Friday, 12 March 2010


These days it is rare to turn on the telly and catch up a series that is not just more of the same bollocks.  I watched the complete series of Battle Star Galactica and find it quite good, refreshing and funny, with a weird end though. But after have seen that series, I’m now into  Caprica, the prequel series that take place 50 years before the events on BSG. 

Battle Star was good, full of adrenaline, good effects, interesting plot, and fun; but Caprica is becoming even better.   In a world where is not trendy to question things, and where polarities are becoming alarmingly big, and both theists and atheists call the other idiot, if not something worst, Caprica dares to go and talk about religion, about terrorism, about Artificial Intelligence, about xenophobia, about moral issues. 

The story develops in a polytheistic society, a refreshing view TBH, which of course is not perfect, but that has to face the thread of the emerging monotheism.  A monotheistic cult, and terrorist group, called the Soldiers of The One, is responsible of a big terrorist attack that starts all the events that will, as we know, end on the Cylon wars.

One of the worst legacies of monotheisms on this planet has being intolerance. Not that intolerance would not exist without it, but it has rise it up and legitimize it in a very dangerous way.  Before monotheisms people did not wondered if the other’s God was real, or if they had the responsibility of get rid of their ignorance and false idols to the rest of the planet, since the The One and only God is the only valid belief. Ironically, in today’s world, it seems that militant atheism is the inheritor of that, now they want to “save the believers from ignorance” and deny that any other possibility that is not an absence of gods can be valid.  Caprica acknowledge this fact, and portraits the dangers of monotheism:

The man investigating the bombing looks at the dangerous philosophy he sees lurking within monotheism:
It doesn’t concern you, Sister, that kind of absolutist view of the universe? Right and wrong determined solely by a single all-knowing, all-powerful being whose judgment cannot be questioned, and in whose name the most horrendous of acts can be sanctioned without appeal? 

But not everything in Caprica is about monotheism vs polytheism, there is much more, and obviously being a Sci-Fi series technology is the centre of action.  A.I. is the big player here, not a novelty to listen to the premise of A.I. rebelling themselves against the humans and trying to eliminate them, we have Terminator, the Matrix, etc.  It is not Asimov’s Robot series, and the paradoxes and behaviours of the perfect servant; what it makes Caprica a little bit different is that it goes into the question of what Consciousness is, what a person is, and how we can replicate/create a new consciousness:

The human brain contains roughly 300 megabytes of information. Not much when you get right down to it. The question isn’t how to store it, it’s how to access it. You can’t download a personality. There’s no way to translate the data. But the information being held in our heads is available in other databases. People leave more than footprints as they travel through life…. medical scans, DNA profiles, psych evaluations, school records, emails, recording, video, audio, cat scans genetic typing, synaptic records, security cameras, test results, shopping records, talent shows, ball games, traffic tickets, restaurant bills, phone records, music lists, movie tickets, tv shows… even prescriptions for birth control.

What is that makes us sentient beings, what is our personality, character, soul? And, can it be emulated?

And this A.I. is very special, and is precisely how we know that is not just a very smart avatar, but really a conscious being,  Zoe, the Eve of the Cylons, hopes and believes.  She have faith, she have hopes and she believes that there is a purpose on her existence, is not just that she’s self aware, is that she has gain consciousness and creativity.  If an A.I. can reach faith, love, hopes and dreams, then is it just a machine, or is it a new kind of conscious being that we create?

There’s also other side themes, as minorities and xenophobia, on the portrait of the Tauron and Gemenon societies that basically are portraits of the third world in the series. And the moral issues of virtual reality and games.

In one phrase, I think that Caprica is Frakking amazing! I’m enjoying it very much

Have about you?  Are you following Caprica? What do you think of the themes shown on the series?...

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