Blade Runner 2049, while not crushing the box office, certainly has some people excited (my artist/wife being one of them). We saw it last night and my 3 word review is:
Brilliant, flawed, beautiful
It did provide a new tag line for me to use – “if it’s real, it should be messy.” The context was about memories and how they are often vivid but are not necessarily linear, complete, or in high fidelity. I argue this point on a number of fronts. There are many in DoD and academia who suffer from the “tyranny of literalism” (borrowing from my artist/wife again). For teaching and telling stories (which you should be doing when teaching), there is power in abstraction and nuance in representation. Sadly these points are often lost in the shuffle, and a default position of “more real is better real” is adopted. Often the peril of budgets and efficacy.
The movie has plenty of cautionary tales, and one could argue that Elon Musk, Larry Page, or others served as inspiration for the villain. I’d say all of the above, and remember that ethics matters no matter what technology is involved. Unfortunately in a capitalist society, quarterly results trump ethical considerations every time. And that is…problematic.