Posts Tagged ‘Blade Runner 2049’

Blade Runner 2049: Deep, Yet Practical Philosophy of Evil

November 4, 2017

Evil is everywhere, don’t leave home without it.

It looks intellectual to read Greek tragedy written 25 centuries ago. It has looked intellectual, all too long. The son gets born, and the more he tries to avoid his fate, the more he sinks into it, raping and murdering all without rhyme or reason (“Oedipus”). For some reason, such twisted tales are viewed as instructive. Just like the mistranslated, moderated Shakespeare now prevalent, they are not twisted enough. By a long shot. And they give too much space to what is pre-ordained. Now, nothing is preordained.

The famed “long view of history” (Braudel) has become a toy in the hands of unhinged humanity modifying the climate, as the Trump (!) administration. “Long view” has become tomorrow. The US  government is now aligned with me, and predicts a possible global rise of temperature of 4.7 Celsius (ten Fahrenheit). In other words, the apocalypse. In “Blade Runner 2049” strong countermeasures have been apparently taken, so the temperatures have plummeted, and it snows all the time… In Los Angeles. (Such measures are imaginable, and feared, precisely because they could backfire…) 

Classical literature is viewed as deep. Yet think again: what is Greek tragedy overall message? That it’s folly to resist  the rule of fate, and hubristic to try to escape it. In other words, submission is best. However, the Greeks were great because they were full of hubris and were escape artists. Greek fiction is less deep than what real history and contemporary thinking is capable of.

Science Fiction movies are capable of depth previously unknown. In a way, nothing new: it’s exactly what Homer was. Sci Fi, with his Medusas, Cyclops, Sirens, etc. So was the entire Greek Pantheon with its officially crazy gods. Virgil, and much “classical” literature can also be viewed as Sci Fi.

What is love? What is a memory?What is fear? What is a soul? Is there a difference between being born and being programmed? Will one day “replicants” machines made to replicate humans be not just possible, but reproducing, and then what? What is it, to be human?

Such are some of the questions in “Blade Runner 2049”, starring a futuristic version of the LAPD, the Los Angeles Police Department (not drastically improved, I am afraid…). A lot of these questions are central to philosophy in general (and this site in particular). It’s soothing to see how practical they have become… Yes several of these questions were already in the original “Blade Runner”, but here they are contemplated in greater depth, and new ones are added.

Indeed, how do we know what we know? For most people, it means they read it in their not so smart phone. All too many “normal” people don’t know why they know what they know. Normal people find normal to have become abnormal. Worse: eight times more US citizens got news from Russian disinformation professionals than from the traditional TV news. On Facebook alone, at least 150 million people are addicted to Russian fake news.

The degree of international, historical corruption eating the West is civilization threatening (watch the latest, involving Pluto Russia, corrupt universities, Brexit, and a 30-year-old master of the universe, now indicted by US) . As I have long explained, Nazism itself is chapter, verse and consequence of the increasing mind massaging and brain washing, festering in the West for a century.

Everywhere fake news roam, from the “multiverse” to the Obama, Clinton & Trump machines. Obamacare itself misinformed: to improve the health of destitute people, one shouldn’t send more tax money to some of the richest monopolies in the world.

The lady on the left has a very ambiguous role in Blade Runner 2049. I wanted a picture of her kicking higher than her head, as in “Bladerunner”, but, thanks to ambient sexism, couldn’t find any (She did kick, for real, as high as Gosling’s 6 foot face).  The establishment does not like ladies who kick as high as a male soccer player. She is a “replicant”, and kills with gusto for aims which are rather obscure, but include the dawn of replicant super-humanity, she feels passionately for. She proves very hard to kill (I hope she didn’t die so we see her character reappear, and lift some ambiguities, She clearly steals the show in the movie, by adding considerable emotional depth and complexity. So the argument that the movie is anti-woman is just plain idiotic. On the right is director Villeneuve, who predicts “Peugeot” flying cars soon. (After all the French company Peugeot is more than 3 centuries old.)

I had to block several individuals on Facebook defaming me during the Clinton campaign (sorry I didn’t fancy anymore a scoundrel I used to support). Those organized liars transformed some of my ideas in their opposite, enticing lethal (!) threats by others. Interestingly some were people I knew in the past, but, meanwhile, they had read about me on the Internet… and believed all they read there, including the forked tongue, the flaming breath, clawed wings, raw flesh diet, and the prehensile tail. Well, OK, for the forked tongue, and the raw flesh diet.

