Vladimir V. Sliusarev
National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod
The philosophy of the “Black Mirror”: A revolution in the minds up and down…
Abstract. The article considers the prospects for the evolving information and communication technologies basing on the British science fiction TV series “Black Mirror”. The contemporary development of the technologies and the global level of their distribution allow us to talk about revolutionary changes in the structure of society. The Internet, mobile communications, the ability to accumulate and analyze large amounts of information (Big Data), the integration of consumption into web-resources, and the development of AI-like systems make a combination of factors that encourages a number of scholars to speak about the formation of the Sixth technological paradigm. Along with it, the question of such technologies mostly turns out “overboard” from humanitarian expertise, since economic benefits prevail over considerations of humanness. Obvious that the socio-cultural implications of tech-nology implementation have a long-term per-spective, and it is practically impossible to predict how the society will change. The “Black Mirror” attempts to envisage not so much the technological changes but the influence of ICT on society in the long term. Proceeding from the current trends in robotics, technologies of virtual and augmented realities (VR and AR), medical functional diagnostics and psychophysiology, the creators of this TV series anticipate some trends in the development of technology. A global projection of one or more of these trends represents an agenda for a possible future. Along with it, the authors focus on a certain techno-paranoia that exists in contemporary mass culture. In this way not technical and technological aspects but ra-ther some projective ethics of the future and future generations appears “on the surface” first of all. Such issues seem quite relevant given the rapid evolution and implementation of technologies. An attempt to critically evaluate their impact suggests that they merely manifest human sociality. Nevertheless, the author emphasizes the importance of assessing the social and hu-manitarian consequences of technology development, since modern ICTs are no less a threat than atomic physics or pharmacology.
Keywords: Black Mirror, utopia, digitalization, virtual reality, mediareality, dystopia, Social Credit System, Information and Communication Technologies, artificial intelligence
The reported study was funded by RFBR within the research project № 18–011-00335.
- Berdyaev, N.A. Novoe srednevekove. Razmyshlenie o sudbe Rossii i Evropy [The New Middle Ages. Thinking about the Fate of Russia and Europe]. Mos-cow: Direct-media Publ., 2008. 114 pp. (In Russian)
- Brooker, C. Charlie Brooker: The Dark Side of Our Gadget Addiction, The Guardian, 1 December 2011. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/dec/01/charlie-brooker-dark-side-gadget-addiction-black-mirror (accessed on January 12, 2019).
- Cirucci, A.M., Vacker, B. Black Mirror and Critical Media Theory. Lexing-ton: Lexington Books Publ., 2018. 274 pp.
- Conley, D., Burroughs, B. Black Mirror, Mediated Affect and the Political, Culture, Theory and Critique, 2019, 27 February 2019. DOI: 10.1080/14735784.2019.1583116. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14735784.2019.1583116 (ac-cessed on January 20, 2019).
- Gecer, E. Judgment, Surveillance and Cultural Desensitization Triangle in TV Series: The Case of Black Mirror, OPUS. Uluslararası Toplum Araştırmaları Dergisi — International Journal of Society Researches, 2018, vol. 8, iss. 15, pp. 1669–1695. DOI: 10.26466/opus.441690.
- Kuznetsova, E.I., Dorozhkin, A.M. Media i medialnoe: sotsialno-filosofskij analiz [Media and Medial: Socio-Philosophical Analysis], Vestnik Nizhegorodskogo universiteta im. N.I. Lobachevskogo. Seriya: Sotsialnye nauki, 2008, no. 3 (11), pp. 171–186. (In Russian)
- Maslanov, E.V., Maslanov, D.V., Podsevatkin, I.S. Kraudsorsingovye proekty: prostranstvo vzaimodejstviya obshchestva i vlasti [Crowdsourcing Projects: A Space of Interaction between Society and the Government], Vlast, 2016, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 29–34. (In Russian)
- More, T. Utopia [Utopiya], Moscow: Nauka Publ., 1978. 416 pp.
Murray, T. Television: Black Mirror Reflections, Philosophy Now, 2013, iss. 97, pp. 42–44
- Shibarshina, S.V. “Stabilnaya nestabilnost” kak vnutrennyaya zona komforta tsifrovogo kochevnika [“Stable Instability” as an Inner Comfort Zone of the Digital Nomad], Digital Nomadism as a Global and Siberian Trend: Proceedings of the III international transdisciplinary scientific and practical WEB conference, 2017, pp. 291–296. DOI: 10.17223/9785946216104/45. (In Russian)
- THE BLACK MIRROR PROJECT – Envisioning The Future of Media, The Black Mirror Project. Available at: https://blackmirrorideas.wordpress.com/ (accessed on January 17, 2019).