March 23, 2009

A formative moment: Superman 3 and the 'robot scene'

I can't even begin to tell you how disturbing this was to me as an impressionable 13-year old. It literally gave me nightmares and I had a hard time shaking it off. It was my first encounter with the suggestion that our minds and flesh could intertwine with our technologies.

This image, that of a person being forcibly turned into a controllable machine, has stuck with me ever since; it was, in retrospect, an undeniably potent formative experience. Even as a teenager, the thought of having synthetic components work in conjunction with and override our biological functions was all too plausible.

Perhaps it is this nightmarish vision that has drawn me to transhumanism, and with it a strong desire to see these technologies work in our favor rather than against it.


TheEggMan said...

I wonder if every trans-humanist can point to an experience like this. For me, it was the scene in the Matrix where you first see the needle pulled from the back of Neo's skull. I don't mean to imply that there is a casual connection between these scenes and our views, but definitely a commonality.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about it's deeper affects, but I do know that it did used to scare the hell out of me too!

I really don't like film scenes where people are destroyed in quite graphic ways - be it like this or more bloody movies (horror, gory action films etc). It's always made me feel queasy.

Anonymous said...

I was 7 when I saw this at the cinema as a kid and it terrified me!

Alexander Wolfe said...

Good God...I haven't seen that movie in I don't even know how long. I had forgotten how much that scene terrified me (I was probably about 10 when I saw the film.) Thanks for helping me recover that memory!