My last post (and a host of others) offered an array of ideas and opinions concerning remediation, either of its nature or rapid progression along with technology. Recently I watched a movie that our English class discussed called Strange Days. Set in the year 2000 (released I think seven years before then) this movie details remediation at its zenith, the extreme of almost BEING another person. A new medium, a “wire,” put the viewer IN a memory recorded by someone else, let a viewer experience what the recorder once did. As a direct result, one character becomes addicted to this “transparent” remediation and actions take place that eventually trigger a revolution (although that is not detailed in the movie). The extreme example in Strange Days makes me wonder if our technology, like that in the cinema depiction, has become “too much of a good thing.”
This colloquialism is almost universal- too much Iodine and you get goiters, too much sun you get burned, too much chocolate you get fat. Each is needed, but taken in excess can become harmful or deadly. I think remediation is also needed, but in moderation. Creative expression has always been characteristic of human kind, indeed I believe it is the oldest sort of remediation- but in excess, or “perfected” as Strange Days indicates, it can be harmful mentally or physically. As technology has progressed and more and more things are accessible online the trap is all the more alluring to not leave at all—some doctors are even pursuing certification for a “video game addiction” diagnosis for individuals consumed by online game-play. New technology provides gamers with an almost infinite number of opponents and therefore a eternally unique gaming experience. This interaction is very tempting—I myself have played online videogames for 7-8 hours in one sitting before. It’s not too farfetched to believe the story or a man dying from exhaustion in a Chinese internet café after surfing the internet for three days straight. I see an eerie analogy in technological progression: just as warfare was simplified into atomic destructive perfection soon remediation may be “perfected” as predicted in Strange Days. And I think that’s scary.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t think the nuclear power we possess is mildly TERRIFYING—now think of that kind power as analogized to remediation. Reality forgotten, what if people could LIVE in fiction? Could even the concept of humanity survive? The level of sophistication that nearly ALL sciences have reached never ceases to amaze me: already there are laws limiting cloning research, another extreme warned against in cinema. Technology is always a slippery slope, and, having slid head-first down that slope in military strength, we must learn from our mistakes and exercise temperance as a societal group, not as regulated by governments and laws. It’s a mind-set of self control, of respecting the power of knowledge that we need to learn. Mankind must not just “stand on the shoulders of giants” for the sake progress, but respect the intentions and goals of those “giants”, taking technology in stride with grace and humility for the power we wield and destruction we are capable of. Only then will true progress be possible. ;D