Saturday, April 19, 2014

Transcendence continued

From this post. Spoiler alert. Also see this ongoing IPS discussion of the film.

I enjoyed the movie, despite many critics that do not. (Roeper is an exception, giving it a A.) It had many of the themes we've been discussing of late, primarily the benefits and dangers of the IoT. After Depp's character is uploaded he develops nanotech that heals people, makes medical discoveries, creates better ways to farm for less cost with minimal pollution etc. However in the process of healing folks with nanites they become 'hybrids' with super strength and are connected to the 'grid.' They still maintain their autonomy but are linked in the 'commons.'

This of course frightens everyone else, including Depp's past associates, who thinks we'll somehow transcend our humanity and become machines if this continues. They even convince his wife, who heretofore went along with the program. She accepts intentional infection with a virus so that we she too is uploaded it will kill the program. Depp of course knows the plan but accepts it because he loves her and believes her when she tells them he is 'hurting' humanity.

Thing is, nothing he has done has hurt anyone, only helped them. The only hurt is from the self-generated fear of becoming something more than typical humanity, becoming hybrid, becoming Borg. It appears Depp realizes that humanity is not yet ready for the next step in its evolution and let's his wife infect him and shut down the program.

And yet at the end it appears Depp and his wife still exist in the nanotech implanted in their home garden, in their own LAN if not in the entire internet. Does this indicate that the tech will be fine if confined to LANs instead of one giant super internet of everything. And that it can co-exist with other such LANs, each maintaining their own autonomy but are connected to each other. Oh, yeah, that is the internet of everything. And will this open a sequel?

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