we’re already living the “Nosedive” reality

I’m just gonna work under the assumption you’ve watched Black Mirror: Nosedive (here’s a plot summary in case you’re a cultural hermit).

The parallels between Nosedive‘s “friend rating” system and China’s prototype “social credit system” which Ted explored in the lecture were immediately apparent. Perhaps most startling were how in Nosedive a low rating locked people out of certain services. Other’s would check their rating and discriminate based on it, the rating served as form of social currency.

In China the “social credit system” is functionally the same, awarding or deducting points based on behaviour (points for responsible behaviour, removal for irresponsible behaviour). The results of this were the same. People with low rating were locked out of certain services, a standout example being the man refused plane and train tickets meaning he had to catch a bus, extending his trip by four hours.

Only one major difference exists between Nosedive and China.

In Nosedive the system is privately owned, where-as in China the system is state owned.

This is an essential delineation, as it influences the function of the technology. A state-focused system a la China creates a wall-network of sorts, where the technology, regardless of function, all returns to the same purpose. Propagate for the government.

Privately owned meanwhile, has a more sporadic evolution. As Tufecki notes in the reading, the information gathered from technology (be it metadata, facial recognition, something else) is initially without purpose. It is the prerogative of the private organisation how it is deseminated, leading to near infinite uses. Certainly the goal is convincing to people to buy, but buy what is the important question.

Food, devices, lifestyles, ideologies, people; all are products in this system, and each has a corresponding informations set. The way they interact is more akin to open network, sharing data, mixing and matching, innovating the sell, sell, sell.

When I look at the behaviour of the characters in Nosedive, with the devices directly curtailing the actions, and that information informing reactions from world around them, I realise that we are already living this reality. Social media, and the advertising there, function the same way. We input something, it returns a set of images designed the influence us, the cycle continues.

This is the Nosedive reality.

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One thought on “we’re already living the “Nosedive” reality

  1. Nathalee Carboni says:

    Hello Joshua, I couldn’t agree with you more, you have found the concepts meaning it requires “behaviour points for responsible behaviour, removal for irresponsible behaviour”. I’m impressed with your ability to write concisely. Not only did you fulfil the topic of the week, but you also stayed within the word limit and doing it well deserves recognition. Overall, it’s clear that you understand the concept of surveillance and price of content within reality as your address, and you present exciting ideas of “Nodedive” as a critical example. Good job! I can see that we have touched on similar point, as “mechanical advancements” is a point shown through your writing as you stated that “that information informing reactions from the world around them, I realise that we are already living this reality” I like this idea as I have discussed this in my blog (https://www.nathaleecarboniuncensored.com/?p=982). I wrote that “In parallel with this, mechanical advancements have changed the idea of the information that can be gotten by surveillance” which is critical in understanding this topic of privacy and surveillance within technology. With this similarity, we are presenting our understanding of the influence of technology on reality as seen from your case of “Nodediver” or “semantic contention” which is my example in my blog. As we are both addresses the idea of technological exposure which helps contribute to human behaviour, realms of condition and knowledge of reality, as we have both establish that the ‘user’ or ‘users’ are the part of the technology and the technology is apart of the human. Another similarity and difference we shared, is the form of media we utilised to present our remediations, as we share the same ideas but showed different messages and through various mediums, as yes, we both used the concept of reality and technological effects to the fact. However, the difference is, that you are focusing on the essence of the impact on the user to reality, through images and caption, whereas for me, I am presenting a more abstract message where a podcast where the information presented within music and conversation and the message is more direct as “what is said is done” kind of thing. This concept is exciting as we share the same value of meaning, yet the execution is different.

    Furthermore, I would like to provide you with some advice. I believe you could have explored or linked your information back to journal articles or websites, hyperlinks, etc.; you could have even mentioned theory’ on the topic of the surveillance, and if you don’t like the idea of using theories. You could have engaged with external websites (hyperlinks), not just your remediation. As additional examples can further your argument more. As yes, your blog has discussed the concept. However, you need to dig deeper, to present your knowledge further, and examples are an excellent way to support your statements. Your samples do not have to be imaged, it could be books, articles and even quotes, this can help your ideas on the topic and also link visually, not only within a text. I believe an excellent source for your discussion would be; Negus, K 2018, From creator to data: the post-record music industry and the digital conglomerates, Media, Culture & Society, vol. 13, no. 2, pp.1-18. This article explores the idea of Culture & Society within media and how digital conglomerates effects that occur reality of the future of technology and society, like behaviour and space change, etc., which complements what you were discussing with your blog and remediation. So, if you give this article a read, discuss your thoughts further!


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