There are only a few things that can be considered utopian in the novel “Snow Crash. ” What is ideal in their society is that everything is ran by robots and computers. The future world seems to promise that the responsibilities of humanity will be lessened due to the aid of artificial intelligence. With that help from robots and computers, humanity can focus more on essential utopian concepts like ethics, arts, discipline, among many others.
But Snow Crash shows us the irony that the result of being dependent to artificial intelligence can downgrade human intelligence. This is displayed when the hackers were being overpowered and killed by a computer virus named “Snow Crash. ” The things that are happening in Snow Crash are far from being utopian. What is ideal a society that is being run by computers, not to mention a society where virtually everything is encrypted and hackable. The dystopia is further exaggerated by the fact that even the small industry is being run by the mafia.
The mafia is even able to do their illegal operations explicitly and no one is questioning them. The society in Snow Crash is stripped of all the ideals that a utopian is pursuing. Even the hero of the story, Hiro Protagonist, is ironically almost deprived of heroic characteristics. He is a professional hacker that violates property rights of others. His being far from the ideal hero suggests that the text has something to do with dystopia. What elements of 2001 Space Odyssey parallel Snow Crash with regards to utopian and dystopian theme?
Just like in Snow Crash, 2001 Space Odyssey expresses a dystopian theme, although the movie does this in a much subtler manner than Snow Crash. The movie had tapped into the fear of many that artificial intelligence may someday overtake humanity in terms of intelligence. The artificial intelligent program, named Hal is the main antagonist in the story. Hal became a representative of artificial intelligence and its potential destructive capabilities. Also, a similarity between 2001 Space Odyssey and Snow Crash is the pursuit and the attained progress in terms of knowledge.
It is a utopian ideal to push the boundaries of knowledge with the belief that endeavor would be for the betterment of humanity. The movie was mostly about a space exploration with a mission to bring back home grand breaking discoveries of alien existence. A utopian society has this ideal pursuit of knowledge because of the notion that it can improve the society’s living conditions. Moreover, just like Snow Crash, the movie had presented what can be considered one of the drawbacks of a utopian society. That drawback is the ideal of being hard-working.
In Snow Crash, the concept of employment is expressed by Hiro Protagonist having to joggle multiple jobs. Employment is in 2001 Space Odyssey as the main characters are needed to very far from home, “very far” even sounds like an understatement. But interestingly, employment is much dramatized in the movie specifically in a scene where Poole had received from Earth a video of a birthday party. That depressing scene happened just before Hal was going berserk. Snow Crash and 2001 Space Odyssey tells us that the pursuit of utopia somehow results to dystopia.