Mr. Robot and the demonology of capitalism

The protagonist of Mr. Robot, a brilliant but profoundly disaffected hacker, conjures the titular character from his own psyche so he can transform the world. He finds that not only is a pact with a demon insufficient for remaking society, but that the ability to bring about intentional, lasting change is beyond even the highest powers.

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Black Mirror and Netflix’s hedonic treadmill

Black Mirror seems to point out the potential dangers of nascent technologies, which promise to improve our lives while robbing us of some fundamental aspect of humanity. But, as yet another thumbnail on Netflix’s infinite carousel of time-wasting distraction, does on-demand ‘content’ have the power to wake us from our technological stupor?

TL;DR: I wish I could stop watching television.

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Blade Runner 2049 and nostalgia for capitalism

Denis Villeneuve’s sequel, arriving 35 years after Ridley Scott’s rain-drenched vision of a near-future dystopia, painstakingly replicates the look and feel of the original. But Blade Runner 2049 isn’t just nostalgic for Lawrence G. Paul’s production design, it’s a requiem for American capitalism.

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What’s in a name?

Consummatum est: this bill is ended,
And Faustus hath bequeathed his soul to Lucifer.
But what is this inscription on mine arm?
Homo, fuge! Whither should I fly?
If unto God, he’ll throw me down to hell.
My senses are deceived, here’s nothing writ:
O yes, I see it plain, even here is writ
Homo, fuge! Yet shall not Faustus fly.

The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus – Christopher Marlowe, c. 1590