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Black Mirror - Spoilers after the first post

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35 minutes ago, red snow said:

San Junipero was initially dull but incredibly powerful in the end. I might be in the minority that I didn't really see it as a happy ending. I guess it was a happy ending for Yorkie but given Kelly's gut wrenching speech after the wedding it felt like a sad ending for her. She knew it was false and she was also giving up on her own family. The upbeat song and the juxtaposition between Yorkie and kelly being happy and the robot server rooms just left me very ill at ease. Excellent episode in that it raises a lot of questions about reality and love.

I also think the comment about the long-timers growing bored and getting into s&m etc in order to feel was a dark side of the story. Definitely an episode that could warrant a sequel maybe 50+ years down the line for the vitual undead.

Shut up and dance was terrifying in the sense that type of stuff is happening now. Most episodes have a 5 mins from now vibe but this one was immediate. I love the debate between Kalbear and Mormont. I think i lean more to the hackers being sadistic fucks who maybe justify their actions under the guise of vigilantism. Pretty sure the drone was just for their own viewing pleasure as I'm not sure them submitting that to the police would help convict the kid. If there was evidence leaning someone had coerced him he'd be getting a reduced sentence. The actor playing the kid was phenomenal - that was some really challenging material and he did so in a way that (to me) wasn't obvious at first but quite clear with hindsight (the scene where he gave the kid a toy was a prime example).

I thought Nosedive was fun but not fully believable/workable and ultimately the same problem that wealth creates. Playtest was straightforward but had a hilarious and dark punchline. Men against fire wasn't executed that well but I did find the use of the tech interesting as it does seem like a natural progression from the dehumanizing tactics seen in the media (and quite a lot in british media of late). I sometimes forget that propaganda of this sort was probably used to drive army recruitment in times of war and to encourage them to kill the enemy. This seems like a natural progression once they sign up. It seemed a bit shitty that the retirement package was a lie too - although maybe perception is what really matters? Not sure how the fake wife would work though. Guess it has parallels with San Junepero and playtest in that sense.

Still need to watch the final episode

Wow, didn't think of him giving the toy to the kid as a hint until you mentioned it. Good catch. When I started watching I just assume don't it was to establish him as a nice person or something but yeah, hindsight is everything

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1 hour ago, red snow said:

San Junipero was initially dull but incredibly powerful in the end. I might be in the minority that I didn't really see it as a happy ending. I guess it was a happy ending for Yorkie but given Kelly's gut wrenching speech after the wedding it felt like a sad ending for her. She knew it was false and she was also giving up on her own family. The upbeat song and the juxtaposition between Yorkie and kelly being happy and the robot server rooms just left me very ill at ease. Excellent episode in that it raises a lot of questions about reality and love.

I also think the comment about the long-timers growing bored and getting into s&m etc in order to feel was a dark side of the story. Definitely an episode that could warrant a sequel maybe 50+ years down the line for the vitual undead.

 

ill at ease, indeed.  I've had actual nightmares about that ending.  A never ending afterlife...one of the worst possible things I could imagine.  

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2 hours ago, Dr. Pepper said:

ill at ease, indeed.  I've had actual nightmares about that ending.  A never ending afterlife...one of the worst possible things I could imagine.  

 

San Junipero is to me, one of the episodes with the least amount of Black Mirror dystopian fear. It seems that I'm not necessarily in the majority here cause a lot of discussions see it as far darker than I do.

It reminds me of the Tyler the Creator line about cyberbullying being impossible cause you can just walk away from the screen. Sure, that's callous but I feel like that with this episode in SJ; you have grown adults that can opt out at any time.

The episode goes out of its way to bracket any of the real horror scenarios; getting trapped and exploited like in the Christmas special or some horror shit like the other virtual reality episode in Season 3. 

There's really no existential horror for me, I'm with Sarah Connor here: make your own fate. And, worst comes to worst you opt out after a few years.

I mean, maybe on a personal level it's kind of an ambiguous ending in terms of whether the two characters will be happy or not because of their own reasons but certain episodes like the Christmas special make you fear the tech, others make you fear the society and here I'm just like..."so? Stay or don't, don't be crybabies".

