Black Mirror : San Junipero Theory…

San Junipero Theory…

After finishing the San Junipero episode I had an idea. Everyone thinks it's this happy ending where once a person dies, there consciousness is saved in the digital world, and there essentially live forever or until they tire of it and decide to die.

But the show has had episodes reference and parallel other episodes before. I can't remember which, but there is an episode in S2 that references S1E3. Someone was watching tv and Sonja and the HotShot tv show pop up briefly.

It got me thinking, what if it was a situation like in White Christmas? Where they use that technology to basically copy someone and place it into a computer. The girl who was copied for a computer servant of herself didn't even know she was a copy. What if the "dead" people in San Junipero are just copies and not the actual people? That alone (if it were the case) would be extremely sad in my opinion, thus darkening the seemingly happy ending a little.

Or am I just overthinking this? Just an idea I had. Love this show, can wait for S4.

Re: San Junipero Theory…

That was my interpretation of the events as well. That's the only way technology like that would work really. It's a copy, not a transfer. There's a whole game based on that exact premise, called Soma. It's one of my favorites.

Re: San Junipero Theory…

My whole theory was also because of that game. Soma is great!

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This episode reminded me to Soma as well.

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It reminded you OF Soman, not to Soma.

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This is how I understood things as well. People play with a copy of themselves, and when they die the copy lives on in the machine but becomes less alive because it no longer has the rider guiding it.

Kelly and Greg talk about this in the hospital.



Thor 2-Attack of the Clones-The 5th Element the trifecta of bad movies.

Re: San Junipero Theory…

In computers, a transfer is just a copy in which the original has been deleted. ;-)

Re: San Junipero Theory…

Oh, come on, man, i was going to play that *beep* At least leave a spoiler alert

Re: San Junipero Theory…

but a copy of you is still you

Re: San Junipero Theory…

I disagree..a copy of you is data living in a cookie. It's not you.

Re: San Junipero Theory…

Who cares if it's a copy or a cookie or whatever? I thought it was a terrific concept, and I loved the use of the Belinda Carlisle song, "Heaven is a Place on Earth." What's horrifying about the idea of forever existing in an idyllic place at your most youthful and vital time of your life? Who wouldn't want that? Isn't that how some people idealize heaven? Being with loved ones in some sort of paradise? San Junipero is about a corporation that creates that existence, at least digitally. I know people want to read something sinister and horrifying into the episode, and maybe it is on some levels, but I thought it looked pretty cool to move around decades to get a taste of what time period you wanted to spend eternity.

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It does look cool and in all honesty I'd probably give it a go for a while before permanently deleting myself. I just don't think I'd be able to forget that San Junipero isn't real and neither were all the permanent residents I was interacting with. I'd probably end up in the Quagmire along with all the other people who couldn't truly fool themselves into believing it was all real, who couldn't ever forget they were just data packages floating around a server.

I too loved the use of Belinda Carlisle's song but I also saw double meanings in the lyrics.

Re: San Junipero Theory…

Not at all. A copy is a copy, not the original.

The mind that is you would not live on, only a copy that thinks it is you.

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> Not at all. A copy is a copy, not the original.

When it is an exact copy, it *IS* you. It *IS* the original.

If you doubt that, then I challenge you to tell me the difference between the original and an exact copy. Look up "Turing Test".

--
What Would Jesus Do For A Klondike Bar (WWJDFAKB)?

Re: San Junipero Theory…

The difference is whether or not your consciousness is interrupted or actually transferred.

Re: San Junipero Theory…

> The difference is whether or not your consciousness is interrupted or actually transferred.

Okay, during the 1 second that it takes to do the transfer, you can tell the difference. However, one second after the transfer, no one can tell the difference between the original and an exact copy -- that's what we mean by "exact".

--
What Would Jesus Do For A Klondike Bar (WWJDFAKB)?

Re: San Junipero Theory…

If the consciousness is stopped and replicated elsewhere then there is a difference to the original consciousness. No one else including the new copy could tell the difference except for the original - which is dead. Since continuing that original consciousness is the entire purpose, it's a pretty important detail.

