Sunday, December 4, 2016

#339 / Bleak Mirror

Black Mirror is a television series that is now available on Netflix. I found Seasons One and Two rather compelling, and we are now up to Season Three, which has been specially commissioned by Netflix. The first show in Season Three is called "Nosedive." It takes that "Like" idea you find on Facebook, and pushes it quite a bit further. You can get a bit of the flavor of that episode, and learn more about Black Mirror, by activating the You Tube link below. 

I am teaching a course at the University of California, Santa Cruz, entitled, "Privacy, Technology And Freedom." Almost all of the Black Mirror episodes raise serious questions about the "privacy" and "freedom" implications of our new technologies. 

If you like books, and would like to explore the conjoined topics of privacy, technology, and freedom, you can read The Circle, by Dave Eggers. I recommend it unequivocally! 

If you like video, check out Black Mirror. I don't want to be too alarmist, but the future portrayed, perhaps only slightly exaggerated, is what I'd call horrific:

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  1. This series has a lot to recommend it. There are often unintended consequences to new technologies. This program holds up a mirror for us to see some of the less desirable outcomes of the digital world.

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  3. I have been using some of the episodes in my Mass Communications course at Cabrillo. 15 Million Merits from season one, and the status update one. China is now about to roll out an eerily similar social score app for its citizens that is supposed to rate them on everything from jaywalking tickets to being late for work, as well as their credit ratings. It is supposed to raise the moral behavior, but it smacks of a mass intrusion into the privacy of people.

    1. The mentioned episode of Black Mirror is non-fiction, in other words!

  4. No, Gary. It's still fiction. All fiction is inspired by reality. That doesn't make it non-fiction.


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