Of Devs, Other Universes, And China’s Covid Choices.

22
983

DEVS is a fantastic futuristic television mini-series – which ends next week on Soho. Now, don’t worry, there will be no spoilers in this post, so please feel free to read on. It’s certainly not giving too much away to say that in addition to serving up a riveting plotline and a first rate cast,Devs also offers master classes in both the future of information technology and philosophy.

Driving the drama forward is the age-old debate between those who believe that human-beings possess free will and those who insist that, since every effect must have a cause, our “choices” are entirely predetermined. Devise a computer of sufficient capability, Devs’ determinists insist, and not only will it allow you to see back into the past, but also forward into the future.

Mind-bending stuff.

Once you enter this territory, however, the question inevitably arises: “Which past and which future?” The writer and director of Devs, Alex Garland, clearly anticipates that quantum computing and quantum physics are going to be inextricably entwined. This allows him to play with the weird paradoxes of the quantum world – like matter being in, and not in, our universe at the same time. These raise the possibility of there being more than one universe. Or many. Or even an infinite number of universes! If that’s the way it is, however, then wouldn’t it mean that an infinite number of pasts – and futures – are also possible? And wouldn’t it then follow, logically, that in this “multiverse” anything you can imagine happening either will happen, or, has happened already?

Here then, in the spirit of Devs, is one of the infinite number of histories of the Covid-19 virus and the global pandemic which it spawned.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

In a biological research facility on the outskirts of Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province, scientists create a new, highly infectious and potentially deadly coronavirus. Unfortunately, lax handling protocols result in a number of the research facility’s staff becoming infected. With terrifying speed the virus spreads through Wuhan’s 11 million inhabitants. Alerted to its unchecked community transmission by a conscientious physician, the Chinese authorities are faced with a daunting series of choices.

The most noble choice is, obviously, to contain the disease within China’s borders and do everything possible to prevent it from infecting the rest of humanity. This option, however, is fraught with risk. What if the virus mutates into something even deadlier? What if it cannot be contained? What would such an outbreak do to China’s already faltering economy? How could the Chinese Communist Party preserve its power in the face of tens-of-thousands – perhaps millions – of fatalities? And what would China’s enemies do? Would they help? Or, would they stand back and watch the regime of Xi Jinping go under?

In the very large subset of worlds in the multiverse where this most ruthless sort of political calculation prevails, such questions tend to lead political leaders away from noble choices. This case was no exception. The government of Xi Jinping adopted a policy of strategic inaction. It delayed informing the World Health Organisation of the virus’s extraordinary infectiousness. More crucially, it delayed shutting down Wuhan, Hubei, and China itself, until the virus was safely aboard the world’s airlines and winging its way unheralded across the planet.

If humanity suddenly had to contend with a new coronavirus, then, from the perspective of Beijing, it was far preferable to have the whole of humanity contending with “Covid-19” (as it would soon be called) than only that fraction of humanity residing within the borders of the People’s Republic of China. To have protected the rest of the world – particularly its most powerful nations – from the virus’s devastating economic side-effects would have been indistinguishable from allowing China to be defeated in a major war. Sharing Covid-19 with the rest of the world made much more sense in geopolitical and economic terms than heroically bearing its burdens alone. Receiving the world’s praise is one thing; giving the rest of the world the whip hand over your country’s future is something else altogether.

Having allowed the virus to escape, it then behoved the Chinese Government to do all within its power to mitigate its effects and, if at all possible, stamp it out. Obviously, the first country to come out the other side of what was now a global pandemic would enjoy a tremendous advantage over all those other nations still stricken and locked down by the presence of Covid-19 in their populations. Certainly, China was not lacking in the totalitarian infrastructure necessary to contain and eliminate the virus among its own people.

Even in another universe, far, far away, it would not have taken long for those well-schooled in the realities of ruthless political calculation to grasp what China had done. Could they prove it? No. But proof is not always required when the logic of a particular course of action is so compelling. If every effect has a cause, then it is no great matter to work one’s way back through each successive stage of a crisis to locate the first move, the first “choice”, that set it in motion.