Re: San Junipero Theory…

> If the consciousness is stopped and replicated elsewhere then there is a difference to the original consciousness.

What is this difference you speak of? And remember, it is an EXACT copy. Go.

--
What Would Jesus Do For A Klondike Bar (WWJDFAKB)?

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The difference is that the original is dead and the other is alive.

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> The difference is that the original is dead and the other is alive.

You are still not understanding the meaning of the word, "exact".

Look, if there is ANY difference, it's not an exact copy. If you can tell them apart by any method, it is not an exact copy.

--
What Would Jesus Do For A Klondike Bar (WWJDFAKB)?

Re: San Junipero Theory…

No one can tell if the consciousness of the original is dead or if the same consciousness continues in new "exact" copy, that's the whole point...

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Correct. "no one can tell" = "no difference".

--
What Would Jesus Do For A Klondike Bar (WWJDFAKB)?

Re: San Junipero Theory…

Oh there's a difference. No one can tell because the only one who would know is dead in this situation, but there's still a difference to that dead person if they could speak. It's a classic star trek transporter situation.

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> It's a classic star trek transporter situation.

I think that years of Star Trek have shown that an exact copy is identical to the original in every way except location.

--
What Would Jesus Do For A Klondike Bar (WWJDFAKB)?

Re: San Junipero Theory…

Star trek itself doesn't even bring up the question. It's the fans who discuss the show.

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Star Trek does address the issue somewhat. Drs. McCoy and Polaski are rather vocal about how they don't trust the technology to make an perfect copy, despite reassurances that, except in cases of a malfunction, they are making an exact copy. Everyone else uses transporters without concern that they are somehow different.

And, of course, Riker was famously duplicated by accident. Crusher declared the two Rikers to be exact copies and each believed themselves to be the original.

The show treats the transporter system as creating exact copies.

--
What Would Jesus Do For A Klondike Bar (WWJDFAKB)?

Re: San Junipero Theory…

I have been scratching my head for a few days now.
To me, SJ is the most odd episode of Black Mirror. It has a happy ending (even though it was preceeded by quite horrifying events, like the death of Kelly's husband and daughter, and Yorkie's accident and being paralyzed).

So I was quite disappointed, so I looked into it and I heard of the copy theory--interesting.

But I haven't noticed anything in this episode that would lead to believe the virtual people populating SJ are copies, though. I don't even see the point. If the folks that run SJ want more "minds" to fill it, I'm pretty sure that if they can load people in it, they also can make copies and tweak them in order to create more characters. What would prevent them from using the 20-years-old version of a dead person aged 70 to create a whole new person? They could even program it to never meet the older version since they can choose in which year they wanna live. Really there are endless possibilities here.

Also I don't think they are copies because the characters in SJ can make significant social encounters, can decide to go places and do something, anything, drive cars, have accidents, and moreover they have feelings--then they are not a simple pile of data... they are not only a mind, but also a soul. They are the person in full. Can you copy a soul? You can perhaps compile and copy memories, images, sounds, like the memories in Blade Runner are implanted in Rachel's brain--but what about what makes us love? Do you think a computer program can do that?

Perhaps SJ is not virtual then...? Perhaps all those bodies are just empty vessels, avatars, into which the cookies are loaded?

And even if they were copies, what's the big deal? If the copy/cookie of the dead person believes it actually IS that person, and carries on just as well, then what's the issue?

I'm trying to find the darkness in this episode and I can't...

________________________________________

- You can't have my brain, i'm using it.
- Hardly!

Re: San Junipero Theory…


And even if they were copies, what's the big deal? If the copy/cookie of the dead person believes it actually IS that person, and carries on just as well, then what's the issue?



Well the big deal is all who go to this company thinking they were going to live on, are actually dead and their consciousness never experiences the new life.

