The Camera & Wild Power

In class today, beginning with the two videos of the Mission Playground/District ‘clash’, my group focused on a discussion of an “invasive” technology and its powers. For example, the ‘intruding’ population was a force of tech workers, who butted heads with the pre-existing, long-term residents of the community. Likewise, the growing Patternfolk numbers have a new technology (i.e., telepathy/mind control).

In our thinking aloud, we discussed how it was significant that it was not just some [other] gentrifying force, but specifically one that is dependent upon technology as their means of living, for “technology”, as we often think of it today (since the age of technological connection/the Internet), is a social technology, meaning that it has social power. The ‘intruding’ soccer team used their own technology (an app they made ‘outside the system’ to schedule and reserve the field that wasn’t really tied to any community laws) to try and butt out the community scrimmage players…

…however, even though we discussed ‘intruding wealth’ against the pre-existing, poorer community members, they still had a CAMERA, a piece of technology… the tech workers’ “own” technology was being used against them. As shown with the previous books in the Patternmaster series, there is a natural potential for new power, especially of a social kind (although it seemed that Doro controlled most of it…). However, given the extra-terrestrial, but still natural origin of the Clay’s Ark virus, it stands that Butler is commenting on the fact that all groups get their power from like origins (i.e. naturally, or created by natural beings), and that a group will always emerge to challenge the newest claimant to power. As the Pattern emerged in Mind of My Mind to challenge and defeat Doro’s “era,” we should be on the lookout for newly emerging social powers, or indeed “stolen” social powers like the camera, that enable new groups to challenge the old groups. After all, Butler has said that she does not write “good and bad guys,” and it is obvious from Mary’s narration that she isn’t all good, even if some of us readers tentatively sighed in relief to Doro’s downfall!

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