Small wonder that China’s principal rival, the United States is so agitated by the bind in which it now finds itself. It simply cannot afford to be locked down, but it lacks the totalitarian equipment needed to drive its population through the slaughter associated with acquiring “herd immunity” in the shortest possible time. Even if it did (and astutely exploited the Patriot Act offers a sufficiently ruthless American government tremendous scope) the United States has chosen, democratically, to afflict itself with its worst President ever. To look upon an America more riven with sectarian hatred and social division one would have to travel back in time to the Civil War of 1861-65.

If the Chinese Government operating in this alternative universe had been in possession of the time-mastering super-quantum-computer at the heart of the action in Devs, it could not have played its hand with more far-sighted political acuity. China took an “accident” (if you believe in such dubious concepts) and turned it into an opportunity to take over the world.

Not to worry, though. There are plenty of other universes where this didn’t happen. We might even be living in one.

22 COMMENTS

  1. There’s no other group more devoted to keeping outsiders away from their precious than physicists. Even now behind this keyboard there scoffs are audible. But like any good scientist we will intrude anyway. They would say ahhh but Einstein’s theory of relativity clearly defines the dimensions of the universe and it does if you want to count from zero all the way to infinity. But what if we count backwards. I know it’s trivial to say count backwards and well we would see the soup that makes up the universe. Thing is that soup is still there only there’s a whole bunch of rules and deviations that stop us from getting to it only we know that with a sufficient amount of gravity we can break those rules and bend light. And well space time isn’t the same as mater or radio waves but they’re connected.

    Strangely enough people who troll through the history and art of a people just to figure out how they think can lead to naive assumptions about political goals because there’s certainly aspects of nobility that clashes with logical result oriented strategy, having different coloured skin and a different type of accent would delay a rise up through the ranks. So dictators possess one glaring weakness, it’s clear that the dictator diverts resources to there capital city but the analytical mind would recognise immediately the weaknesses of having pooled all resources and then fighting a pandemic after having witnessed how quickly that virus spreads among a population.

    So the analytical mind utilising the best of all possible worlds would immediately use the existing concepts of urbanisation and equip it with more expensive hospitals, schools effectively making his towns superior to capital cities in every way. Imagine a small medical centre with only a handful of doctors being able to intercept and track patients before they’re able to go on and infect the whole town. That would be superior in every way to large super expensive central hospitals having to process hundreds of thousands if not millions.

    But before any resources are efficiently coordinated across a nation there is already a political war between left and right wing ideology over resources. Having to many resources pooled in one area has a lot of weaknesses but this logic has so far failed to penetrate humanity for the last 200,000 years. What the dictator actual needs are smaller less costly cities that can keep up with the pace of change and having a highly educated population.

    If we look at Auckland it’s motorways don’t really match up and it’s not very uniformed going from 2 lanes to 10 to 4 and land values are to much to change that. But after corona struck we are really starting to see the inadequacies of the whole system and the government is now pouring more resources into infrastructure than it ordinarily would and so it is time for the regional 21st century kiwi town to emerge.

    Do I know if this theory will manifest a 21st century kiwi town into reality I do not know that. I can predict with accuracy what might happen over there but I do not have the physical attributes required to figure out the consequences of those actions. I guess we could say that we have seen regional development before in response to a crises then at a minimum it would explain why we are seeing fools gold. At a minimum we should be able to identify a minimum left and right asymmetry or at least a balance between rich and poor but I believe they’re all poor in the same way as our thumbs are a pair.

    So what do I mean and I mean that perhaps money and power are decoupled from our ordinary world and that money and resources might restore the balance between the haves and the have nots so they resemble about the same wealth so the bottom half would have as much wealth as the top 10-20% weather or not we can break the chains between the money we can see, and the money that is missing.

    So even if we create distinctly separate spaces or universes or what ever then physics will still take place and those cities and we will think what we see may not even be the places where all the action is taking place, in fact not all people are born equal and some doctors might be more genius than others. So when we see patients rolling around in agony they might just have a substandard doctor, over worked, under payed or maybe the substandard doctor just cruised through medical school. But what I hoped to do with this is develop the theory a little more.

    There is a belief in physics and most fields that the internal dialogue should behave in a coherent fashion meaning people should put forward there ideas and other people should build joyously upon them.

