I finally am getting around to examining “Black Mirror,” the British anthology series that explores, sometimes in a science fiction context, ethics issues involving technology. It is a critical hit, and has just had its third season posted on Netflix.
Technology ethics is a dynamic and crucial topic. I sure hope the series is better than the first episode, “National Anthem.”
If you are going to do a series about ethics, knowing something about ethics is mandatory. This episode is so absurd and its resolution so idiotic that it’s barely worth analyzing, No spoiler alert necessary, because I’m only going to reveal what would be in any preview synopsis. The Royal Family’s princess is kidnapped by terrorists—I think that’s a fair description—and they release a video on YouTube in which the terrified young woman announces that she will be executed unless the Prime Minister has live sex with a pig, on all TV networks.
The rest of the episode’s 60 minutes involves the PM’s “ethical dilemma” as social media weighs in and his staff and family apply various kinds of pressure. I wouldn’t waste an Ethics Quiz on this alleged “dilemma.” Continue reading