 

You can't escape things like getting blocked on the Christmas Special, and you have to care about points if you want anything in the premiere. This is "eh" in comparison.

Edited by Castel

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There didn't seem to be any indication that this tech has an expiration date.  Sure, maybe one day the world will end and it just shuts off.  Aside from that, the idea is that your consciousness is just there living forever and ever and ever after you die.  I don't really care whether or not the two characters are happy together.  It's that they are just there, forever.  It's terrible.  

It's probably a similar reason that supernatural stuff with afterlife myths don't appeal to me.  There's nothing more comforting to me than to know that when I die, that's it.  There's no hanging out somewhere for forever. 

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9 minutes ago, Dr. Pepper said:

There didn't seem to be any indication that this tech has an expiration date.  Sure, maybe one day the world will end and it just shuts off.  Aside from that, the idea is that your consciousness is just there living forever and ever and ever after you die.  I don't really care whether or not the two characters are happy together.  It's that they are just there, forever.  It's terrible.  

It's probably a similar reason that supernatural stuff with afterlife myths don't appeal to me.  There's nothing more comforting to me than to know that when I die, that's it.  There's no hanging out somewhere for forever. 

You have to opt-in and you can opt out and die. The tech may exist for a while but they never said you have to be eternally there iirc...you don't have to see it as an eternal life. Think of it as extending your college years for a decade or so before you die.

Or whatever, really. 

It's not Hitchen's "Celestial North Korea".

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6 hours ago, Dr. Pepper said:

ill at ease, indeed.  I've had actual nightmares about that ending.  A never ending afterlife...one of the worst possible things I could imagine.  

And it assumes it's something that can never be hacked. I imagine that place could very easily be turned into hell. Then again, there's probably an option to delete any bad experiences if you wish.

Like I said - I think it's a great place for Yorkie as she never really had the chance of a real life and so has nothing to compare it with. I'm just not sure Kelly would enjoy it forever. But as others mentioned there's probably an opt-out. Although you do have to wonder where this company gets all the money from. Do people buy slots for perpetuity? Or do they get shelved once the money runs out? I guess they can easily switch you off once you are no longer in living memory (unless you somehow remain popular with "visitors" who want you around). A bit like reusing a gravesite once no-one is around to care about that individual anymore.

3 hours ago, Castel said:

You have to opt-in and you can opt out and die. The tech may exist for a while but they never said you have to be eternally there iirc...you don't have to see it as an eternal life. Think of it as extending your college years for a decade or so before you die.

 

I think it worked great for treating the terminally ill or preparing them. I'm still not sure Kelly would be happy there but maybe that's because I found her lecture with Yorkie to be one of those "this relationship will never work out" types. Maybe love won through?

7 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Wow, didn't think of him giving the toy to the kid as a hint until you mentioned it. Good catch. When I started watching I just assume don't it was to establish him as a nice person or something but yeah, hindsight is everything

Yeah, it was a very clever opening. The whole thing was done so that it looked like "awkward, nice teen" but could then be recalled as the other extreme. The actor is one to watch out for too as I'd imagine it's a fine line to tread that balance without tipping the viewer off instantly.

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Yea I rewatched that episode recently, Yorkie does say if you don't like it you can just quit, at which point I assume they just pull you out and you're dead. That'd be a tough call though, especially if the servers running San Junipero were getting larger and larger and there was constant talk of expanding and new towns and maybe new countries. When would you say "OK, today's the day, I'm out"?

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I was thinking they could have made that ending more ambiguous and more black mirrorish simply by having the robot stick only one pin in the circuit board. So there's only one of them in the simulation and the other is a virtual creation. Or alternatively, there's only one of them in heaven and the other is a heavenly creation.

The idea that you wouldn't go to virtual heaven because your daughter didn't go to any heaven, as far as you're concerned, seems pretty illogical anyway.