  2. In one of the other universes the virus might have been around for months, and may not have first infected people in Wuhan at all but just have been first looked for and identified in sick people with severe flu like symptoms in Wuhan.
    Having discovered that they had a new pathogen with deadly effect on particularly vulnerable people, the Chinese government , currently engaged in a massive trade war with America and it’s entourage of satellite countries , saw an opportunity to demonstrate to the world the awesome efficiency with which they could address such a crisis. They dug up the roads leading in and out of the city, they welded up doors on apartment buildings , checked everyone’s temperature as they left to shop and again as they returned, and built a 1 000 bed hospital in under two weeks to deal with the victims of the virus.
    Nothing they could have said to the outside world could have signalled so dramatically that we have a terrifying new disease here spreading like wildfire . LOOK OUT. Far from keeping it a secret!
    They would be totally aware how impossible it would be for America with it’s capitalist small impotent government structure , existing only to facilitate the accumulation of wealth in the tiny minority that it serves, to handle such a crisis at all. They would be totally aware that this structure was teetering on the edge of collapse as well. And that trying to handle it would be the trigger to precipitate that collapse.
    They may also have guessed from the high death toll of last winter’s “flu ” season that the virus had actually originated in America and had been doing it’s thing for months. And that while extremely contagious was not that deadly except to the very old and infirm. But that by treating it as if it was the plague of ancient times the western world could be spooked into a reaction far more deadly than the virus. And serve them right!

    D J S

    • How could the US miss it.
      Trump is a Chinese cyborg programmed to destroy the Empire while deceiving the billionaires and appearing to be against China.

      A cunning plot

  3. Reality v/s Sci-Fi – Reality doesn’t give the option of changing the channel…Nobody is in a position of determining the truth at the moment, so until the dust clears all we can do is watch and hope to hell for the best…Hope is all we have at the moment in this universe.. Good decisions aren’t based on knee jerk speculations or fantasy thinking.

  4. Normally i avoid your blogs because they irritate me immensely. However I had to read this because you started with Devs. Your outline of Devs is excellent. However your ensuing argument is another anti-China piece which I’ve just flitted through. So no comment on the details of your argument.

    Trump’s Chinese-flu ad-nauseum has convinced many that China is the problem. I prefer to take the other world scenario where we followed China’s methods to restrict the spread of the virus and have been successful so far.

  5. Those who know history, (fewer and fewer in our dumbed down universe) know the British, used drug supply to subjugate the Chinese by getting them addicted to opium in the 1800’s, to enable the British to take over their trade and bankrupt them. http://victorianweb.org/history/empire/opiumwars/opiumwars1.html

    Could it be, China is getting revenge on the world using similar methods from state sponsored labs in Wuhan sending out the precursor components of Meth and Fentenyl, to be distributed by international criminal Gangs. https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/121121233/coronavirus-cartels-are-scrambling-as-covid19-hits-global-drug-trade

  6. Many of the world’s economies are being destroyed.

    A German tabloid has put together a bill of $162 billion that China owes to Berlin following the impact of novel coronavirus, sparking outrage from Beijing, according to a report by India Today.https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/coronavirus-pandemic-german-tabloid-sends-24162-billion-bill-to-china-as-covid-19-damages-beijing-calls-it-e2-80-98xenophobia-e2-80-99/ar-BB12YEzF

    (Who knew that compensation is now deemed ‘xenophobic’ – funny enough the entire world and businesses are suing each other and have been for years, but nobody seems to think it is xenophobic!)

    China Sued for ‘Covering Up’ Coronavirus Pandemic in Its ‘Own Economic Self-Interest’

    “A class-action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Thursday against the People’s Republic of China (PRC), alleging that China put its “head in the sand, and/or covered […] up” the eventual coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic for its “own economic self-interest”–at the expense of the rest of the world.

    https://lawandcrime.com/lawsuit/china-sued-for-covering-up-coronavirus-pandemic-in-its-own-economic-self-interest/
    The plaintiffs–residents of Miami-Dade County and Palm Beach County, and The Pitching Lab LLC–sued China over alleged negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, strict liability for conducting ultrahazardous activity, and public nuisance. China’s National Health Commission, Ministry of Emergency Management, Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Government of Hubei Province and the Government of Wuhan were also named as defendants.

