Sunday, November 20, 2011

Science fiction as prophecy: Robocops 2011

Here's a photo of  Portland's finest, the fabulous "first responders" now called out to quash dissent and suppress freedom.  One thing that strikes me is how closely they resemble "Robcop" from the 1987 movie. These costly, disgusting cyborgs and now on parade in dozens of towns, cities and even college campuses  across the U.S., paid for by lavish spending on "homeland security." Is this the image of America's future?

By the way, all of the excited chatter about "hybrids" and "cyborgs" in the humanities and social sciences in recent years helped venerate creatures of this sort. How does it look now, cyborg theorists?


  1. Good, but I wanted more commentary!

  2. Excellent point re the transhumanists' excitement over the prospect of merging with machines. Technological enthusiasts reach eagerly for more power, thinking it will enhance their freedom, only to discover the opposite is true.

  3. Anonymous1:58 AM

    If you give guns, gas, and clubs to a bunch of authoritarian thugs they are going to use it. On our dime, too.

  4. Anonymous10:22 AM

    For another (and maybe more positive) view of the potential role of machines, see also:
    Yannick Rumpala, "Artificial intelligences and political organization: an exploration based on the science fiction work of Iain M. Banks", Technology in Society, vol. 34, n° 1, February 2012.