Technophobia goes off the Depp end in Transcendence [Movie Review]


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Sounds like a hillbilly adaptation of Black Mirror - Be Right Back.


Rocker launchers? I’d like to see that. Are they especially effective against senior citizens?


Sounds like yet another movie with a thoroughly Hollywood understanding of information technology - that is, none at all. Will anybody ever make this machines-take-over movie in a way that’s even a little bit plausible?


Quote: “[T]he aftermath survivors of Transcendence may as well be wielding their iPhones as weapons.”

Please. We are a civilization. We don’t abandon civilized behavior all at once. We will use our iPhones as drink coasters and use our weapons to make sure that our party guests use said drink coasters.




Mankind — and in this case, a woman, too

Obviously not set far enough into the future that women are real people.


Oblivion wasn’t post apocalyptic, it was an alien invasion movie with a twist.

I’m continue to be amazed that there are people who think life as a disembodied consciousness occupying an electronic device would be some kind of desirable state.

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I read the title three freaking times as “transphobia” and was so confused. Maybe I need new glasses.

Well, I don’t understand why some people so stubbornly cling to the physicality (and the related limitations) of their bodies.

Certainly the alternative looks good if what we are stuck with (okay… in) is a lousy blob of wetware with limited processing power, low lifetime, too few actuators for decent physical-world operations and tough luck if you want more or different ones, maintenance issues, and I/O bandwidth that just plain sucks.

This is not the way to reach the stars.


Have you ever cursed an operating system or clumsy program because it wouldn’t let you do something like you wanted to or lost your data, or froze up (and on ad infinitum)? Imagine your entire existence being bound up in such a thing. I’m content with my lousy blob that can actually feel a lousy breeze on my lousy face. Have fun in the emptiness of space with an os for which the manufacturer has abandoned tech support.


They’re not mutually exclusive. It was a post apocalyptic alien invasion movie.

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Why wouldn’t it be?

Plenty of humans manage to lead fulfilling lives in bodies more limited than any electronic substrate. If Stephen Hawking can manage, so can Mr. Brain-in-an-Electronic-Jar.


The wonderful Mr. Hawking has a fantastic brain, friends and family that love him, and will die as humans do. See my reply to Shaddack above for why I don’t think S.H. or anyone else should pine for existence in circuitry.

With full access to the source codes (and toolchain and, for hardware, schematics and spare parts), you are your own techsupport. With the speed of documentation access (you have it in your own mind already as it is literally part of you), not only to the code itself but also to the language syntax and everything else, you are never out of luck even if on your own.

With good distributed backup strategy you can be highly resilient (I won’t say “invulnerable” but close to that).

I cursed both the hardware and the software when I ran into the limitations. I also in many cases designed a way around it; edited the software, wrote software to process the data file, modded or chipped hardware, often after locating a schematics that leaked from an “authorized” source to the Net.

With this strategy, soon you are your own manufacturer and your own techsupport. Mind that your intellectual capabilities are much less constrained and you don’t have to read the datasheets as you already have them in memory. All of them. And you don’t have to deal with user interfaces of design software as they are part of you as well; I assume part of the computer-mediated existence will be the ability to expand your mind with various “assistants”, e.g. ability to imagine a part and then export the image as a g-code and feed it to a cnc machine over the network, or send as masks to a chip fab facility of your choice.

…and then add the ability to control lab equipment for e.g. gene synthesis (“DNA printing”), and via fermentors produce buckets and buckets of self-assembly submodules for virtually unlimited-sized 3d biomolecule equivalents of FPGA arrays. The limitations of silicon lithography processes, and the vendor-dependency, then fall as well.

Feel the breeze… what else it is than processing the environmental data from surface-embedded sensors? Do you think AIs/cyborgs/computer-uploaded personas won’t have anything like that, and more and better and higher-resolution and more colorful, if they please? Do you think there is no way to subjectivize and enjoy data from any other kinds of sensors?

Humans and their limited capabilities that limit even their imagination of the possibilities. Perhaps it is a protective strategy to maintain the feeling of superiority.


You think that’s air you’re feeling?


It is interesting that places that are long, long, way from cell phone service are markets for smart phones. They need some kind of solar chargers, then have cameras and music players which they use.

To steal from The Onion’s review of the movie Stealth: “It’s the most chilling look at artificial intelligence run amok since Short Circuit 2.”


Now that’s funny. Good one.