Posts Tagged ‘Greek Tragedy’

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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Europe’s Greek Tragedy

January 30, 2015

Finance Without Morality, Is Only Ruin Of The People:

People like a good cliffhanger. It beats difficult analysis, any day. Will Greece be pushed out of the Euro? Everybody wants to know.

The answer is simple: no. Before I explain why, let me point out that Paul Krugman, over the years, said many silly things about the Euro. However, he is learning, and his last effort, “Europe’s Greek Test”, is pretty good.

In the five years (!) that have passed since the euro crisis began, clear thinking has been in notably short supply. But that fuzziness must now end. Recent events in Greece pose a fundamental challenge for Europe: Can it get past the myths and the moralizing, and deal with reality in a way that respects the Continent’s core values? If not, the whole European project — the attempt to build peace and democracy through shared prosperity — will suffer a terrible, perhaps mortal blow.”

OK, Krugman should not call it the “euro crisis”. It’s not anymore a “euro crisis” than the related 2008 crash was a “dollar crisis”. And the point is not to get “past moralizing”, but to get, precisely, in the thick of true moralizing.

Krugman: “But doesn’t Greece have an obligation to pay the debts its own government chose to run up? That’s where the moralizing comes in.” And the moralizing is not just the way plutocrats and their parrots claim it to be. Krugman has finally discovered that only one side is submitted to beating until the masters’ mood improves:

“It’s true that Greece (or more precisely the center-right government that ruled the nation from 2004-9) voluntarily borrowed vast sums. It’s also true, however, that banks in Germany and elsewhere voluntarily lent Greece all that money. We would ordinarily expect both sides of that misjudgment to pay a price. But the private lenders have been largely bailed out (despite a “haircut” on their claims in 2012). Meanwhile, Greece is expected to keep on paying.”

Paying for what? Banksters! Krugman has finally come across the great truth of the so-called rescue of Greece:

“…to oversimplify things a bit, you can think of European policy as involving a bailout, not of Greece, but of creditor-country banks, with the Greek government simply acting as the middleman — and with the Greek public, which has seen a catastrophic fall in living standards, required to make further sacrifices so that it, too, can contribute funds to that bailout.

One way to think about the demands of the newly elected Greek government is that it wants a reduction in the size of that contribution.”

Krugman concludes:

“Objectively, resolving this situation shouldn’t be hard. Although nobody knows it, Greece has actually made great progress in regaining competitiveness; wages and costs have fallen dramatically, so that, at this point, austerity is the main thing holding the economy back. So what’s needed is simple: Let Greece run smaller but still positive surpluses, which would relieve Greek suffering, and let the new government claim success, defusing the anti-democratic forces waiting in the wings. Meanwhile, the cost to creditor-nation taxpayers — who were never going to get the full value of the debt — would be minimal. 

Doing the right thing would, however, require that other Europeans, Germans in particular, abandon self-serving myths and stop substituting moralizing for analysis. 

Can they do it? We’ll soon see.”

The usual moralizing analysis that is done is not just completely wrong, but thoroughly superficial: the average Greek has been punished for a crime she and he did not commit. They are been punished with their lives. Meanwhile, the culprit bankers are not giving back their mansions.

So Germany is going to become reasonable about Greece. Why? Because it is co-responsible: the Drachma was converted into Euro at twice its real value. Germany agreed to this. That instant wealth for Greece was going to bring a lot of purchase of German luxury cars by wealthy Greeks, and it did. So the average Greek was set-up by wealthy and controlling Germans, whose influence made German economists consent to malversation.

Another point: Germany saw its debt cut down four times during the Twentieth Century, and the last time was in 1953. Basically Germany did not have to pay for Nazism and reconstruction.