    “The PRC and other Defendants, acting from their own economic self-interest and looking to protect their place as a super-power, failed to report the outbreak as quickly as they could have; underreported cases; and failed to contain the outbreak despite knowing the seriousness of the situation,” the lawsuit said.

    To support their claims, the plaintiffs cited a number of China’s “acts and omissions” in it its response to the virus:

    a. Censored eight doctors on January 1, 2020, from speaking about the outbreak and its dangers.
    b. Even after the first death on January 9th, they continued to downplay the dangers and assured the public that the situation was not serious and that everything was under control.
    c. It took 17 days from the time Chinese researchers discovered the COVID-19 genome sequence for Defendants to report the findings to their world-wide peers.
    d. They knew COVID-19 was spread human to human by January 3rd, but told the public otherwise, and would not confirm the ease of human to human transmission until January 20th, after the virus had already spread beyond China.
    e. China President Xi Jinping originally stated that he directed officials to contain the virus on January 7th, but it has since emerged that he did not do that, and that he actually waited until January 22nd to do direct containment, and still did not make any efforts public until it was too late.
    f. Despite early January deaths, they would only attribute the deaths to pneumonia, instead of the virus, and continued to downplay its dangers.
    g. Wuhan’s leaders held a public dinner for over 40,000 families on January 18, despite knowing the ease of human to human spread of the virus.”

    • Whatever fanciful conspiracy theory that blames China and seeks restitution for Covid-19, it is nothing compared with the actual history of the West’s plunder of China over centuries. I look forward to the exchange of damages costs. The West in Billions, China Trillions counting interest.

      Never mind, its all playground stuff, in the real world the West will lose because they are dependent on China which is still the global powerhouse and holds all the cards in the Asian century. It doesn’t give me any pleasure to see the Red menace swallowing up the pathetic orientalist fantasists, because the Red will be about blood and not human liberation.

      The real Red will be the masses of Asia rising up to claim the future for humanity and nature.

      • That’s not a bad shot at alternative reality fiction Dave. Why don’t you try reading ‘The Man in the High Castle’ by Philip K. Dick to learn how a professional does it?

      • The British Army supported a Private British company in robbing India of 73 trillion in today’s money, then dividing India separating Indians on a basis of religion. Divide and rule being the thinking making the next round of conquering and looting India easier.

        Britain’s daughter has looted billions from South America, the Middle East, Europe, Pacific Islands, Africa, South East Asia, Japan, Korea and even had a go at taking over China at the end of WWII.
        Will she have enough lawyers to address the claims when they come rolling in. The USA is creating the great awakening in “suing” China.

        Of course suing China won’t work but it may well serve to whip up hatred towards China so the stupid yanks will back another war.

    • No-one disputes that are plenty of potential sources for pandemics in countries all over the world. The question being asked here is whether or not the Chinese Communist Party covered up what it knew about a pandemic that started in its own country so that the disease would spread worldwide. This ensured the pain caused by the epidemic would be shared by everyone, rather than borne by China alone:

      https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/did-xi-jinping-deliberately-sicken-the-world/

      Remember when China’s ambassador to New Zealand, Madame Wu Xi, was berating Jacinda Adern for closing New Zealand’s borders to travellers from China in late February, long after the Chinese Communist Party knew how infectious ‘Covid-19’ was? I do:

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/409795/no-need-for-travel-restrictions-china-s-ambassador-to-nz

      • Good Day @simonm, thanks for the comment….

        Did industrialist, capitalist countries take precautions when Covid-19 broke out in China?

        Not much.

        Could industrialist, capitalist countries have known that a Covid-19 pandemic may spread across the world?

        Yes.

        Let’s have a look.

        SARS was in 2003.

        In 2013 a SARS corona pandemic was simulated in Europe.

        MERS was in 2012.

        At the end of 2014, the U.S. government suspended research on MERS and SARS for one year because of the danger to humans.

        In 2015, an experimental collaborative effort was published by researchers from three US universities, Wuhan and an Italian researcher from Varese, who has a laboratory in Bellinzona.

        These synthetically produced corona viruses in the laboratory and thus infected cell cultures and mice. The reason for the work: they wanted to produce a vaccine or monoclonal antibody in order to be prepared for the next corona pandemic.

