Author Topic: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show  (Read 8791 times)

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2020, 08:40:36 PM »
Do you have to join a subreddit to post in it? I feel like if you did it'd hugely skew things towards people who actively like the show.

chveik

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2020, 08:45:50 PM »
I had a look on the subreddit (never know where to look since IMDb forums closed) and very few people seem to have raised any issue with it, which was surprising.

fucked off tv shows subreddits a few years ago. they'd become too sycophantic for me.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2020, 08:56:54 PM »
Oh yeah, this one is definitely that. You’d think Garland was the new Kubrick, way people are chatting about him there. But I’m still surprised no one’s mentioned how bizarre it was to lead with that as an historical event. Even assuming there was a single, well-documented Jesus Christ, even assuming we could determine exactly when and where he was crucified, there’s still not much chance it would’ve looked like, as someone else said, a Renaissance painting. Just seems like there could’ve been far more believable events to choose from if Garland wasn’t so wedded to his sledgehammer God/Machine analogies. Even Joan of Arc was pushing it a bit.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2020, 09:12:01 PM »
Just seems like there could’ve been far more believable events to choose from if Garland wasn’t so wedded to his sledgehammer God/Machine analogies.
Contempt for the audience, innit? No faith that they'd be able to get what's going on with any other option.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2020, 08:21:16 AM »
Yeah, possibly. Then again, judging by that subreddit anyway, it’s working well - the consensus seems to be that it’s one of the smartest shows ever made. I don’t consider myself especially smart, certainly not when it comes to the sciences, but I don’t think there are any concepts or metaphysical theories explored in Devs that haven’t been mentioned in The Big Bang Theory (probably). The central premise (determinism vs. multiverse etc.) has been a staple of sci-fi since the beginning, so it’s a pity that a lot of this show’s runtime involves characters explaining this to each other. I don’t think anyone’s expecting Primer, but you’re right in that it’s handholding to a detriment. The fact that this latest episode spends almost the entirety of its runtime with someone sitting down and explaining everything is unforgivable, really, especially when the previous five hours had gone out of their way to contrive a character to narrate everything we’re seeing.

Puce Moment

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2020, 09:38:19 AM »
I found that to be a particularly duff episode, with tons of exposition.

Jamie getting friendly with Ron Swanson was ridiculous.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2020, 10:39:58 AM »
I liked that one more than the previous one. I find Katie quite unsettling.

surreal

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2020, 12:31:10 PM »
Liked this last episode - opened things out without giving everything away.  So this "event" coming up - would it be Lily managing to do something truly random, or whatever Forrest has been planning causes the shift to another "reality" thus ending this one?

I did wonder if they would have something like a teleporter from one reality to another, them being able to track everything down to the quantum level would make sense of that and the whole thing with the rat coming back to life makes me wonder if they have a way to get that from a different reality where it didn't die.

I like that I'm still invested enough to speculate anyway - really hoping he manages to stick the landing on this.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2020, 12:58:49 PM »
It's another rip off of world on a wire and the reason it can't predict beyond that point it is because lily hops out and shuts it down.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2020, 04:51:51 PM »
I did briefly wonder if the thing that causes causality to break down would be Lily deliberately not doing the thing that she's supposedly predestined to do, but surely that would be too pat.

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #40 on: April 04, 2020, 11:15:08 PM »
Finally caught up with it. I've been watching it with Mrs Alberon because there isn't much we both want to watch at the moment. It's interesting. I'm an old hand with Science Fiction so I know the basic ideas and arguments. Ten years ago one of the experiments I used to set up for physics students was the double slit one where single photons acted as a wave until observed collapsing to a particle[1].

Mrs Alberon has no interested in that sort of thing, but she's got the idea that the argument is between determinism and true free will.

