Black Mirror Episodes from Medieval Times

by on July 2, 2019 · 0 comments

CollegeHumor has created this amazing video, “Black Mirror Episodes from Medieval Times,” which is a fun parody of the relentless dystopianism of the Netflix show “Black Mirror.” If you haven’t watched Black Mirror, I encourage you to do so. It’s both great fun and ridiculously bleak and over-the-top in how it depicts modern or future technology destroying all that is good on God’s green earth.

The CollegeHumor team picks up on that and rewinds the clock about a 1,000 years to imagine how Black Mirror might have played out on a stage during the medieval period. The actors do quick skits showing how books become sentient, plows dig holes to Hell and unleash the devil, crossbows destroy the dexterity of archers, and labor-saving yokes divert people from godly pursuits. As one of the audience members says after watching all the episodes, “technology will truly be the ruin of us all!” That’s generally the message of not only Black Mirror, but the vast majority of modern science fiction writing about technology (and also a huge chunk of popular non-fiction writing, too.)

If you go far enough back in the history of technology and technological criticism, you actually can find plenty of people insisting that the latest and greatest tech of the day would be the ruin of us all. As I noted here before, you can trace tech criticism at least back to Plato’s Phaedrus, which warned about the dangers of the written word. My colleague Tyler Cowen argues you can trace it even further back to the Bible and the Book of Genesis, especially the story of the Tower of Babel.

One can almost imagine how scorn was heaped on the first person to fashion a blade or a wheel out of stone. Before his untimely passing a few years ago, the great Calestous Juma used to occasionally tweet this hilarious cartoon that depicted just that moment in time. The people that carry those “NO” signs are still all around us today. Technopanics and fear cycles just repeat endlessly, as I have noted in dozens of essays and papers through the years.

Image result for cartoon Protesting against technology the early years


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