        In 2015, Bill Gates made a widely regarded speech and said that the world was unprepared for the next corona pandemic.

        In 2016, another research paper appeared that dealt with corona viruses. The ‘summary’ of this publication:

        “Focusing on SARS-like CoVs, the approach indicates that viruses using the WIV1-CoV spike protein are capable of infecting human alveolar endothelium cultures directly without further spike adaptation. In vivo data indicate attenuation relative to SARS-CoV, the augmented replication in the presence of human angiotensin converting enzyme type 2 in vivo suggests that the virus has significant pathogenic potential not captured by current small animal models. ”

        In March 2019, Peng Zhou’s Wuhan epidemiological study said that due to the biology of the corona viruses in bats of China, it can be predicted that there will be another corona pandemic shortly.

        In principle, there have been 8 concrete, clear warnings within 17 years.

        In December 2019, 9 months after Peng Zhou’s warning, the Chinese informed the WHO after seeing 27 patients with atypical pneumonia without death.

        The Taiwan reaction chain, which consisted of a total of 124 measures, began on December 31 – all published by March 3, 2020. Those were not published in Taiwanese-Chinese language in an Asian medical journal, but with the collaboration of the University of California in the “Journal of American Medical Association”.

        Source: Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Paul Robert Vogt, Switzerland; working since 20 years
        with the Union Hospital of Tongji Medical College/Huazhong University of Science and Technology» in Wuhan (7 April 2020).

        The simple fact is that there is insufficient early warning and limited disaster risk preparedness all-over the globe.

        The gradually unfolding dramatic changes in climatic conditions, ecological relationships and effects on nature, biosphere, including human species, are not anticipated.

        No government in the world is ready for this.

        Science is side-tracked and unable to break through walls of ignorance in most countries.

        Economic growth and their celebrity gurus remain in the driving seats.

        ….System Change. Now.

        • Cheers Manfred. I certainly agree that all Western countries, especially the US, were chronically under prepared for the current pandemic. I do however believe that a deliberate withholding of information about the severity of the disease from China, and by extension the WTO, has contributed substantially to that unpreparedness in this instance (the Mango Moron’s complete incompetence in dealing with this disaster is a separate issue).

          As you have alluded to, the country that has emerged most unscathed from this pandemic is Taiwan; largely because of its healthy scepticism of anything the Chinese Communist Party says about disease and health related issues after it was badly burnt by the SARS epidemic.

          Any thoughts on Chinese Ambassador Madam Wu Xi encouraging New Zealand to keep its borders open to travellers from China in late February, long after the CCP was fully aware of the highly infectious nature of the current coronavirus?

          • Good afternoon @simonm.

            Thanks for the note.

            All nation-state institutions are trying to learn from the Covid-19 saga, if they have the financial and technical means to do so. They try this in all countries, including the PR China.

            ….Sidestep: African nations are apparently on the backburner…

            All these nation-state institutions (embassies being a part of it, naturally) are highly bureaucratic and usually confuse political action with administrative management.
            All these nation-state institutions are serving to protect assumed state interests (meaning, interests of the ruling classes). That’s actually, and most regrettably, the main orientation of these institutions. In every nation-state.

            Having said this, while some of the PR China reactions may have been slow (as in many other countries), it is not certainly not deliberate intention to harm others.

            Note:

            Globally, there are no functioning early warning systems for such and similar events because they would heavily conflict with capital ideology and the messages of their preachers and bookkeepers (e.g. through distorting application of methods like cost-benefit analysis, internal rate of return, etc.).

            For many decades the UN system has been under rather strict control by leading anglophone states with capitalist economies. Only more recently this appears a bit more diversified, mainly thanks to the PR China, and the Republic of India, too.

            This is a good thing, but certainly not enough to assure international cooperation as required by climate change, destruction of ecosystems, negative impacts on human species.

            The CPC (90 million members) is probably more transparent than NZ First, eh…!?

            There are some very important regional/global policies of the PR China that very much deserve better critical analysis and responses from the Asia/Pacific: a) the Belt-Road Initiative, b) the South-China Sea territorial expansion, c) the state’s engagement with civil society and ethnic groups.

