Thinking through the technology, philosophy, morality, and politics of Black Mirror
"Smithereens" (with special guest, James Buchanan "Bru" Wallace)
Dr. James Buchanan ("Bru") Wallace joins Dr. J to talk about religion, techniques of the self, guilt, the imperative to look up from your screen and see others, and "Smithereens."
"Hang the DJ" (with special guest, John Torrey)
Dr. John Torrey joins Dr. J to talk about whether or not we each have (and can find) "The One," dating apps, the freedom to make bad choices, simulated relationships, and "Hang the DJ."
"Bandersnatch" (with special guest, Eric Steinhart)
Dr. Eric Steinhart joins Dr. J to talk about navigating compossible worlds and timelines, tech gods (and monsters), mental illness, books that (maybe) shouldn't be read, and "Bandersnatch."
"Metalhead" (with special guest, Roman V. Yampolskiy)
Dr. Roman V. Yampolyskiy joins Dr. J to talk about robot dogs, poker playing AIs, the control problem, how long we have left before the rise of the machines, what it would be like to be a superintelligence's pet, and "Metalhead."
"Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too" (with special guest, Karen Tongson)
Dr. Karen Tongson joins Dr. J to talk about celebrity, what makes pop music "popular," karaoke queerness, our digital afterlives, and "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too."
"White Bear" (with special guest, Charles W. Mills)
For Episode 17, I am joined by Dr. Charles Mills to talk about punishment, non-ideal theories of justice, why philosophers love science fiction, and "White Bear" (Season 2, Episode 2 of Black Mirror), which first premiered in 2013.
Dr. Charles W. Mills is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at The Graduate Center, CUNY. He works in the general area of social and political philosophy, particularly in oppositional political theory as centered on class, gender, and race. He is the author of over a hundred journal articles, book chapters, comments and replies, and six books. His first book, The Racial Contract (Cornell UP, 1997), won a Myers Outstanding Book Award for the study of bigotry and human rights in America. His second book, Blackness Visible: Essays on Philosophy and Race (Cornell UP, 1998), was a finalist for the award for the most important North American work in social philosophy of that year. Other books are: From Class to Race: Essays in White Marxism and Black Radicalism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), Contract and Domination (co-authored with Carole Pateman) (Polity, 2007), which brings the sexual and racial contracts together, and Radical Theory, Caribbean Reality (University of the West Indies Press, 2010). His most recent book is Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism (Oxford UP, 2017).
Here at BLACK MIRROR REFLECTIONS, we assume that everyone is already committed to read more, write more, think more, and be more... so here's a helpful list of links to thinkers, technologies, books, and articles referenced in this episode:
Lex talionis and retribution (an animated explanation, with Kant!)
Susan Schneider, Science Fiction and Philosophy: From Time Travel to Superintelligence (2009)
John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (1971)
John Rawls, Justice as Fairness: A Restatement (2001)
Charles Mills, "Ideal Theory as Ideology" (Hypatia, 2005)
Retributive Justice (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
Amy Louise Wood, Lynching as Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940
Ellen E. Jones, "From mammy to Ma; Hollywood's favourite racist stereotype" (BBC, 2019)
Layla Eplett, "Not Gone With The Wind: The Perpetuation of the Mammy Stereotype" (Scientific American, 2015)
Elizabeth Perez, "Black Mirrors: Reimagining Race, Technology, and Justice"
Ruja Benjamin, Race after Technology: Abolitionist Codes for the New Jim Crow (2019)
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Thought provoking, with an excellent host.