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egon_beeblebrox
Feb 29, 2008

WILL AMOUNT TO NOTHING IN LIFE.



nate fisher posted:

Reminds me of the old philosophical argument if you transport a digital imprint of your brain (with all your memories) into a new body at the exact moment your body is destroyed, is that new body really you?

Close enough that I wouldn't torture it. Unless I went into a bizarre depression spiral and wanted to see myself suffer.

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counterfeitsaint
Feb 26, 2010

I'm a girl, and you're
gnomes, and it's like
what? Yikes.

I never seriously considered that a show might be too grim for my taste before, but gently caress.



I got the impression that very few people outside of the company that creates cookies really knows how they work. The killer guy seemed appalled when hearing the details, but surely he was aware of cookies as an available service before hand, he was only incarcerated for a few weeks, despite his actual perception. The women who bought that AI to run her house didn't seem to be aware of what was going on. The fact that the sales guy went from mentally torturing a sentient being to "Yep, it's all installed and ready to go" like he had just plugged in your new DirectTV was amusing. I will never look at Jarvis the same way again.

On a less kill myself note, I really like the Easter Eggs and references between the episodes. It makes me want to watch the various TV clips again in the hopes that one of the other ones will be a reference to something in an upcoming episode. I really hope it just stays that though, little references, rather than trying to explicitly tie everything into a consistent world.


Edit: AM did nothing wrong.

counterfeitsaint fucked around with this message at Dec 30, 2014 around 04:54

thefncrow
Mar 14, 2001


nate fisher posted:

Reminds me of the old philosophical argument if you transport a digital imprint of your brain (with all your memories) into a new body at the exact moment your body is destroyed, is that new body really you?

It reminds me of a 90s sci-fi short story called "Think Like a Dinosaur". Basically, aliens have gifted humanity with "teleporters", which are really just cloning devices that can transmit the clone information over vast distances faster than anyone could actually travel. To "balance the equation", the final step in the teleportation process is that the original being is killed, as a redundant copy of the one true person who has now materialized on the other side.

A scientist comes in to be "teleported", but something goes wrong in the process and the original is released from the device instead of being executed because some error was encountered and there's no confirmation that the person has reached the other end. The experience the first time scars her badly, she's upset about being lied to that the process is painless (because it is painless from the perspective of the copy that lives on) and she decides that there will be no second time, she's not going to make the trip and she just wants to go home. About then, the other side confirms that the report of an error was incorrect, that the transfer was already made, and the redundant scientist on their end must be killed.

thefncrow fucked around with this message at Dec 30, 2014 around 05:01

counterfeitsaint
Feb 26, 2010

I'm a girl, and you're
gnomes, and it's like
what? Yikes.

thefncrow posted:

It reminds me of a 90s sci-fi short story called "Think Like a Dinosaur". Basically, aliens have gifted humanity with "teleporters", which are really just cloning devices that can transmit the clone information over vast differences faster than anyone could actually travel. To "balance the equation", the final step in the teleportation process is that the original being is killed, as a redundant copy of the one true person who has now materialized on the other side.

A scientist comes in to be "teleported", but something goes wrong in the process and the original is released from the device instead of being executed because some error was encountered and there's no confirmation that the person has reached the other end. The experience the first time scars her badly, she's upset about being lied to that the process is painless (because it is painless from the perspective of the copy that lives on) and she decides that there will be no second time, she's not going to make the trip and she just wants to go home. About then, the other side confirms that the report of an error was incorrect, that the transfer was already made, and the redundant scientist on their end must be killed.

Player death in EVE Online is the same thing. Upon death, a snapshot of your brain is taken, and transferred to a previously prepared clone somewhere, effectively making the small percentage of the population who are compatible with the technology immortal. The last step in setting up the process is to be killed to test it out.

Krowley
Feb 15, 2008



thefncrow posted:

It reminds me of a 90s sci-fi short story called "Think Like a Dinosaur". Basically, aliens have gifted humanity with "teleporters", which are really just cloning devices that can transmit the clone information over vast distances faster than anyone could actually travel. To "balance the equation", the final step in the teleportation process is that the original being is killed, as a redundant copy of the one true person who has now materialized on the other side.

A scientist comes in to be "teleported", but something goes wrong in the process and the original is released from the device instead of being executed because some error was encountered and there's no confirmation that the person has reached the other end. The experience the first time scars her badly, she's upset about being lied to that the process is painless (because it is painless from the perspective of the copy that lives on) and she decides that there will be no second time, she's not going to make the trip and she just wants to go home. About then, the other side confirms that the report of an error was incorrect, that the transfer was already made, and the redundant scientist on their end must be killed.