As to what will happen in 21 hours? I'm hoping it's not simply the destruction of the machine. I can't see what Lily could possibly do to that isn't effect following cause, even staying away because she was told she went to Devs would be effect following cause. I do worry the series will end on some very pretty but very vague visuals that could mean anything. Too many films of this sort end like that.

Of course, in reality, this sort of Devs computer cannot exist. You cannot nail down the speed and location of a single fundamental particle like an electron. And without that your prediction slides from reality pretty damn quickly. But I'm also a determinist. We don't really have true free will. We have a wide range of choices, but not absolute freedom of thought.

I also think a related question (but probably not one Devs will address) is the fundamental origin of all things. Everything has a reason, going back to the big bang and beyond. But eventually you have to reach the true fundamental things that have no reason for existing. They just are.
 1. Or expanding the entanglement to the observer. My own personal belief is that there is only one universe (no parallel universes side by side) and all the different choices are merely expaning bubbles withing bubbles of entanglement.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2020, 07:13:54 PM »
The destruction of the machine wouldn't be a satisfying reason for the cut-off of their future vision. If they can look back in time beyond when the machine was created, it stands to reason they could look forward in time beyond when the machine would be destroyed.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2020, 07:33:54 PM »
The destruction of the machine wouldn't be a satisfying reason for the cut-off of their future vision. If they can look back in time beyond when the machine was created, it stands to reason they could look forward in time beyond when the machine would be destroyed.

Not if the machine contains a simulation of the universe and destroying the machine also destroys the simluation.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2020, 08:08:21 PM »
Not if the machine contains a simulation of the universe and destroying the machine also destroys the simluation.

But if the machine can run the simulation into the future, why wouldn't it be able to run the simulation further into the future than it exists, the same way it can run it further into the past than it existed?

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #44 on: April 09, 2020, 07:20:54 AM »
Anyone see that yet? A proper ‘sake episode if ever I saw one.

surreal

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #45 on: April 09, 2020, 12:29:07 PM »
Watching it in a while, so not even sure why I'm in this thread let alone posting....

Zero Gravitas

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2020, 12:54:00 AM »
But if the machine can run the simulation into the future, why wouldn't it be able to run the simulation further into the future than it exists, the same way it can run it further into the past than it existed?

But it's also shown that the many worlds interpretation is true in the doubling effect shots, and Katie and Stewart's dialog, so in order to predict the future something must be collapsing it, the machine I assume, up until a point that it doesn't exist anymore and chaos has free reign again.

I have a dim recollection that one of the outcomes of the oracle paradoxes is that in the presence of an oracle that can (semi-)accurately predict the future causes can have effects backwards in time, so as much as it smells a bit of 'no ontological inertia' it has a sort of basis, not to mention that the closure that: Forest in his grief over inability to cope with the random death of his family sucks randomness out of the universe; has an expected ring to it.

I'd assume Katie is aware of all of this but never mention(ed|s) it.

surreal

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2020, 08:31:03 AM »
But it's also shown that the many worlds interpretation is true in the doubling effect shots, and Katie and Stewart's dialog, so in order to predict the future something must be collapsing it, the machine I assume, up until a point that it doesn't exist anymore and chaos has free reign again.

So by having the machine they are kind of creating the many-worlds effect?  Is that like the observer principle that by observing something you change it?  Is that why the original rule about no looking ahead?  I'm confused.  But fascinated.

Zero Gravitas

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2020, 09:49:58 PM »
So by having the machine they are kind of creating the many-worlds effect?

The opposite, by using the machine they're collapsing the 'many-words' into one future; the future in devs was previously a rich superposition of thousands of possibilities but their machine collapsed all of them that down to one - the prediction it simulates. As you say all very similar to the observer effect but their observation using the machine encompasses and collapses the space of the entire universe.

I got the impression that the no-looking-head rule was just a rule to keep them all sane, given the reactions of the team looking at a 1s prediction in ep7 and Katie's general state of mind after regularly looking into the future, that seems a reasonable precaution.