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9 minutes ago, john said:

I was thinking they could have made that ending more ambiguous and more black mirrorish simply by having the robot stick only one pin in the circuit board. So there's only one of them in the simulation and the other is a virtual creation. Or alternatively, there's only one of them in heaven and the other is a heavenly creation.

The idea that you wouldn't go to virtual heaven because your daughter didn't go to any heaven, as far as you're concerned, seems pretty illogical anyway.

That could have been interesting - the possibility that Kelly was just there as a construct. although I got the impression everyone there was a person. Then again the distinction between person and AI is dubious once the human body is gone.

I think you are right in it being illogical for Kelly given how clearly she stated she didn't beleive in a spiritual afterlife. I think it would be different for anyone with any doubt about the possibility though. Guaranteed Artificial heaven or possible real heaven with those who died prior. In a sense it could have been stronger if Kelly did have a religious slant as it would have been her decision much harder. When the option is dead or digital immortality it's not too tricky.

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It's one of the reasons that San Junipero is the best Black Mirror ep. It's not purely optimistic - the notion of being in a server farm as your consciousness rankles, especially when you start wondering if that's what our actual life is and how you would personally disambiguate that from what you, personally, are experiencing right now. And that's awesome! Because at the same time, you get how one person genuinely has benefitted from this tech for the first time in 40 years, how others are using it for therapy and relaxation and harmless experimentation, how magical that could be - and yes, how completely artificial it is. 

That tension between awesome and suck is where things are best in Black Mirror. Nosedive fails because the world created sucks from the getgo - very few people want to constantly be fighting for ratings explicitly, even if they're aware that they're doing so implicitly (and for women, largely explicitly too). Hated in the Nation fails for a similar reason. The best are things like Be Right Back or The Entire History of You - both have a tech that should legitimately excite people, and then it shows the dark side. San Junipero doesn't show the dark side, save in one small scene - the server farm of doom. It simply implies it, and is far stronger for it.

 

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6 hours ago, red snow said:

That could have been interesting - the possibility that Kelly was just there as a construct. although I got the impression everyone there was a person. Then again the distinction between person and AI is dubious once the human body is gone.

I think you are right in it being illogical for Kelly given how clearly she stated she didn't beleive in a spiritual afterlife. I think it would be different for anyone with any doubt about the possibility though. Guaranteed Artificial heaven or possible real heaven with those who died prior. In a sense it could have been stronger if Kelly did have a religious slant as it would have been her decision much harder. When the option is dead or digital immortality it's not too tricky.

Isn't it, though?  I think there are a lot of divergent opinions on whether or not immortality in any form is desireable.  

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20 minutes ago, Dr. Pepper said:

Isn't it, though?  I think there are a lot of divergent opinions on whether or not immortality in any form is desireable.  

Especially one where nothing changes, you are only experiencing nostalgia, and you know that you're in there...forever.

And that assumes that it's actually you. Instead of some digital simulacra like White Christmas showed. The tech is basically the same. Why is that a simulation instead of the real thing?

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38 minutes ago, Dr. Pepper said:

Isn't it, though?  I think there are a lot of divergent opinions on whether or not immortality in any form is desireable.  

I think the arguments generally diverge in fiction when we're talking about immortality that you have the choice to select but not opt out of later on. then you can have a discussion on whether it's worth it. 

In this case..you opt-in, you opt-out. there's no real threat of say...becoming a quadriplegic  for the rest of all time...

It's not really that close to me. There are certain forms of immortality that you wouldn't want to be discovered at all but this? I don't really have much sympathy for people who have the option of grabbing X more years and then turn it into some sort of existential nightmare because they won't (not can't) leave or aren't having fun. Welcome to being a grown-up. 

I don't think any of the  (minor, compared to others) unease I felt with the end for the protagonists had much to do with the tech. It's a story about one person seemingly doing something pretty major for someone else even when they're not necessarily comfortable with it and that's a problem for the "happy ending" but that would be true in a tech free story.

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17 minutes ago, Castel said:

I think the arguments generally diverge in fiction when we're talking about immortality that you have the choice to select but not opt out of later on. then you can have a discussion on whether it's worth it. 

