estepheia: (Default)
After watching the entire first Season of Sense8 I need to gush. So I sat down to write this little essay. It contains only very mild spoilers. Oh, and I haven't gone meta in a while, so my essay writing skills are a bit rusty, but I hope you'll enjoy my thoughts, anyway.

BTW, we took out a free Netflix test-account to watch this, but will continue to subscribe simply because I expect great things from a network that had the foresight to snatch this show up without much pondering.

<lj-cut>Sense8 isn’t just a story about 8 people who are suddenly telepathically connected. It is a story about all of us.

The internet has turned us all into sensates, we are all connected. Even the Syrian fugitives aboard the rusty old ships in the Mediterranean own smartphones and are connected to us via an electronic network that more and more resembles a biological nervous system. The internet has given us the whole world to walk in. If we want, we can take a google street view stroll through Bombay, Berlin, Mexico City … We can stream music and Jean-Claude van Damme-movies. If we wanted to, we could find out how to build a bomb, or how to disable a Porsche, anything we want – it merely takes us internet users longer than a sensate.

People on Facebook, tumbler, livejournal, Dreamweaver et al know this: The internet allows us to connect with people elsewhere, with people whose upbringing, education, religion or sexual orientation is not our own. Not just to connect. To bond with them, cry with them when they are sad, laugh with them when they are happy, to metaphorically hold their hand when they go through a hard time, or be angry on their behalf, when someone belittles them or tries to hurt them. The internet allows us to experience kinship with human beings on the other side of the planet, people whom we’ve never met face to face.

This connectivity is like a sociological mutation, an amazing gift that no one could have envisioned thirty years ago, not even Sci-fi-authors like Gibson. In many ways the grim Cyberpunk-future that these authors predicted has come to pass: high-tech is used not to make life better for the majority of mankind but perverted to remotely kill human targets with drones, to spy on friends and enemies, to send viruses to disable technology in other countries, to analyze and predict not just our shopping preferences but also our voting habits. There are those for whom we are just pawns, bugs they can step on, cannon fodder, voting cattle, consumers. People like Whispers.

Sense8 tells us that this connectivity is a double-edged sword. And that the war over who gets to control the internet is being fought right now.

But mostly, Sense8 makes us fall in love with 8 strangers. We don’t care whether they are black or white, gay or straight, believers or atheists. We just want them to be safe, all 8 of them, and, amazingly, we even have room in our hearts for their family and friends and loved ones. And that is a wonderful feeling!
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estepheia

June 2015

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