Saturday, April 19, 2014

transcendence: human uploading at its finest

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imagine you're married to Johnny Depp.  you've had this crush on him since 21 Jumpstreet and then suddenly, the universe decided to give you a pass:   now you're happy and married to Johnny Depp. however, not too many people are happy with him because he also happens to be a scientist who creates supercomputers with artificial intelligence and the human species thinks it's not a great idea so they decide to shoot him and use a bullet which poisons his bloodstream.  he has a few weeks to live so you and Johnny Depp, along with your good friend and fellow scientist Paul Bettany decide on his last few weeks, that you were going to upload Johnny's consciousness to a computer so that you can live with Johnny happily ever after.  so he doesn't really die! yey!

but he's everywhere! and you can't be alone even when you want to be! and he starts doing all sorts of creepy things like playing doctor to people who regenerate via computer so they're really not human anymore!  and while technology has helped a relatively quiet town be more prosperous, it becomes a moral issue how we try to sustain ourselves, how we play God.

oh, wait! let's end that sentence with an exclamation point: how we play God!

people believe that we are not far from that type of technology.  we cannot actually prevent that from happening.  we have learned so much over the years that it has become entirely possible that we can be bored out of our wits to develop a technology that will allow us to upload our dead loved ones to computers so they don't really die.  they stay with us.  FOREVER.


that was the part that scared me:  you couldn't run away from anyone.  no matter how much you loved them, if you wanted to be alone, they were always there.  they would always be there.  FOREVER.


Transcendence, the movie, has been successful in luring me out of the house just by two words:  Johnny Depp.  and then another two words:  Paul Bettany.  and yet another two words:  Cillian Murphy.  but best of all, another two words:  Morgan Freeman.  i cannot look at a picture of Morgan Freeman with a caption without hearing his voice speaking in my head.

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the story makes us think.  i know it made me think. while it makes us question our morals as to how far we would go for progress.  to make this world a better place, will we ruin our humanity? will we take a life? or do we just leave things the way they are and enjoy life while we can? so many people want to be different.  so many people want to make a difference.  it always boils down to, "how far will you go?"

i think it's just a love story. she wanted to save the planet and he wanted to learn the secrets of the universe.  in achieving her wish, humanity had to suffer a  global technology collapse and a blackout.  the other choice was the end to pollution, disease and human mortality.  FBI had to make a judgment call.

in the end, it's all about making choices.

so imagine you were married to Johnny Depp . . .

photo of Morgan Freeman courtesy of