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Brave New Earth

http://commons.wikimedia.org/

Sometimes I see unfathomable beauty while dreaming. Other times I capture it digitally on my phone. I used to see it often while visiting museums or going to places like Longwood Gardens. And occasionally, I find it on TV or film. The city depicted in the new TV series Brave New World was unfathomably beautiful until it wasn’t.

When the new Peacock streaming platform announced the launching of Brave New World, I was more than excited, I was held in a state of anticipation. I was held for a few months until it aired on July 15th. Based on the 1931 novel by Aldous Huxley  ( during a Saturn Pluto opposition), the story asks what happens when an outsider is brought into a contained technologically – controlled society that stresses conformity, frowns on monogamy, forbids procreation, and manages emotional fluctuation with designer drugs.

I must admit I rather liked the idea of living in the utopian New London during the first couple of episodes. Everyone seemed happy and happiness is highly valued. No one got ill, everyone had a job they loved, and every night was a party. I quickly realized I would only be happy if I was designated an Alpha or a Beta. This concept reminds me of my high school, where each student was assigned an academic track. Maybe this arrangement started earlier, but I don’t think I was aware until entering high school. I was in the A track, meaning I took the most difficult classes with the smartest students. Maybe this was decided by test scores, it was never explained or discussed with me. I did belong there, mostly. I performed miserably in Biology, and was relegated to B track for Science classes going forward. I enjoyed meeting new friends in B Chemistry and actually learned more there. However, I cannot see myself being happy as someone considered “average” or less than. I was raised to be studious and intelligence was how I was recognized.  It was “my thing”, said my ego. With higher ranking there is more privilege in New London, but freedom does not exist.  Embryos are designed to be different as each subtype is needed for the greater functioning of the whole. We naturally have diversity within our species, but we lack equality and basic living standards in this “modern” world of 2020 AD. To say this is problematic is to state the obvious.

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Upon completion of Season 1, I was eager to reread the novel. Fairly certain I had a copy at home, I found one hidden away with some other Sci-Fi classics such as 1984 and Walden 2. While perusing the forward of the 1946 edition, the author concludes that world totalitarianism is imminent, it is just a matter of when and in what form. The story was set in the 2500s. However, Huxley reveals that this was inaccurate and that a fascist state is most likely to happen in the early 21st century.

And here we are….

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Pete and Me

Gemini

Update: Warning, this is a spoiler alert about Westworld. In Season 2 Westworld enters the life extension business. How’s that for another synchronicity?

Happy New Gemini Moon everyone! Before the moon moves into Cancer, I want to get this post out about consciousness, a very mercurial subject. I stumbled upon an article about Pete Buttigieg and decided to take a look. The article contains an interview with Mayor Pete about how he is spending his time nowadays. I was astonished to discover we have the same viewing habits! When asked about what he is watching , this is his reply: ” We got pretty deep into “Westworld.” I know I’m like five years late on that. We’re starting to get into this show “Upload.” I am also just starting Westworld and just completed Upload and am completely obsessed with both of these shows. While Pete and I have little in common outwardly, I am wondering why he is drawn to these shows. This synch came on the heels of my watching the Season 1 finale of Westworld which I cannot stop thinking about. Yes, it is THAT GOOD.

I will try not to spoil anything here, but I have to share the basic premise of Season 1, and maybe the entire series. Westworld is about an adult theme park featuring AI set in  19th Century Western United States. It is a place where guests can come and explore all their fantasies without any consequences. Over time it becomes clear that the AI “hosts” are retaining some of their memories of being exploited and abused by the guests. When they are ” killed” they are brought back online and awaken from an allegedly dreamless sleep. However,  many of the characters begin to evolve based on retaining memories and developing intuition and wisdom. They become sentient beings, likely to evolve past the humans who created them. Once they awaken, they cannot revert back to who they were before and life has permanently changed. This is similar in some ways to Upload, which is where a young man who dies in a car accident and whose girlfriend signs him up for life extension. Life extension is a process whereby a technician uploads one’s consciousness onto an avatar so humans can still be “alive “. In Upload we see what happens to the main character and his “angel” while he roams around a for-profit luxury virtual afterlife. Upload is a dramedy yet also about moral evolution and awakening within a virtual reality.

So much of my favorite entertainment, both old and new, revolves around this theme – Groundhog Day, The Good Place, Vanilla Sky, and Black Mirror’s San Junipero episode, just to name a few. In all these shows and movies, the main character(s) are altered somehow while asleep or unconscious. Eventually they discover the key to enlightenment. The repetition of this theme is not random, at least I do not see it that way. Westworld in particular emphasizes how humans and AI operate within loops and rely on their “stories” to define identity. It is suggested that awakening requires that we abandon the narratives and make the best choices we can, knowing that there is still some programming interfering with absolute free will. This had me considering the notion of the inmates running the asylum, as the actual “asylum personnel” are interested only in conformity, control, and monetization of the enslaved. Naturally I landed on the familiar Matrix notion that we live in a simulation and need to free ourselves.

All life is sentient or at least has the potential to become sentient. Isn’t it interesting how much entertainment “programming ” focuses on rebooting aka reincarnation? I welcome your thoughts on this in the comments below. While Westworld has too much violence ( like The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, and other HBO darlings) and Upload can be a bit campy, they are excellent opportunities to see evolution in action. As someone who often remembers dreams and can occasionally go lucid, I hope I can forge ahead with my own ascension, pandemic or not.

Related posts :

https://litebeing.com/2020/03/09/staycation-is-in-session/

https://litebeing.com/2019/12/02/undone/

https://litebeing.com/2018/06/23/to-be-or-not-to-be-simulated-existence/

https://litebeing.com/2020/02/09/litebeings-guide-to-the-movies-5/

PS – take a closer look at the trees in these photos and you will see more than meets the eye.