Mr. Robot: with spoilers

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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 18 Sep 2016, 16:53

I'm also wondering if the show isn't about to veer away from "realistic" science fiction -- something that actually could happen, with just the currently existing levels of technology -- and go into "unrealistic" sci-fi. Though, granted, much of the "unrealistic" theories are not my own, but speculations I've read online: maybe the answers to these mysteries have something to do with time travel! Or alternate realities! Mind control! Telekinesis! Androids!
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Kolohe
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Kolohe » 18 Sep 2016, 17:23

Jennifer wrote:Zl vavgvny thrff jnf gung vg jnf Fpbgg Xabjyrf (uhfonaq bs gur jbzna Gleryy zheqrerq), rfcrpvnyyl fvapr gur "cerivbhfyl" fprarf ng gur ortvaavat bs gung rcvfbqr fubjrq Wbnaan ng na RPbec cnegl zragvbavat gb gur Xabjyrfrf gung Gleryy nyjnlf tvirf ure yvggyr tvsgf -- onfvpnyyl, V svtherq Xabjyrf jnf hfvat gur cubar pnyyf, naq bppnfvbany cerggl-ohg-hfryrff tvsgf, gb fnqvfgvpnyyl shpx jvgu Wbnaan. Ohg gur unccl jnl fur ernpgrq hcba frrvat gur nqqerff nccrnef gb oybj GUNG gurbel bhg bs gur jngre.
This is good theory for the location, and it doesn't even have to be some kind of maskirovka of the location's owner/user. There are other clues that it may be straight up reality (and it's the location's owner/user that's getting played) (again)
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Kolohe
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Kolohe » 18 Sep 2016, 17:34

I'm a little less worried about the Lost scenario, because Robot is a single showrunner with a single vision in what is for all practical purposes a rookie effort. Plus cable TV execs have less of a reputation for executive medling. (Which has its upsides and downsides)

Numerous tossed off references to Back to the Future in both seasons plus this season Bernstain Bears reference do point to a propensity for 'alternate reality' storytelling, but I think they're are in fact just toss offs - or just a reference to some characters having multiple realities

If there's a downfall in this series, it's going to be mother fucking Bitcoin as a major plot point. Esmail may knows computers, but he doesn't really understand 'money', much less the US government's relation with it at the dawn of the 21st century.

Also the other penny I'm waiting to drop is on the fact that the FBI agent goes by 'Dom' and Joanna Wellick has certain role playing preferences in bed.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 18 Sep 2016, 18:18

Kolohe wrote: If there's a downfall in this series, it's going to be mother fucking Bitcoin as a major plot point. Esmail may knows computers, but he doesn't really understand 'money', much less the US government's relation with it at the dawn of the 21st century.
But it's not "Bitcoin" -- which is mentioned by name in the series -- but ECoin. Which, sebz gur crefcrpgvir bs nalbar jub tvirf nal fbeg bs n qnza nobhg cevinpl (sne orybj bssvpvny "yvoregnevna" yriryf) vf ubeevslvat: erzrzore Cuvyvc Cevpr gryyvat gung tbireazrag thl "Lrnu, lbh pna erthyngr gur uryy bhg bs vg! Onpxqbbef, sebag qbbef, fvqr qbbef, lbh pna frr rirel fvatyr zbargnel genafnpgvba nalbar rire znxrf" -- lrppu.

Nyfb, tvira gur serdhrag zragvbaf bs be nyyhfvbaf gb gur batbvat fubegntr bs npghny uneq-pheerapl pnfu, vg'f boivbhf gung jungrire gur uryy ryfr gur tbireazrag vf qbvat, gurl'er abg rira gelvat gb znxr "uneq pbcvrf" bs "ryrpgebavp" zbarl; ab gubhtug bs "Uzz, tvira gur boivbhf ceboyrzf jvgu ryrpgebavp zbarl naq onaxvat naq rirelguvat ryfr juvpu gur 5/9 unpx unf rkcbfrq, znlor vg jbhyq or jbegu er-pbafvqrevat gur abgvbaf bs 'pnfu' naq 'cncre purpxf' naq gur yvxr -- gurl'er abg nf bofbyrgr nf cer-5/9 shghevfgf jbhyq unir lbh oryvrir."

