Forum - View topic
EP. REVIEW: KADO - The Right Answer


Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Desa



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
Posts: 254
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 5:08 am Reply with quote
lebrel wrote:
But what exactly is the threat there? If you had an infinitely powerful portable generator that fits in your pocket, how do you go about wreaking havoc with it? The Wan seem completely inert when not hooked into a circuit, and so far it seems they self-regulate energy output according to load, so you can't even use it to overload and short out the electrical system.

That was basically what I wrote as well. Trying to weaponize Wam just seems like an exercise in futility.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Valhern



Joined: 19 Jan 2015
Posts: 916
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 8:59 am Reply with quote
I'm sure the show will tell later but it's very easy to know why the Wam is a dangerous object.

As good as unlimited global energy sounds, human society does not exactly work like that. Because, in a way, we already have a Wam.

Before capitalism, at least in Europe (but I'm fairly sure that was the case anywhere else), economic crisis were always subproduction crisis, meaning that we couldn't produce enough compared to the population growth (I'm skipping over details of how certain societies distibute production but not the point now), and most of the times the only way out was that people just died in massive starvations.

What's the difference with capitalism? As an economic system, different from feudalism (in all of its forms), capitalism has this particular characteristic that a capitalist will continually work to multiply the possibility of profit (not multiply the profits per se, that's a consequence of the first) using that same profit to invest in ways to do so.

That brings us to the continuous and cyclic crisis of 1873/75 to 1929, which (and I'm synthethizing a bunch of authors here) are the first crisis for overproduction. The concept itself of overproduction sounds ridiculous, but it's basically that the market has no possibility of absorbing the tremendous mass of production. The simple reason that this happens only in a capitalist system is because a capitalist produces to get more profit and reinvest them, not to supply the lack of production.

This is merely an example, and capitalism eventually found a way out even though it still had continuous crisis and now the crisis are financial crisis (since the seventies to nowadays). Truth is that humanity still produces way more than necessary to supply its whole population (in my country we could feed all of our inhabitants and at least half more), yet that doesn't make poverty and inequality go away.

Now, the ultimate point of this longass post, is to think about how people have constructed their hegemony, their power, and the likely possibility of losing it. Not only that, even if we had a peaceful transition to the use of Wam, how do you reform the production system? How will we work now? How do we distribute things now? How all of political systems would adjust to this form of administration (and I don't mean just western democracy, I mean ALL forms of systems)? These are not impossible to answer as there are different economic systems in this age different from capitalism, but they are really hard questions that could bring a lot of conflict.

---

After all that, I must say that one of the characters name the chance of terrorists using this power, which is not far from my idea on how society is not determined just by economic circumstances or structures.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
zrnzle500
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 04 Oct 2014
Posts: 3625
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 12:43 pm Reply with quote
I think the power generation and distribution industries would be particularly apt to deal with such an overproduction. The industry is particularly not suited to competition given the vast expense of making the distribution network, which makes building competing networks senseless as a second would be no less expensive to build but would inevitably mean lower prices and thereby less revenue to offset those high fixed costs. So usually the power industry takes one of two forms: a public utility, owned and operated by the government, or regulated monopoly. Either way, the government is involved in some fashion in this and other utilities, leaving the government well positioned to deal with the situation.

Given the versatility, how cheap it is to produce them, and their small size, there is actually no need to have any electric grid! All that would be necessary is instead of connecting a house, apartment complex, or building to the grid, you would connect it to a Wam, which would take no more labor than is already used in building a building, though you may want to have it housed in something sturdy to protect it from damage (can they be damaged?) or being interfered with. The use of electricity would necessarily be free, as even if a company wanted to charge you, you could just make one yourself.

Full electric cars would become both much more capable, cheaper and easier to design, given that batteries would be unnecessary (and charging too). That would also make it easier to make other electric vehicles, especially planes, given how important weight is to the design. All that would likely lead to massively lower costs for the transportation industry.

The power generation and distribution industries would be essentially eliminated, causing many jobs lost and rendering many expensive power plants worthless, both of which would have knock-on effects on the economy. The fossil fuel industries would be also be heavily affected, though not totally eliminated in most cases. However, all other industries would see lower costs, as electricity and transportation/fuel costs are eliminated or significantly decreased, so the economy as a whole may be better off on net, though doing something for the workers put out by such a change. The companies could recover some costs by scrapping all of the electric grid, but that probably wouldn't offset the costs of decommissioning the power plants, especially if the company has a nuclear heavy portfolio of plants, so lots of power companies would go out of business.

