The Outer Limits: “Stream of Consciousness”

In the Outer Limits, a future world, with free access to the Data Stream or as it is more commonly known, ‘the stream’ everyone has cranial implants that allow their brains direct access to any of the information the stream has to offer. The main character of the episode was denied an implant as he has a medical complication prohibiting it. One day, a virus infects the system and it begins causing mysterious deaths, by making the user forcibly gather arbitrary data for the Stream. They are helpless and must seek all available data for the Stream. The main character discovers this and seeks to stop it. One of the few people left with the ability to read, he seeks the help of books, and is able to find an old manual in the archives of a library. He uses the book and a woman with an implant to force the system to process a written command that kills the Stream. This story shows the potential for disaster of humanity growing over dependent on a technology to the point of catastrophe upon failure of the computer. This relationship between man and computer is realistic and is perhaps just a step further than our current dependency on technology to make our lives easier. In this sense, some technological upgrades could be a disadvantage to survival in the sudden event of independency.

A picture from the episode. Pictured is the structure containing the Stream

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