In this case..you opt-in, you opt-out. there's no real threat of say...becoming a quadriplegic  for the rest of all time...

It's not really that close to me. There are certain forms of immortality that you wouldn't want to be discovered at all but this? I don't really have much sympathy for people who have the option of grabbing X more years and then turn it into some sort of existential nightmare because they won't (not can't) leave or aren't having fun. Welcome to being a grown-up. 

I don't think any of the  (minor, compared to others) unease I felt with the end for the protagonists had much to do with the tech. It's a story about one person seemingly doing something pretty major for someone else even when they're not necessarily comfortable with it and that's a problem for the "happy ending" but that would be true in a tech free story.

This isn't at all related to 'being a grown up'.  It's about a hypothetical tech that allows for digital immortality.  

Whether or not the characters can opt in or out of the digital immortality hardly matters.  Once they are physically dead, they no longer have any choice over what happens in that digital graveyard.  Perhaps their descendants can make choices for them, much like they make choices over what happens with remains, ashes, cemetery plots, etc.  After a while, the people who cared are dead, too.  

I guess I'm surprised that immortality is something people are like 'oh, no big deal' about.  

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1 hour ago, Dr. Pepper said:

Isn't it, though?  I think there are a lot of divergent opinions on whether or not immortality in any form is desireable.  

I think for those afraid of death it isn't a big choice. I'm with you that an eternity of anything with consciousness is sort of terrifying. Apathy could be a hell of its own. Getting to spend it with those you love could help counterbalance that.

I'm trying to remember the book I read (or film) where digital immortality was actually preventing souls from going to real heaven? I can't put my finger on it but it was interesting. I have a feeling Richard Morgan had christians spurning the "stack" tech on the hypothetical basis it might stop them from going to heaven. Actually Morgan used the VR as a form of prison and hell (but Morgan's outlook on life often makes Brooker look chirpy). I guess it's a theme that crops up a lot but it's bugging me I don't recall the one scraping my memory.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, red snow said:

I think for those afraid of death it isn't a big choice. I'm with you that an eternity of anything with consciousness is sort of terrifying. Apathy could be a hell of its own. Getting to spend it with those you love could help counterbalance that.

I'm trying to remember the book I read (or film) where digital immortality was actually preventing souls from going to real heaven? I can't put my finger on it but it was interesting. I have a feeling Richard Morgan had christians spurning the "stack" tech on the hypothetical basis it might stop them from going to heaven. Actually Morgan used the VR as a form of prison and hell (but Morgan's outlook on life often makes Brooker look chirpy). I guess it's a theme that crops up a lot but it's bugging me I don't recall the one scraping my memory.

The Culture also uses VR and mental copies as a sort of hell but I doubt it was about blocking "real" heaven.

 

50 minutes ago, Dr. Pepper said:

This isn't at all related to 'being a grown up'.  It's about a hypothetical tech that allows for digital immortality.  

Whether or not the characters can opt in or out of the digital immortality hardly matters.  Once they are physically dead, they no longer have any choice over what happens in that digital graveyard.  Perhaps their descendants can make choices for them, much like they make choices over what happens with remains, ashes, cemetery plots, etc.  After a while, the people who cared are dead, too.  

I guess I'm surprised that immortality is something people are like 'oh, no big deal' about.  

Because the story brackets  the tech issue and the downside seems more personal, about the relationship of the characters.

I can get being scared of who has your mindstate and what they can do with it. That is scary.

But the question of what their relationship will be or how it's horrifying existentially (I've never been truly convinced by this argument against generic immortality) are what kinda ring hollow. It's hard to feel bad about these particular people getting a chance to live as long as they want because one of them was guilted into it or they might get bored or cause "none of it matters" y'know? That's what I mean by "be an adult". Pull the plug when you get there. 

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So I just got through binging S1 & S2 on Netflix after some prodding from friends. Damn, this is good sci-fi drama. At first I was kicking myself for not discovering it sooner, but with only 13 episodes in the last five years I can see why it's not hit a wider audience. Anyway...

