Blade Runner 1982 – 2017: A Future Foretold

Ryan Gosling joins Harrison Ford in this new chapter of the Sci-Fi classic, which is set to premiere October 6, 2017 in USA and UK (a day sooner in other countries and in November in Japan).

BLADE RUNNER 2049 * Official Trailer

But, now, let’s remember (“Deckard: Memories! You’re talking about memories!” – Oh yes, it’s all about memories…) the original cult classic from 1982 (a winning combination of outstanding plot-cast-cinematography-effects-soundtrack), based on the novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ (1968) by Philip K. Dick, which has served as reference to many professional Sci-Fi film directors, writers and producers for the past 30 years.

‘Los Angeles, sometime in November, 2019:

Retired police officer Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is detained at a noodle bar by officer Gaff (Edward James Olmos). Gaff takes Deckard to see his former supervisor, Bryant (M. Emmet Walsh). Deckard’s former job, as a ‘Blade Runner’, was to track down replicants (bioengineered robots) and “retire” them, which is the politically correct term for “elimination”.

Bryant wants Deckard back in the job, in order to retire six replicants, among which are Leon (Brion James), Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) and Pris (Daryl Hannah).

Deckard, teamed with Gaff, is sent to the Tyrell Corporation to ensure that the Voight-Kampff test (which helps to distinguish humans from replicants, based on their empathic response to questions) works on Nexus-6 models.

While at the Tyrell Corporation, Deckard discovers that Tyrell‘s (Joe Turkel) assistant Rachael (Sean Young) is an experimental replicant who believes to be human; Rachael’s mind has been enhanced with extra memories, to provide an “emotional cushion”.’

This encounter provides the plot with yet another layer of emotion, as both Rachel and Deckard discover much about each other and about themselves in this exciting journey embedded in a dark ambience, tinted by neon lights and wrapped in wire, rain and plastic.

Vangelis is behind the sublime music score that envelopes this futurist tale, forever tattooed in our own retinas.

Selecting the cast was not an easy task, particularly for the lead role of Deckard. Names like Robert Mitchum, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Pacino, and Burt Reynolds were considered. It was due to the fact that Harrison Ford had already worked in Sci-Fi (in two of the successful Star Wars movies), his avid interest in the story of ‘Blade Runner’, along with the praise by Steven Spielberg, that he finally landed the role. His participation was secured for the new movie, too. Though, it’s well known in the industry that Ford and Scott had a hard time working together in the original, especially when it came to the subject of the voice overs to the narration of the film, something that Ford found to be unnecessary to the effectiveness of the plot, years later, both had no problem in recognising each other’s talents, putting their differences behind and talking of their working relationship just as another humorous anecdote to remember:

“Who’s the biggest pain in the arse you’ve ever worked with?”

Ridley Scott (Some of the movies he has directed include: Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Hannibal, Black Hawk Down, Prometheus, The Martian…) replied:

“It’s got to be Harrison… he’ll forgive me because now I get on with him. Now he’s become charming. But he knows a lot, that’s the problem. When we worked together it was my first film up and I was the new kid on the block. But we made a good movie”.

A “good movie”, as Scott describes it, Blade Runner went to win numerous awards, including Academy Awards®, Bafta Awards and Golden Globes, from the year it was released, 1982, to 2008 (the latter on the occasion of its DVD Special Edition Release).

BLADE RUNNER (1982) * Anniversary Trailer

It wasn’t a box-office hit at the time of its first run on the big screen, though, for it had to share the spotlight with other major productions such as ‘The Thing’, ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’, and, most significantly,’ E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’, which dominated ticket sales that summer.

Yet, it certainly is an all-time winner for both film lovers and critics who especially appreciate a thought-provoking and original plot coupled with stunning cinematography and a refined musical taste. And with regards to its, amazing at the time, non-digitalised, special effects, it should also be said that the film was named in 2007 ‘the 2nd most visually influential film of all time’ by the Visual Effects Society.