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But they do die, and it's not a problem; we clearly see that Yorkie and Kelly remember perfectly their previous lives. I don't see how it is possible that their consciousness would not have lived on, after their bodies died, when they all are about the wedding and living happily ever after. They do remember what happened to them before, and during their time in SJ.

Being the original or being a copy, the result is the same. Their all enter SJ with the memories of their lives, with their personalities. So they still are that person.

Besides, I don't understand why the company operating SJ would make copies of people... ? What would be the point?

________________________________________

- You can't have my brain, i'm using it.
- Hardly!

Re: San Junipero Theory…


I don't see how it is possible that their consciousness would not have lived on, after their bodies died, when they all are about the wedding and living happily ever after.


Why's it not possible? According to this theory the copies are experiencing those things as perfect replicas but the original are dead. Their consciousness never actually experienced that happy ending, they ceased to exist. The copies have their memories but it doesn't make them the same consciousness.

That's the darker theory although the episode itself doesn't seem intended to be that dark.


Besides, I don't understand why the company operating SJ would make copies of people... ? What would be the point?


To make money, and there's the possibility they have no idea if the original consciousness transfers or not.

Re: San Junipero Theory…

Ok then I see now how it is possible that only after they died, it would be a copie (like a cookie) going to SJ. I have to say though, even if it's not the original, the copie believes he/she is, so I don't see the problem. Customer satisfaction, right? And it's a Matrix-like plot. They took the blue pill. Even if they did not take it on purpose, they are uploaded in a fantasy happy world for ever, instead of being wiped out from the world. So not much to complain about.

But still... how would the SJ makers make money from making copies?

I actually like your idea of the possibility that the loss of the original personality occurs by accident. Much darker. I probably am fed up with plots like 'the big corporation making profits out of innocent people', we see it enough everywhere in movies and in real life already.


________________________________________

- You can't have my brain, i'm using it.
- Hardly!

Re: San Junipero Theory…

You ve grown to be a perfect customer.

my vote history:
http://www.imdb.com/user/ur13767631/ratings

Re: San Junipero Theory…


Besides, I don't understand why the company operating SJ would make copies of people... ? What would be the point?


Exactly. From a pure story-telling device it only works if it's your actual conscious being transferred - not a copy. If it's a copy, you're already dead and no-one gives a toss.

And besides, they clearly talking about "transferring" and that being the point you "pass over" (ie you're pysical body dies).

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Ok, 'Cookie' just got suddenly included even though it does not mean what you people seem to think it does. In any case, basically everything you are is the result of chemical changes in your brain. Human beings are machines, no matter how complex and that does set one of the more compelling questions of the episode on the existence of a soul.

Either way, wondering about the fine mechanics of an anthology series episode is not as important as exploring how the themes relate to the world we live in now or what we think about the subject matter.

Also, doesn't it seem odd that people seem to be ignoring one of the major mechanics of this episode? If the users are entering this virtual world themselves and retaining all the memories of their time there, how is it possible they are just 'copies' afterwards? The episode gives us no reason to believe that they are handicapped by their experience with lines like," Is your pain setting on low?"

Re: San Junipero Theory…

If I make a perfect copy of you there will be two separate versions of you, both claiming to be the original.
To avoid this problem to two versions of you I kill the original.
The consciousness that is you dies, the copy who thinks it's you lives on.

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That's incorrect because beyond the point of the copy you become two distinct individuals who will go on to experience life differently - even if one of you dies and one of you lives. Think of nature vs. nurture - events and life experience in the copy's own life beyond what they previously know from the original will shape them mentally & physically as a person.

This is why identical twins are not considered copies of one another - they are from birth essentially copies but life beyond the womb shapes them into different distinct human beings.

Re: San Junipero Theory…

> That's incorrect because beyond the point of the copy you become two distinct individuals who will go on to experience life differently

Yes, that is true. But, within the context of this episode, that doesn't happen. When a person is copied and sent to San Junipero, the original is asleep and does not acquire any knowledge. At the end of the trip, the experiences of San Junipero are transferred into the original mind and the copy is destroyed. And, when you are ready to be transferred for good, the original is destroyed and only the copy exists. There is never an opportunity for the original and copy to diverge.

