Archive for December 26th, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

(Also via Singapore Airlines.)

Edge of Tomorrow is science fiction Groundhog Day, agreed. (It would make no sense to contest this, some scenes achieve near-perfect isomorphy.) Derivative, then, certainly — but this is a point of consistency. Duplication is, after all, the latent theme. Edge of Tomorrow works better because it has formalized the time-repeat plot-system in videogame terms. Death replaces sleep, as action drama replaces comedy, but the recurrence of time is captured more incisively by the Edge of Tomorrow maxim: “We should just re-set.” Further to be noted: Edge of Tomorrow actually has a story about the basis of its time anomaly — and not an especially risible one — while Groundhog Day doesn’t even pretend to.

We should just reset is not only videogame practice, but also the recommendation of quantum suicide, another practical Electrocene philosophy. The best fictional exploration of QS (of which I am aware) is Greg Egan’s Quarantine.

Videogame ideology and quantum suicide are praxial indiscernibles. In other words, their behavioral implications are equivalent. In both cases, the relation to self is made selective, within a set of virtual clones. Whenever developments — within one of multiple assumed timelines — goes ‘bad’ it should be deleted (culled). In that way, only the most highly-adaptive complex behavioral responses are preserved, shaping fate in the direction of success (as defined by the selective agency).

Recent discussions about Christianity and Paganism raise the question: what does it take for a system of belief to attain religious intensity among Westerners today? (Yes, this could be re-phrased in very different ways.) To cut right to the chase: Could statistical ontology become a religion (or the philosophy of a religion)? Quantum suicide terrorism anybody? This is a possibility I find hard to eliminate.

Edge of Tomorrow, therefore? A more significant movie than might be initially realized. (It’s monsters are also quite tasty.)

ADDED: Thoughts on Post-Rationalist religion.

December 26, 2014admin 27 Comments »
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