Alberon

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #49 on: April 12, 2020, 10:08:04 PM »
In the latest episode Forrest was talking about how change is getting faster and faster as he’s watching the cavemen. Changes that took thousands of years are now happening quicker. This suggests to me a different answer to why the machine can’t predict beyond a certain point.

There’s an idea in science that technology will evolve exponentially. At a certain point that graph becomes virtually vertical - all possible development happens at once. This is called the Singularity, a point beyond which all prediction becomes impossible. (Another version of the Singularity is if AI evolves beyond us - again it is impossible for us to predict beyond that point as we can’t comprehend what an AI that intelligent could do).

Quite why the Devs machine would reach that point is unclear though.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #50 on: April 13, 2020, 07:58:05 AM »
In the latest episode Forrest was talking about how change is getting faster and faster as he’s watching the cavemen. Changes that took thousands of years are now happening quicker. This suggests to me a different answer to why the machine can’t predict beyond a certain point.

There’s an idea in science that technology will evolve exponentially. At a certain point that graph becomes virtually vertical - all possible development happens at once. This is called the Singularity, a point beyond which all prediction becomes impossible. (Another version of the Singularity is if AI evolves beyond us - again it is impossible for us to predict beyond that point as we can’t comprehend what an AI that intelligent could do).

Quite why the Devs machine would reach that point is unclear though.

Being able to look ahead and discover technological advancements from the future could certainly lead rather rapidly to the point at which all possible development happens at once.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #51 on: April 13, 2020, 09:29:55 AM »
I see this is on BBC2, 9pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, starting this Wednesday.

Zero Gravitas

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #52 on: April 13, 2020, 08:57:59 PM »
There's a qualitative difference between being unable to foresee rapid technological and social change and losing the ability to perfectly predict all particles in the universe though innit.

If the technological singularity is part of the finale I'll be disappointed and confused, not least as it's a little passe at this point.

Alberon

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #53 on: April 13, 2020, 10:13:57 PM »
Then maybe the universe we're watching is a simulation too (boxes within boxes) and the machine can't see beyond that specific point as that's where the simulation they're all living in is shut down.

Zero Gravitas

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #54 on: April 13, 2020, 10:26:32 PM »
If you're referring to the comments in ep7 I read that more of a statement that the simulation must be simulating itself perfectly and recursively not that there was any dependency of the higher level simulations on the lower.

Them being n levels down in a simulation doesn't sit well with me unless there's an unseen framing story where Forrest is using the 0th level simulation to find a space where his family didn't die, but even that's slightly disappointing as it has that top level symmetry breaking of an 'ultimate reality' a totally new track for a show that's otherwise pretty focused on the line between chaos and determinism.

Alberon

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #55 on: April 13, 2020, 10:34:52 PM »
I still worry that what we'll get is a visually gorgeous, but very ambiguous, ending.

Zero Gravitas

  • What I gotta do to get your bovine visna?
Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #56 on: April 13, 2020, 10:51:37 PM »
They've been pretty explicit about the nature of their world alongside ther love of floating golden menger sponges so far, I hold out hope.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 11:07:18 PM by Zero Gravitas »

surreal

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #57 on: April 14, 2020, 10:19:54 AM »
The opposite, by using the machine they're collapsing the 'many-words' into one future; the future in devs was previously a rich superposition of thousands of possibilities but their machine collapsed all of them that down to one - the prediction it simulates. As you say all very similar to the observer effect but their observation using the machine encompasses and collapses the space of the entire universe.

This is fascinating... so really maybe Forest has condemned his daughter in all other realities by building the machine.

Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #58 on: April 16, 2020, 09:55:34 AM »
Oh, fuck off.

Deus my arse. What's the betting he came up with that little gem first, and built the plot around it?

surreal

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Re: Devs (2020) - new Alex Garland show
« Reply #59 on: April 16, 2020, 03:39:57 PM »
Uh oh... not watching it til later...

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