"Game of Thrones" Creators Face Growing Controversy over Their next Show
Creators of the mega-hit tv show "Game of Thrones" face growing controversy over their next show.
As the wildly popular HBO show “Game of Thrones” started on its final season, the creators of the mega-hit have announced their next television project. David Benioff and D.B.Weiss were given a series order by HBO to make “Confederate” - a new drama they created that is set in an alternate historical timeline. In the world of the show, the South managed to secede, founding a nation where slavery remains legal until the modern day.
The topic was sure to be controversial and provoked an immediate outrage online, perhaps more than the Emmy-winning Benioff and Weiss or HBO bargained for. “Game of Thrones” has been accused of being misogynistic and overly violent and many didn’t believe its creators would be able to handle a sensitive topic well. Some wondered whether the show would represent some kind of wish-fulfillment fantasy for white supremacists or become “slavery pornography.”
On Twitter, journalist Pilot Viruet did not mince words, calling out “white showrunners telling hbo they wanna write slavery fanfic.”
give me the confidence of white showrunners telling hbo they wanna write slavery fanfic
— pilot (@pilotbacon) July 19, 2017
Sociologist Crystal Fleming saw no redeeming value in such a project, finding in it nothing but crass commercialism:
Regarding #Confederate: I'm still in disbelief at the media's response to the rise of overt white nationalism. They're monetizing this shit.
— Professor Fleming (@alwaystheself) July 20, 2017
Others, like the journalist and speaker April Reign, have already called for cancelling the show.
— April (@ReignOfApril) July 21, 2017
HBO has described the plot of the series in a statement as chronicling the events that lead up to the Third American Civil War. The story follows a group of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone. These include freedom fighters, slave hunters, abolitionists, and execs in charge of slave-owning conglomerates.
The network has praised the creative duo of Benioff and Weiss, stating that “their intelligent, wry and visually stunning approach to storytelling has a way of engaging an audience and taking them on an unforgettable journey.” To address the brewing controversy head on, the pair gave an extensive interview to Vulture, where they explained more about the project.
D.B Weiss pointed to how seriously they take slavery, stating that “it goes without saying slavery is the worst thing that ever happened in American history. It’s our original sin as a nation. And history doesn’t disappear. That sin is still with us in many ways.”
Their vision for Confederate is to make a science fiction, alternative-history show. The goal is to use science fiction as a vehicle to “show us how this history is still with us in a way no strictly realistic drama ever could, whether it were a historical drama or a contemporary drama.” Weiss also called the show a “ potentially valuable way to talk” about the country’s tensions.
On the subject of whether they can handle such an emotionally raw topic, Weiss explained that their approach will be very different than on Game of Thrones.
“We know that the elements in play in a show like Confederateare much more raw, much more real, and people come into them much more sensitive and more invested, than they do with a story about a place called Westeros, which none of them had ever heard of before they read the books or watched the show,” said Weiss. “We know they are different things, and they need to be dealt with in very, very different ways. And we plan, all of us I think, to approach Confederate in a much different spirit, by necessity, than we would approach a show named Game of Thrones.”
Malcolm Spellman, who is African-American, and along with his wife Nichelle Tramble Spellman will work as a writing partner and executive producer on the show, assured that the project will handle slavery sensitively.
"This is not a world in which the entire country is enslaved. Slavery is in one half of the country. And the North is the North," said Malcolm. "The imagery should be no whips and no plantations."
He was even more forceful than talking about the need for such a show in this day.
"People have got to stop pretending that slavery was something that happened and went away. The shit is affecting people in the present day," he said. "But everyone knows that with Trump coming into power, a bunch of shit that had always been there got resurfaced."
At the moment, HBO has not changed any of its plans for the show and the creators are going to start on it as soon as Game of Thrones finishes later this year. It remains to be seen whether the backlash will grow. Interestingly, Amazon’s “Man in the High Castle”, another alternative-history show where Nazis won World War 2, has not faced similar issues in public perception.
Why self-control makes your life better, and how to get more of it.
(Photo by Geem Drake/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
- Research demonstrates that people with higher levels of self-control are happier over both the short and long run.
- Higher levels of self-control are correlated with educational, occupational, and social success.
- It was found that the people with the greatest levels of self-control avoid temptation rather than resist it at every turn.
Ready your Schrödinger's Cat Jokes.
- For a time, quantum computing was more theory than fact.
- That's starting to change.
- New quantum computer designs look like they might be scalable.
Quantum computing has existed in theory since the 1980's. It's slowly making its way into fact, the latest of which can be seen in a paper published in Nature called, "Deterministic teleportation of a quantum gate between two logical qubits."
To ensure that we're all familiar with a few basic terms: in electronics, a 'logic gate' is something that takes in one or more than one binary inputs and produces a single binary output. To put it in reductive terms: if you produce information that goes into a chip in your computer as a '0,' the logic gate is what sends it out the other side as a '1.'
A quantum gate means that the '1' in question here can — roughly speaking — go back through the gate and become a '0' once again. But that's not quite the whole of it.
A qubit is a single unit of quantum information. To continue with our simple analogy: you don't have to think about computers producing a string of information that is either a zero or a one. A quantum computer can do both, simultaneously. But that can only happen if you build a functional quantum gate.
That's why the results of the study from the folks at The Yale Quantum Institute saying that they were able to create a quantum gate with a "process fidelity" of 79% is so striking. It could very well spell the beginning of the pathway towards realistic quantum computing.
The team went about doing this through using a superconducting microwave cavity to create a data qubit — that is, they used a device that operates a bit like a organ pipe or a music box but for microwave frequencies. They paired that data qubit with a transmon — that is, a superconducting qubit that isn't as sensitive to quantum noise as it otherwise could be, which is a good thing, because noise can destroy information stored in a quantum state. The two are then connected through a process called a 'quantum bus.'
That process translates into a quantum property being able to be sent from one location to the other without any interaction between the two through something called a teleported CNOT gate, which is the 'official' name for a quantum gate. Single qubits made the leap from one side of the gate to the other with a high degree of accuracy.
Above: encoded qubits and 'CNOT Truth table,' i.e., the read-out.
The team then entangled these bits of information as a way of further proving that they were literally transporting the qubit from one place to somewhere else. They then analyzed the space between the quantum points to determine that something that doesn't follow the classical definition of physics occurred.
They conclude by noting that "... the teleported gate … uses relatively modest elements, all of which are part of the standard toolbox for quantum computation in general. Therefore ... progress to improve any of the elements will directly increase gate performance."
In other words: they did something simple and did it well. And that the only forward here is up. And down. At the same time.
These modern-day hermits can sometimes spend decades without ever leaving their apartments.
- A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms, sometimes for years.
- This is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan, likely due to rigid social customs and high expectations for academic and business success.
- Many believe hikikomori to be a result of how Japan interprets and handles mental health issues.
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