Pretty sure teleportation in Star Trek works like that as well

It's really bleak once you start thinking about it

nate fisher
Mar 3, 2004

We've Got To Go Back


thefncrow posted:

It reminds me of a 90s sci-fi short story called "Think Like a Dinosaur". Basically, aliens have gifted humanity with "teleporters", which are really just cloning devices that can transmit the clone information over vast distances faster than anyone could actually travel. To "balance the equation", the final step in the teleportation process is that the original being is killed, as a redundant copy of the one true person who has now materialized on the other side.

A scientist comes in to be "teleported", but something goes wrong in the process and the original is released from the device instead of being executed because some error was encountered and there's no confirmation that the person has reached the other end. The experience the first time scars her badly, she's upset about being lied to that the process is painless (because it is painless from the perspective of the copy that lives on) and she decides that there will be no second time, she's not going to make the trip and she just wants to go home. About then, the other side confirms that the report of an error was incorrect, that the transfer was already made, and the redundant scientist on their end must be killed.

Sounds like a cool story. I might have to check that book of short stories out.

My all-time favorite teleportation story (and maybe the darkest) is Stephen King's "The Jaunt". That is one messed up story that left an impression on me.

Krowley posted:

Pretty sure teleportation in Star Trek works like that as well

It's really bleak once you start thinking about it

That is pretty much the way I've looked it. A question I would have is if you had cancer and was transported, why couldn't they just filter the cancer out when you materialized in your new body?

Mulva
Sep 13, 2011

DON'T LET THIS PICTURE OF AN ADORABLE KITTEN FOOL YOU INTO THINKING I'M NOT AN INSUFFERABLE AUTIST

They did an episode of the Outer Limits about it [Called, oddly enough, Think Like a Dinosaur] with Enrico Colantoni. It was pretty good. You can probably find it on YouTube or something, I think they have all of them.

counterfeitsaint
Feb 26, 2010

I'm a girl, and you're
gnomes, and it's like
what? Yikes.

nate fisher posted:

That is pretty much the way I've looked it. A question I would have is if you had cancer and was transported, why couldn't they just filter the cancer out when you materialized in your new body?

Yes, genetically engineered space cancer is cured this way in an episode. Obviously regular pubbie cancer was eradicated centuries ago, and never comes up.

Dzhay
Nov 2, 2014


Krowley posted:

Pretty sure teleportation in Star Trek works like that as well

It's really bleak once you start thinking about it

I think the scanning in Star Trek is mean to be destructive. Of course, there are times when it isn't, because Star Trek doesn't care.

DrVenkman
Dec 27, 2005


I think it's a pretty telling, and accurate, facet of the show that the people in it don't really get how the technology works. The stuff exists, and really that's enough. If the cookie tech existed to the state that it does within the show, would that many people be questioning the morality of it? Would they even care? Or would they just accept it as it is.

DaWolfey
Oct 24, 2003



College Slice

As with all things, there would be a range of opinions.

Those who are absolutely against it, who would be those who consider them to be alive and that they are eternally tortured slaves. They would be considered as a sort of digital PETA and probably considered a lunatic fringe.

Those who know what is happening - in that it is a basically a clone, and feel that it is kind-of wrong on some level, but don't go as far as iPETA because at the end of the day it's a computer programme, despite them sometimes feeling guilty when they look at their cookie, or mowing down yet another AI enemy in Call Of Duty 35.

Those who strictly see them as machines, that are utterly compassionless about it because it's just a machine and isn't it weird to care about a computer.


I would like to think that your standard nerd would be in the second group, with them often conflicted that really they should be in the first because really it's the correct opinon - all life is life whether digital or biological, but looking down with disdain at the third because they are unthinking idiots.

thefncrow
Mar 14, 2001


Boogaleeboo posted:

They did an episode of the Outer Limits about it [Called, oddly enough, Think Like a Dinosaur] with Enrico Colantoni. It was pretty good. You can probably find it on YouTube or something, I think they have all of them.

Yeah, that Outer Limits episode was based on the short story. I was having a hard time remembering the name of the story, and found that when I was googling to find it.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


nate fisher posted:

My all-time favorite teleportation story (and maybe the darkest) is Stephen King's "The Jaunt". That is one messed up story that left an impression on me.

Oh, cool. I just looked it up, and King's "jaunting" is an homage to The Stars My Destination. I'll have to check it out.

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005




Stuporstar posted:

Oh, cool. I just looked it up, and King's "jaunting" is an homage to The Stars My Destination. I'll have to check it out.

