.” Carefully thought about, his thoughts revolve around the very nature of the information that we process from the technological devices that we have. It is in the light of such assertion that Carr thinks we are becoming stupid as we continue to indulge in online information digging and reading.
Moving on, the second point that Carr inadvertently uses to bring the argument to the belief that has captured this essay is the manner in which “Black Mirror” reading is changing the way we think. In the long run, this makes us less contemplative than prior years when humans were thoughtful and introspective. The information we mostly find on the “Black Mirror” is not filtered in any manner. The information, as Carr presented in his essay indicates the fact that the information we consumed is only pushed to our side through advertisements and hyperlinks. We never seem to control what we read or consume any more. Carr likens this to the mechanical clock which would better explain the various manifestations of our actions in our lives. The mechanical clock, he claims, is responsible for what we eat, what we drink, what time we wake up and the various hobbies we engage in. through these examples and rhetoric appeal, Carr manages to convince us on how we are becoming stupid.
Thirdly, there are certain values that we associate with online reading. These are efficiency and gathering of information rather than its understanding. As men, Carr thinks this is our undoing from the very manner in which he brings up examples in rhetorical appeal. This is where he turns to Google and from the reading on the paragraph on the mechanical watch, the developers of Google wanted to make something that would be as smart as people if not smarter. This must be understood as the human undoing. Developing conceptually intelligence machines and devices is worrisome to human beings and this is why the thought of being inferior to what has been made by humans perplexing (Sparrow, Liu & Wegner, 2011). At the end of the article, Carr somewhat gives a warning of what machines and technology has brought to humanity. He avers that “ﾅas we come to rely on computers to mediate our understanding of the world, it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence.” This leaves humanity with skepticism. It must then be said that humans do not have the control they once had over their affairs. Such realistic introspection into a profit motivated “Black Mirror” is what then makes us worry and feel stupid.
As Carr writes, he quotes from different studies that make a point to assert his averments. Looking at the title, Carr seems to be inclined to share with the audience the problems that the “Black Mirror” has brought on humanity. This is therefore a previously-thought article with a keen evaluation on human behaviour and the manner in which the “Black Mirror” has affected how we relate to each other through the information that we find on the “Black Mirror”. In his final statements, Carr’s conclusion is the fear of eventual dependence on the “Black Mirror” as the sole source of information the world will have. To understand the article, this conclusion follows several studies that have been presented and these actualize the sentiments he makes on the stupidity that the world will be infiltrated with in the near future. Information overload is nigh and just as the 2001 movie scene ‘A Space Odyssey’ where he identifies more with the computer rather than the robot that look like him. He is an overloaded device.
In summary, the film series ‘Black Mirror’ speaks of the reality of the effects of depending on the technology for all the information we require. It is in this manner that most world populations have become stupid basing on the pummeled information that we do not take care to process and understand (Benjamin, 2002). Importantly, Black Mirror uses several rhetoric appeal styles in its assertions by making comparisons to scientific studies on human behavior and observation. He finishes by making a prophecy on the future of information which galvanizes all the points he makes about making the story believable to audiences across the world. It is an article that speaks to the nature of man today and future as he foresees told in a very appealing style. Black Mirror’s biggest frustration is its failure to recognize the parts of its convoluted narrative that raise the most interesting questions. The real moral dilemma in “Game of Consequences” is not which people deserve to die, but how the players will react once they find out that the #DeathTo hashtag actually gives them the power to enter other people into a lottery of death. Twitter users willfully contributing to public executions could lead to a more enthralling exploration of human nature than the villain-focused story the episode winds up telling instead. Black Mirror runs on the idea that we need to see the worst parts of ourselves reflected in the soft glow of a computer screen before we can to do something about it. But the show’s best episodes do more than just shine a light on those worst parts and smugly walk away.
In another episode dubbed “Men Against Fire” is set in some indeterminate future where soldiers are augmented with an implant called MASS, which displays information and reinforces approved behavior. A catastrophe has infected some people – Roaches – who have begun to steal food from villagers, which prompt the soldiers to hunt and kill the invaders. One soldier, Stripe, gets into a firefight where a Roach uses a device that makes his MASS implant glitch. When he returns to the field, the creatures he saw as monsters are simply human: the implant has been changing how he sees them to make him and his fellow soldiers more effective at tracking and killing them. This military is essentially mopping up unwanted people in society, using the implants to turn them into monsters to make it easier for the soldiers to pull the trigger.