--
What Would Jesus Do For A Klondike Bar (WWJDFAKB)?

Re: San Junipero Theory…


When it is an exact copy, it *IS* you. It *IS* the original.


Well.
If you make a copy of you. Then there are 2 'you's.
First the one that was there before. Second, the one that was copied.



Then i shoot the first guy.
Then 'you', the second guy says 'yes, i live forever!'.

But i shot you. You are dead now.
But: There is another guy here, who exactly thinks and feels like you, has same memories, same genes, everything.
So i could send this guy back to your family and it would all be good.


Pharazon wrote:

If I make a perfect copy of you there will be two separate versions of you, both claiming to be the original.
To avoid this problem to two versions of you I kill the original.
The consciousness that is you dies, the copy who thinks it's you lives on.

Totally agree!




If the users are entering this virtual world themselves and retaining all the memories of their time there, how is it possible they are just 'copies' afterwards?

If you connect your brain with the Virtual reality, all is good - you live 'normal', just inside the virtual reality, you hear see feel the Virtual reality. It's like you just watch a movie, but more real. Nothing is copied here. The virtual reality directly interacts with your brain.

But when you have to transfer the brain-data somewhere (usb stick), that's where the problem above arises.


Makarov-324
- totally agree




Naphthous wrote:

I'm really disturbed by the number of people on this board defending the "just a copy, not real" perspective.

The entire point of the cookie plot in White Christmas is how terrifyingly blithely people will assume that a copy is "not real" and that therefore there is no harm in subjecting it to torture and abuse.

People on this board who espouse this theory: you are exactly what this episode is warning us about. Your assumption that there is somehow more to you than there would be to a copy of you, besides being an outdated relic of religious belief, is dangerous and will result in great suffering when advanced artificial life (which, by the way, you yourself might be) comes to pass.

Also, those decrying San Junipero as somehow an empty place because it "isn't real" - do you know the nature of our world? Are you sure it isn't a simulation/creation? If it were, would you just up and kill yourself because it's "not real"?


I don't believe there is a soul and i am an atheist.
Still, in my view if you copy the brain, then kill the brain, then you are dead. For you, the story ends. For another person, with exact same memories and everything - it begins. And he believes he is you, and in many aspects he is.

Only: If i buy Jupinero from this company, i personally will not see it. (other than a visitor while i am still alive). Cause i will be dead.


Re: San Junipero Theory…

> But when you have to transfer the brain-data somewhere (usb stick), that's where the problem above arises.

What problem is that? There are now two of you. You each begin your own separate lives from that point forward. I don't see any problem at all.

> Still, in my view if you copy the brain, then kill the brain, then you are dead.

Nope. If an exact copy is made and the original is destroyed, you are not dead at all.

Consider this. Let's say that I make an exact copy of your wife -- exact, down to the molecule. Then, I take the original and the copy behind a screen, make them dance in circles for a while so that no one knows which is which -- not even me (and remember, each thinks she is the original), bring them out and then kill one. Is your wife dead? How can you tell?

> If i buy Jupinero from this company, i personally will not see it. (other than a visitor while i am still alive). Cause i will be dead.

As shown in the episode, everyone who goes to San Jupinero knows what is going on. Either you are just visiting or you are a permanent resident and you know that your original body died and you are now just a bunch of floating electrons. No one has any doubt at all as to whether they are dead or alive.

--
What Would Jesus Do For A Klondike Bar (WWJDFAKB)?

Re: San Junipero Theory…

If I stepped into a cloning machine and created a copy of myself, I wouldn't shoot myself in the head under the pretense that the copy of me is still me. From my perspective, I'd still be dead.

Re: San Junipero Theory…


If I stepped into a cloning machine and created a copy of myself, I wouldn't shoot myself in the head under the pretense that the copy of me is still me. From my perspective, I'd still be dead.


