The intertubes are full of people who’ll try to convince you that [media organisation X] are trying to subversively promote [sinister civilisation-corroding sociopolitical agenda Y], and most of them are, to be frank, loonies. But you can make your own mind up about Kyle Munkittrick, who suggests that – deliberately or not – the Pixar animation house are preparing young minds for the ethical debate of the coming decades: that of non-human personhood.
Pixar has given those who would fight for personhood the narratives necessary to convince the world that non-humans that display characteristics of a person deserve the rights of a person. For every category there is a character: uplifted animals (Dug), naturally intelligent species (Remy and Kevin), A.I robots (WALL-E, EVE), and alien/monsters (Sully & Mike). Then there is the Incredible family, transhumans with superpowers. Through the films, these otherwise strange entities become unmistakably familiar, so clearly akin to us.
The message hidden inside Pixar’s magnificent films is this: humanity does not have a monopoly on personhood. In whatever form non- or super-human intelligence takes, it will need brave souls on both sides to defend what is right. If we can live up to this burden, humanity and the world we live in will be better for it.
I think there’s an element of agent provocateur and tongue-in-cheekness going on there, though some gloriously curmudgeonly comments suggest that taking it at face value makes stupid people quite angry… which is something of an added bonus. 🙂
(If you ask me, it’s all part of Steve Jobs’ masterplan to make the whole world as user-friendly and cutesy-poo as a MacOS icon. Gimme the grim Linux meathook future any day…. )
7 thoughts on “Pixar and the transhuman agenda”
“You gotta ask me nicely…” (say ‘sudo’).
If we take Munkittrick at his not terribly sophisticated word, Pixar is also hard at work to convince people that only males (should) exist.
I don’t understand. How is what Pixar is doing nowadays fundamentally different from the hundreds of anthropomorphized talking animals and robots in the cartoons of many decades ago, other than applying vastly-improved graphics? And don’t forget about non-cartoons as well, such as the quite intelligent (and snidely sarcastic) robot in the 1960’s TV series, Lost in Space. Heck, consider what the relatively-modern (2001) movie “AI was based on — the story of the wooden puppet that comes to life, Pinocchio, which goes back to 1883. So it seems to me that Pixar is rather late to the party on this. subject.
Not to mention pretty much the whole history of children’s literature, plus fairy tales, myths and legends. Clearly this conspiracy has been going on for centuries!
Now that I think of it, the world’s movie and TV industry has been working hard for decades on getting us used to the fact that what we see with our own eyes as moving, talking, acting human beings are not real people, but only images on a screen. 3D movies are the final weapon of what is patently a subtle and very powerful conspiration to… drive people to solipsism! 😛
They’ve been training us in the skill of distinguishing false from real (think how fake CGI from ten years back looks now). So have sock puppets and spambots. We are now much tougher Turing tests than we used to be.
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