Sonntag, 13. April 2014

In Time. In Time? Just In Time. Not In Time?

In-Time everybody will be a Hollywood-super model.
In-Time is a classical Hollywood blockbuster from 2011 made by Andrew Niccol (The Trueman Show) and starring Justin Timberlake in the main-role. Though it is a typical Hollywood-movie with all the clichés you can think of, it manages very well to take that aesthetic and it's all-time-the-same characters, stereotypes and twists and use it (I am somewhat reluctant to say against it self - but at least) very productively.
It is set in a future world in which death has been abolished thanks to gen-technology - every human grows until he reaches an age of 26. After that, he will stay in that state forever (causing a funny side-effect: every body - mothers in their 50ies, old men far beyond their 100th birthday, etc. looks like a super-model in their best years - way to solve that problem, Hollywood!) 
Or would stay forever. For this utopia of abolished death has of course one huge side-effect: massive over-population in no time. To get a grip on this problem, authorities were forced to equalize money and time. That is to say: time became the new currency. When you turn 26, a countdown of one year shows up on your forearm, counting down the time you have left to live. Rich people's kids instantly get a few hundred years transferred to their account, while the less privileged commence a stressful life in pursuit of some more time to live.
The world, in which In-Time is set, is divided into different zones of wealth. While in the slum zones people rarely have more wealth than they require to get through the next day, people in the rich zones have millennia on their ever-26-year-old forearms. So in the poorer zones you rarely see people sitting or strolling, because everybody is hurriedly running around in desperate pursuit of a few more minutes to live. Contrary to that, inhabitants of the rich zones deliberately move extra-slow and take hours to get through their fancy dinners, for it is a sign of wealth to take your time.
That portrayed future world is a free world - as is as often repeated as to enable even the least minded viewer to draw that parallel to the US. In this free world everybody is able to move around freely, to do as they please - in pursuit of happiness and a few more hours to live it with. But of course there is a catch: the borders of the zones are only passable for those, who are able to pay the toll. From the lowest zone to the next, it might be a day you'll have to spent - the higher you rise in the zones, the higher is the toll - resulting in the price of centuries to access the zone of the elite.
So - in theory everybody is able to go around freely as they please, in practice the poor people are constricted to their miserable slum zones like prisons, because nobody of the poor can afford the toll necessary to escape the slum. So the poor stay the poor, because with all the classical vicious circles and gang brutalities happening in their zone, plus the absence of any chance for sufficient income, nobody will ever rise. The world is free, but it costs your life to change your status.
"the king stays the king"

I've been travelling quite a lot in the last few months. My biggest journey brought me to Indonesia -  the 4th biggest country of the world (in population). In its capital Jakarta I hung out with a friend's friend, who is a journalist for television - which is a very well paid, "elite" kind of job there. She told me, that she earns about 750 $ per month - which is about three times the average income (245 $). I was baffled to understand, that I - as a "poor" student with a little secretaries job to live from, have more at my disposal then she does - a well established, highly paid journalist.
The - unbelievably high - average income of my so called home country is 4.000 $. So, in Austrian standards, my Jakarta friend would be earning an incredible sum of 12.000 $ a year.
Unfortunately she hasn't been as lucky as I have in terms of where she was born. When we parted after a couple of days, I invited her to pay me a visit in Vienna and asked her, if she has any plans to come. She said that she would love to come, but a flight to Europe is virtually unaffordable for an Indonesian - how ever well they are paid in their country.
I paid 915 $ for my flight to Jakarta.
Some time later I've been to Istanbul. One of my friends there is a studied Anglicist who is now working as a English teacher in a private institute - she told me that she works about 55 hours a week and gets about 2.000 Turkish Lira per month for that. Due to the stone-age dinosaurs who run that country at the moment, the Lira has dropped a lot in value in the recent years. 2.000 Lira are about 900 $ today. Some other friends of mine told me, that they planed to travel to Germany in summer, but now, with the Lira only worth a third of a Euro (five years ago it was 1.5 to 1), they can't afford to come any longer.
It seems like Turkey has dropped to some lower zone in this free world.

Has anybody noticed this NASA-funded study predicting humanity to collapse and become extinct due to modern civilisation? (link) We can be pretty sure that this is a typical piece of classical American Apocaypticism, but it still is interesting to see how drastic the words of some scientists need to become and still how (relatively) little attention it receives.
Anyway, it claims to have studied the decline of every major civilisation in the last 5.000 years and has worked out that there are two factors which are to be found in the collapse of every one of them. The two factors are closely connected. The first one is unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. The second is unequal distribution of wealth.
Because we all one this planet today share one global civilisation and both of these factors are very high, the study doesn't see a chance for mankind.

In Gilles Deleuze's Le Pli from 1988, he analyses the metaphysical system of Leibniz and claims, that he, Leibniz, has found the prior non-existent metaphysics of the baroque period. He goes on to claim, that we are still Leibnizians - the basic assumptions are applicable to our post-modern world. But, of course, we also defer from it. Whereas the baroque period is enclosed by Monadology, we today pursue a Nomadology. In our Modern world the system of Monads can not enclose the world in one closed system - no, it "opens up on a trajectory or spiral, that is continuously moving away from its center." For that, it seems to be ever moving. From pre-stabilized harmonics of a perfect closed system, to the harmonics of constant movement wrapped in a semi-stabilized system, that might make it hard to see where it is actually going.
The question is - what is harming our civilisation - or world, environment - more? Monadology or Nomadology? Is it the nomad's movement or the monad's inertia?


Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen