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Old May 10th 06, 19:54   #1
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EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth

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Old May 10th 06, 21:22   #2
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Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth

I liked it quite a lot.

An interesting sidestory reminding of how unequal access to information, and ability to limit its ordinary flow (or threaten with reprecussions who transmit undesirable information) makes available powerful tools for manipulating perceptions and opinions.

Especially so between places separated by natural (distance), semi-natural (language) or traditional artificial barriers (borders).

Having said that, I wonder how Babylon 5 never mentioned a then mostly fictional, but now increasingly real form of creating artificial information scarcity - namely DRM. I'm sure that EarthGov would have loved to have customer lock-in technologies which media corporations already now develop.

Darn, they're a century ahead of EarthGov already in 2006, and the countermeasures are ahead it too.

Well, perhaps dramatic reasons, perhaps because nobody of the storytellers stumbled on the idea, perhaps because they thought it wouldn't be realistic or interesting. But had I been writing the story, I'd have written in a little question "can DRM be used for this too?".

Given good ideas, "how will people of the time circumvent blockade" would have also been a nice tidbit of a story. But hey, airtime and time in general is finite - it was good enough without getting to everything.
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Old May 10th 06, 21:31   #3
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Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth

One of the more aggravating episodes, not because it's badly done but rather to the contrary.
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Old May 10th 06, 22:15   #4
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Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth

Well put, KoshFan.
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Old May 10th 06, 22:39   #5
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Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth

One of my favorites.

A small character thing about this ep is that it shows that, despite everything, Sheridan can sometimes be incredibly naive. We see this again in season 5.
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Old December 4th 07, 20:56   #6
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Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth

I granted this a B.

And yes, it is incredibly frustrating to watch, especially the 2nd time through.
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Old December 4th 07, 23:03   #7
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Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth

This is one of those episodes that are hard to watch, but that's exactly why Babylon 5 was such a great show. It didn't play it safe and it took you places you didn't want to go.
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Old December 10th 07, 14:08   #8
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Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth

I gave this a C. Not terribly convincing Sheridan and Delenn would fall for this given their run-in's with the press and beaurocracy before. I mean, as the viewer I saw through this straight away on the first viewing. Not a great deal of fun to watch again and again.
Complexity is only simplicity multiplied. You can understand anything you choose. All you have to do is try. This singular thing is what sets apart the greatest minds, the idealists and the visionaries that have shaped the world you live in, from the endless hordes of mundanes who stopped trying from a very early age...
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Old October 13th 10, 22:24   #9
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Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth

Yes, this one is too close to home to be merely "entertaining". We see how propaganda works, how pictures are made to lie, how truth is distorted. And at some level, we realize that it didn't just take place in Communist Russia or Nazi Germany, but is happening today - perhaps even to us?! Not much comfort zone left there...

We see things twisted, taken out of context, in an attempt to "prove" whatever point the government is trying to make. And who in the B5 universe knows the context well enough to recognize that? We viewers have seen Delenn's actions and know that she is not the enemy, but would the ISN audience not be taken in by this so-called documentary?

The other aspect that we also experience today is xenophobia, prejudice, fear of what is different.

What I find especially awful is the hypocritical treatment of Sheridan, with the seemingly well-meaning offer to "help" him.

I didn't see him as being naíve about the reporter - I think he basically decided to get it over with, so that they could see how bad it would be. Bester had warned them about the propaganda that would be coming.

As to the dramatic treatment at the end, I was very impressed that JMS - and Furst, who directed - let it end in complete silence. That says more than any explosive reaction could have done. It was a nice touch to have us see the room and characters from the pov of the screen, which was then turned off.

Oh, and I assume that the ISN commercial breaks were the actual commercial breaks when it was shown on TV - I don't remember...
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Old February 20th 15, 03:24   #10
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Re: EpDis: The Illusion Of Truth

This episode makes me sooo uncomfortable. But I see in this thread it's not just me! Like Koshfan said upthread, it really is well done, which is what makes it uncomfortable.

That Randall is such a smarmy guy, but he speaks the truth when he says everyone has an agenda. I like that that point is being made here by a guy we all hate.

Here yet another example of how non-secure communication over link is. It's not the first time on the show that some inconvenient situation is created because someone overhears a message sent to someone else over their link.

Argh, another evil archaeologist

I enjoy Lennier headbutting the camera after it keeps bumping his head, and that scene where Londo is telling Sheridan about how cold it is in his quarters: "No, I said it was COLD, as in, 'Oh, my left arm has snapped off like an icicle and shattered on the floor!'" in true Londo-fashion. Incidentally, that's kind of how I'm feeling tonight, brrr.

I've commented on this before, but any episode of Babylon 5 that features the TV news looks a bit dated now, because what is portrayed is 90s style news. This isn't how news works now. I don't mean to say I don't think the propaganda is unrealistic, or that I don't think anyone would try something that blatant. On the contrary, I think it's entirely realistic. But you know there would be people countering with their own news all over the place. Even if there is no interstellar internet (and really, isn't there?? Or is Babylon 5 cut off somehow? This isn't actually mentioned, but apparently Sheridan can't just email his parents), people who have gone to Babylon 5 would be tweeting or blogging (or whatever) their own pictures and videos. Ok, I suppose just because we're only shown what ISN is doing doesn't mean that sort of thing isn't happening where we can't see it, but I get the distinct impression that stuff like that doesn't exist in the Babylon 5 universe. There are other episodes where this is more clear.

What's the deal with calling Stockholm syndrome Helsinki syndrome? This appears to be a "thing" elsewhere on the internet also. Is this a joke I am missing?
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