It is for these and other reasons that (and despite the excitement I feel about the new chapter) my heart will forever resonate with the following truth: there’s only one Blade Runner.

Fortunately, producers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, from Alcon Entertainment, seemed to agree:

“This is a once in a lifetime project for us.”

“Everything Ridley does as a filmmaker is fresh. I believe he sees an opportunity to create something that’s wholly original from the first Blade Runner.”

“This is a total reinvention, and in my mind that means doing everything fresh…”__Andrew Kosove

Rutger Hauer on BLADE RUNNER


RELATED LINKS:

For more on Philip K. Dick, author of the novel that was the literary source of the film, visit:
wiki/Philip_K._Dick >

There Are No Races in Humanity

Most of the world population, whether they are ‘racist’ or ‘anti-racist’, perceive ‘differences in race’ as biologically real, meaning, as being the parameters that decide the classification of humans into genetically separate groups. Nothing could be further from the truth, because, over the years, geneticists, biologists and anthropologists have found compelling evidence that

race, as a primary genetic divergence is biologically invalid.

They have proven how differences in skin colour are, precisely, only skin-deep and only existent in modern humans, not in our ancestors prior to the first mass migrations (when they adapted to different latitudes); that diversity in facial and body features are only the result of gene combinations as we adapted to different environments and nutrition; that certain diseases with hereditary predominance sprang from the mutation of the genes first exposed to the disease and are transferred through that particular lineage but not through a particular ethnic group; and that intelligence, musical ability and athletic aptitude are common to all populations, their development depending on education, culture and even particular upbringing, because there are no specific racial genes.

There are no genes that make blacks in the USA more susceptible to high blood pressure, just as there are no genes for particular kinds of cancers that can be assigned to only one racial grouping. There is no neurological patterning that distinguishes races from one another, nor are there patterns in muscle development and structure, digestive tracts, hand-eye coordination, or any other such measures.

All humans living today belong to a single species, Homo sapiens, and share that common descent.

And, although there are differences of opinion regarding how and where different human groups diverged or fused to form new ones from a common ancestral group, all living populations in each of the earth’s geographic areas have evolved from that ancestral group over the same amount of time. Much of the biological variation among populations involves modest degrees of variation in the frequency of shared traits.

In fact, genetic variation within any population is much greater than between populations. ”If you take even a small camp of Pygmies,” says L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza, a pioneer of genetic anthropology, ”they are extremely different for all the genetic markers we look at.” Indeed, they show almost all the genetic variation catalogued in the world“.

In humankind as well as in other animals, the genetic composition of each population is subject over time to the modifying influence of the aforementioned and many other diverse factors.

But the human features which have universal biological value for the survival of the species are not known to occur more frequently in one population than in any other.

Therefore it is meaningless from the biological point of view to attribute a general inferiority or superiority to this or to that race, especially because it’s only one race.

Yet, even in mainstream genetics, largely discredited concepts of race persist. Scientific articles constantly speak of ”admixture” between races, which implies a pure and static standard for each race. ”Where did these standards come from?” – asks University of Maryland anthropology and biology professor Fatimah Jackson – ”We’ve taken a 19th-century view of racial variation and plugged in 20th-century technology.”

But it is also through our DNA that the final answer comes forth.

Today, data show that the DNA of any two human beings is 99.9 percent identical, and we all share the same set of genes, scientifically validating the existence of a single biological human race and one origin for all human beings.

Certainly, the whole notion of racial standards—of a pure Caucasian or a pure Negro—is exactly what modern genetics undermines. “But – says Jackson – the philosophy hasn’t caught up with the technology.”

Over time, ”genetics will help beat down racist arguments,” says Eric Lander, a world-renowned geneticist at M.I.T. ”But they will need to be beaten down, because they will keep coming up.”

