The popular HBO show, Westworld, concluded its second season last night.
The program is a remake of the original film,Westworld, written and directed by Michael Crichton in 1973.
Westworld is a theme park, much as a Disney Hall of Presidents…on steroids, and the story line has followed the intellectual awakening of the robots and their seeking of free choice.
In the final episode of season 1, the robots, or hosts as they are called in the program, have an uprising and begin killing all of the VIP human guests that are attending a cocktail gala that is in commemoration of the a new attraction at the, humongous park, created by Dr. Ford.
This season of the program has revealed that the true vision of Westworld was to map the minds of every guest that had attended the park over its thirty year run and to subsequently perfect transferring humans to robots, with their minds and psyche in tact,…or immortal life.
The surprise finale, for the season, was to learn that, the man in black, or the owner of the park, was indeed one of the robots…and had apparently been so for some time.
Two of the main characters, Bernard and Dolores, journeyed into the mind of the computer system, that controlled the park and all of its creations, and they talked with the system, in the form of person, who told them that he had discovered that the re-creation of a human mind was simple…only 12,348 lines of code in the algorithm.
And, so by way of a rather involved science fiction television show…what controls our lives…nature or nurture?
When we make decisions are we making our own choices or are we pre-programed by our genetics to take the fork in the road that is in our programing code and hard wiring?
Some would say that we are pre-destined by our creator to become a christian or not.
Others would inform us that all of our decisions are totally our own and that we are free agents as to the directions that our lives take.
I was watching the new Jurassic World movie this past Saturday, which is another Michael Crichton creation, and was taken aback by the final decision made by one of the stars as to the survival of the dinosaurs. The decision did not follow logical progression of thought…free will?
Many of the decisions that we make during the course of our time on Earth are nature decisions. As an example, if you are out of work and have no money to pay your bills or buy food for you family…you will probably accept the first job that is offered to you. Now, you had the right, as a free agent, to say no…but logically you would not…survival made the decision for you.
You find that you like the job and receive a promotion and have the promise of additional promotions in the future. You can make the decision to leave…?
As a child you are told that you must attend grammar school and then high school and then college. These acts are by and large perfunctory and involve little decision making on your part…other than perhaps where to attend college.
Then, you graduate and get an entry level job in the discipline that you studied and you are given a large manual of rules and regulations that outline, in detail, what you are to do and what you are not to do in order to succeed at the company that you hope to have a prosperous career in.
You work in an office that has a preponderance of republicans…while you are a democrat. You have an opinion…but if you utter it…you will be roundly criticized and condemned. You want to get along with your co-workers…so, often, you are silent regarding your heartfelt political views.
You marry or you have a partner who’s primary mission is you. They want to create a clone, or robot, of themselves. Do you attempt to re-form yourself in their image?
You are part of a church that recognizes particular norms of behavior and deportment of its parishioners….and so your act, much as theatre, the role that your are expected to play.
How much of our lives is determined by our, sometimes, limited choices and our desire to fit into the group and our biases?
Why not stretch your options and your vison of your future and increase your choices?
We do not to find at the end or our days…that we have been a robot for most of our time on this blue planet.