Dawn of replicant super-humanity? We are certainly not just going towards this, but we have arrived. Genetically modified pigs, which could be used for transplants, have been created, thanks to CRISP R, an invention of a trio of US and French ladies who kick ass (they were immediately spoiled of their patents, thanks to an assorted plot of male character infused with “Old Money”). Personally, if a CRISP R engineer came to offer me 10,000 years of young life, by modifying me a bit, I would immediately assent. After all, when I put my super trail running shoes, or mountain boots, I also modify myself.

Pondering Artificial Intelligence is practical. AI systems to drive cars have to be equipped with serious ethical sense, for example to solve the “Trolley Problem” (a practical version of having to choose between crushing two old ladies and a mother with her baby, chose the former).

Worse: nuclear “Deterrence” (truly a form of madness) depends upon Artificial Intelligence all too much. Interpreting a solar flare as a missile strike is just around the corner… We don’t have replicants who kick faces yet, but we have AI which can finish humanity (the theme in the movie “Terminator”, another excellent movie). 

Don’t pay attention to the number “2049” in the movie title: the technology looks more like 2149 than 2049… According to the story, there was a “blackout” when all electronic data was erased, so only paper memories are supposed to have survived. The blackout was engineered to fight back the “replicants” who took themselves for human beings, or superhuman beings, more exactly. Since then, systematically obedient “replicants” were engineered (and use to find and destroy the more “Free Will” capable preceding generation of replicants).

When one speaks of “soul”, the hard-core classical mechanists who haunt all too many halls of science, chuckle in derision. However, “soul” can be viewed as a synonym for “consciousness”, something we all have, but science does not.

What are the connections with reality?

First, in my opinion, Quantum Computers will develop consciousness. So any miniaturized Quantum Computer with a number of Q-Bits comparable to those found in a human beings (don’t ask, I don’t know how many, nor does anyone else; however I promise to ponder the problem…) Many approaches to Quantum Computers use very low absolute temperatures, but others (Quantum Hall effect approach from MFST Station Q) use room temperature.

By then all the questions broached in “Blade Runner” will have long been confronted, and solved. My position is simple: any advanced intelligence, on a par with human intelligence, endowed with consciousness should have full human rights.

Example: an advanced AI entangled with a Quantum Computer with billions of qubits.

For example crows, parrots and raptors, although they are conscious, and although, with their 2 billion neurons or so, they have great intelligence, are not quite intelligent enough for full human rights, but they should get the same rights as dogs and cats, or better.

Another thing not to pay attention to in “Blade Runner 2049” is the PC allegation that the work is anti-woman, because the story features 5 women, 4 of them edible by genuine male rapists. Yes the women there have great sex appeal (but so do the guys, including the big brute in the beginning). However, all the women characters are tougher than diamond: death is just a collateral. If all women were thus, rapists would be much fewer.

True, the main female character seems deeply flawed. But appearances will be misleading with the truly human, that is, the most Machiavellian. “Luv”, is extremely domineering, and succeeds even to dominate the male hero, “K”, while losing a long, gutsy and gory fight with him: all bloodied up, and more or less eviscerated, “Luv” forcefully full mouth kiss the main hero out of spite, showing him there is another dimension to all this, than this horrific fight to death. The male hero just stands there, dumbfounded by this revelation. And that’s the highest point in the movies.

It invites a sequel, as “Luv” combatted both humans and replicants, while seeming to view more than suspiciously her boss and lover, for reasons which are no doubt complex.

***

In any case, that female character dominates the movies with her intriguing mind. Right, one can and should say:  Sometimes it seems that the best we can hope for in this universe, is to be a ray of sunshine to those we touch. It should be enough.

Affirm the good, and don’t demand any applause, that’s the way of the wise

This is a message of mine quite opposite to Camus’ obscene considerations on the “absurd”.

Camus’ obscene considerations on the “absurd” confused his own absurdity with the human condition.

Camus’ absurdity was passion killing. We need formidable passion to think anew (most formidable thinkers are formidable fighters, historically speaking).

Right, “Luv” seems evil, indeed. An important point. Just like the female mind is underestimated, so is evil. Indeed, Evil, sometimes, is at the service of goodness, and it is even irreplaceable in the service of goodness, nothing else would do, and this is exactly how humanity transcended, and still transcends, itself. A warning to those, a la John Lennon, who would claim to desire an indigestion of the all too sweet syrup of overwhelming goodness. 

The irreplaceability of evil is why all significant religions pay their respect to evil. With an unmovable Satan (=Pluto, Hades, Devil), and cruel sacrifices to go with it

So I pay my respects to Blade Runner 2049. And wish “Luv” happy trails. Meanwhile, back to our regular programming, ferocious greenhouse, and unhinged nuclear dictators (for example Kim of the DPRK), both, all too human, and unanticipated by the Greeks 

Patrice Ayme’   

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