Westworld

I have loved watching 3 shows lately. Black Mirror, Orphan Black, and Westworld. Each have opened my mind a little more. I feel that I have fed off the questions for the last few weeks enjoying an exponential delight of wonders. For every question, I find more, yet I’m pleased by this rather than frustrated. It’s like it’s reminding me that there’s so much more to everything that I’ve been forgetting about.

From Orphan Black:

If clones were to take your potential in different directions, if there were already other versions of you with different characteristics, clothing, experiences, then would you choose to be different from who you are? Would you feel more or less individual? Would it matter, or would you move onto the next realm of thinking?

And from Westworld:

If no one was judging you, and if there were no other consequences, would you behave differently? And would this in turn change you? Perhaps we would all turn out the same.

But the one that hit me most was a comment on pain. “If pain is in the mind then how is my pain different from yours?” (AI vs Human). I guess what the biggest concept is is what makes a human human that can be manufactured…eg can consciousness be created or experienced. Or is it only a theory? Perhaps if we could create everything that we know to exist as part of a human, including consciousnesses and love, then we would find still another theory of the magical missing link between AI and humans, just to differentiate, for our own sake. But why even do we have to justify our differences?

And I particularly like the contrast of the AI hosts being programmed with what to do and searching for ‘freedom’, for improvisation. Whilst, humans are free to think and do what they like, yet search for reasons, control, guidance and structure. 2 paths leading in the opposite direction.

Hmmmm!

The look

What would happen if we all looked the same. How would we identify as individuals then? Would we see more extremist points of view coming through, or would there be more focus and elitism of talents? I’d like to see some stimulating movies or read some philosophy on this area. If you have any recommendations please?! I’m sure there is psychological terminology for this concept. 

Being good

Pleasing people is so often what being a child is about. I got into it when it was all the rage in primary school and then stupidly got stuck in it. But what if as a teenager or an adult it’s more important to skip the niceties and just do the bit that means something! I’ve always felt that alongside being beneficial for the future situation where you MIGHT come across that person who you’ve treated well, it is a huge vulnerability in character. Maybe not because of just being nice, but because of not being true to yourself in those times – going against the natural emotion or beliefs at those times.

Recently I’ve embraced moments of non-emotion or of truth of thought. There’s been one or two moments where I’ve taken a little longer to phrase how I really want to respond. I have resisted a few moments of response where usually I would smile or say something to a stranger, and at times I have made a comment a little louder than I usually would, with confidence that I will say what I mean and mean what I say! So far, I feel a lot more content in social situations and can’t help but think what all those years would’ve been like without this colossal barrier of untruth in front of my every reaction! I dunno. Maybe I would’ve just turned into an idiot. Well hopefully I’m not, and it has come with time enough to benefit from both worlds.

The era of emotions

This could be the last era of true emotions. In fact, it might already be too late for that. I look at the rate of depression and anxiety listed as a health detriment of so many new age activities (or inactivities), and wonder if it is caused by environmental factors. Kids aren’t getting enough exposure to nature; they have too much screen time; not enough exercise; too much processed food. Whatever the reason, there seems to be a link to depression or other mental health conditions as a consequence of prolonged actions in these fields. It makes me question whether these feelings are ‘true emotions’ or whether they’re synthesised by our new age situations.

I just read an article about the research into  machines that can read our emotions to adapt and respond to these. In the near future, how will we know what a true emotion is – what we actually feel naturally, as opposed to what we think we feel or what we feel is the right or wrong way to feel. My personal definition of what depression is, is an inability to identify with the present purpose, direction or emotion. Perhaps part of this is due to lack of emotional literacy – that we don’t have the words to express clearly what we feel, or that we’ve not experienced or explored our emotions in an organic sense through other, natural life activities so we can’t identify with the emotions we’re experiencing. Almost a premature awakening of senses. 

I think with further complexity and explicit analysis of our emotions, we are only going to confuse the matter more and bring about greater disconnect from what our natural life experiences help us to feel.

Dreams and happiness

I’ve said it before about dreams being the hint we look forward to when we’re young but gradually eat away at us as we realise how far away they are or that perhaps we’ve just missed all the achievements and experiences that have been occurring in the present because of looking forward too much. Now, there is a focus on being present and training in mindfulness, but even this with its branding and heavy publicity in line with achieving ‘happiness’ has made me think about whether we have just made the thing we feel is a solution to current daily stress and anxiety, a stress and expectation, itself!

Lately I’ve been getting really tired in the evenings, and throughout weekdays I forget which day it is. I find that on days when I use my computer or phone more are the days I feel more like this. I know it’s not a healthy thing to be subjected to but always think that I should be keeping up to date or checking things just in case. In short, I’ve gone back to paper for most things. Even drafted this just to get a bit of time offline 🙂 but wanted to share it! More and more I think we will revert to systems of the past or at least have extremely adapted technology that is more sustainable and less intrusive in our lives. Or maybe it’s just me.

Thinking about education for a change

I’ve just joined this Masterclass course for Screenwriting. It’s run by my favourite screenwriter Aaron Sorkin – who is an equal first place with Joss Whedon, for me. They each write in quite different styles, but what I respect is their ability to bring so much meaning into their scripts, while keeping it quirky and original. They each have a flare for injecting humour into moments you would least expect it. They’ve each taught me life lessons and have had me laughing out loud!

When I saw this Masterclass was run by Sorkin, I was stoked! Not because I want to write like him or create films or plays necessarily (though it would be a fun project!). It was because I wanted to gain any further life tips and to see what makes him tick, so that I might too be inspired. This got me thinking about regular school lessons. On the same website, there are master classes run by other world renowned professionals. What significance will ordinary classroom teachers have against this climate? It would make more sense to guide students to their interests and act as counsellors or aids, and let them continue to be inspired and enthused about learning from their idols. Rather than teachers, we would all be facilitators and perhaps philosophers who pose questions and spark discussion that students could have on the same level with adults.

As said in Walden, philosophy is a lost commodity. It no longer enriches our lives in the everyday, and rarely in the professional sense either. My favourite philosophers of our time are John and Hank Green!