The old adage of “not judging a book by its cover” is not only a common-sense concept, but a biblical one. Proverbs 1:5 tells us that the wise man “hears and increases in knowledge.” Increasing in knowledge does not just mean getting more information, but also analyzing and comparing the knowledge one already has with […]
Propaganda is a fact of life. In fact, by definition propaganda is simply “publicity intended to spread ideas or information that will persuade or convince people.” There’s good propaganda and there’s bad propaganda. There’s liberal propaganda and there’s conservative propaganda. There’s even propaganda about the evils of propaganda. This last category is where V for Vendetta fits.
In the 1995 film, Just Cause, Sean Connery plays a law professor who strongly opposes capital punishment. In the opening scene of the film, Connery’s character, Paul Armstrong, is shown debating the issue in front of a packed house. When his debate opponent describes a theoretical situation involving Armstrong’s own family in an attempt to personalize the death penalty rather than keeping it theoretical, Armstrong remains true to his stated convictions, dramatically closing his answer by saying that he "refuses to believe in any government which is willing to trade torture for torture, death for death."
Last week, we discussed the very real (and very near) prospect of integrating “autonomous robots” into our human society and what sort of ethical questions this might raise. When technological advancement begins to infringe upon personal privacy and freedom, citizens at all levels of political persuasion begin to raise a fuss (just ask President Bush). For some reason, we have this selfish idea that our technological inventions should serve us and not the other way around. The 1986 movie, Maximum Overdrive, which was written and directed by Stephen King, takes this belief about technology and turns it on its head.
Technological advances almost always come with a price. Not only with the cost of the actual material and labor and research and development, but with an opportunity cost as well. Think of the advantages of a cell phone or perhaps the "OnStar" system that comes on many vehicles. One of the many positives is that in the event of an accident or emergency you can contact, or be contacted, by help if you need it. The downside is that you can be contacted and tracked at any time, not just when you so desire it.