The teleporting in "The Stars My Destination" is very unlike anything being discussed here (non-spoilery summery: it's a verifiably non-destructive form available to nearly all humans), but it's still a very good story that builds a thoroughly well-constructed universe on the implications of universally available teleporation.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


McSpanky posted:

The teleporting in "The Stars My Destination" is very unlike anything being discussed here (non-spoilery summery: it's a verifiably non-destructive form available to nearly all humans), but it's still a very good story that builds a thoroughly well-constructed universe on the implications of universally available teleporation.

Yeah, I've read Bester. I mean I'll have to check out King. I'm curious about how King did it in a destructive way and still managed to claim it as an homage to Bester.

nate fisher
Mar 3, 2004

We've Got To Go Back


Stuporstar posted:

Yeah, I've read Bester. I mean I'll have to check out King. I'm curious about how King did it in a destructive way and still managed to claim it as an homage to Bester.

I not sure King did it in the destructive way you speak of (I might be misunderstanding you or misremembering the story). It has been over 20 years since I read that story. Please read it (I am curious to hear what you think), and let us know. I think you can find it online, and I think I'm going to find my copy of Skeleton Crew to reread it myself.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


nate fisher posted:

I not sure King did it in the destructive way you speak of (I might be misunderstanding you or misremembering the story). It has been over 20 years since I read that story. Please read it (I am curious to hear what you think), and let us know. I think you can find it online, and I think I'm going to find my copy of Skeleton Crew to reread it myself.

Just read it, and it's not exactly destructive teleportation, but it's definitely similar to the Cookie concept due to the fact that going through the teleporter conscious drives people mad or gives them heart attacks because they spend that moment passing through a blank eternity.

As for how it compares to The Stars my Destination, I get the impression that King read the prologue and thought, "I can make a proper story out of this!" but unfortunately it reads more like a massive prologue mashed into a story so short, it wouldn't have made the wordcount necessary for publication if he hadn't rambled on about oil prices and so on. It wasn't really written in the way you'd tell a story to your kids, which was how it was presented. So... not his best work, I'd say. Interesting enough for me to read the whole thing though.

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005




Stuporstar posted:

Just read it, and it's not exactly destructive teleportation, but it's definitely similar to the Cookie concept due to the fact that going through the teleporter conscious drives people mad or gives them heart attacks because they spend that moment passing through a blank eternity.

As for how it compares to The Stars my Destination, I get the impression that King read the prologue and thought, "I can make a proper story out of this!" but unfortunately it reads more like a massive prologue mashed into a story so short, it wouldn't have made the wordcount necessary for publication if he hadn't rambled on about oil prices and so on. It wasn't really written in the way you'd tell a story to your kids, which was how it was presented. So... not his best work, I'd say. Interesting enough for me to read the whole thing though.

I think it would've made a great 80s Twilight Zone episode. Trim the fat and leave it with the basic setup of the teleporter establishing regular interplanetary travel, dad's story to the kid setting up the mystery of why you have to go unconscious leading to kid's curiosity overcoming him and sabotaging the sedation procedure, and then the big stinger at the end "IT'S LONGER THAN YOU THINK, DAD!", a classic tale of a secret-however-horrible doing more damage than the stark truth.

Stuporstar
May 5, 2008

Where do fists come from?


McSpanky posted:

I think it would've made a great 80s Twilight Zone episode. Trim the fat and leave it with the basic setup of the teleporter establishing regular interplanetary travel, dad's story to the kid setting up the mystery of why you have to go unconscious leading to kid's curiosity overcoming him and sabotaging the sedation procedure, and then the big stinger at the end "IT'S LONGER THAN YOU THINK, DAD!", a classic tale of a secret-however-horrible doing more damage than the stark truth.

That's pretty accurate actually. I decided to look up the original publication date, because I pegged it around the energy crisis, and it was published in 1981 in Twilight Zone Magazine.

He telegraphed the ending too early with him not telling the kids, but remembering the bit with the convict going through and coming out saying, "It's eternity in there." If he'd rewritten it for TV, he might have cut the parts the character couldn't speak out loud, and the story would have been stronger for it because there'd be more tension with the little girl insisting, "But what happened to the mice?" and the audience not knowing until the end either.

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012

oh god i'm allergic


I just watched the first episode with literally no clue what Black Mirror was besides being told it's "like a modern Twilight Zone." The show has a great impact if you have no clue what to expect from that first episode.

Pikehead
Dec 3, 2006
Looking for WMDs, PM if you have A+ grade stuff

Fun Shoe

MockingQuantum posted:

I just watched the first episode with literally no clue what Black Mirror was besides being told it's "like a modern Twilight Zone." The show has a great impact if you have no clue what to expect from that first episode.