Technology demonizes one’s enemies
What saves various episodes in “Black Mirror” is the much more horrifying idea that this government perpetuated a holocaust by literally demonizing its enemies. That feels realistic: in every war, soldiers are trained to dehumanize enemies, to maximize their effectiveness by minimizing the impact of potentially taking another life (Anders, 1964). In a world where that process can be programmed into soldiers, what’s left unsaid is the way any undesirable can be targeted with the flip of a switch. And this army of the future uses its implants in other interesting ways, like rewarding soldiers with vivid sex dreams as an incentive to carry out missions.
The episode is a showcase of numerous ideas that do not come together in complete. In the usual characteristic style of the movie, there are different ways in which complicity is analyzed. Through review, there has been discomfort amongst the public concerning the various ways in which technology is ruining human lives and humanity.
The rate of change in different episodes of the series is an observable feature that is genius to the film series “Black Mirror.” Technology makes human lives longer. It is also important that the increasing rate of change be equal to the different ways in which technological advancements have come. Apart from smartness and he appeal to look urban, institutional lag is a major concern. According to Ellul (1964) climate change is an issue that is of concern. Through green technology, it is now possible to create a world of nature that is respected on man.
One other effect that the series “Black Mirror” has on humanity is on the way that the public gets misinformed on the various issues through the use of social media. The adoption of Facebook cannot be compared to the adaptation that man is seeking. Man is striving to keep up with the major concerns of the despotic ways in which human relations are structured on social media. Similarly, online education appears to sharply reduce costs and expands access to great teachers. Yet early adopters encounter the paradox that they quickly reach a level of knowledge where they gain more from face-to-face instruction.
The pernicious effects of lag persist longer than expected. The peril may be getting worse, in part because adoption of new digital tools is accelerating. Amazon, Twitter, Instagram-all seemed to have established themselves with the rapidity of a hurricane.
In the distant past, adoption rates were slower, easing the challenge of overcoming social and cognitive lag. The telephone provides a classic example. When Bell patented telephony in 1876, the main benefit was to deliver a better form of telegraphy-of sending coded messages more cheaply and easily than Western Union. Many years passed before the telephone’s dominant purpose was talking to others. As late as 1940, barely one in three households had a phone.
The mobile phone revolution at first gave new life to disembodied chatting. Yet today, many prefer texting. The telephone mainly provides a Web connection. Once more, as a century ago, human conversation occurs best face to face. If we are condemned to lag behind technological shifts, can we do anything to more quickly close the gap? Surprisingly, the history of touch screens reveals much about the complexities of lag. Business first adopted touch screens to assist cashiers in the 1970s and ’80s. The equipment was bulky, slow, and expensive. Another 20 years passed before Steve Jobs standardized Apple handheld devices around touch screens. Jobs insisted that touch screens be the main way to control Apple’s small devices. He even gambled that Apple’s high volumes would dramatically drive down the cost and improve the quality of these screens. Because the underlying technology was mature, Jobs’s gamble paid off. Without his bold move on “forward pricing,” touch-screen technology might have remained trapped in the limbo of lag.
Lag is a bittersweet reminder that facing the future with courage involves a willingness to let go of cherished traditions in the name of pragmatic adjustments. While there will always be technologies that are conceived and created for evil, destruction, and otherwise nefarious purposes, most aren’t. Most are created to make our lives better. It’s people who find ways to use these new tools for corrupt and dishonourable ends. People in the field of technoethics are working to make sense of our relationship with technology as new technologies emerge and evolve in ways unintended and sometimes unseen by their creators. Joseph Marie Jacquard could not have predicted his invention of punch cards for weaving looms in the early 1800’s would eventually evolve and make possible Donkey Kong and computer viruses. Whether it’s the “Black Mirror” of things, cellular services, social media, gene therapy, there are always those who seem to find a way to misappropriate technologies to serve their own agenda, even at the expense or demise of others (Benjamin, 2002). There are times too where people create new technologies or repurpose old ones just because it is possible, without considering if they should. Just because humans were capable of creating the atom bomb, pop up ads or The Bachelor, doesn’t mean they should have done it.