Race is not a biological distinction but a geographical classification of the world population, and yet the only living species in the human family, Homo sapiens, has become a highly diversified global array of populations. And the geographic pattern of genetic variation within this array is complex, and presents no major discontinuity.

Furthermore, the complexities of human history make it difficult to determine the position of certain groups in classifications. Thus, humanity cannot even be classified into discrete geographic categories with absolute boundaries and multiplying subcategories cannot correct the inadequacies of these classifications.

Pure races, in the sense of genetically homogenous populations, have never existedall populations are mixed.

“If you look down at any one part of a trellis, you see that all parts are interconnected.” – Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., professor of biology in Arts and Sciences at Washington University, explains – “Similarly, with modern molecular evolutionary techniques, we can find over time genes in any one local area of humanity that are shared by all of humanity throughout time.

There are no distinct branches, no distinct lineages. By this modern definition for race, there are no races in humanity.”

But whereas our notion of race is an illusion, racism is not.

Racial distinctions serve as a tool of socioeconomic dominance. By dehumanising other groups of people, labelling them as genetically inferior (and subsequently as morally inferior) the dominant groups feel justified in their oppressive actions. It is History, not Science, which reveals how the concept of different human “races” arose, how the term has become widely misused, and how it continues to pervade our minds.

We are witness of how racial categories, while not having any biological validity, keep on exerting a physiological and psychological impact not only on those who are victims of racism but on our species as a whole. Wars, genocides, slavery, abuse, discrimination, stereotyping and categorisation based on race have been and are based on a fallacy, laid by interest, pure ignorance or, usually, a combination of the two. But we now have the knowledge that, genetically, at the basis of what we truly are…

there is absolutely no logic in racial categories, for there has only ever existed ONE RACE of modern humans: THE HUMAN RACE.

So the question is, how long are we willing to be told who we are, when the very essence of who we are is rich in the diversity of an entire and unique ever-evolving race?


SOURCES: web.mit.edu, physanth.org, unesco.org, livescience.com, ‘The Myth of Human Races’ by Alain F. Corcos

The Root Cause of Ongoing Unending Unemployment

Jobs No Longer Available

The world has been experiencing its worst economic recession since the “Great Depression” of the 30s. Over 200 million people worldwide were out of work in 2011. Add to the unemployed those that are employed on either zero-hour contracts, just short-term (seasonally) or as freelance (a phenomenon now coined as the gig economy).

Some job loss has been due to obsolescence in the advent of technological advancement, such as has been the case in the manufacturing, coal mining and retail industries. Others went down the drain due to the new internet commerce practices as was in the case of printed newspapers, bookstores, music stores and small DVD rentals shops.

Finally others were lost purely due to the financial crash in the banking, construction and real estate industries, which had a ripple effect, due to governments’ austerity measures, on the education, healthcare, and other public service sectors.

But does this all mean that there are truly ‘no jobs’?

Hardly, for there is much that needs doing. Now, our socioeconomic and cultural landscape is fast changing and with that many job positions are and will become obsolete, especially in the face of grand-scale automation.

But before tackling this issue, let’s see which sectors are currently thriving, despite the recession.

Currently thriving:

Internet protocol providers – Wind and solar power – E-commerce & online auctions – Environmental consulting – Biotechnology – Video games – Third party administrators & insurance claims adjusters – Correctional facilities – Internet publishing & broadcasting – Engineering & robotics – Mobile communications – Computer systems design & related services – Software publishers – Online gaming companies – Entertainment – Pharmacies & drug stores – Services for the elderly & the disabled – Mental health therapists (no wonder) – Waste collection & recycling – Organic foods & alternative medicine providers – Social advocacy organisations, and others.

Most of these sectors are experiencing an upsurge of activity and, with it, the need to recruit labour. Of course, many of the positions involved in these sectors require of a potential employee to have a determined skill set, knowledge and experience which, in many cases, can take up to years to acquire. Some of these positions also require of ongoing training, due to the rapid and evolving nature of their specific sectors.