Gung fnvq: V guvax gung V zlfrys zber-be-yrff haqrefgnaq gur pbaprcg bs "zbarl" nf n fgber bs inyhr (rfcrpvnyyl nf bccbfrq gb cer-zbarl onegre-a-genqr rpbabzvrf); V haqrefgnaq gur pbaprcg bs "svng zbarl" juvpu unf ab "vaurerag" inyhr, gur jnl cerpvbhf zrgnyf qb, ohg trgf inyhr ivn orvat onpxrq ol gur evpu-a-cbjreshy HF tbireazrag. V'q rira haqrefgnaq gur inyhr bs RPbva, vs vg jrer vaqrrq gb or genqrq bar-sbe-bar jvgu gur HF qbyyne -- gung jbhyq or nabgure sbez bs tbireazrag-onpxrq svng zbarl, bayl jvgu n cevingr pbecbengvba freivat nf n zvqqyrzna .... ohg V qb abg haqrefgnaq jurer gur inyhr bs Ovgpbva pbzrf sebz.
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Kolohe
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Kolohe » 18 Sep 2016, 19:23

Talk about the idiot ball, it's in the federal government. Why can't the Federal Reserve via the Treasury department send pallets of cash to the streets of major US cities - they certainly can send them to Kabul, Bagdad, and Tehran.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 18 Sep 2016, 19:56

Kolohe wrote:Talk about the idiot ball, it's in the federal government. Why can't the Federal Reserve via the Treasury department send pallets of cash to the streets of major US cities - they certainly can send them to Kabul, Bagdad, and Tehran.
Shortly after my last encrypted post, it occurred to me that the government's apparent idiocy in the show actually is pretty realistic. Look at the real, non-TV world we live in: it's been obvious for years now that anything connected to the Internet can be hacked -- and will be hacked, if some enough talented hackers (especially those with the backing of an entire nation-state) are determined to do so. Which did not prevent things like the OPM from putting the entire fucking database of security-clearance holders onto some hackable machine where the Chinese and/or Russian government could steal it with ease.

So, yeah: just because hackers/terrorists committed the biggest financial crime in history via taking advantage of the hyooooge risks inherent in a no-cash, all-electronic money/payment system, that probably does NOT mean the government (or anyone else with influence and/or power) would re-think the notion of all-electronic money -- nor even think "Of ALL companies to be trusted to oversee electronic money, maybe it should NOT be the same company which already lost all of its financial records to the aforementioned hacker terrorists, thus bringing about worldwide economic chaos."
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Mo
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Mo » 18 Sep 2016, 20:10

It's not very practical to put a database of personnel records in airgapped machines.
his voice is so soothing, but why do conspiracy nuts always sound like Batman and Robin solving one of Riddler's puzzles out loud? - fod

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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 18 Sep 2016, 20:53

Mo wrote:It's not very practical to put a database of personnel records in airgapped machines.
It's even less practical to put a database of national security secrets onto connected machines so hackers working for a foreign government can steal the whole shebang at once. (Remember, it wasn't merely "personnel records" which were stolen, but the files about security clearance holders.)

I've never bought into the "you must give up liberty for security" nonsense -- but I do think there are areas where you have to give up some convenience for security. Because, for all that I'm sure using the Internet to instantaneously send or access blackmail-worthy security-personnel info from across the country was more convenient, and also cheaper, than the (presumed) old-school method of using trusted couriers to personally deliver this information, it turns out that China was able to no-shit take advantage of this convenience as well.
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 18 Sep 2016, 21:48

But, the debate over "letting X amount of stuff be connected/hackable: should we, or shouldn't we?" is irrelevant where the show's concerned, because there, the government's answer appears to be "we should, and we're doing it." To the point where they are, by all available evidence, allowing a chronic cash shortage to fester and harm the economy, rather than print physical cash money to replace at least some of that lost electronic money.

Of course, in our current economy -- and Mr. Robot's prior to the hack -- cash currency is only a tiny fraction of all U.S. dollars in existence. Most money is ethereal: you get paid via direct deposit (no cash), you then pay your bills by either direct deposit, or perhaps by writing check (no cash), a lot of people buy groceries and other store purchases with credit cards (no cash) .... even though I use cash more than most people, I only ever use it for stores and restaurants; the majority of mine and Jeff's expenses (housing, utilities, insurance policies, car payment, etc.) are still taken care of without cash.

If the government were to try alleviating such a problem by literally printing money -- not to create "new" money, merely to replace the "ethereal" dollars which were lost -- how would that actually play out?
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 18 Sep 2016, 21:54

According to the Federal Reserve, "There was approximately $1.46 trillion in circulation as of June 1, 2016, of which $1.4 trillion was in Federal Reserve notes." I guess the rest is coins. Much of that money is actually overseas somewhere, but even if you assume every cent is within US borders, $1.4 trillion divided by 319 million people in the US (per 2014) is less than $4,400 per person.
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Kolohe
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Kolohe » 18 Sep 2016, 22:42

Give it to credit unions and what banks still exist. This is also a case where having so much of the workforce in the public sector is actually an advantage in the short term - payroll can revert to physical FRNs pretty easy for government workers, who will pass them through to the rest of the economy.