If Germany did not have to pay for Nazism, why should Greece have to pay for German bankers? (Hmm… Wait. It actually makes sense…)

In particular Germany did not pay in any commensurate fashion for the Greeks it killed in World War Two. How many Greeks did Germany kill when it attacked Greece in Spring 1941, and for the next four years of brutal occupation, complete with sending tens of thousands of Greek civilians to extermination camps? Or killing them on the way?

So many Greeks were assassinated by the Nazis that one does not know how many died. Up to more than eleven percent of the population. Scaled up to the present population of the USA, that would be around 33 million dead.

33 million dead, and now you ask for more?

The sort of governments which has been in power throughout the West, has been serving the wealthy capital class, from the USA to Greece. It’s not just the Eurozone.

The British Royal Mail was evaluated by some financiers at 12 billion Euros. But the “Conservative” government sold it 4 billion. In a few hours of trading, the privatized company gained 60%, making a lots of instant wealth for investors.

Plots everywhere by the plutocrats, what could go wrong? A Great Bitter Ocean to drown in.

Some ponder the nature of man, the Dark Side French ex-justice minister Badinter spoke about.

Yet, that’s another mistake. One does not avoid cruelty by just becoming a vegetarian, or a vegan. Actually, it’s easy to argue that this is an immoral mood.

Instead, blame General Economics.

It has been thoroughly documented that, in national parks such as Amboceli, elephants kill goats and cattle, just because they don’t like them crowding around water holes.

MORALITY HAS TO REACH ACROSS CENTURIES:

Spain, now followed by Portugal, has decided to allow Sephardic Jews to return. Five centuries after throwing them out. This is worth pondering as a morality play. After 381, the Catholic Church became not just a terrorist organization burning libraries, but an officially sanctified one lethal one killing all groups it did not like, and, first of all “philosophers”. The Church came close to annihilating the Jews, but then the Franks took power and re-established the civil rights of non-Catholics. In the following centuries, many Catholics converted to Judaism: whereas the Pope and his goons always threatened to burn alive miscreants, Judaism was more relaxed.

However, for a number of reason, such as Saint Bernard, Saint Louis and the like, and the death struggle against the Islamists who occupied most of the Mediterranean, the Catholic Church and its Inquisition came back in force.

Millions of Jews were thrown out, or forced to convert to Catholicism, or terrified, tortured to death, burned alive. Even towards the end of the Eighteenth Century, Voltaire condemned the execution of a young Jewish girl, burned alive in Portugal, just because she was a Jew.

Well, last week, a ten year old Nigerian girl was covered with explosives, and detonated in a market place, by Boko Haram, an Islamophile terrorist organization.

That would have been unimaginable in Nigeria, sixty years ago (you know, under the dirty colonialists). But now, it’s happening, and it’s the leaders of the world who are culprit. Because that’s the world they organized. With their lies.

So let’s talk truly now, and start with Greece. When one of the world’s most despicable men, Jean-Claude Juncker, a tax evasion specialist serving plutocrats for decades, enabling trillions of dollars to be stolen from the people, say that Greece, the Greek people, should pay, we should retort.

Retort that it is his kind that should pay, so we can start to put an end to the systems of moods and lies they set in place.

Plutocrats and those who enable them, have been full of audacity, for decades. But, without audacity, you cannot save the Republic. Because the world, or at least the ecology, always moves on.

Ah, and of Greece and the Euro?

The Greek Central Bank can actually print all the Euros it needs. So the charade in Greece was made possible by the complicity of the ruling elite. Syriza can put an end to that.

And what of Germany forcing Greece? How? By bringing back the Schliefen plan, and swinging millions of robotic soldiers, through France, as in 1914? Hahaha. Sorry, I am obnoxious. Not likely, anyway, as 98% of the military muscle in Europe is held by France and Britain.

The Euro is the Greek currency. Germans can’t change that. It would be easier for them to adopt the rubble of the Rouble as new German currency instead.

Not that force should not be used. Banksters and their accomplices should be made to regurgitate the ill profits they made from Greece and other places they victimized.

Patrice Ayme’