But the fact is that not only there are employment possibilities in the sectors currently thriving but also in many of the sectors that are currently being created.

And, on top of this, there are even entire sectors that could be designed and developed if only our current systems allowed it or simply… adapted.

Herein Lies the Real Issue

The truth is that our monetary system is based on debt creation. The more debt there is, the more the system thrives, that is, at the expense of entire labour sectors and, let’s face it, the majority of the world’s population. Because even when the debt cannot be repaid, especially if unregulated speculation is permitted, as it was the case in this last crisis, financial corporations and the banking system will always win.

These wins, as it is now of public domain, go from government bailouts to the acquisition of property through foreclosures.

The latter is indeed a most welcome gift for any financial institution since most of the funds they loan only exist on paper, lacking the material assets (true wealth) to back them up.

Only the financial sector could create and sell a high-risk product and make profit not in its ‘saleability’ but on its risk. Whether those loans were re-paid or not the bank was going to make a profit, a better one, indeed, in the latter scenario, as those profits on paper or virtual translated into real material assets.

From the wisdom that both time and perspective permit, no longer can be denied that the majority of this world’s population have been and are still victims of the largest scam in financial history. One that not only has been carried out with total impunity, but, while condemned in vacuous political speeches, factually rewarded.

The Responsibility of All The World’s Governments

Any government that follows up on the anti-recession strategy of bailing financial entities whilst cutting on social services is not a democratic government, even if democratically elected.

It is being proven that this ‘strategy’ is not creating employment, is not creating wealth amongst the population, on the contrary, it is creating jobs and work of less value and less opportunities for all.

There are millions of jobs that can be created; the problem is that our current systems have proven to be ineffective for the world at large.

A democratic government is created by and for the people and, as such, the people should be its first priority. Thus, an overhaul of our current financial and governance systems is in order if we are to truly overcome the challenges we are currently facing as well as be prepared for the enormity of those upcoming. Only the most diverse and qualified experts at various levels can device and implement new systems that allow for the mass retraining of people, the remodelling of the education system in order to guarantee a quality of life for the new generations, as well as the sustainability and adaptability of our resources. What is certain is that we can no longer use political scapegoats and propaganda to mask the truth and we can no longer pretend that this is business and usual and ‘everything will be fine’. A monumental change at the root of our systems is necessary, one that has not yet been tried before, one that requires innovation, logic, knowledge, diversity and ethics. After all, the industrial revolution did not take off from ‘impossible’ but from ‘possibility’.

We are now passed the time of greed, corruption, ignorance, sociopathy and the showmen that disguise these or make them gospel. Reality is knocking and will knock even harder than we have yet seen in our human history.

The Exact Role of Technology

Technology is not a demon, technology is just a tool and, as with any tool, it is about how we use it.

The way technology is largely used in today’s world is just to serve our current system, that is, for the unbridled financial profit of a few, not for the betterment of our civilisation as a whole.

However, there’s one thing technology is doing for today’s civilisation and that is bringing the people of the world together, through the far-reaching and instant exchange of information, experiences, expertise and knowledge.

Technology is a revolution in itself, the Technological Revolution, but also part of a larger, broader, more significant revolution, one similar to that which took us from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance: A worldwide People Revolution.

No wonder that this role of today’s technology is being increasingly monitored and, in many countries, undermined by those who would prefer that humanity remained divided, uneducated (not in the institutional, factory-programmed sense but in the knowledgeable, critical thinking aspect of education) and thus easily persuaded and controlled.

Therefore, one of our common goals should be protecting the role that technology has in bringing the world’s population together.

CONCLUSION

There is no lack of jobs: There is a lack of training and re-training available and affordable to all within the very rapidly-changing landscape of our new emerging socioeconomic and cultural landscape and a lack of ethics from those who shape our policies.

And, ultimately, there is an outright terrifying lack of vision and foresight by those who have been given the power to make the decisions that affect us all and the planet we all live in.

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