Even with knowing what Black Mirror is all about it's pretty full on. I watched the original black mirror series soon after it aired, and then caught the second season/xmas special when they both aired, and still didn't figure out where each was going until well into the episode.

Magic Hate Ball
May 6, 2007

ha ha ha!
you've already paid for this


If they left that cookie running for a thousand years a minute, and were out of the office for, say, 36 hours, that's 2,160,000 years of Wizzard.

Digiwizzard
Dec 23, 2003




Pork Pro

Magic Hate Ball posted:

If they left that cookie running for a thousand years a minute, and were out of the office for, say, 36 hours, that's 2,160,000 years of Wizzard.

Throughout the episode I was convinced the cookies were leading to the the classic "envious copy murders the original" twist. Now I think Christmas AI is going to have a Groundhog Day-style enlightenment, and that cop just inadvertently murdered the entire human race.

Last Chance
Dec 31, 2004



Holy poo poo, what a loving bummer. Good god.

Disharmony
Dec 29, 2000


Are there any other anthology shows similar to this one? It doesn't have to be exactly techno-paranoia, just grim and somber in the vein of The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone but with little to no aliens.

socialsecurity
Aug 30, 2003


Disharmony posted:

Are there any other anthology shows similar to this one? It doesn't have to be exactly techno-paranoia, just grim and somber in the vein of The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone but with little to no aliens.

Darknet's close and also on Netflix.

ufarn
May 30, 2009


Disharmony posted:

Are there any other anthology shows similar to this one? It doesn't have to be exactly techno-paranoia, just grim and somber in the vein of The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone but with little to no aliens.
X-Files probably - it's not all aliens after all. Drive (S06E02) is a classic.

The physical implants in the show are a good metaphor for digital surveillance today.

Aye Doc
Jul 19, 2007

my name is john carter


Disharmony posted:

Are there any other anthology shows similar to this one? It doesn't have to be exactly techno-paranoia, just grim and somber in the vein of The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone but with little to no aliens.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents should be up your alley, I think its still on Netflix

Shima Honnou
Dec 1, 2010

The Once And Future King Of Detroit





College Slice

ufarn posted:

X-Files probably - it's not all aliens after all. Drive (S06E02) is a classic.

The physical implants in the show are a good metaphor for digital surveillance today.

Hell, if anything, X-Files tends to only really get into aliens when it's one of the plot episodes. A lot of regular episodes are weird paranormal phenomenon that could be more accurately attributed to ghosts/God/Satan or undiscovered/mutant species, sometimes bad or mysterious technology.

Blanketspace
Aug 29, 2012


I've never been so grievously mentally injured by media before. Bridge to Terabithia left me sobbing when I was 7, but now I'm just in bed, staring at the ceiling, unable to comprehend my despair.

I have watched all of them, including the special. Occasionally I visualize the White Bear symbol and flinch inwardly.

fantastic in plastic
Jun 15, 2007

Wow, she's saying some profound stuff. I bet she's read The Hobbit.


I watched all of the episodes of this on Netflix and the Christmas special this weekend.

The National Anthem is a really good first episode - it's really masterful how it goes from "what am I watching what is going on" to "okay, that's funny. is this a funny show?" to "OH GOD THEY ARE PLAYING THIS PREMISE COMPLETELY STRAIGHT" to "ugh, now I feel horrible because the reason I kept watching this is essentially the same reason the people in the show watched it".

Fifteen Million Merits was excellent in every sense.

I thought the rest of the episodes weren't as good. The Entire History of You was my least favorite - when the main conflict was introduced I thought it was a trivial problem to solve with the memory implants; if dude's wife was innocent since she could just redo all of her memories for him. When that didn't come up, there wasn't much of a sense of mystery to me. The last shot was nice, though.

Of the second series, I was the most disturbed by The Waldo Moment, actually. Something about the raw sleaziness of it at the end, the way the premise morphed from "amusing ratings stunt" to "heartfelt outsider's critique of government" to "buy our stuff" to "five hundred quid for anyone who starts violence" was really affecting and sad.

The first half of White Christmas was more interesting than the latter bit - I kind of wish they had stuck with "sleazy remote PUA witnesses a murder" as the plot rather than the way they ultimately took it. But I didn't think it was bad, probably in the middle tier for me.

ufarn
May 30, 2009


Currently watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (the TV show), and I was surprised just how philosophical the show is. Transhumanism, cloned, copied, displaced consciousnesses and whatnot.

Can highly recommend it; it's not "hardcore anime" aside from some select things, and the show in general is great.

