One big theme in movies throughout my life that have really made me think, “What if” is this theme of a “perfect-order society” as I will call it. This is a type of society portrayed in cinema that is usually created after a huge disaster or world war has taken place. It is the society that is born from significant human error in an attempt to prevent either the substantial loss of life or resources that was previously experienced. In the movie Gattaca the type of “perfect-order society” is based on eugenics. The movie raises questions about whether it’s moral to try and refine humans and in doing so if it’s moral to neglect someone that is considered inferior. In Gattaca Vincent is born naturally without any genetic modification but is discovered to have major health issues. However, this only motivates Vincent to strive harder for what he wants which ultimately leads to his success in reaching space travel and proving to other that he was able to rise to greatness in lieu of his defections.
What is interesting about this to me is that these movies usually always show the negative side of these perfect-order societies. They always depict what might happen if we took technology to the extreme. In Gattaca Vincent spends his time preparing and getting past rigorous DNA checkpoints in order to blend in with the “superiors” within the society and if he should be discovered he would face punishment and discrimination. Another point is that cinema also creates these storylines to be in the distant future or after some major disaster of some kind. I remember my parents always saying how they thought that when we reached the year 2000 that life would be similar the cartoon TheJetsons and that everything would be futuristic. I believe we still think that we are not in this futuristic world with amazing technology and capabilities and that the plots of these movies are far from home, but I think that we are in the future. We do have amazing technology and capabilities that impact our society and either threaten or improve humanity. With globalization we have either mass disease eradication or mass spreading capabilities, we have mass communications to either transmit news and positivity or propaganda and fear. But we also always have grouping and sectioning specifically with race.
As I mentioned earlier we are in the future and we have seen events where the extreme negatives are used. For example with eugenics of course the obvious example is Hitler with the mass genocide of Jews among other groups whom he deemed “inadequate” in a horrible attempt to purify the human species. Again, there are current situations we face everyday that tug at the moral questionings of what we do with technology. Will we always use it for good and bad? Will we unanimously swing to one end of the spectrum?
What’s important to take away form these notions of perfect-order societies is not what will we do when we get to that point, but rather what decisions are we making now with the technology we currently use and are developing?
I chose to speak in week 5 about the topics form week 4.