Love Death + Robots, the sci-fi Netflix series which often reminds its viewers of a dystopian Black Mirror vibe, has often found its origin story in real life, which sometimes is stranger than fiction. Black Mirror‘s ‘Metalhead’ may have featured a robotic dog, but Love Death + Robots took it further by designing an episode on the same basic principle as Elon Musk’s ‘Neuralink.’ But that may not be the only connecting the show has with Elon Musk or his electronic vehicle company, Tesla. The second season which dropped on May 14 had fewer episodes than Season 1, with only eight, compared to last season’s 18.
Love Death + Robots, delivers an anthology of unconnected stories that lean towards science fiction, so there’s no chronological connective tissue. It veers into hyper-violent, over-sexualized sequences that dazzle and bewilder. Even that fails to capture the variety of genres and narrative styles that Love, Death & Robots grapples with. This time, one episode which stood out and possibly had an Easter Egg was the episode, ‘The Tall Grass.’ True to its name, it focused on tall grass in the show, and while we don’t want to give away the plot, it had a setting in the past: The time of coal-engine trains and before robotics took over. A passenger and the protagonist of the episode is what the scene opens on: Him reading a newspaper. As he flips through the pages, one photograph clearly stands out - Tesla.
We don’t mean Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company. The black-and-white photo was of Serbian-American inventor, Nikola Tesla. Tesla was a futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. The photo in the paper appeared to be from around late 1890s - putting a timeline on the episode. But other than just a timeline, it also hinted at something else: The future, of electronics, and then, eventually, robotics. The steam engine would be replaced by a eletric engine, and like in some parts of the world, automated trains powered by robots.
The episode itself is about the protagonist’s train makes an unscheduled stop in the middle of nowhere, he steps out to take a cigarette break. Surrounded on all sides by tall grass, the traveler is lured inside by the pretty ethereal lights, but his curiosity may come at a deadly cost when he discovers the source of the illuminations.
Earlier, an episode, ‘Sonnie’s Edge’ from Season 1 featured something Elon Musk pioneered: the Neuralink. The technology used for this connection is simply referred to in the show as an “Affinity Link" which allows the human, in this case, an individual called Sonnie, to effectively take over the mental tasks of the beast, known as Khanivore in this instance. Even as this seems far-fetched and futuristic, such technology is pretty real.
In April 2021, Elon shared a video posted by Neuralink that showed a monkey playing a video game with just a brain chip implanted in it. The forty-second clip uploaded on YouTube by Neurolink showed a nine-year-old macaque Pager, who had a Neuralink placed in each side of his brain, six weeks ago. Pager has learnt to interact with the computer in exchange for a banana smoothie which is delivered through a straw. Interacting with Neuralink is quite easy as the video explains, one just has to pair it with their smartphone.
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