Very clear, totally agree!


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If it were a copy of you being sent to the digital ever after, then why the drama? When Kelly first doesn't want to join Yorkie in SJ forever, no problem, cause she actually wouldn't if it were just a copy that was going. The copy will think it's you, act like you, have your memeories and personality, but it wouldn't be you. There is nothing to agonize over. You're not actually going to SJ forever.

Now if they don't know that, then it is a truly dark episode where the whole operation is a fraud. It would mean that they believe they are going to SJ when they die but after you die it's not you, but a copy that goes. You are not getting what you paid for. Probably being mined for their memories etc, so that the copies can add background/atmosphere/additional interactions for those who are still alive and visiting temporarily.

This is a probable scenario, but I think the episode would have hinted at it more if that were the case. There's way too much going on in that theory to leave completely open. I still think the fact that they agonize whether to go or not, that they actually go when they are alive to test-drive it, that you have to get permission from a guardian/next of kin to go after they die, and that you can switch it off whenever, it was really them in SJ in the afterlife, not just their copies. Also, the copies in White Christmas were property, given no choice and not treated humanely...this was quite the opposite.

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Maybe it's a different perpeftive or impression.
Because they have less say in whether or not their "original" is getting deleted by death, they consider their soul follows their consciousness. They have chosen to put their consciousness into the computer instead of risking it in an actual afterlife or just nothingness, and so their soul (if the believe in that) follows it there instead of where it would have gone naturally.Their "original file" is getting deleted, not "moved" to an external hard-drive in the sky.

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I get what you're saying, but think the original message was more along the lines of White Chrismas. What if the 'consciousness' in SJ was not you, not your essence, not your soul..whatever you choose to call it. What if it were just a digital copy that has your memories. It thinks it's you, but you are gone to wherever we go when we pass and what's left behind is something entirely different...but thinks it's you (ala White Chrstmas). At least that's what I think the om was positing as a theory. Enjoyed your other perspective too.

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I think the part about her dead husband and daughter is the tragic part. Sure, these two may live happily, but introducing this type of immortality makes death much harder to handle, and the husband was so devastated by his daughter dying that he chose to die. I think this is the true tragedy.

Re: San Junipero Theory…

This exactly.

While the story may have a 'happy' ending, the dark social commentary about technology (a Black Mirror staple) is all still there. How can it be a proper afterlife if she can never be with her loved ones again?

And I'm sorry, but comparatively speaking, this is a fling. Her life with her husband was real love. But, for now, she's having fun. Or at least the copy of her is ...

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Good point about the fling as well. That was touched upon pretty well in the episode with her stressing of however many years her and her husband were together. And yes, the whole copy thing is another facet.

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Yes, her life with her husband and daughter was real love. It made me wonder that she chose San Junipero after such an impassioned explanation. However, you can't insist that a person only gets one "real love" in a lifetime. Why is her next real love less valid for you?

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You notice how they had the tab on Yorki's temple, and were doing the transfer prior to pulling the plug on Yorki? If it was simply a digital transfer of copied information they would have no need to do that since its already uploaded...They could have just pulled the plug and called it a day.

The fact that they do keep the tab on her head and begin uploading prior to pulling the plug on Yorki tells me its a literal transference of information. So Its not exactly being copied..It is actually them


This would also imply that people who die suddenly don't have this luxury.



However,if you go with the theory that they are still dead and these are just copies its not exactly dark or sad.

The black chick faced a dilemma.


Choose to die and hope that there is an afterlife to be reunited with her husband and child

Or

Assured Immortality and being with someone she cares about..But never find that ultimate truth if she really could have been reunited with her husband and child.

In this regard she made both choices fulfilled


Yorki...Well she was completely paralyzed her whole life and wasn't experiencing much of anything. So her suffering would be gone.

Re: San Junipero Theory…

Any copy they have would not be up to date. That's why they have to make 1 last copy, to get the latest information from the person's head. It's still just a copy of the person.
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