The third season of “Love, Death and Robots” is not worthy of the name of “science fiction masterpiece”

There were no surprises in Season 3 of Love, Death and Robots. Nine episodes, one focusing on metaphors of reality, one focusing on human destiny, and one focusing on the self-harmony of consciousness.

As the three chatty robots spit out the human road to death, the astronauts who failed the Io expedition recited Coleridge and Wordsworth. As the queen of the swarm said, intelligence and culture are not the determinants of the survival of the group – sometimes civilization is such an irony.

big time, small time

All six episodes can evoke associations that refer to reality, which is an unhurt vent for the people of the earth who have been mired in war, famine and economic recession this year.

"Three Robots: Exit Strategies" not only ridicules the proletariat and the bourgeoisie of mankind, but also tramples on the technological elites who have been all-powerful in recent years. Rather than saying that the latter has a desire to "change the world", it is better to say that it is just an "egotistical" daydream. The recent sharp drop in U.S. technology stocks also reflects, to some extent, the loss of public confidence in "technology salvation" amid high inflation.

▲ The ending scene of "Three Robots: Exit Strategy": "Who are you waiting for, Elon Musk?"

"Night of the Mini Dead" (Night of the Mini Dead) is similar to the "Sims" point of view scenic clips, endless zombies walk the streets, and even evolved a version of Godzilla, taking people a glimpse of famous places from Los Angeles to the Vatican. Landmarks, and the White House spokesperson's phrase "Zombies? There is no country in our country" seems to be a copy of various "official" rhetoric after the Covid-19 pandemic, and it also has a wonderful "echoing" of the UFO hearings a few days ago.

"Kill Team Kill" (Kill Team Kill) is similar to Shuangwen, the American soldier fights the cyborg grizzly. The same bullets are flying around. The big boss at the bottom of "In Vaulted Halls Entombed" is Cthulhu, who has mind control ability, and has more eyes than Lovecraft's original setting. Regardless of the tone of "cool" or "unhappy", these two episodes have a powerful enemy, even if the enemy is a self-created or ancient monster – either fight or die, it can be regarded as a "clash of civilizations".

▲ The TT15 is equipped with an air-cooled automatic cannon, an armored chassis and the same target locking technology as a navy drone.

Of course, the "evolution" of mice can also produce the germs of civilization. Mason's Rats, about a grumpy Scottish farmer at odds with barn rats, and a grinning sales manager who sells rat-killing machines—a veritable arms dealer. With the tragic escalation of the war, the war machine has been updated again and again. The mobile version of the big killer TT15 is very familiar. It seems to be one of the Scorponok, one of the Decepticons transformed into a scorpion in the movie "Transformers 1".

▲ "Transformers 1" attacked the U.S. Army's Decepticon member Sark Giant in Qatar (second from left)

In the real world, the war that started in spring continues. "There are 550 million arms in the world, which means there is 1 gun for every 12 people. The only question is how do we get the other 11 people to have guns." The war itself is more epic.

"Jibaro", which best embodies the "clash of civilizations", is very popular in China, mainly because most people think of the colonial destiny of South America. The heroine Siren, who is covered in gold and jewels, wrongly fell in love with the deaf knight Jibalo, who robbed his wealth and threw his body at the bottom of the river, and was finally avenged by the Siren.

▲ The Siren story has been passed down through thousands of mouths, and it is not new until now

In the 16th century, the Spanish colonists bloodshed the Aztec Empire and the Inca Empire, mined a large amount of gold and silver, and long-term resource plunder and economic control brought Latin America into a tragic situation of "severed blood vessels". In countries and regions under colonial or semi-colonial rule, the interpretation of treating female aborigines/banshees as local civilization and men as invaders has a certain historical psychological and "cultural awareness" meaning. There are some people who want to attack "over-interpretation", but there is no need.

"Good Hunting" in the first season had a somewhat similar story to "Gibarrow." "Happy Hunting" was originally created by the famous science fiction writer and translator Liu Yukun. It also originated from the humiliating memory of third world countries. In the face of Western modern civilization's devouring of its own traditions, the former uses the fusion of steampunk and Chinese landscape martial arts to tell the story. Orphans use the weapons of modernity to reshape themselves and create the tenacity of cultural rebirth; the latter is only a simple rewriting of folk tales, and there is nothing to reminisce about.

▲ "Happy Hunting", people and people will eventually forget each other in the rivers and lakes

In fact, talking about the fox ghost flower demon is not tasteless, but it is meaningless to only focus on the love and betrayal of the fox ghost flower demon. After all, "Strange Tales from a Liaozhai" has said too much.

These six episodes are not good works. On the one hand, they are sometimes closely connected with reality, and they are suspected of being "shady novels". Gorgeous, forget it after watching it.

The Future of Humanity: Individual or Collective?

Bad Travelling and Swarm are worth comparing. The former is concerned with how individuals decide justice and conscience, while the latter is concerned with the continuation of races.

"Bad Trip" is directed by the famous director David Fincher, which is also his first animation work, and the bloody scenes in "Fight Club" can still be seen in "Bad Trip". The original is from the famous British science fiction writer Neil Escher, most of his works are created around an original "Polity" universe.

In the episode, the sea shark hunter is attacked by a man-eating crab monster. The monster asks the captain to take it to a nearby island, and the captain pretends to agree. The captain hoped to destroy the monster, and the crew hoped to throw the monster into the blame. After several attempts by both parties, the crew fed the monster, and the captain finally burned the monster and retreated. The horror of this story is not that the monsters cannibalize people, nor that the crowd betrays them, but that the captain seems to be an omniscient, almighty, morally impeccable "God" who can decide life and death at will.