It's hard to say how such a change would affect global trade, as lower transportation costs would make it cheaper to ship things, but lower utilities would make it cheaper to make stuff at home so to speak.

I wonder how the show will deal with it, and what other things it could affect.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LoriasGS



Joined: 24 Jan 2015
Posts: 63
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 5:16 pm Reply with quote
Yttrbio wrote:
For an extradimensional being who doesn't like the idea of world governments controlling his gifts to the people, Cube Boy seems totally comfortable dealing exclusively with the Japanese government.


Well his explanation for why to came to Japan was that it had more people who would "share bread" than anywhere else in the world.

I'm actually starting to wonder if this series was commissioned by the Japanese government. So far a large amount of this series has been the Japanese government and its citizens being amazing and full of selfless people who would share this gift with the world and standing up to the selfish other countries who would monopolise and control this amazing gift.

Also what was with that quote during the press conference about how they've tried to share it with the world. I don't remember them doing anything like that. They received the wam, they started researching them and then the UN made their demand. We have seen no indication of them ever attempting to share them out.

I'd be enjoying this series a lot more if it toned down its excessive praise of the Japan and its government. If America made a series like this the backlash and criticisms of propaganda would immense.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gabuhaha



Joined: 01 Mar 2016
Posts: 136
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 7:24 pm Reply with quote
I think it's important to note that they shared the knowledge of how to make wam with people, not wam itself. Not everyone is going to be able to make it. This is almost certainly going to lead to conflict as those with money are going to try and buy wam from those who can make it and keep it for themselves, their businesses, etc. Others are going to try and steal the wam. There's inevitably people who are going to be left behind developments made through the use of wam. Humanity isn't nice enough to want to share unlimited energy with everyone in the world.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
zrnzle500
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 04 Oct 2014
Posts: 3625
PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 10:18 pm Reply with quote
^I doubt most people would make it even if they could. But while the first manufactured ones might be expensive, I doubt that they would be terribly expensive once they get the hang of making it, especially if they use paper. She used one sheet of what seemed to be A3 paper, which you can get for like 2.5-40 cents a sheet (whatever the actual paper size, it will be about the same or less), and it took her what a minute to make two wam, but lets say five to ten minutes to be safe. Even at the likely too high 20 dollars an hour, labor would be $3.33, so total cost for one wam using the highest estimates would be $1.87, so you could sell it for like ten, twenty dollars and still make a good profit, even if you were to add overhead, packaging and shipping costs. We probably won't share it, but we would sell it for the right price, and I'm not sure that will be way too expensive for the average person if anyone at all. It seems a bit extreme to believe that no one would think to make a business to sell cheaply made wam, given the negligible barriers to entry (the method is available for to the public, and while probably too much of a pain for people to do themselves, it seems easy enough to do once you learn how).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wolf10



Joined: 23 Jan 2016
Posts: 383
PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 5:07 pm Reply with quote
I will agree that the "beautiful, selfless Japan" schtick is no less tiresome than any other country's own self-aggrandizing propaganda pieces. The first few episodes operated enough within my understanding of reality that I was hoping the series would resist the temptation to make Japan unrealistically heroic.

I'm also really hoping the latter half of this series becomes about showing why it was not such a great idea to downplay Tsukai's perspective they way they did. There are some really, truly awful directions this show could go in from here, so I'm starting to worry.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Kaeru89



Joined: 26 Mar 2016
Posts: 20
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 7:00 pm Reply with quote
The truth is zaShunina's smirk made me cringe a bit after he announced we will not need sleep as humanity anymore. He might have much darker vision for himself. Maybe he lost his home and now trying to change humanity into same beings as he wants without looking at consequences? This is so interesting I cannot overlook it. Also why did he come alone to Earth and does he have someone he loves? Does he have parents? What is his real shape? I cannot stop with asking all these questions and more...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lebrel



Joined: 16 Oct 2009
Posts: 374
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 9:17 pm Reply with quote
Well, now we have an explanation for why they made scientist girl so childish, although not for how someone with her personality became a respected scientist....

And the "humanity will not need sleep" angle is indeed kind of creepy. I await further developments....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8708
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 11:39 pm Reply with quote
I'm not seeing any sinister motive in his plan to rid people of the need for sleep, but that's only because I don't think he understands the human psyche (in conjunction with physiology) well enough to grasp the consequences of it.