It's not particularly efficient, and not sustainable for the long term, but to solve a crisis like this, the shear size of the US government and its role in the economy are the things that are the most important assets.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Kolohe
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Kolohe » 18 Sep 2016, 22:45

And Rami Malek just won the emmy. (With a perfect opening line to his acceptance - "Please tell me you are seeing this too")
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 18 Sep 2016, 22:49

Kolohe wrote:Give it to credit unions and what banks still exist. This is also a case where having so much of the workforce in the public sector is actually an advantage in the short term - payroll can revert to physical FRNs pretty easy for government workers, who will pass them through to the rest of the economy.

It's not particularly efficient, and not sustainable for the long term, but to solve a crisis like this, the shear size of the US government and its role in the economy are the things that are the most important assets.
Once electronic money is destroyed, the government would probably declare printed currency void because, um, why not? No point in leaving only Colombian cartels with cash.

Actually, that may not be a bad idea anyway.

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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2016, 02:19

One thing which either the show never explained, or I missed it, is whether it was the entire US banking/debt system, or "only" the big chunk of it owned by ECorp. And, is this $50 daily allowance cash-only, or does it refer to ethereal money too?

Presumably, in Mr Robot world, Jeff would still have his job because the cable TV networks are still running. He normally gets paid by direct deposit, and of course his salary is far more than $50 per day, as is true for almost all full-time workers. Are all effective incomes -- at least the amount you can actually access and spend right now -- now down to $50 a day?
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2016, 13:41

Another thought occurs to me: the problem in Mr Robot-world, technically, isn't that "the money" is gone; it's that the electronic records of the money are gone/unobtainable. But the issue of "only a tiny fraction of money is in hard currency; most of it is just ethereal numbers on an account somewhere" has always been the case (at least, always throughout my lifetime, and likely my parents' and grandparents' too).

I remember reading a long-ago Straight Dope article -- pre-ubiquitous Internet, but post-computer -- explaining that the US Mint/ Federal Reserve doesn't "create" money via printing bills or minting coins; most money is actually "created" by banks (with strict regulations and oversight regarding just how much money they can "create"). The example it gave was something like this: I start the Bank of Jen. Kolohe comes along and deposits $100 in a savings account with me, and I write than number in a ledger. Then Mo comes to me and borrows $100 to buy baby stuff. Now, the total "amount" of money overseen by my bank is $200: the hundred bucks Kolohe still has on account, plus the hundred dollars Mo is spending. My bank "created" another hundred dollars in the economy. (The example in that article was much more complicated than that, though: something like, Mo drops the money at the baby superstore, which then deposits that money with me, and I lend it to someone else, and ultimately, Kolohe's hundred-dollar cash deposit has become many hundreds of dollars, spread out among various people's loan and deposit accounts. Plus, of course, there's the interest I pay Kolohe and the baby store as depositors, and the larger interest rate I charge Mo and other borrowers.)

Depending on the regulations, and how much actual cash money I'm required to keep in my bank, I could lend out Kolohe's money several times. And it's always been the case that the banking system is a house of cards, in that the total amount of cash actually on hand is MUCH less than the total amount of money listed within, which is why the threat of a bank run is so awful: if every single one of a given bank's depositors tried withdrawing their funds at once, the bank would not be able to cover it. No bank ever could.

So: "fixing" the horrendous problem which now exists in Mr. Robot world would not require going to an all-cash economy; it would "only" require going back to the pre-Internet banking status quo of my childhood. After all, the problem wasn't even the fact that all bank records are on computers, which from my personal-lifetime perspective has "always" been the case; the problem was that all those computers were interconnected so that a single malware infection -- simultaneous with the physical destruction of the files in the megavault where backup copies are kept -- was enough to wipe out everything.
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Shem » 19 Sep 2016, 15:24

Kolohe wrote:For that matter, I'm not sure if Esmail and Grace Gummer (Agent D) are always on the same page either.
What do you mean by this?

Also, rot13 is a pain in the ass on mobile.
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2016, 15:27

Shem wrote:
Also, rot13 is a pain in the ass on mobile.
Serious question: would you find it easier if, instead of rot 13, spoilers were posted in a white font? I'm guessing highlighting text would be easier than cutting and pasting into a rot 13 translator.
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2016, 15:28

Make that a "pale blue" font; I use the standard forum color settings, wherein the background of posts is light blue.
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Shem
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Shem » 19 Sep 2016, 15:29

Jennifer wrote:So: "fixing" the horrendous problem which now exists in Mr. Robot world would not require going to an all-cash economy; it would "only" require going back to the pre-Internet banking status quo of my childhood. After all, the problem wasn't even the fact that all bank records are on computers, which from my personal-lifetime perspective has "always" been the case; the problem was that all those computers were interconnected so that a single malware infection -- simultaneous with the physical destruction of the files in the megavault where backup copies are kept -- was enough to wipe out everything.
Or build a time machine to change things at will. My favorite theory.

