Toward the end of the first Terminator film, a Mexican gas attendant tells Sarah Connor, "There's a storm coming."
She calmly replies, "I know."
Thankfully, in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, we find the culprit responsible for the death and destruction of 99.9 percent of mankind and worse, the progenitor of that storm prophesied by the Mexican gas attendant from the first film.
Miles Dyson is the individual who conjured up an Indian Armageddon Rain Dance by reverse engineering the Terminators partially destroyed robotic arm from the first film and creating advanced weaponry that will become self-aware and wage war on humanity:
Miles Bennett Dyson, a high ranking employee at Cyberdyne Systems, will invent a new microprocessor that will revolutionize the entire military computer system.Dyson is an individual of unbelievable brilliance, capable of devising imaginative uses for captured, advanced technology and crafting weapons systems unfortunately are equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI). He is also a Black person.
Dyson is asked permission to conduct a test with a device that is only referred to as 'it'. When one of his co-workers asks where it came from, he gives him the same answer he received from his superiors: Don't ask. Dyson goes into the vault, where he observes a fragment of a computer chip, and a metal robot arm that was clearly once attached to a Terminator.
Played by Joe Morton, Dyson is a tragic figure in the Terminator mythology. When confronted with the truth of his Frankenstein creation, he finds regurgitation the only reaction:
Sarah Connor: [narrating] Dyson listened while the Terminator laid it all down: Skynet, Judgment Day, the history of things to come. It's not everyday you find out that you're responsible for 3 billion deaths. He took it pretty well.However, in the film he leads the ragtag of doomsday warriors into the heart of Cyberdyne Systems and ultimately sacrifices his own life so that John Connor can live:
Miles Dyson: I feel like I'm gonna throw up.
"Knowing his injuries were fatal, Miles bid the others to escape and stayed behind to trigger the bombs' remote, which would be flipped by a large piece of the Neural Net Processor model in Miles's hand which he would drop when he died. The SWAT team realized this too late when they cornered him at gunpoint as he lay on the ground, and promptly panicked, running away. Miles succumbed to his injuries with a heartfelt and slow death noted by shallowed labored breathing and died a few seconds later. His lifeless hand dropped the model on the trigger, destroying the lab and a sizable portion of Cyberdyne Headquarters."Remember, Black people don't like movies where they don't save the world and Dyson does his damnedest to save the world from the cold grip of steel that the Terminators wield.
Why the inclusion of Miles Dyson into the fictional world of Black History Month's look at how movies help craft a make-believe view of the world? Simple. Terminator 2 made half a billion dollars in the worldwide box office and has sold millions of copies on VHS and DVD.
The noble character of Dyson in the film is one of the shining examples of fictional Black History Month at SBPDL, for Black scientists are a rare breed to behold in the real world.
We have discussed the unfortunate reality of Black people and Nobel Peace Prize (only wins for literature and peace, never for science or math).
Worse, Silicon Valley is looking under every rock for a real-life Miles Dyson:
"San Jose's black population fell by about 11 percent from 2000 to 2006, to about 27,000, even though the city's total population is growing. In San Francisco, where the African-American population is down more than 15 percent since 2000, Mayor Gavin Newsom has called for the creation of a task force to try to stabilize the city's black population.Every effort to find engineering talent in the Black community is underway and yet the results aren't encouraging:
Some black engineers, executives and managers at Silicon Valley tech companies say that while their numbers have never been large, the dwindling population can add to a feeling of isolation, both in and outside the office.
There's a shorter supply of people who can serve as mentors or champions when companies start deciding whom to lay off.
"You are happy to see another African American when you see them because it's so rare," said Pamela Jackson, director of product marketing for Symantec, the Cupertino software maker that is headed by one of the most prominent black chief executives in the valley, John Thompson. "But you become very accustomed to being the only one in a meeting. It doesn't mean you ever like it, or anything like that."
