One of, if not the most thought-provoking Netflix series is Black Mirror. What does the title refer to? It is what you are looking at now – the screen of your phone, computer or TV, that is black by default. The series explores how current and future communication technology can reflect (i.e. mirror) and magnify the depths of darkness (i.e. blackness) of human failings – our greed, hatred and delusion. Each episode is a fantastic yet realistic cautionary tale, with some storylines already having become reality.
Although mostly supposedly created for betterment of society, the double-edged nature of technology can often and easily worsen the state of the world too. The more advanced yet easy to use it is as a ‘tool’, the more dangerous it can be as a weapon. In this post-truth era of rampant fake news on matters big and small, personal and general, even social media run free but ultimately for profiteering is barely checked, thus becoming anti-social, abused even politically, for dividing the masses, more than for connecting people.
When TheDailyEnlightenment was created in the early days of the Internet 21 years ago, (which also sends these Dharma movie reviews), as introduced in a Buddhist forum, it was inspired by the multi-tasking Guanyin Bodhisattva, who can extend her thousand arms to deliver many beings with compassion and wisdom, at the same time, in an instant.
These days, however, in the more so-called ‘matured’ age of the Internet, the direct and indirect minions of Mara can do likewise with propagation of deceit. Terrifying is it, that malicious lies shared wilfully and unmindfully online are difficult, if not impossible to take back even by their originators, to undo their harm. And if further shared, this multiplies the number of slanderers and their negative karma indefinitely. Is this not a quick and easy ticket for many to be reborn in the tongue-pulling hells for extended time – probably until such deceit totally dies out in this world?