The future as depicted in works of science fiction, especially of the multiplex variety, is almost uniformly dystopian. The bleakness of these visions annoys technology enthusiasts, who worry that cumulatively they give machines a bad name. As the headline on an essay in Wired magazine put it, “Stop Writing Dystopian Sci-Fi – It’s Making Us All Fear Technology. For sheer pungency of dystopian imagination, it would be hard to beat Black Mirror, an anthology TV series in the style of The Twilight Zone – a different story with a different cast each week – originally produced by the BBC and subsequently continued on Netflix. The title refers to the variety of screens that have proliferated in our daily lives, and that all-too-often seem to dominate them. The twelve episodes produced so far (a new season is in the works) present a consistently dark vision of our technological destinies, not in some galaxy far, far away, but right here, and soon. As the show’s creator, co-executive producer and main writer Charlie Brooker put it, Black Mirror is “about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy.”
Indeed, one of the uncanny things about Black Mirror is how plausible the disturbing outcomes it predicts can seem. A cartoon figure who profanely ridicules the proposals of serious politicians comes to power and installs a fascist state. The pursuit of affirmation on social media becomes a desperate drive to be liked at all costs – or else. A man sleeps in a room that is surrounded on all sides by ceiling-high commercials he can’t turn off. Hackers record people’s most intimate moments and blackmail them into performing criminal acts lest their secrets be posted on the “Black Mirror” for the world to see.
In relation to the writer of the series, it is important to look at the various ways in which humans are understood. While being interviewed, Charlie Brookner focuses on the human aspects of adaptation of humans. In most situations, humans are at the forefront in ensuring that there is a manner of relation that has to be understood for the betterment of human life. As much as one may be a gadget freak, one should also worry about the way in which they respond to technology in case.
Technology enthusiasts don’t worry nearly enough. Regularly they share with us their almost messianic confidence that the technologies they’re working on will deliver us from every trouble and toil. That anyone would doubt their potential to fulfill that promise seems beyond their comprehension. The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, with the help of Russian hackers and boatloads of blatantly deceptive “news” on the “Black Mirror”, is a case in point. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg initially called accusations that fake news influenced the election “a pretty crazy idea” – but eventually conceded that maybe it wasn’t such a crazy idea after all. The denial of a former software engineer for Twitter cracked more quickly. “For my @ twitter alum friends,” he tweeted the day after Trump’s victory, “What did we build?”
Dystopian works of science fiction are, for these reasons, an expression not only of understandable anxiety but of appropriate concern. They could, if taken seriously, serve as petitions for restraint. Unfortunately, as exercises in fiction and entertainment, they are too easily dismissed, overshadowed by the real-world temptations of technological power. Would that the risks they foresee were taken more to heart. To paraphrase the wisdom of one of my favorite bumper stickers: “If you’re not worried, you’re not paying attention.
While most current IT predictions are based on extrapolation, they’re often created from “inside-the-box” thinking, linearly predicting the near future trends. This information may be valuable, but Black Mirror looks at things differently. They start with “What if XYZ technology truly takes over? How would this impact businesses, countries, societies, and people?-?like you and me?” Both ways of predicting the future technology trends have their value. I believe insights for short, medium, and even long term will help societies, governments, businesses, and people. Everyone, at some point in time, should consider answers to some of these questions:
“How can we be ready for the future?”
“How could we benefit from these developments?”
Application-centric cloud services?-?the new normal.
Forbes predicts that 83 percent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. In today’s cloud and mobile-first world, you see many organizations transitioning from on-premises infrastructure and desktop-focused solutions to public cloud and application-centric services. The benefits to IT are just that strong. And business users just want secure access to all of their applications and data so they can get stuff done. They don’t really care about the mechanics of the infrastructure?-?it just needs to work. Keeping focus on the application and not on the desktop is also important in today’s Chromebook, Macbook, and Windows enterprise device-dominated world.