Sleep does more than just let people rest and recharge, i.e., it's not just a matter of having enough biological energy. While the function of dreaming isn't well understood, I think it's a sort of clearing house for the day's input, discarding what we don't need, filing away what we do, reorganizing, and making connections we can't manage amidst the noise and static of our waking lives. Just as childlike thinking helps one access the anisotropic, I'd think the dream state could as well.

There are also the economic issues raised if no one ever sleeps, which would be even more radical than unlimited energy supplies, and an additional pressure on resources. Would sweat shops demand their employees (or slaves) work 24/7?

But I didn't get the impression that zaShunina deliberately tuned Shindo for accessing the anisotropic, but that it was an effect of processing him before he understood exactly how to do it without that effect, even though he was delighted by the outcome.

Still we didn't even get any news about what the other countries were doing with the Wam they already have. I did enjoy the time with Shindo's mom though. I imagine the questions she raised will be of no small importance in the coming episodes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dash56



Joined: 06 Jul 2016
Posts: 151
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 12:50 am Reply with quote
I'll just post the same thing I had written in another forum.

... I really don't know about this episode. This advancement is another element of the show that sounds nice but in practice feels like another "more harm than good". We need limitations. It's not just a human thing but also a living organism deal. We're made to be kept in check because there are only so many resources to use. Not sleeping would definitely increase the intake of food and water to give us the energy needed to be awake 24/7. Who knows what kind of psychological strain that would cause. That's just skimming the surface.

I was enjoying this show at first but now it feels like they're throwing these "solutions" out there without exploring how truly problematic they can be. I could be more positive if the season were longer but 12 episodes doesn't seem enough.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Merida
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 1944
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 4:21 am Reply with quote
From zaShunina's perspective sleep probably looks like a huge waste of time and he honestly wants to help humanity to overcome this. Now it's Shindou's task to educate him about what sleep really means for humans.

I'm still enjoying this show, but i really hope it'll keep going in the direction of trying to work out a balance between what zaShunina wants for humanity and what humanity actually wants/needs and not take the "evil alien" turn all of a sudden.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime
SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 556
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 7:14 am Reply with quote
dash56 wrote:
I'll just post the same thing I had written in another forum.

... I really don't know about this episode. This advancement is another element of the show that sounds nice but in practice feels like another "more harm than good". We need limitations. It's not just a human thing but also a living organism deal. We're made to be kept in check because there are only so many resources to use. Not sleeping would definitely increase the intake of food and water to give us the energy needed to be awake 24/7. Who knows what kind of psychological strain that would cause. That's just skimming the surface.

I was enjoying this show at first but now it feels like they're throwing these "solutions" out there without exploring how truly problematic they can be. I could be more positive if the season were longer but 12 episodes doesn't seem enough.

But you're not supposed to be uncritically agreeing with what Zashunina does.

Even with the wam there were voices of dissent and arguments for and against it, and even though people complained about it showing Japan in a much too positive light, the bottom line on that plotline was basically "so we're doing this - blood will be spilt, people will die, but we're doing this." It wasn't treated as an objectively awesome thing to happen to mankind.

With this new step it was even more obvious. First the obvious consent issues raised by the revelation that Zashunina (however unwittingly) altered Shindou and never bothered to tell him about it. Shindou took this as the shock as it was supposed to be, and his immediate concern was about the other people who might have undergone the same procedure without their knowledge and consent. Then the other revelation that Zashunina's next step is altering humans on such a fundamental basis as getting rid of sleep and mental exhaustion (at least if we take Shindou as an example). The wam "only" affected society, but in this next step Zashunina is planning to meddle with human biology on his own accord. This is a really controversial idea, and the show is treating it as such.

Merida wrote:
I'm still enjoying this show, but i really hope it'll keep going in the direction of trying to work out a balance between what zaShunina wants for humanity and what humanity actually wants/needs and not take the "evil alien" turn all of a sudden.

Actually, I think Zashunina's plans to advance humanity and whatnot is mostly a backdrop for what the story is actually interested in, and which has come up a number of times already in various ways, and what I find the most interesting aspect of the story: understanding and relating to someone who is not you.

Zashunina being an alien is of course a convenient way to set up a story like this, with his way of thinking, his values, his moralities, etc. being fundamentally different from a human's. Even though Zashunina speaks the same language as Shindou & Co. they keep running into walls when it comes to understanding one another, and keep having to work out ways get over them. Both Zashunina and Shindou are trying very hard to understand each other, and while they succeed in some ways they keep misfiring in other ways, due to their different ways of thinking and different expectations they have of the other.

