narcasse: Charles Xavier. X-Men: First Class. (thesis)
[personal profile] narcasse
Probably the safest thing I can say about Trancendence is that it's an interesting film. There are lots of large ideas, any of which might have made a more tightly focused story, and a handful of fun visuals. Unfortunately, my main issue was with the anti-tech terrorist group who didn't seem to have any motivation beyond self-righteousness and not having any medical issues of their own that they required any kind of treatment for. This is the same issue I have with any 'destroy all the tech and return to the earth' storyline. If you destroy all technology and cut off all electricity lots of people will die as a result, maybe not immediately, but very soon when the medication runs out and the means to enact safe surgery fails, lots of us will be wiped out. How swathes of the population will perish, leaving a handful of people who are actually capable of surviving, and a larger portion who though they could and who will suddenly find that they haven't really thought that one through. Survival is about preparedness. With training and equipment and experience there are those who will survive but they're a specific segment in society. The individual who decides that all technology is bad and isn't living off-grid, off the land, in isolation already is no more prepared for the outcome of technology destruction than I would be. And I take some grim satisfaction in that. If some lunatic, or lunatics, ever do destroy all human resources I know I'll perish but I'll go to my grave with a touch of schadenfreude, knowing that they'll suffer themselves, probably a great deal mentally when they realise how ill prepared they were, as they die of dysentery or influenza.

The other big idea was the uploading of a human conciousness into a machine/software/webspace, which is another thing that I have opinions about. Every human being is subjected to their own neuroses so I don't see why that should change if you upload them anywhere else. People who are driven to establish clean power sources and do away with fossil fuels will continue to work on that, people who are keen to invent innovative public transport will do that, people who want to play the financial markets will do that happily. A machine me could spend an eternity gathering data and learning new things, sharing information and trying to puzzle out the endless problem of international politics. I'd play a lot of chess, I'd get better at maths, I'd learn the history of lean manufacturing, and I'd listen to a lot of music. It's only arrogance that leads people to believe that their solution is the best one for everything and logic has to take the human factor into account. A theory is only a theory unless it succeeds in it's application and provides a benefit.

Suffice to say Transcendence didn't address any of the above, nor really go into any sort of depth about anything else. It probably didn't help that I couldn't quite buy Johnny Depp as the great scientist, or that Paul Bettany's character went from terrorist hostage to leading an armed assault on a data centre. It was more convincing in Killer Net. In fact, if I can find my copy again I'll probably watch that again instead. Overall, Transcendence is the kind of thing to have on the TV while you putter around doing household chores over the weekend. Make a slow-cooked pot of chilli, iron some shirts and give the blender a rinse over the two hour period this film took and it'll be a nice way to pass the time. And cultivate your plans to get John Connor.


narcasse: Sebastian Flyte.  Brideshead Revisited (2008) (Default)

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