Hiding complexity for consumers while keeping the business secure and nimble proves to be a challenging task for business leaders and IT professionals. Virtual Client Computing?-?application remoting and desktop delivery solutions from the (public) cloud is an upstart. But there is a challenge here too: technology is going into extreme ends to be able to have the impact it has on different people in the current world. The technology writer byCharlie Brooker’s hit television series Black Mirror is no doubt and interesting appeal of how far the world and life will go if there is no response to the current quagmire. In the episode ‘Playtest’ the character Cooper finds himself stuck in London after his information has been stolen from his credit card. While still in the hotel, he is able to subscribe to a work opportunity which comes via the enabling elements of phone technology. He even succeeds in securing enough money to afford plane ticket back home. However, the days that follow see him trapped in a mansion that seems so surreal. Although it is clear that he cannot be harmed, the virtual reality presented in the episode may way too mind boggling. It is an indication that we (as humans) should perhaps go slow on the technology that is being invented today.
There have been concerns that different people have on the new technology wave as being gloomy and doom. Indeed, there are positive influences that technology has brought to the world as we know it and that reliving memories can become a reality. Being able to relive the various memories is a welcome undertaking in the world as we know it and it is in the same lines that technology should be understood. There are memories lost from the fact that people’s mind fails at times and people become motionless. With technology, it is possible to go through history and ride along dragons, dinosaurs and mammoths. No other age has witnessed such developments and it is for that reason that all will be considered proper.
Virtual Reality Without the Bloat of Hardware
The digital world has demands of its own. Before a gamer is able to play the game, they are required to fit on bulky headsets which may be uncomfortable for the player. Tracking camera availability and linking the same with technology is another issue that new technologies present. The VR gaming area and the purchase of a superior computer must be a baggage to many. There can be a better way in which these technologies can be synchronized for better user experiences.
In previous gaming and industry related technology, virtual reality was not as advanced as it is today. In Black Mirror, the important point is the invasive way in which creativity creates the games witnessed in the virtual world today. In the presence of a computer screen, one can be able to identify the various ways in which they relate and interact with others on virtual space. It is for the same reasoning that virtual reality is becoming a phenomenon in major cities in the world. In the long run, the same is supposed to create different ways under which people come together.
An Invasion of Privacy
New technology is perhaps one of the reasons why people do not live with their privacy. Today, the world is becoming more invasive and without the input of personal effort, then everything will work out as planned. Today more than ever, it is easy to buy fitness trackers. Buying phones is now more than easy as all one got to do is make a few clocks on the computer screens and they will have the phone delivered to their door. As such, there is no privacy on the part of the online consumer living through the murky waters of online presence.
AI and Mind Reading
Artificial Intelligence has both benefits and its losses. When one requires to remember the memories they had in particular times, virtual reality has the opportunity of doing so. In the ‘Playtest’ episode, Artificial intelligence is seen as going against the will of Cooper. For technology to have the ability to make the players in the game vulnerable. The importance of technology should not be on the aggrandizement of what is not real. Deeper fears of mind reading live on the minds of modern-day millennials. The terrifying advances of mind reading and the effect it may have on society is extremely worrying.
An understanding of how machines work should give insight into the reason why modern-day humans have concerns for the explication of the technology available today. Machines, do not have emotions and cannot show empathy as may be the expectation of modern-day people (Anders, 1960). Machines only carry out the instructions given to them by people. On the other part, humans have the ability to feel emotions. Through Artificial intelligence, there should be different areas under which human emotions will be submerged. It will be the erosion of human edifice.
Right now, developers are creating software that can, in essence, “read our mind”. The implementation of technology must regard the different areas of engagement where there is need for performance of the needs that need to be addressed. Imagining someone being monitored by the computer device they bought for themselves. It is important to note the various ways in which humans need to keep in touch with themselves and in relation to others as well. The importance of the value of human life must be understood before the developments of technology. The abuse that occurs on online platforms should be a cause for concern for the various people that the technology is serving for themselves.
There is indeed going to be boundless fear on various parts of life. Too much comfort as such is a great danger to humanity as we know it. It is for this reason that it is feared that humans may soon become enslaved by the same machines they are depending on for performing much of the tasks they are required to do.
Either way, it seems like we’re moving in that direction. Game creators are trying to make virtual reality more immersive than ever. It’s only a matter of time before our virtual experiences affect our consciousness as well as our motor functions. In fact, there is available intel on the rise of different technologies that should be reason for worrying. Black Mirror has presented the dangers pointing out the terrific nature of gaming as terrifying. The horror games that are identified will make humans more savage. After all is said and done, the world is moving too fast and humanity may be slow on noticing the various effects of technology and the use of the internet.
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