"However, African Americans hold only about 8 percent of BSCS degrees, according to Women, Minorities, and Persons With Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2000, a study by the National Science Foundation (Arlington, VA) that was based on figures from 1996. But many African Americans are doing well in the field. Diversity/Careers talked to nine of them."Worse, one of the schools were the fictional Miles Dyson might have been educated - the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) - has failed to find a Black person worthy of hiring or promoting in one score:
These statistics are unkind to the false idol of Dyson, when you consider how few doctoral degrees are awarded to Black people which only further cements his place among the fictional heroes of Black History Month at SBPDL:
In some departments, such as chemistry, mathematics, and nuclear science and engineering, no minorities have been hired in the last two decades, according to the report, which was more than two years in the making.
MIT's first comprehensive study of faculty racial diversity and the experiences of underrepresented minority professors highlights a national problem across academia: the need to improve the pipeline of black and Hispanic scholars.
Blacks and Hispanics make up only 6 percent of MIT faculty, an increase of 4.5 percent since 2000 but far below the university's goal of achieving parity with the nation, where underrepresented minorities make up 30 percent of the population."
Sadly, something called the racial gap in learning persists despite trillions of dollars being spent to fill this cataclysmic chasm of injustice that an army of well-trained Crusading White Pedagogues isn't likely to overturn.
"A strong indicator of the fact that African Americans as a group continue to avoid most of the natural sciences appears in the statistics for specific disciplines. In 2004, 2,100 doctorates were awarded by universities in the United States in the fields of mathematical statistics, botany, optics physics, human and animal pathology, zoology, astrophysics, geometry, geophysics and seismology, general mathematics, nuclear physics, astronomy, marine sciences, nuclear engineering, polymer and plastics engineering, veterinary medicine, topology, hydrology and water resources, animal nutrition, wildlife/range management, number theory, fisheries science and management, atmospheric dynamics, engineering physics, paleontology, plant physiology, general atmospheric science, mathematical operations research, endocrinology, metallurgical engineering, meteorology, ocean engineering, poultry science, stratigraphy and sedimentation, wood science, polymer physics, acoustics, mineralogy and petrology, bacteriology, logic, ceramics science engineering, animal breeding and genetics, computing theory and practice, and mining and mineral engineering. Not one of these 2,100 doctoral degrees went to an African American."
So if you can't change nature, do your best to stifle any nutriment:
Miles Dyson is a Black scientist that makes George Washington Carver achievements in furthering mankind's usage of the peanut appear trivial in comparison. However, Black people in the real-world have an almost visceral hatred of technology. Indeed, HP Computers fail to recognize Black people!
"Berkeley High School is considering a controversial proposal to eliminate science labs and the five science teachers who teach them to free up more resources to help struggling students.
The proposal to put the science-lab cuts on the table was approved recently by Berkeley High's School Governance Council, a body of teachers, parents, and students who oversee a plan to change the structure of the high school to address Berkeley's dismal racial achievement gap, where white students are doing far better than the state average while black and Latino students are doing worse."
But why in the world are we deprived a real-life Miles Dyson?:
"I was reminded of the computer journalist Robert X. Cringely's documentary film Triumph of the Nerds (1996), about the creation of the current cyber-elite. Cringely spent time with young people at swap meets, watching them become entranced with electronics and the technological future, building their own machines and dreaming of starting the next Apple. There were no blacks in sight. Young black Americans, who could have been cashing in on the bonanza that was then buzzing through cyberspace, didn't appear to be aware of it. What kind of job could be more appropriate for a technologically literate inner-city youth than to perform this kind of service?Stuff Black People Don't Like find Miles Dyson one of the top 5 examples of a fictional Black History Month hero. He helped improve a version of an advanced microprocessor, which ultimately brought about judgment day. Black people still search for a real Dyson, with no evidence of any coming soon.
What is intriguing, and deeply disturbing, is that blacks have participated as equals in the technological world only as consumers, otherwise existing on the margins of the ethos that defines the nation, underrepresented as designers, innovators, and implementers of our systems and machines. As a group, they have suffered from something that can loosely be called technological illiteracy."
Perhaps it is fitting that the man behind many of the actual creations that lead to the development of the microprocessor, William Shockley, predicted a future judgment day when the ranks of those technological illiterate far exceeded those capable of running a technological advanced society.
A storm is coming, indeed. Nothing we can do will change this. Sometimes, in the face of judgment, all you can is laugh.