Today we present:
Peter’s Weyland Ted Talk 2023 (Luke Scott, 2012)
[Promotional viral video of Prometheus (Ridley Scott, 2012)]
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Written by Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof and directed by Luke Scott, Peter Weyland’s 2023 TED Talk presents Weyland Corporation founder, Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) presenting his philosophical and business vision during a TED conference set in 2023. Weyland presence coincides with its future participation in Project Prometheus, with reference to the film, where the entrepreneur join a interplanetary mission financed by Weyland Corporation to investigate the origin of humanity.
1) Cinematic quote
The entrepreneur begins his presentation with a reference to T.E. Lawrence, when in a scene by Lawrence of Arabia (D. Lean, 1962), the protagonist blows out a match with his fingers without showing signs of pain.
2) Prometheus myth
The image of fire connects to Greek mythology, presenting the story of Prometheus, the Titan guilty of stealing fire from the Gods to deliver it to humanity. Weyland shows admiration for Prometheus, condemned by the Gods and chained to a rock to be eaten by an eagle’s liver for eternity.
3) Chronology of technological innovation
By defining fire as the first real technological tool available to humanity, Weyland summarizes the fundamental moments of the technological evolution of civilization (stone tools, wheel, gunpowder, light bulb, car, television, nuclear weapons, spacecraft, Internet , fusion, fission, theory M) underlining the extreme technological advancement obtained in the past two decades.
4) Transhumanistic vision
In a provocation, Weyland calls humanity endowed with a “divine” power, now capable of creating artificial life by producing cybernetic individuals soon indistinguishable from human beings.
5) Identity disclosure
Officially presenting himself to the public, Peter Weyland makes clear his unlimited ambition and willingness to change the whole world.
After the intervention, the Weyland Industries logo and the company website refer to an IT domain.
T.E. Lawrence, eponymously of Arabia, but very much an Englishman, favoured pinching a burning match between his fingers to put it out.
When asked by his colleague, William Potter, to reveal his trick — how is it he so effectively extinguished the flame without hurting himself whatsoever — Lawrence just smiled and said, “The trick, Potter, is not minding it hurts.”.
The fire that danced at the end of that match was a gift from the Titan Prometheus, a gift that he stole from the gods. When Prometheus was caught and brought to justice for his theft, the gods, well, you might say they overreacted a little. The poor man was tied to a rock as an eagle ripped through his belly and ate his liver over and over, day after day, ad infinitum. All because he gave us fire, our first true piece of technology. Fire.
100.000 BC: Stone tools. 4.000, BC: The wheel. 9th century, AD: Gunpowder. Bit of a game-changer, that one. 19th century: Eureka! The light bulb! 20th century: the automobile, television, nuclear weapons, spacecrafts, Internet. 21st century: Biotech, nanotech, fusion and fission, and M-theory — and that was just the first decade. We are now three months into the year of our Lord, 2023. At this moment in our civilization we can create cybernetic individuals who, in just a few short years, will be completely indistinguishable from us. Which leads to an obvious conclusion: we are the gods now.
For those of you who know me, you will be aware by now that my ambition is unlimited. You know that I will settle for nothing short of greatness, or I will die trying. For those of you who do not yet know me, allow me to introduce myself: my name is Peter Weyland. And if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to change the world.
The seven-minute original version is available in the special contents of Prometheus (Blu-ray), named The Peter Weyland Files. A caption also reveals the exact location of the TED event, indicating: Long Beach, California. 2023. See RSA official website https://bit.ly/3e0XbtK
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