14/12/2019

From Anonymous to Bitcoin, The Good Wife Is the Most Tech-Savvy Show on TV


“Do you realize whom Aaron Swartz is?” asks lawyer that is digital-rights Stack. He answers his very own question: ” The computer activist who committed committing suicide after an unrelenting campaign from federal prosecutors to imprison him. In the memory, i am trying to organize a class action against prosecutorial overcharging.”

Now, consider, this is on a tv show—and not some PBS that is sober-minded documentary Swartz. It had beenn’t also cable news or perhaps a geek-centered sitcom like the top Bang Theory. This is, in reality, a sleek legal bright brides net asian brides procedural drama on community tv: the nice Wife, a CBS show about a lawyer, Alicia Florrick (played by Julianna Margulies), beginning its fifth period this Sunday.

Though putatively concerning the legislation (and Florrick’s transactions along with her Eliot husband that is spitzer-like, the great Wife is actually revered among geeks, as well as for valid reason: it includes the deftest depiction of technology on television. In reality, it may possibly be the force that is best for electronic literacy in pop tradition now.

Look at the episode mentioned previously: It starts by having a rape test by which a senior high school woman tweets angrily concerning the football player accused of assaulting her. She actually is jailed for contempt, plus the situation falters until—in an echo associated with the real-world Steubenville rape case—the activist that is online Anonymous leakages a mobile phone video clip showing the accused rapist laughing at rape jokes of a blow-up doll. Anonymous people reveal up in court, producing a spectacle. Meanwhile, Florrick along with her team wrestle with a few questions: Can faceless, anarchic online activists be trusted? Just how can phonecams alter a criminal activity similar to this, since released videos run as both proof and an act that is criminal on their own? What is the legal standing of a image that is viral?

The plot had been ripped through the headlines, however the Good Wife went deeply to the weeds in pondering just just how technology transforms life that is everyday. That isn’t the example that is only.

Eike Schroter/Photofest: Due To Samsung

In a single episode, Florrick makes use of the transnational nature of Twitter to thwart Uk libel laws and regulations. An additional, the show reveals an energy-drink company that employs shills to create remarks on anorexia-glorifying “pro-Ana” websites. The wife that is good once sued a Google-like internet search engine for juking the ranks of the voice-recognition pc software business, within an episode en en titled “Two Girls, One Code.” (most readily useful minute: The apparently senile, hard-of-hearing judge abruptly reveals angry technology skillz. “An attribute-based link-analysis is maybe not a shut system,” he lectures during the defendant’s lawyer.)

One episode also mused Talmudically on the legal and meaning that is political of.

Whenever the show comes back this fall, plotlines should include telepresence robots as well as an episode prompted by Redditors’ bungled tries to recognize the Boston bombers. Television shows and movies, needless to say, have traditionally utilized digital tools and real-life techie activities as plot points—but seldom with much nuance.

television FREQUENTLY PORTRAYS TECH AS IMPLAUSIBLY SUPERPOWERED OR ALARMINGLY HAZARDOUS.

Generally in most programs, technology is painted as either implausibly superpowered (“Wait—enhance that image!”) or alarmingly dangerous. Procedurals have already been specific offenders. On legislation & Order, the web is mainly only a shadowy destination where teenagers are lured with their death. On individual of Interest, government agencies utilize pervasive surveillance technology to anticipate malintent with pinpoint precision.

The Good Wife prevents this Manichaean trap. It is most likely as a result of the undeniable fact that the show’s creators and showrunners, husband-and-wife team Robert and Michelle King, are curious nerds. “I’m simply fascinated with just just exactly how culture is evolving through social media while the impact of Silicon Valley on virtually every part of life,” claims Robert King. Their objective just isn’t to help make a polemical instance for or against technology, he adds. “The show does not make an effort to damn things, because I do not genuinely believe that’s truth. The improvements getting used in a totalitarian culture like Asia may also be used to prompt the spring that is arab. Social media had been managed really simplistically on television. We thought it could be made by us our personal.”

Most of exactly exactly how technology plays when you look at the world that is real a question of message acts—a normal topic for an intelligent show about attorneys. “Words would be the weapons on appropriate programs,” King states. Plus, the show’s authors’ space is filled up with tech-curious kinds; author Corinne Brinkerhoff conceived associated with Bitcoin episode after becoming fascinated with the alternative cash system.

For theoretically advanced people, it is fun to possess viewing that is sunday-night understands its means around SEO and crypto. It will make TV better. But I would argue that the nice Wife’s impact is much much deeper than that. It possibly makes reality better.

Fictive depictions of technology are influential. television and films have traditionally shaped exactly exactly how people that are everyday the world—and more essential, the way they misunderstand it.

As an example, the parade of wicked hackers in Hollywood films look a lot more effective compared to truth. But politicians have actually taken care of immediately the film type of blackhat coders, passing legislation that clamp down on also computer activity that is innocuous. The Reagan-era Congress ended up being therefore frightened by the cartoonish hacker exploits in War Games it passed sweeping computer-crime regulations still utilized as being a bludgeon today that is legal. Now, the prosecutors of Bradley Manning invoked these tropes that are tired. They stated the application of basic Unix commands—and white-on-black, DOS-style displays—was inherently nefarious, because hey: Isn’t that exactly exactly just how hackers look on TV? In the ’30s we had “reefer madness” films; this”hacker is called by the Electronic Frontier Foundation madness.”

This is exactly why the great Wife is such a stream of much-needed air. Let me think we could evaluate social modification calmly and dispassionately, we can map the contours of our electronic globe by parsing trenchant nonfiction and maintaining up to date with the headlines.

But we are narrative animals. tales matter; fiction things. Want it or perhaps not, they may be where digital literacy—and illiteracy—begins. If folks are planning to seem sensible of just just how technology changes culture, we desperately need smart stories and tale-tellers that are smart.

The nice Wife is just a perfectly entertaining procedural, however if it manages to instruct individuals the definitions behind a technical culture, therefore much the greater.

we can map the contours of our electronic globe by parsing trenchant nonfiction and maintaining up to date with the headlines.

But we are narrative animals. tales matter; fiction things. Want it or perhaps not, they may be where digital literacy—and illiteracy—begins. If folks are planning to seem sensible of just just how technology changes culture, we desperately need smart stories and tale-tellers that are smart.

The nice Wife is just a perfectly entertaining procedural, however if it manages to instruct individuals the definitions behind a technical culture, therefore much the greater.