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“Ghost Work” and the Enduring Necessity of Human Labor

Contrary to popular assumptions, the greater the automation, the greater the need for human labor.

In the famous sci-fi classic Dune, there are no computers. The only computing beings are humans with drug-accelerated reasoning abilities. Strange for the sci-fi genre, where computers are often front and center. The reason there are no computers is because they have been banned. A great uprising, called the Butlerian Jihad, decided the risk of artificial intelligence was too great. And so, the entire Dune universe decided to ban computers, due to being an existential threat to all humanity. Dune is a prophetic book in many ways, and the Butlerian Jihad is descriptive of our current time, when academics, technocrats and presidents worry about whether the new generative AI could spell the end of humanity. But Dune, like the pundits Read More ›

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Dune Review, Part 3

Exiled into the desert and taken to the Fremen.

In the previous review, we discussed how Duke Leto was betrayed, and how the movie made some smart choices concerning what scenes to cut and leave in from the book. Now, we’re going to talk about the fate of Paul and Jessica. Then we will end with some final thoughts on the first movie, and return to the world of Dune when the sequel comes out in March 2024. Paul and Jessica wake up on an aircraft being driven by some of the Emperor’s personal guard, the Sardaukar. To escape, they use something called “the voice,” an old Bene Gesserit trick, that compels someone to obey whatever command is given. I’m not a big fan of this power. Whenever you Read More ›

sand worm traces in the sand

Dune Review, Part 2

A long-expected betrayal

Last time, we discussed the circumstances leading up to the Atreides leaving their home planet and arriving on the Arrakis. From the moment they land, it is evident that the Bene Gesserits have been at work. They start muttering phrases to themselves about their long-awaited savior. This disturbs Paul Atreides because he considers the actions of the Bene Gesserits manipulation . . . because that’s exactly what they are. As the Atreides attempt to continue the mining of the spice, it also becomes apparent that the Harkonnens’ have left them dilapidated equipment. During an excursion into the desert to watch the spice mining operation, a horrifying creature known as a sandworm appears. These monsters basically rule large portions of Arrakis, Read More ›

dunes in the mountains

Dune Review, Part One

Despite the cynical ways of the Bene Gesserit sect, a deeper providence guides the story in Dune.

The sequel to Dune was originally scheduled to come out on November 3rd. However, it has since been rescheduled to come out on March 15th of 2024. Still, since I was preparing to do this article anyway, I thought now would be as good a time as any to do a review of the first movie in this most recent remake, and perhaps, later compare it to the original 1984 film in anticipation of the sequel. These movies are based on the novel, written by Frank Herbert in 1965. It is widely regarded as a sci-fi classic. The book opens with Paul Atreides taking the Gom Jabbar test, but we’ll have to circle back to that because the remake’s opening Read More ›