            In a nutshell: China is not the enemy. And: critical solidarity is anticipated and would be most helpful for designing future relationships.

  7. The point about DEVS is that it is not the reality. Ideas cut and pasted from physics and technology (real enough) then joined to a totally bourgeois ideology of freedom is just another capitalist entertainment diverting us from the reality outside which is plunging onwards to our common extinction (nothwithstanding Queenstown).

    Why not put DEVS to work mining the ‘noise’ surrounding climate change science so that the current simplistic models can incorporate a complete analysis of cause and effect that traces the complexity of multiple feedback loops?

    But lets include in this world of lawful physical cause/effect, assumptions of social cause/effect and plot the interactions.

    Let’s run a program that assumes bourgeois parameters; that we are creatures of the free market, that freedom equals market choice; then introduce variations where power, race, religion, gender etc are key variables. What we are going to get is results which are determined by the physical inputs. A fucked up capitalism but one where humans can control for the variations to realise a mystical utopia of pure freedom.

    Then run a program that assumes Marxist parameters; labour exploitation, individual unfreedom determined by social class relations; introduce the same variations as above, and find that controlling the variations do not effect the social determination of class: following social laws heading for a fucked up capitalism that will kill us all – UNLESS those who suffer the exploitation social relations exercise their freedom to overthrow the social laws that trap them in unfreedom and extinction.

    I know which I prefer. The one that applies the laws of social science (and not the ideology that obscures it) together with the laws of natural science that together reveals the reality of the capitalocene (Marx called this understanding of laws – dialectics) and therefore the knowledge to end it in a social revolution.

    I would call this program the REVS

    • Dave perhaps the plot could be not just one or the other but one crafted by cooperative communities with simple goals like enough food, simple shelters for all, education across academia and practical skills and development, whatever we can do in health with limited resources and mana for service to the community being the highest reward.
      The program could be called Kiwitanga.

    • So I’v had this deep passion for science ever since I watched Star Wars a New Hope and I don’t know if that’s how you found science but I think the sci fi genre is how most people find science these days. What I try to do is find academic speak that can talk to people in a way they might understand because each academic discourse has its own kind of language and figuring out how to translate that is a lot harder than it sounds so please do talk to more people.

      The next thing to say is I’m a huge believer in education and having access to resources and universities are getting more and more wrapped up in itself and academics are drifting further apart which plays a part in this whole distain for intellectualism which is a class conflict that is brewing and it’s really really bad because a part of that is a mistrust in science.

      And so I love what science can teach us about the observable world and there is no better medium for transmitting the complex scientific calculations than a blockbuster movie but science does teach us about the observable world. Pretty much there is no way of disagreeing with the observable world other than by saying well I read this or that textbook and so the natural way for humans to make sense of science is to have stories and all of these films explore different archetypes and different aspects of human experiences and so we can have these deeply held opinions on things that come very natural to humans because we are social creatures.

      But there comes a point where some claims become contestable especially when science meets religious claims. Science is constantly tweaking it’s observable view of the world and some religious people have decided to run to keep up with science and then there’s a select few that have had a huge problem with this and of course politics always gets wrapped up in foetuses when ever someone mentions religion and then everyone’s like we need to check the science!

      But there is a destructive side of science that isn’t necessarily a bad thing when science says okay we evolved from great apes but that’s kind of a huge blow to the idea of being created in gods image, and so if we don’t help people and if we don’t break this news to them gently and if we don’t work on these ideas together and decide how can we move forward with these ideas then there will become a point when we alienate a lot of people which is how we’ve ended up in New Zealand in any case with such a divide between neoliberalizm/Rogernomics/Ruthinasia and science because in part people decided to turn away from science by demanding we return to the fundamentals of the bible, or free market fundamentals or what ever and now it’s entrenched.

      And I do like public releases of information and just kind of let things fall where they may but class has been an issue all along. Intellectualism has always been incredibly difficult to access and it makes sense that people who don’t have access to these materials are going to be suspicious and feel looked down on. This is such a problem it leads to political conflicts in so many nations today and this feeling of being looked down on by intellectuals and business elites.

