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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Intelligence 1.10: Lillian's Daughter

A good Intelligence 1.10 this past Monday, with personally motivated terrorism in San Francisco, and Gabriel, Riley, and Lillian heading out there to stop it.  Once again, digital sophistication is not enough to stop an attack - boots on the ground, worn by people with talented as well as cyber-assisted heads on their shoulders, are needed.   As I pointed out at length in my 2003 book, Realspace: The Fate of Physical Presence in the Digital Age, the palpable reality of flesh and blood in the physical world will be an ever necessary accompaniment - sometimes enjoyable, sometimes not - as we increasingly live important parts our lives on the Internet.

But the best part of Intelligence 1.10 was learning more about Lillian and her life, which becomes a center-stage issue because her daughter is living in San Francisco.   Lillian's relationship with her daughter is not the greatest - interesting, because Marg Helgenberger's Catherine Willows also had a difficult relationship with her daughter on CSI.   This is more than coincidence.  It has to be especially difficult for any mother in law-enforcement to have a good relationship with her children, with the life-and-death demands of the job taking precedence over family.   Maybe in Andy Griffith's Mayberry, but not in our real world.

J. J. in Criminal Minds is constantly torn between her family and her work, but Lillian has it even worse on Intelligence, because she doesn't live with her daughter, and indeed they live on opposite sides of the country.  It's easy enough, to get back to the digital world versus the real world, to keep in touch with a child or a loved one via Skype and any number of Internet ways.   But last time I checked, you can't give a reassuring hug through digital means - even three-dimensional holography wouldn't do the trick - and that possibility of a hug makes all the difference.

See also Intelligence Debuts ... Intelligence 1.2: Lightning Changes ...Intelligence 1.3: Edward Snowden and 24 ... Intelligence 1.4: Social Media Weaponry ... Intelligence 1.5: The Watch ... Intelligence 1.6: Helix meets Rectify and Justified ... Intelligence 1.7: Nanites ...Intelligence 1.8: Heart of Darkness, Cyberstyle ... Intelligence 1.9:  EMP Amnesia and Children


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