Black Mirror 3.5 Men Against Fire

Men against fire

Values: Mental Filters Valuations, Illusions and Realities

People living peacefully in a village are invaded by a human-like species. These creatures are referred to as cockroaches in the episode. Maybe because they steal food. Their appearance is not very aesthetic, distorted faces, red eyes, neglected teeth, etc.
No wonder the government decides to hire the army to eradicate this evil. The boy Mr. Stripe applies to the army and wants to help. The recruiting process runs as usual. Stripe is tested for fitness. On this occasion, he must also sign a document in which he agrees to the implantation of an electrochemical implant in his brain. He is cautioned that this system, called MASS, sharpens his sensory systems and exposes him to fewer dangers when exposed to the enemy.
Stripe is equally successful in his first assignment – he was able to kill two of the cockroaches. He will be replaced by his superiors “Mrs. Hunter “very much praised. This happens a small, not significant, incident. In close combat with a cockroach, he sees a laser-like device in his hand, with which he lights up rather accidentally in the eye – but this has no immediate consequences. The next day, however, Stripe feels mental disturbances that have a similar effect to short interference on the TV. With this problem he turns to the psychologist of his unit. There, no disturbance is found and he continues to be declared fit for service.

At the next use it happens. Stripe no longer sees cockroaches, but only more normal humans, where his comrades are still fighting with cockroaches. He no longer understands the world – why his unit suddenly starts on ordinary civilians. According to his ethical, moral ideas, he helps these threatened people and opposes their own unity. Now it becomes clear to those responsible that something is wrong in their mental system (the implanted MASS).
In a conversation, the psychologist explains to him what this MASS actually does in his brain. It does not sharpen his senses, but distorts them. A filter ensures that a certain type of people looks like cockroaches. This disgusting appearance should motivate the soldiers to reduce the “shooting inhibition”. It is much easier for humans to kill a disgusting-looking being than an aesthetically beautiful one.
Soldiers do not always aim at the opponent’s head in combat situations, but very often a little bit over it. This realization was found during the Second World War during the invasion of the Allies. In retrospect, psychologists questioned the soldiers in how many cases they were really targeting their opponent, and that was only 25%. Thereupon special training measures were arranged for infantrymen, with which the “killing inhibition” should be reduced.
It takes no great science to understand that disgusting, vile beings are more easily killed than members of the same species. For military leaders it is very important that their own fighters have a horrible picture of the enemy in their heads. The soldier should not always remember that the opposing enemy soldier also has a family, is friendly and wants to live in peace. Therefore, a corresponding enemy image must be generated as a precautionary measure for the conflict on the battlefield. There are some striking examples in the story.

In July 1099, Christian crusaders massacred 70,000 Islamists in Jerusalem. Pope Urban II called in the Synod of Clermont for the first crusade to Jerusalem because “God wants it”. This godly war has been followed by many Westerners. Even the church philosopher Augustinus von Hippo has argued this war with the “divine love”. Christianity has assumed that Jerusalem is the legitimate possession of Christians. In the course of the months-long, arduous march on Jerusalem, the participants themselves told the most gruesome stories about Muslims. Together with the divine commission, the manifest enemy image and the deprivations, most bloodthirsty people arrived in Jerusalem. Legend has it that you could not walk in the city because so many beheaded bodies lay around and the blood flowed like rainwater.
In the recent past, most of us know, the Nazi Jew pogroms are time. Here, too, the people in charge painted such a horrible picture of the Jews that they could only be seen as enemies. This was then a killing machine can be built, with which people were then slaughtered industrially, without the executors would have had a guilty conscience. This massacre then killed 3 million people.
Even more recent, but less well-known, are the massacres of Srebrenicas in July 1995. In the Yugoslavian war at that time, about 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men were murdered by Serbian soldiers. Responsible for this Ratko Mladic. He, too, has resorted to the tried and tested recipe for presenting the alleged enemy in all horror. This argument was more about ethnic cleansing. At that time, 40% of Muslim Bosnians, 30% Bosnian Serbs and 30% Bosnian Croats lived in Herzegovina. That was the original explosive for the Yugoslav war.

There have been such massacres in history, not only in the West, but also in the Asian and American areas. After all, the Europeans have murdered almost all North American natives. The Chinese leadership in 1989, at Tiananmen Square, killed 2,600 students and workers. Even 1,600 years ago, but today more relevant than ever, the massacre of Yasid Husein by the Sunnis in 680. The resulting conflict is now largely responsible for the violence in Syria.
Individuals rarely or rarely kill another person on their own. So it needs mechanisms that empower people to do such things.

Man against fire
People do not experience reality directly, but only through the five sensory systems, and these in turn do not provide an exact image. They distort these so that an individual reality emerges from them. These distortions are called filters. These are programs (algorithms) that people get from birth and then acquire additional life.
The first and essential filter gets the person in childhood of his parents, during the first years of life. Followed by school education and many experiences. Penetration plays an essential role here. Constant repetitions make people unchecked believe something is right. Koranic schools have a very high degree of effectiveness, if you have repeated a thousand times a Sura, you believe them too.

In the hedonistic worldview there are two main factors of influence for humans. On the one hand pleasure / gain and on the other hand pain / avoidance. Of course, these two genetic programs are well suited to develop more filters. Anyone who feels well in western consumer society because he has lived in abundance for decades can not imagine hunger.
Of course, religious leaders use this mechanism and ensure that unbelievers are immediately recognized as enemies. Similar things have been done by fascist leaders. The Nazis were able to inflate their own race so that all others were seen as enemies.
Filters are responsible for the fact that we only recognize objective reality as a subjective reality. Thus, facts become stories, physical feelings become emotions, and people either enemies or friends. Digitization is now bringing in additional virtual reality. Yes – that is also a reality, everyone can watch in the cinema. However, what is produced there is a special filter – not polarization, but an illusion. Given today’s quality and possibly 3D, a plot is almost indistinguishable from reality.
Even more special is Matrix. A filter that completely obstructs our view of the actual reality. Should we even be able to see through this filter, we again see nothing but a matrix (see Yual, Noah, Harari “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”). Harari assumes that we can not leave our subjective reality. It is only possible to come back to another reality. The reality remains closed to us.
The soldier Stripe had such a perspective at the moment when he saw the cockroaches no longer as such, but as humans. He lit up his eyes with a laser rod designed by humans and thus disturbed the built-in technological filter. Finally, he gets a new filter, in which he experiences himself as a highly decorated soldier in a beautiful home with a beautiful woman.

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