Date: 2017-09-05 12:30 pm (UTC)
viktor_haag: (Default)
From: [personal profile] viktor_haag
The fact that these are not necessarily good guys is underlined by one scene in which the Outriders turn a blind eye to a heinous crime, because exposing it might compromise their mission.


This cements them as good guys, right? I mean, this is a keynote of American Exceptionalism -- competence outweighs principles; the mission outweighs the cost of completing it; the "right thing" to do is to always let the end justify the means because real heroes "have a job to do".

Date: 2017-09-05 02:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] keith_morrison
That's a bit unfair. I'd be hard up to think of a nation whose intelligence services or military wouldn't be faced with that type of situation from time to time.

It's only in movies and TV shows where the heroes don't have to face situations where they have to make compromises.

Date: 2017-09-05 08:04 pm (UTC)
timgueugen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] timgueugen
An episode of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's UFO includes such a situation. Spoilers ahead:








In "The Square Triangle" a woman who is having an affair, and the man she's cheating with, plots to murder her husband. But they accidentally kill an alien from a downed UFO instead. After they're interrogated by SHADO, the secret alien fighting organisation in the series, they're given SHADO's amnesia drug, which erases their memories of the last 24 hours. SHADO boss Ed Straker realises they'll try again, but knows there is no way to warn the police or the potential victim without compromising SHADO security. Footage during the closing credits shows the woman at her husband's grave, followed by her walking away to join her lover.

Date: 2017-09-05 08:29 pm (UTC)
viktor_haag: (Default)
From: [personal profile] viktor_haag
Yes, I agree it's unfair. Pragmatism is not a uniquely USAmerican trait or operating principle, neither is principled behaviour really absent from the USAmerican mythos, I think. I've just been watching a lot of things lately that lionize the American mil/espionage machine and one of the key aspects of its activity is its pragmatism: that is, the argument for doing dirty things, with collateral damage, is that the end justifies the means and "more lives will be saved" etc, etc, etc.

It's certainly fair to admit that the USA certainly didn't create this characteristic, nor that it isn't present, to a certain extent, in the statecraft toolkit of all governments everywhere.

Date: 2017-09-05 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] keith_morrison
It's not just in statecraft. I've been involved in (thankfully simulated thus far) exercises where I've had to knowingly allow people to die because of the greater good/more lives at stake issue, and these were purely civilian disaster response scenarios. And I'm confident enough that were I faced with a similar situation in real life, I'd make the same decision.

It's all well and good to be judgemental when you don't have to worry about facing that choice for real. Sometimes your only choices lie between bad and worse.

Note, however, there's a difference between this sort of thing and the torture-porn justifications for actively doing something evil for morally questionable reasons.
Edited Date: 2017-09-05 08:49 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-09-05 02:56 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] keith_morrison
I commented on the first book that you didn't need the respawn mechanic to see how it was inspired by video games. The scene where they're infiltrating the space station and their armours' HUDs showed the red outlines of enemies even through obstructions as long as someone on the team could detect them is straight out of a MMORPG, first person shooters, and some other games.

Incidentally, it's also how I could see it working in real life, just as a lot of other interfaces these days are based on gaming designs.

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