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mark211How to resist? The changing face of rebellion in SFF2018-04-15 01:49:47
mark211In last week's discussion on algorithms, Rick Tornello referred to both 'I, Robot' and '1984' (amongst other things) as suggestive of the threats to individuals posed by AI technologies (at least I think that's what RT was saying), and Ironspider made what I think was a very striking suggestion which was that "One obvious narrative development would be the return of the Luddites - only this time specifically targeting systems reliant on advanced AI. As our technological society becomes increasing dependent on computer-control, the sabots thrown into the machinery would need to be equally advanced. Perhaps neo-luddites would require the assistance of subverted AI to counteract controlling AI. But could you be sure the subverted version wasn't working toward some long-term, AI-promoting goal?" 2018-04-15 01:55:13
mark211And that comment on the possible rise of neo-Luddites got me thinking - SFF is replete with narratives about underdogs, revolutionaries, rebels, and all manner of other plucky outsiders facing up to various forms of totalitarian state: in Tolkein's 'The Lord of the Rings', Sauron is the immense power threatening to overwhelm the world; in Herbert's 'Dune' it is the Padishah Emperor; and in Pullman's 'The Golden Compass' it is the Magisterium. I'm sure you can think of countless others yourself. 2018-04-15 02:00:50
mark211But in many ways, each of those examples - Sauron and his orcs, the Imperium, the Magisterium - have predecessor organisations that date back before the digital information age: Hitler and Stalin and the vast and terrifying states they led; the Catholic Church during the Reformation and the various religious wars that desanguinated vast regions of England, the Netherlands, and, especially, Germany. 2018-04-15 02:03:40
mark211So what about now? What about in the Information Age that we live in and the future? Will there still be a place for SFF of revolution, resistance, and insurgents? What will it look like? 2018-04-15 02:04:46
rtjust off the top, some one will always be unhappy with whatever political system is in place. Some one (or group) will always be the alpha group and someone will be the on the slag heap of where ever it might be, unless and this is a maybe, humans are extinguished and a new type of being, think technological singularity, takes over. But even then who is to say that even there there won't be disagreements causing discord and strife. 2018-04-16 10:39:38
IronspiderI did some quick research - I always like to check that my understanding of a word or concept is correct and not just an atrefact of perceived wisdom: for example, a moot point is one that requires debate, not one where there is no need for debate. Anyway, rebellion, as in resistance against the orders of an established authority, doesn't always mean armed conflict, though that seems to be how most end up. The hacktivist group Anonymous could be considered one end of a scale of rebellion, with armed fighters actively resisting aggression by foreign-backed, state-control militias or armies the other. In 1984 the state are attempting to maintain control of the population through direct means, so any resistance to the level of control is considered rebellion. In Star Wars the 'rebels' are trying to throw-off the control of the empire (though is the force used by the empire in response to the armed resistance of the rebels?). I think there's a lot of ground to be covered between these two extremes, and possibly even a focus on why the oppressing force act the way they do - most governments would claim their activities are on behalf of the population they govern, though there are always likely to be minorities in any population discomfited by such activities. Is it feasible that a governing body can take account of every citizen's wishes as well as their needs? In the song 'Red Barchetta' by Rush (inspired by the short story "A Nice Morning Drive" written by Richard Foster), the unnamed driver flouts the 'motor laws' by driving an old combustion-engine vehicle. Is this where an act of rebellion becomes an act of stupidity? If, in this example, a technology is banned because of its detrimental effect on the environment (not to mention all the road deaths), are those who govern wrong? There's a wide gulf between not obeying a speeding restriction and armed revolt, but they're both a form of resistance to imposed control.2018-04-16 23:40:04
dandrew72Ah, "Red Barchetta". Not only is it a fantastic song, I've long wanted to write something based on it perhaps with autonomous vehicles thrown in somehow. 2018-04-19 15:50:03
rtI have one finished about a month or so again, AI, autos and as usual, a political twist. 1500 words. 2018-04-21 10:53:16

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