Globalized neural network.
Commoditized memories and feelings.
And having outsourced labor from Mexico, controlling domestic robots via virtual reality devices, picking your fruit, building your house, and manning your planes.
This is how director Alex Rivera imagines future America in his debut film Sleep Dealer. Although it may not be the next Matrix, idea-wise I think it is groundbreaking.
Now you wonder why is the film called “sleep dealer”. Here is an excerpt from the synopsis:
“Workers connect their nervous systems to the net to control robots that labor on the other side of the border, in the first world — a world none of the workers will ever really see. The workers frequently toil until they collapse earning the factories the nickname ‘sleep dealers’.”
Whoa. Themes of slavery and unceasing labor in Egypt immediately come to mind. Exodus, anyone? In our highly-technological world where economic efficiency is king, slavery will inevitably make a come back, probably just under a different mask. It is probably happening right now in the Nike shoe factories in Vietnam and the Gap sweatshops in India. It is happening in places we do not see. And we choose not to see it.
What can be done then? I think nothing other than these two things can solve the problem:
- The restoration of the image of God in human beings, which puts human dignity back into place and stops us from abusing one another.
- The keeping of Sabbath, which keeps us human and keeps us from becoming sleep-deprived and enslaved in the never-ending rat race of capitalism.
Lord Jesus Christ, lead us out of the mess we have created ourselves. We desperately need your “New Exodus“.