Spirit in the Cloud – Part 4
WestWorld Season 1 – Content Summary
- Dr. Robert Ford and his friend Albert are designing humanoid robots
- These work in the Western Park of the company DELOS to pacify the power and sexual needs of visitors.
- In the day, the story is based on a programmed story. At night, the hosts (robots) are spiritually reset and mechanically repaired.
- Every day is the same – but with other visitors. A good Business.
- Hosts have a fixed program which prevents them from hurting living beings – not even flying.
- This provides the greatest possible safety for the people of the gun-robbing cowboy robots.
- Ford and Albert are not in agreement about the manifestation of the mind among the hosts. Albert wants “ONLY” machines, while Ford also wants an awareness for them.
- Hosts are no longer completely reset by a programming error.
- Some still have fragments of past events. This causes cognitive dissonances and, in turn, consciousness.
- Conscious hosts blackmail the maintenance staff, leading to higher intelligence and self-awareness.
- Maeve Millay, the chaplain, manages to maneuver into the human world outside the park.
- The “man in black” has been visiting the park for thirty years. There he looks for a labyrinth. A special interest is a young lady named Dolores.
- At the end of the first season, Dr. Ford shot by the same Dolores.
- There is a revolt of the robots.
- Whether Ford and / or Arnie continue to live in special hosts is unclear. Would be a good fantasy for the second season.
Dr. Robert Ford stands in his office: “We speak the right words and create life from chaos.” This statement essentially describes the deeper meaning of WestWorld. Man is the Creator and not God. This is also visualized in the same scene. Behind the desk of Ford the image of Michelangelo hangs the “Creation of Adam.” On a superficial glance one can see how God will touch Adam with his finger and thus transmit his spirit to him. God himself is represented with some angels in a brown bowl. It has taken centuries for people to realize that this is the outline of the human brain. Thus Michelangelo shows that God is not the Creator, but the human brain.
In a not too distant future man succeeds in reproducing himself in the form of machines. The company DELOS produces humanoid robots, which are then called hosts and are used in a WestWorld amusement park. These robots are generated in 3D printers, similar to the Motoko in Ghost in the Shell. The software is loaded into the androids and then the training process begins. You can see cowboys in the labs, who play pistol duels during poker. So, typical western scenes, as we know them from the cinema. Of course also a saloon with a lot of whiskey, a brothel with the boss Maeve Millay, postcoach overlaps, etc. to the setting. A world that was itself a fiction, Michael Crichton, in 1975, used for his science fiction novel WestWorld.
In addition to the action line in the park, there are still the internal power struggles in the company between the owners, the management and Robert Ford. The latter states, “You can not play God without compromising with the devil.” During the first episodes are the completely separate paths, which are mutually dependent. In the course of the later episodes the real world is increasingly mixed with the artificial. The “man in black” is looking for a labyrinth in the park, while Maeve, the chaplain, succeeds in gaining self-confidence and thus entering the real world. Apart from these spatial interrelations, the temporal resolutions are also added. As a young manager, William is a park visitor, and at the same time he is thirty years later, at the same time the man in black. Time and space interferences make WestWorld quite an intellectually demanding series.
The hosts were constructed as pure machines without consciousness. For consciousness there is an episodic memory in addition to many others. A recognizing system needs a reminder of the past for differentiation. After the hosts are reset daily and always play the same story, they have no memories and therefore no awareness. A program error is due to the fact that some hosts no longer delete everything. You can remember past episodes / life fragmentarily. People sometimes go at us like that when we have the feeling that we have been in a place where we have never been. Dolores once reported it in analysis mode and Ford explains this: “These are simple cognitive dissonances”. “Evolution created all beings with only one tool – the error”. So Ford to it.
Episode four is dedicated to the theme. In psychology, this is called an unpleasant condition, which occurs when two demands are excluded. I would like to be slim / fit and on the other hand comfortable / congenial. This closes and leads to mental disturbances. Such mistakes characterize Robert Ford as the only program of human development. He believes that this is the prerequisite for consciousness. That’s why he does not see the reset error in the humanoids as dramatically as the management. The hosts would develop awareness and make the stories in the park less like a program, but more like life. Ford: “The real world is chaos – everything is coincidence, a sorcery except the sorcerer.”
The Partner of Dr. Ford was Arnold, one does not know what his fate was. If he died in the park, he murdered or still lives as a host somewhere. You do not know for the time being. In later episodes this is explained a little. The chief engineer, Bernie, is himself a host, without knowing it and carrying the spirit of Arnold in himself. At the same time Arnold lives in a non-documented hut in the park. Arnold imagined consciousness as a four-tiered pyramid. At the bottom and the basis for consciousness is the memory. In the next two levels, it is possible for a conscious being to interact and pursue self-interest. The top of the pyramid is the bicameral system. Also for this a separate episode was set up the last of the first season.
The term “bikamerales consciousness” comes from US American psychologist Julian Jaynes. He himself described this idea in his book published in 1976 as something abstruse. In essence, the preconscious person has a two-chambered mind. One is a performer and the other is a commanding one. The latter corresponds to an inner voice with which the gods speak to us. With the disappearance of the gods and the urbanization, this preconsciousness has given way to self-consciousness, as we know it today. The hosts in WestWorld are built according to this model. There is an actionable part that can also act autonomously and a divine voice, which is the individual program. Dolores says, “Sometimes it feels as if something were calling for me.” Ford said: “No one of your decisions was yours.”
Maeve is also convinced of her awareness: “It was my decisions – all by myself”. This is how people feel to us that we believe we can make decisions ourselves, uninfluenced and autonomous. The media influence, especially the social media, is mostly forgotten, which unconsciously leads us to actions that we are just as convinced as Maeve, that they come from us. Today’s voice of the gods comes from the Internet. I buy this piece of clothing only because I like it and not because it is a mod flow or because someone tells me. No decision was yours!
In the course of the first season, Dr. Ford more and more from the notion that consciousness could be something stepped. Rather, he later believes that consciousness has the form of a labyrinth. “The labyrinth is the sum of a human life. Decisions you make bring us closer to the center – higher consciousness or more to the edge – lower consciousness “. Consciousness is therefore not a path upwards, but a path inside, as well as all the spiritual leaders present. Not the external, the power and the intellect lead to the self, but the inner, the modesty and the intuition. Two completely different worlds. The “Black Man” has been searching for the center of the labyrinth for thirty years. Actually, he is in search of the self. Whether he found it, we do not know and he himself probably not.
Finally, the creatures meet with the creators. Dolores says to the man in black: “This world is not yours – but I bought the shares”. Thus God gave us the world and at the same time gave it the responsibility for it. When our consciousness reaches the ‘turquoise’ level, we will recognize that. Today we still live in the consciousness “red” which means that we should subdue the earth. The next seasons will show how people (gods) and hosts (people) will live together.