▲ "Bad Travel", this is the captain of the "God" that all living beings must look up to

Sending monsters to an uninhabited island, or to a multi-person island, is similar to the 2.0 version of the "Trolley Problem" – going to an uninhabited island may be eaten by furious monsters, but going to a multi-person island is okay, others are okay. The crew generally felt that the risk of deceiving the monster was too high, and the residents of the multi-person island were not very friendly to them anyway, so it was better to send the monster to eat. The captain therefore judged that this group of people had no conscience, and then used a non-existent "voting procedure" to divide the crew internally, crack each one, and then kill them.

Is this the birth of the law, or the demise of the law?

The goddess of justice in white robes is blindfolded. The white robe symbolizes her immaculate morality and integrity. Blindfolded, because justice relies purely on reason and not on sensory impressions. If one person has extraordinary reason, physical strength and wisdom, can he decide the fate of the whole group? It is worth considering that the unshakable "power" of the captain is given by monsters to some extent.

All American superhero stories dare not avoid this topic. The most typical "Superman" has to face the problem of "law-abiding" all the time. If the bad guy is caught, he must hand it over to the police, and he must not be lynched. Only in this way can everyone be happy. Yale jurist Robert Cover famously said, "Blindfolding is not blindness, but self-restraint."

In a certain extreme environment, how can there be no procedures and no laws, how can some individuals and groups in human beings make choices?

▲ "Heart of the Swarm" of "Swarm"

According to "Swarm" (Swarm), human beings are destroyed quickly, mainly because they think too much.

Nominated for the 1983 Hugo Award and Nebula Award for Best Short Novel, the novel was written by Bruce Sterling, the famous science fiction writer and founder of cyberpunk. Famous director Tim Miller directed the animated series of the same name.

Science fiction works like to build Zerg civilization. Like the protagonists in the "Aliens" series, the arachnids in "Starship Troopers", and the Zerg in "Ender's Game" (Ender's Game) are all typical, the games "Warhammer" "Quality" "Effect" also has a blockbuster scene of the Zerg.

▲ In "Ender's Game", a 12-year-old boy has to face the Zerg for a decisive battle

The behavior pattern of social insects such as ants and bees is also called "swarm intelligence". The control of its group is distributed, there is no central control, and it is self-organizing. Therefore, it has a strong attraction and control group effect for a centrally controlled human society.

The queen in "The Swarm" said that "intelligence is not the decisive factor for survival", and humans said that "they are just low-intelligence creatures, and they don't look up to the stars", forming a strong contrast. In nature, the "purpose" of all living things is reproduction, and after humans are "higher" than nature, their thinking and resistance to reproduction, including unconscious destruction, have all resulted in collective destruction.

Therefore, "Bad Travel" and "Swarm" may only be a head-to-head confrontation between Themis, the goddess of justice, and Hera, the goddess of fertility.

After flying into space, you still have to face yourself

"The Very Pulse of the Machine," a throwback to last century sci-fi, or a miniature version of "Solaris," was the best episode of the entire third season. The original work won the 1999 Hugo Award for Best Short Story, written by American science fiction writer Michael Swanwick, who has won 5 Hugo Awards and 1 Nebula Award. A book called "Poems of the Old Days" appeared in the film, and the author's name written on the cover was Michael Swanwick.

In the story, the protagonist and colleagues encounter an accident while exploring Io and must return to the lander before the oxygen runs out. Along the way, she used hallucinogenic drugs to maintain her physical strength and dragged her dead colleague for a long distance, but she heard a voice claiming to be Io on the radio, "she" recited the beautiful verse in the dead man's heart, and said Persuade the protagonist to join the collective consciousness of Io.

In the well-received sci-fi drama "The Expanse" in recent years, there is also a plot where one of the heroines is infected by a virus, and her consciousness and the near-Earth asteroid "Eros" become one.

▲ In "The Vast Sky", Julie and Eros become one

"The Pulse of the Machine" pays tribute to the French comic master Mobis, who has many space opera or cyberpunk paintings, and his representative work "Arzach" has influenced "The Fifth Element", "Abyss", "Alien" and "Planet". It is said that Japanese artists such as Hayao Miyazaki, Katsuhiro Otomo, Naoki Urasawa, and Daiyo Matsumoto were also deeply influenced by a series of Hollywood sci-fi films such as "The Great War".

▲ Io flickers, with Jupiter's Great Red Spot clearly visible in the background

Simple lines and bright colors, Io does not have too many complicated environmental details. In a pure dim yellow, the protagonist is on the verge of the limit of physical strength and endurance, and finally gives up the physical body and integrates into Io with thinking.

The Io in the story is similar to the "Solaris" written by science fiction writer Lem, and is itself a "mirror". Before the arrival of human beings, it was the reflection of itself and all things; after the arrival of human beings, this planet may reflect the logic of intelligent creatures. The planet is pure, there is no so-called "subjective emotion", it just "replicates" human memory without purpose, as well as all kinds of confusion, paranoia and confusion.

▲ "Solaris" was made into the film "Flying into Space" by director Tarkovsky (1972)

Human beings are trapped in the labyrinth of the consciousness of the planet, rather than the labyrinth of their own consciousness. Li He wrote two poems about this situation: "If you can hold a sword to someone, you can't understand how to hold a license."

In the vast universe, human beings can only use themselves as a measure. However, the universe may not abide by such a scale, and this is also the eternal helplessness of human beings, who must be imprisoned by physical, chemical and biological scales. If there is a planet that allows people to change scales, can we resist such a temptation?

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