Narcons and Ethics
In class, we talked about how the Narcons are almost human like because they have emotions and can lie. We also talked about how Narcons seem to be like the subconscious. The characters in the book are not aware that they are there. Well almost no one is aware they are there, Xanther seems pretty aware that something is there.
My thought process going through the Narcon section in the middle of the book was that there are these seemingly computer programs that have human intelligence somehow controlling the actions of the characters in the book, or at least have a say in the actions of the characters in the book. We have not really talked about the ethical dilemma this brings up. How do people feel about having this computer program (technology) basically controlling the world we are getting to know within this book? What does this say about how society is progressing?
Another earlier post that I read talked about when we find out that the Narcons are really the best part of the characters we are learning to love that it was disappointing but at the same time was not. It seems like society is moving towards it being more believable and okay for something like this to happen. Are we moving towards that? Is society moving towards basically a person’s “being” living on a computer for all eternity?
As a Genetics major, I am required to take a Science and Values Philosophy class at Clemson to discuss the morality of science and technology in advancing society. I remember during this class that the topic of the conscious being uploaded to a computer to essentially make someone live on infinitely. In a room full of science majors the idea seemed cool but at the same time terrifying. It was terrifying because the thought of computers ruling the world came to mind but it was cool because the thought that it was even possible seemed intriguing.
I have spent a lot of time confused reading this book, but it was not necessarily about what was going on within the storylines of the book that confused me it was more of what is Danielewski trying to say behind the story. From his other books, we can tell that he is gifted and he thinks differently than most, but there is always reason to his madness. Now with this book I begin to wonder what types of questions lie beneath the already confusing universe he has created.
Can we perhaps even start talking about how the idea of Narcons is so familiar yet foreign? Is it even ethically okay for Narcons to exist? If Narcons are animals, could they be the kitten, and if kittens/cats are associated with evil things then is Danielewski saying that this type of technology could potentially be dangerous?
All of these questions and more keep popping up as I read the book and as I get closer and closer to the end the idea of all seeing technology doesn’t seem as farfetched to me because it seems that we as society is already making it that way with how much we post about ourselves and our lives on the internet.