What Technology Wants in Battlestar Galactica


Warning: Battlestar Galactica spoilers abound in the following post! If you haven't watched the ENTIRE series from beginning to end, you should go watch it before reading this.

In an insightful essay at Overthinking It, Nathan Hanks explains What Technology Wants in Battlestar Galactica (the new series -- though some points are applicable to the original series). Drawing on ideas discussed in Kevin Kelley's What Technology Wants, Hanks lays out a detailed discussion of evolution, technology, and the advancement of both. Here's a snippet of Hanks's article (warning -- spoilers!!):

But, what does it really mean that both biology and technology evolve? Well, one thing true of evolution is that it brings more possibility, whether more complex forms or more possible knowledge and experience. DNA isn’t possible without molecules, people aren’t possible without DNA, and Cylons aren’t possible without people. Evolution never brings us more of the same, but always more of the different in an extending realm of possibility. ... While Humanity creates Cylons time and time again, so too do they go to war: on Kobol, Caprica and the original Earth. Maybe the war is inevitable and Cylons are the technological-ceiling. The Series’ Finale clearly puts the probleming question to us (the audience) as the Messengers walk about our New York City- Messenger 1: All of this has happened before.Messenger 2: But the question remains, ‘does all of this have to happen again?’ Maybe ‘No’. Here are 3 ‘Non-War’ scenarios: ...

Read the rest for a very smart look at BSG, technology, and evolution. You may want to watch this 20-minute TED Talk by Kevin Kelly first, though it's more or less summarized in the article.