It started off slow, I think S1E1 "National Anthem" is the weakest of the episodes thus far. But it went next level good with Tobby Kebbel in S1E3 and has not diminished since. S2E2 "White Bear" was the biggest twist and is the episode that reminded me most of classicTwilight Zone. S2E1 "Be Right Back" was mesmerizing with a young Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson acting the hell outta those parts. And John Hamm shows up for the S2 finale? 

But the most mindblowing episode thus far for me has to be  S2E3 "The Waldo Moment," which basically outlined Donald Trump's presidential campaign philosophy three years before he even officially announced he was running. I mean, that conversation Jamie had with the show creator in the hallway of the hotel is basically what pundits and analysts have been saying post-election. It's a hauntingly prescient bit of television. Especially that ending--well, hopefully the very last scene of a Waldo-run world is more cautionary than prescient.

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2 minutes ago, PetyrPunkinhead said:

So I just got through binging S1 & S2 on Netflix after some prodding from friends. Damn, this is good sci-fi drama. At first I was kicking myself for not discovering it sooner, but with only 13 episodes in the last five years I can see why it's not hit a wider audience. Anyway...

It started off slow, I think S1E1 "National Anthem" is the weakest of the episodes thus far. But it went next level good with Tobby Kebbel in S1E3 and has not diminished since. S2E2 "White Bear" was the biggest twist and is the episode that reminded me most of classicTwilight Zone. S2E1 "Be Right Back" was mesmerizing with a young Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson acting the hell outta those parts. And John Hamm shows up for the S2 finale? 

But the most mindblowing episode thus far for me has to be  S2E3 "The Waldo Moment," which basically outlined Donald Trump's presidential campaign philosophy three years before he even officially announced he was running. I mean, that conversation Jamie had with the show creator in the hallway of the hotel is basically what pundits and analysts have been saying post-election. It's a hauntingly prescient bit of television. Especially that ending--well, hopefully the very last scene of a Waldo-run world is more cautionary than prescient.

yeah black mirror really is a great show. Its crazy that the show only has 13 episodes. I mean their are really strong but still it would be cool to have more. Yeah their have been a couple shows that have done stuff like releasing a really small amount of episodes. Like the British office for example. But you really think the first episode was the worst? cause i feel like they had worse episodes then that. I thought that it was enjoyable. But yeah white bears twist was pretty awesome. But yeah whats cool is that season 3 has six episodes compared to the only three the.

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Quote

‘Black Mirror’ Season 4: Everything We Know So Far

It will last six episodes again

Jodie Foster will direct an episode

Rosemary DeWitt will star in Foster's episode.DeWitt, whose latest role is in "La La Land," also led the 2015 remake of "Poltergeist."

Owen Harris, who directed Season 3's beloved "San Junipero" episode, fueled speculation that there could be a sequel to the Mackenzie Davis-Gugu Mbatha-Raw love story in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

The director of "San Junipero" won't be back.In the same interview, Harris said he wouldn't direct any "Black Mirror" Season 4 episodes because of scheduling conflicts.

 

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On 05/12/2016 at 0:41 AM, PetyrPunkinhead said:

But the most mindblowing episode thus far for me has to be  S2E3 "The Waldo Moment," which basically outlined Donald Trump's presidential campaign philosophy three years before he even officially announced he was running. I mean, that conversation Jamie had with the show creator in the hallway of the hotel is basically what pundits and analysts have been saying post-election. It's a hauntingly prescient bit of television. Especially that ending--well, hopefully the very last scene of a Waldo-run world is more cautionary than prescient.

You should try and find Charlies brooker's "newswipe" shows. You'll see he's been calling these kinds of things for a very long time. He's incredibly gifted at pointing out all the scary tricks occurring in media and journalism - possibly because he works in both. I really hope we at least get his "newswipe year review" although I fear the netflix deal has kept him busy as we didn't even get the regular "newswipe" this year. Just checked and we will get his year round up which I'm sure will be great especially since he thought the previous year was awful. God knows what he'll make of this one.

 

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