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On Skynet, self-healing swarms and Slaughterbots
Jutta Weber

If even senior defense officials with responsibility for autonomous weapons programs fail to understand the core issues, then we cannot expect the general public and their elected representatives to make appropriate decisions. 1 Slaughterbots , a video that went viral on YouTube shortly after its release in November 2017, may be one of the most influential drone imaginaries to date. 2 Within a few days it had received more than two million views, even though it was not a Hollywood science fiction trailer but a science communication by arms control

in Drone imaginaries
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A techno-bestiary of drones in art and war
Claudette Lauzon

having to adapt rapidly to a continually developing cohabitation with autonomous machines whose presence is often intangible or discrete.’ 13 At once deeply wondrous and deeply troubling, the installation looks back in time to the paranoia-fuelled dystopian science fiction of the 1950s and 1960s (recalling especially the ambiguously sentient white orb known as Rover in the British television series The Prisoner ), but also forward to an uncertain (but near) future in which fleets of autonomous drones conduct ubiquitous surveillance at home and endless wars abroad. It

in Drone imaginaries
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James Johnson

surrounding AI (especially in societal, economic, and national security debates) are, in large part, caused by the hyperbole and exaggerated depictions of AI in popular culture, and especially science fiction. 53 To be sure, frequent misrepresentations of the potential opportunities and risks associated with this technology in the military sphere can obscure constructive and sober debate on these topics. Specifically, this includes the trade-off between the potential operational, tactical, and strategic benefits of leveraging

in Artificial intelligence and the future of warfare
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Insects, drones and swarming in Ernst Jünger’s The Glass Bees
Andreas Immanuel Graae

remarkable parallel to this peculiar imagination – in particular to the ‘slaughtering of the drones’ – is Jünger’s contemporary science fiction writer colleague, Kurt Vonnegut, whose short story ‘The Drone King’, from the early 1950s, features an experiment in which drones (here, natural male bees) are spared from otherwise inevitable death by a rich madman, who proposes them as an ingenious new means of communication. In contrast to Jünger’s glass bees, however, Vonnegut’s ‘drone kings’ turn out to be a huge failure, since they are not carrying out their communication

in Drone imaginaries
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Harry Blutstein

, globalisation might well have begun in 6 November 1872, when Jules Verne published the first instalment of Le Tour du monde en quatre-­vingts jours, soon translated to Around the World in Eighty Days. It was first serialised in the popular newspaper, Le Temps, and then published as a book the following January. This novel was a departure for Verne, who was best known for his science fiction; speculations on the impact of future technologies. For once he found that the present had caught up with his imagination, as he built his adventure story around the revolution in

in The ascent of globalisation
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‘Symbols of defiance’ from the print to the digital age
Matt Grimes and Tim Wall

vernacular journalism. The term had its origins in realms outside music, most notably in science fiction fandom where fan-produced magazines were used to communicate between enthusiasts from the early twentieth century.4 Fanzines are ascribed a key place in punk culture. It is widely assumed that when punk emerged, fanzines soon became one of the main means through which the new subculture represented and constructed punk musical style and ethos, and they embodied the developing cultural practices of the new DIY culture in the way that they were produced and distributed

in Fight back
Cultural and economic relations between the British film industry and Hollywood
Jonathan Stubbs

to come to Britain during the 1970s and 1980s. With indigenous production in the doldrums, two-thirds of British film investment in 1983 came from US sources. 94 But as the British market became less valuable, the incentive to make films that appealed specifically to British audiences by representing British culture diminished. Thus, the highest-profile British-made films of the era included science fiction and fantasy films such as Star Wars (1977), Superman (1978), Alien (1979), and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). The continued outsourcing of production

in Culture matters
Interpreting power relationships
Keith Dowding

assume that there are some basic or fundamental underlying interests – such as the desire for warmth, food, status, and so on – common to all people (and if caused, then caused by our biology) and how we promote those interests will be suggested to us by our place in society. Exogenous interests are those so suggested, endogenous ones are those we choose more independently, such as a preference for detective over science fiction, for example (Dowding 1991; Dunleavy 1991). We note briefly here that structure is not completely absent even in the most individualist of

in Power, luck and freedom
Keith Dowding

in the Gettier (1963) examples. How I analyse luck here is not meant as any form of criticism of his analysis in the context in which he is writing. Some argue that the operation of markets leads to inequalities that luck egalitarianism allows, but they are surely wrong (Anderson 1999; Scheffler 2003). However, I am querying the neat option luck–brute luck distinction that such a claim relies upon. In the comedy science fiction TV series Red Dwarf, Rimmer (one of life’s ‘losers’) thinks avoiding being held back a year at school was good luck; he discovers it was

in Power, luck and freedom
Piero Garofalo, Elizabeth Leake, and Dana Renga

justice novels of Upton Sinclair and Jack London. In particular, the latter’s dystopian The Iron Heel, with its socialist critique of American capitalist democracy succumbing to oligarchic tyranny, found no favour with the colony’s administrators. Its confiscation is not surprising given that this soft science fiction novel is also a political primer on socialism. In a sense, by prohibiting these books, the directors were compiling an anti-​ Fascist compendium. That so many books should be confiscated, many of them repeatedly, also suggests that, alongside, the library

in Internal exile in Fascist Italy