Creative Re-Imagining and Kerblam

So, uh, I reckon there’s heavy spoiler material here. If you keep up with Doctor Who and haven’t seen the episode that aired on 11/18 you probably shouldn’t read this. In fact, the entire purpose of this paragraph is to make sure they don’t show up in the article preview text. Not really sure how long it should be, but that’s the idea anyway.

I’m rapidly growing tired of all these headlines about Doctor Who and fear/criticism or Amazon. Yeah, I get it, Kerblam bears some resemblance to Amazon as we know it. Is it to much to just let it go as a creative re-imagining of a contemporary company? At the end of day it seems that the episode is more about ideological extremism than it is about Amazon. I certainly didn’t feel that it was a “rollicking critique.”

I mean, both members of management seem genuinely interested in the well being of both the company and it’s employees. Well above and beyond what I would expect from your run of the mill contemporary manager anyway.

Even The System itself is trying to prevent a major disaster from occurring, though maybe trying to disintegrate organic matter on the conveyor isn’t the mostly friendly way to deal with contaminants. No system that high tech would miss either, it’s simply to fast for us to avoid, I think.

It ultimately boils down to one fringe idealist who’s willing to kill large numbers of people in order to achieve the desired outcome. Ultimately only the extremist and his test subjects died, but the goal of increasing the human work force seems to be accomplished anyway.

Now, I have views on the whole “only 10% of the population is employed” and “we’re proud to be a 10% organics employer” type of stuff. I do genuinely believe that this is the current trend of manufacturing. It’s complicated, in a lot of ways, but at the end of the day automation will prove to be less expensive. Less expensive means potentially higher profit margin and/or more profit. More profit and/or better margins, even the potential of such, makes the company more desirable which increases share value which makes shareholders happy. People criticize corporations for being purely profit seeking when, at the end of the day, it’s the humans that are profit seeking.  The corporations we create merely reflect our own nature.

If a society can provide for it’s own needs with only 10% of it’s workforce, and that 10% does so willingly, is it really so wrong to allow the other 90% the freedom to pursue their own happiness? If machines and computers can provide most of the goods and services required for society to function and free the humans up to engage in what makes humans happy, wouldn’t that be better than requiring  most people to perform a task they dislike just to barely make ends meet?

Of course, I’m hinging on people actually being happy with what they have and seeing the bright side when in fact we tend to always want more and we need conflict. We thrive on it. If there isn’t any naturally occurring we will either create it or seek it out.

Either way, I’ve wandered quite far from where I started, so I’ll go ahead and wrap it up and ship it.

Y’all stay safe out there.

Is overt racism really a “political” topic?

I’m specifically writing this in response to Doctor Who S11E02, which premiered yesterday. They must be doing something right, because everyone I know watching the show is talking about it this morning, quite positively.

Depending on how much you care, this post may or may not contain spoilers, so proceed at your own risk. It’s also written from a rather american perspective, so your mileage may vary.

I’ll admit, this week’s episode has some unusual properties. The one everyone is talking about is how it’s “political” which is odd for the show. I’ll admit that the show doesn’t typically deal with contemporary issues this directly. This sort of material is usually buried under layers like “these aliens are racist against those aliens” or “this ‘pure human’ piece of leather is racist again the genetically impure humans.”

This episode, featuring the likeness of Rosa Parks and MLK charge directly into a much more contemporary human problem. The white on black racism of 20th century US. They give a slight nod to other races as well, but it was really only a couple of times.

The thing is though, is this really a “political” message? It’s a pretty safe bet, as messages go. The type of overt racism seen in the episode is horrifying by today’s standards. The general public would treat you like a dangerous lunatic if you did this stuff in the open, and that’s living in the South. Yeah, it exists, it’s still there, and sometimes closer to the surface than I’d like, but the real strong “your kind don’t belong here” sort of stuff stays in the woods for the most part.

Part of the immigration issue, I think, is that it’s become a safe way for people to express this sort of opinion. People don’t want to hear you talk bad about ol’ Joe, they know him and he never did anything wrong and he’s black. ‘Those allegedly black gangsters over there or those “illegal” mexicans though, obviously dangerous people.’ I’m having a hard time expressing my opinion of that statement in a polite manner.

Familiarity seems to be a large part of it, and it’s not just racism but any sort of stereotyping or prejudice. It seems to be a natural function of the human brain to divide people into “us” and “them.” We then proceed to dehumanize “them” so we don’t have to feel bad about the things we do or allow to be done.

Anyway, the point is, I don’t consider this to have been an overly political episode. This is a super safe topic that even in the theoretical heart of US racism is a really safe statement. The truth is, this sentiment hides out nationwide. It’s easier to hold on to in the rural areas that don’t have as much diversity. The town I grew up in had, and has, very little of it. We had a potential state representative going around several months ago with a “deportation bus” saying he was going to round up illegal immigrants and take them back to the border himself. I realize that political campaigns are all PR and popularity anyway, but how low can we go?

Okay, I’m just ranting at this point, y’all have a good day, evening, whatever. Stay safe, watch out for those racists from the 76th century and whatnot.

Tim Shaw and Amusement Parks

Y’know, the real ones with roller coasters and funnel cakes.

It’s been a busy, if somewhat tiring weekend. I actually didn’t get a whole lot of gaming done. My entire Sunday was dominated by a trip to a local amusement park.

The company I work for used to have a yearly trip there every October, but it’s been several years. I can’t imagine that it’s cheap, to be honest, so I get it. It’s nice though, considering my children are now old enough to enjoy it properly. I think my oldest was 2 last time which is still a bit young.

It’s not an overly big place, really. Many of the rides have not only been there but in the same location for as long as I can remember. We ended up operating in two semi-independent groups because my youngest wasn’t quite tall enough for about half the rides.

It’s main claim to fame, in fact, is having some rather ancient equipment. Including an old wooden roller coaster and a precursor to the modern log flume ride that was allegedly the first ride in the park. I look at some of these beasts in operation and from a maintenance perspective I can’t imagine how much of pain that work would be.

Naturally when I got home I watched the new episode of Doctor Who. Man was Tim Shaw ugly.

I’m not going to say much here, as I’m not a huge fan of spoilers and it’s been less than 24 hours. I look forward to seeing how Jodie Whittaker’s role plays out. I’m slow to judge and easy to please, so I’ll probably like it. My coworkers are a combination of liking her and still on the fence, which was a better reception than Capaldi got.

Honestly, at this point, I’m still tired and a little sore, so I’m gonna go try not to sleep. Y’all take care.