October 2020 Speaker: LVH Sunday Speaker, David Kyle Johnson, Ph.D., "The Prescience of Black Mirror's The Waldo Moment"

Video of October's speaker is up! 

David Kyle Johnson Ph. D. is a Professor of Philosophy at King's College. He is also a returning favorite speaker at LVH. This year he is breaking with tradition and appearing at our October meeting instead of December's. In the past he's discussed such topics as Saturday Night Live's tendency to push the envelope on religion. This year we welcome him to speak on the philosophy of a political episode of the hit Netflix show Black Mirror (just in time for the elections). Even when science fiction is recognized as doing philosophy (instead of being mere escapism) it is often misunderstood. Charlie Brooker, for example, has said he finds it “irritating” when people see his show Black Mirror as “a show warning about the dangers of technology.” But if Black Mirror—a show that depicts slightly advanced technology (like memory “grains,” and “child surveillance” devices) going horribly wrong—isn’t about the dangers of technology, what is it about? By looking at specific episodes, we will see that Black Mirror does not point to (as Brooker has said) “a technological problem” but instead to “a human one.” Indeed, we will conclude by peering directly into the prescient episode The Waldo Moment to see how it points to perhaps the most dangerous human foible in the world today.

You can read a detailed summary of the episode at https://black-mirror.fandom.com/wiki/The_Waldo_Moment or watch clips on youtube.

Link to "Ye Olde Black Mirror" parody video referenced in the talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1aSqZ23ydk

Link to Kyle's book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Mirror-Philosophy-Blackwell-Culture/dp/1119578264/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=kyle+johnson+black+mirror&qid=1602957266&sr=8-1

  • John Neumann
    published this page in News 2020-11-12 07:32:03 -0500