Thursday, November 15, 2012

You Can't Shoot An Arrow Through A Gordian Knot

In July, I discussed how intrigued I was by the problem Ann Nocenti had placed before Green Arrow. If he wanted to save his company, and the jobs of all the people who worked there, he had to turn over his top-of-the-line facial recognition software to Jin Fang, who would certainly use it for evil purposes. Offhand, it seems like a no-brainer to not give human rights restricting technology to such an untrustworthy person. but it was Oliver's fault his company was in such dire straits. If he felt any responsibility to his employees, then he had to do something. I didn't expect the solution to be, "give the Wolf Tech to Jin Fang", but I hadn't expected he'd provide it to Suzie Ming as well, so she can use it to monitor Jin Fang as he monitors other people.

It's hardly a perfect solution. It's effectiveness is dependent on how trustworthy Suzie is, which is true for any of the real world surveillance techniques or laws that we have. Their potential for abuse is only limited by the intentions of the people with control over them. So it does come down to trust.

And it also comes down to China policing itself, essentially. That's another of those conundrums. Jun fang purchased Q-Core under perfectly legal circumstances, Wolf Tech was developed by Q-Core, so he is (apparently, I don't know patent law) within his rights to expect that to be included among the assets he acquired. If Oliver doesn't give it to him, there could be much larger repercussions than what happens to Q-Core, considering the current relationship between China and the U.S. China's connected to the larger world, but some things still have to be settled in house.

Because really, what did Oliver accomplish as Green Arrow? He got himself thrown in a secret jail, broke out, attacked a businessman (albeit one with a flamboyant style of his own), and rekilled a couple of senior citizens Jin Fang only set loose because Oliver refused the offer initially. The only thing he did was delay the sale long enough to meet Suzie and decide he could trust her. Not exactly a banner day for the American barging in and trying to force things to fit his worldview. That's been one of Oliver Queen's problems for decades: The problems he finds himself concerned with are not ones readily solved by shooting arrows at things. I'm surprised Green Arrow attacking a prominent businessman in his own home didn't cause more of a ruckus, but since Fang thinks he got what he wanted, I guess he'd prefer it be kept quiet.

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