The USS Quad Damage

We choose to go to the moon

The movie "Moon" paints a pretty dystopian future until you consider our present.

If you haven’t watched the movie Moon I’d recommend doing so before reading this article. There are spoilers ahead. In short, while this movie paints a pretty sad and dystopian vision of our (near) future, it pales in comparison to the reality of the present.

In Moon, the protagonist, Sam Bell, is at the end of a three year stint on the dark side of the moon. His being utterly alone save for a few messages from his wife and child is making him hallucinate. His health is fading, and he coughs and otherwise gets injured easily. In a routine drive to one of the harvesters, Sam’s hallucinations cause him to lose control of his vehicle and crashes into the harvester. When he comes to, he is back at the base and he has amnesia. Gerty (his robot) tells him not to go back to the harvester, and that a rescue team will basically take care of it. He tricks Gerty into letting him outside, and goes to the harvester to find... himself dying.

The rest of the movie is him discovering that he is really a series of clones with a 3-year lifespan. All his memories, his wife and child, while real, are far in the past. His wife is dead and his child is grown up. There have been at least five “rounds” of clones before this, each living out their three years and basically getting killed off as they get sick and start dying. There is an army of unawakened clones beneath the base, complete with all their food, clothes, and other nick-nacks.

The National Labor Committee (unrelated to our Labor party) have published a long item on China’s youth being exploited. When you contrast the reality in China to the Sci-fi future of the Moon, one thing becomes clear: There is a dehumanisation present in both scenarios, but it’s different. In Moon, Sam (while a clone) mostly works normal hours, and is generally accustomed to a hard working but balanced lifestyle. He gets plenty of sleep and exercise. On the other hand, he has a three year life-span, is a clone, and is basically treated like meat or a computer by his company.

KYE, OTOH, do not treat their workers with the same kind of respect and worker’s rights that a hypothetical future company treats a clone. However, the workers are not clones (AFAIK) and have “real” lives, in so far as they can work, sleep, eat, and go to the bathroom. Gerty is a computer which is basically there to take care of things, but also acts as a psychologist to Sam. The workers for KYE get sexually harrassed by guards, are not allowed to speak or listen to music.

Food for thought.