I'm not prepared to concede the Lost comparisons yet. The narrative is moving in a linear fashion still. Things are changing from week to week; it's not like Lost where stuff happened but nothing ever changed. Esmail also had an end in mind when he started (it was originally a movie), that's not the case with Lost.
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Shem » 19 Sep 2016, 15:30

Jennifer wrote:Make that a "pale blue" font; I use the standard forum color settings, wherein the background of posts is light blue.
Not really; highlighting would still be a problem. Easier just to pull the trigger and make it a spoilers thread.
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2016, 15:32

Shem wrote:
Jennifer wrote:Make that a "pale blue" font; I use the standard forum color settings, wherein the background of posts is light blue.
Not really; highlighting would still be a problem. Easier just to pull the trigger and make it a spoilers thread.
Done! Note the changed thread title.
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2016, 16:02

I've been re-watching season 1 -- I'm up to the fourth or fifth episode -- and being reminded of many things I'd managed to forget, including how badly Angela shot herself in the foot from the very beginning. During one of the recent season 2 episodes, Dom told Angela that she's been under surveillance for quite some time now, ever since her ex-boyfriend Ollie told the FBI about putting the infected CD into an Allsafe computer. And just last night I re-watched the season 1 scene where she did that: even at the time, I remember thinking that she was very foolish to have told Ollie "Haha, fuck you, I put that malware CD into the system and used your computer to do it, too!"; if you ARE going to do such a thing to utterly fuck over your (thoroughly sleazy) soon-to-be-ex boyfriend, I'd think the wiser course of action would be to just do it, and not tell him about it.

Had she simply used Ollie's ID and computer to input the malware, then put the ID and malware disc back with Ollie's things and not said anything about it, then Ollie might not have had this juicy bit of information to give the FBI.
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Kolohe
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Kolohe » 19 Sep 2016, 18:12

Shem wrote:
Kolohe wrote:For that matter, I'm not sure if Esmail and Grace Gummer (Agent D) are always on the same page either.
What do you mean by this?

Also, rot13 is a pain in the ass on mobile.
"Hi, Alexa, what can a person do if they have severe social anxiety? Barge into closed off rooms of a PRC minister's house, then engage him in not entirely awkward small talk for the next next minutes? Thanks, Alexa you're the best"

Put aside the fact that someone who looks like the daughter of Meryl Streep would not really be lacking in people (male or female) that would want to be her friend and/or friend with benefits.

I get being lonely in her situation, but I don't get being alone, and I don't get that she's able to handle every single situation from delis to conference rooms to interrogations everywhere and anywhere - but can't handle being in her own bedroom.

Or rather, she's just too good at every other situation to contantly be wearing a mask. I would have liked to see some more subtlety or variability in her interactions with anyone that's not on Amazon Prime. We already have a character that's basically two different people depending on the situation, we don't need another.
when you wake up as the queen of the n=1 kingdom and mount your steed non sequiturius, do you look out upon all you survey and think “damn, it feels good to be a green idea sleeping furiously?" - dhex

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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2016, 18:30

Put aside the fact that someone who looks like the daughter of Meryl Streep would not really be lacking in people (male or female) that would want to be her friend and/or friend with benefits.
That's not necessarily true. Where mere same-sex no-benefits friendship is concerned, being pretty offers no advantage for making friends, and can even be a liability, especially if you're still at the age where you're likely to hear such joking-on-the-square advice as "Never go clubbing with a friend who's better-looking than you are." And, while an attractive woman undoubtedly would have little trouble finding mere sex partners, finding an actual relationship partner can still be difficult -- especially given how many men are likely to be intimidated by someone extra-attractive.

That's assuming Dom's hetero, though; IIRC she's said a couple of things which might suggest she's gay or bi.
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Jennifer
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Re: Mr. Robot: with spoilers

Post by Jennifer » 19 Sep 2016, 18:34

I don't get that she's able to handle every single situation from delis to conference rooms to interrogations everywhere and anywhere - but can't handle being in her own bedroom.
I buy that, though -- everything else you've mentioned, she's done in the context of being "an FBI agent on the job," rather than just "herself." It's similar to how, when I was a working journalist, I had little-to-no difficulty starting conversations with complete strangers in a journalism context -- showing up to an event with pad and recorder in hand, press pass on a lanyard around my neck -- that's entirely different from just "Ordinary, non-working me" being in that same situation.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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