I think this particular aspect is really interesting, given the show's context as a Japanese creation: it's a story where the "viewer representatives" (as humans or as Japanese people) are thrust in a situation where they must find a way to understand and cooperate with someone who is just completely different from what they're used to deal with.

When the show's synopsis was released last year I kind of expected something about Japan vs foreign influences (because let's face it, "strange-looking alien comes in a strange-looking vessel and uses its technological superiority to make demands of your nation" is essentially the story of Perry and his black ships sailing into Tokyo Bay in 1853), and while the show does have that underlying element, it's handling it much better and more sensitively than I'd expected, not simply on a "Japanese vs foreigners" level but also on a "person vs different person" level.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gabuhaha



Joined: 01 Mar 2016
Posts: 136
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 3:33 pm Reply with quote
I think we'll get back to the consequences of a limited number of people making the wam in a future episode. It was apparent to me in the last episode that it wasn't going to be that easy. They spent quite awhile building up Shinawa as a child-like genius. So while it may be easy for her, it wasn't going to be easy for others. Once you get someone who can make wam more than once, there's going to be issues. Though we again may not see that right away since we're in the perspective of the Japan.

With that last revelation, it has me wondering if zaShunina is not trying to help humanity overall but rather, trying to create others like himself. Finding out who has the mindset to make the wam could be the first test as to who could be converted. Really, what zaShunina's intentions are is the biggest mystery of the series.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
PumpkinMouse
SubscriberSubscriber


Joined: 05 Oct 2014
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 5:27 pm Reply with quote
Surely I can't be the only one who wondered if child labor was going to come back in a really bad way when zaShunina mentioned that children are the best suited for making Wam? But I'm sure the show won't go that dark unless there's a major tonal shift for the second half.

SHD wrote:

But you're not supposed to be uncritically agreeing with what Zashunina does.

Even with the wam there were voices of dissent and arguments for and against it, and even though people complained about it showing Japan in a much too positive light, the bottom line on that plotline was basically "so we're doing this - blood will be spilt, people will die, but we're doing this." It wasn't treated as an objectively awesome thing to happen to mankind.

With this new step it was even more obvious. First the obvious consent issues raised by the revelation that Zashunina (however unwittingly) altered Shindou and never bothered to tell him about it. Shindou took this as the shock as it was supposed to be, and his immediate concern was about the other people who might have undergone the same procedure without their knowledge and consent. Then the other revelation that Zashunina's next step is altering humans on such a fundamental basis as getting rid of sleep and mental exhaustion (at least if we take Shindou as an example). The wam "only" affected society, but in this next step Zashunina is planning to meddle with human biology on his own accord. This is a really controversial idea, and the show is treating it as such.

Merida wrote:
I'm still enjoying this show, but i really hope it'll keep going in the direction of trying to work out a balance between what zaShunina wants for humanity and what humanity actually wants/needs and not take the "evil alien" turn all of a sudden.

Actually, I think Zashunina's plans to advance humanity and whatnot is mostly a backdrop for what the story is actually interested in, and which has come up a number of times already in various ways, and what I find the most interesting aspect of the story: understanding and relating to someone who is not you.


I would like to believe that Kado really is about exploring how to understand someone so very, very different from you, but I'm not really so sure yet. Maybe it'll be something that shows up more in the second half, but right now it really feels like humanity (or, more specifically, Japan) is merely adjusting itself (or being adjusted) to suit zaShunina's goals, rather than taking an active part in a two-way conversation. If this were a show between two humans trying to understand each other, I suspect there would be a lot more arguing and miscommunication, and maybe even some minor or major disasters to really demonstrate the consequences of not understanding each other, but Kado seems much more interested in recreating sci-fi versions of episode 0, where there's a singular problem that Shindo needs to solve that will be wrapped up neatly halfway through the next episode just in time to introduce a new problem. It doesn't feel like a conversation between two equals trying to understand each other so much as one person telling another how to do their job better.

On an unrelated note, this episode really hit home how much Kado likes to hide its 'answers' until the big reveal, since guessing ahead of time that Kado would move along its edge really weakened the episode for me. There's no way to make "how do we move a 20km cube?" an interesting question, and I don't fault them for following their pattern for an episode with really only one right answer to its problem, but the show's habit of keeping its cards so close to its chest made Shinawa's reveal on the Wam last episode come completely out of left field, and I wish there's been some setup there beyond her looking at how the balls line up.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
Page 4 of 9

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group