Gaunab
Feb 13, 2012



I watched all of the episodes except white Christmas last week. I'm surprised that a lot of people didn't like A History of You. It ranked up with National Anthem as one of my favorite episodes. I hope to see more from this series.

McSpanky
Jan 16, 2005




Gaunab posted:

I watched all of the episodes except white Christmas last week. I'm surprised that a lot of people didn't like A History of You. It ranked up with National Anthem as one of my favorite episodes. I hope to see more from this series.

I thought The Entire History of You was pretty great, it made perfect sense to me that the main plot was such a petty personal drama because of course that's what the vast majority of people would use such a revolutionary technology for. When the woman who reps for the grain company starts listing all of the reasons why having a security camera in your head is so much better than fallible old organic memory, it's a total morality play moment because those are also all the reasons why it's so much worse. All that's missing is Captain Kirk delivering a humanitarian speech going "don'tyousee... that's WHY you must reject the grain! People... NEED tobefallible! People... NEED, to, for-GET!"

McSpanky fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2015 around 14:27

Ur Getting Fatter
Jun 9, 2007

Fast Food Fight



Someone already mentioned it, but my main problem with Entire History of You was that in the end the guy was proven right.

To me that cheapened the resolution slightly, because in the end it seemed like the episode's message was "Better to live in blissful ignorance".

I would've preferred if the husband had finally been wrong (at least about the actual cheating, regardless of the wife's feelings for the other dude), simply because I think a more powerful message would've been that humans inevitably force and distort any evidence in favor of their preconceived notions because being right is more important than being happy.

If the message of the episode was supposed to be "not being able forget leads to misery", then I definitely think that "Be Right Back" covered that a lot better.

Murmur Twin
Feb 11, 2003

No Gehn, No Pain


I don't know if it counts as a shoutout to another episode, but I watch Entire History of You for a second time last night before watching White Christmas for the first time and noticed a similarity in the couples fighting at home:

White Christmas posted:

"You're being a bitch."
"Stop it."
"You're being a cold bitch who would kill a kid."
"That's not fair."

Entire History of You posted:

"Sometimes you're a bitch."
"I didn't mean that."
('You're a bitch!')
"I'd like you to erase that"

Given all the other nods (which I loved) and the smartness of the show I feel like that had to be intentional.

Microcline
Jul 27, 2012


Ur Getting Fatter posted:

Someone already mentioned it, but my main problem with Entire History of You was that in the end the guy was proven right.

To me that cheapened the resolution slightly, because in the end it seemed like the episode's message was "Better to live in blissful ignorance".

I would've preferred if the husband had finally been wrong (at least about the actual cheating, regardless of the wife's feelings for the other dude), simply because I think a more powerful message would've been that humans inevitably force and distort any evidence in favor of their preconceived notions because being right is more important than being happy.

If the message of the episode was supposed to be "not being able forget leads to misery", then I definitely think that "Be Right Back" covered that a lot better.

The episode isn't supposed to have a simple, easy to digest moral message. We don't get a clean answer as to whether he made the "right" decision to end his marriage, and it's ultimately moot. The protagonist seeks the truth (which is held to be virtuous and liberating), but uncovers two truths that he is unable to reconcile--he loves his wife, but she may not love him. "The Fox and the Grapes" has the moral that cognitive dissonance is bad, but "The Entire History of You" is about how much of human happiness and functionality may be unattainable without it.

Black Mirror is at its worst when it's a crotchety old man bitching about "kids these days" and at its best when it's using technology to explore old (and omnipresent) themes, like how "The National Anthem" repeats themes from DeLillo's Mao II, "15 Million Merits" is based on Marx' theories of class structure, the struggle of truth versus happiness in "The Entire History of You", Nietzsche's debtor-creditor theory of punishment (where the punished (debtor) repays society/the victim (creditor) by allowing them to exercise the sadism caused by social repression), and how "The Waldo Moment" is a critique of charisma and cult-of-personality.

The only episode that really requires technology (instead of just being enhanced by it) for it's central conflict is the sex robot one.

BigRed0427
Mar 22, 2007

There's no one I'd rather be than me.


Saw White Bear for the first time and...Hooooooly poo poo

Pikehead
Dec 3, 2006
Looking for WMDs, PM if you have A+ grade stuff

Fun Shoe

BigRed0427 posted:

Saw White Bear for the first time and...Hooooooly poo poo

Yeah, I did *not* see that coming. I'm all for punishment, but that goes well into Cruel and Unusual territory for me. Which is par for the course for Black Mirror I guess.

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Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002


For fans of Charlie Brooker fans Weekly Wipe starts again on the BBC on the 29th of this month.

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