      When I say “break it to people gently,” apart of that is the way we educate people,we focus a lot on educating people about facts but what about critical thinking and understanding you’re own physical and emotional reaction to things and a good way of engaging scientific articles with an actual understanding of what’s been said.

      So my favourite scene in the 1980’s film Goshtbuster’s when Egon turns on the plasma rifles for the first time in a tight confined elevator and everyone squeamishly moves to the opposite side. In a few seconds the audience has been told this is an ecto plasma so on and so fourth machine and with out saying a word everyone knows its experimental and very dangerous. In the latest feminist rip off of the original ghostbusters the same scene takes five minutes and the audience is left wondering why no one was killed which is total garbage because the director is saying this is a fusion reaction and there is no other answer but the director is getting the observable world wrong and fans have to retcon all the lies by finding the correct answers. So education has this huge inertias which makes it difficult to educate people slowly.

      Science is a great thing but it impacts different people in different ways so we have to be carful about it. Science has changed the way we think about the world. But I will lean into darkness and maybe we can fight about it if you want. First because science has so much power in how we see and think about the world but in recent history we haven’t developed the tools to know what to do with it and we end up throwing babies out with the bath water and for awhile I did and perhaps still do love science more than religion but both practices can be really beautiful and really really ugly, and I really dislike the way both sides have become incredibly polarised. It’s easy to see when you’re in a secular group how fundamentalists are polarised but it’s equally easy to simply criticise religion and ignore the complexity when you’re on the side of science. And so there’s this really ugly piece to religion as well when they ignore the complexities of science and if we go back to our Gohstbusters example it’s just fundamentally bad writing.

      And it’s bad because people are engaging with ideas and we have no idea if it’s true. Before writers and philosophers would be deeply fascinated with science, religion politics or what ever and it seems like there’s this genre emerging that rejects men in favour of replacing male characters in top revenue generating franchises with female characters and assuming that that would translate into a more equal pay structure.

      And so it’s very easy for politics to distort religion and science into too bodies that reject each other.

  8. I have too much emotion invested in this reality to spend too much time in futuristic stuff and scare myself silly, andis probably going to unfold next year in a city near you. My escapism is mostly in reading detective novels from the golden age onwards, not too many moderns. At present I am reading an old Anne Perry’s, The Shifting Tide and a few have died from the black plague and our hero Thomas Pitt and his wife Hester are involved in secretly keeping the few in isolation to prevent it and the news spreading, and fearing the rioting and the medical centre probably set on fire. How timely, though it is set in UK 19th century.

    On screen I was riveted by Babylon 5. I am afraid that my fragile mind and sense of balance in life will get zapped if I read of too much destruction. I think people should be careful as we are more impressionable than we think, even those who think they are tough, perhaps particularly them. I have to save my resilience for following past history, a mind-bending exercise. It is not long in the past, as we seem to act in cycles, so I suggest we don’t become obsessed with the machines of the near future, there will always be warped human minds in the background, same as always getting ready for a re-run of something, just in a different guise.

  9. Oh, Chris, it is free will, and the freedom to choose and the freedom to accept providence or fate , or as others would call it the will of God,…that enables us…

    Others say it is their individualist natures that free them from ‘group think’…to marry another from an entirely different culture and choose to love…or to pursue a path others would deem unsociable…it is a two edged sword to say the very least.

    Free will, is,.. and always will be a double edged sword.

    Let us celebrate the positives.

    Look at all the silliness and fun going on here 🙂

    Marie’s Wedding – Van Morrison & The Chieftains & Friends
    https://youtu.be/-_1R_nOxzH8?t=3

    So much energy spent on negative pursuits, why cant we enjoy the elastic youthfulness into our old ages, cherishing our family’s and loved ones, our children and grand children…and all the silliness we provide each other … 🙂

    Nothing to do with politics perse’,… but a good way to live.

    Living a loving life costs nay but a penny .

  10. DEVS is fiction, to use it to attempt to gain understanding about real world problems seems a misguided effort at best. We have literature dating back thousands of years that informs us about the fate of life on Earth, maybe you should take a more comprehensive look at the different views about its meaning to determine their accuracy? While it is plainly obvious that most of the well publicized thoughts lack merit that does not preclude a credible explanation being available.

Comments are closed.