Technology has often been overlooked as a factor that affects power dynamics. However, modern cross-sectional research shows that technology is an important variable that affects power dynamics. In the movie Sleep Dealer, a 2008 film directed by Alex Rivera, depicts the impact of technology on the change of power dynamics in Santa Ana, Oaxaca Mexico. This is an area where the United States of America uses technology to outsource labor from Mexico, which is way behind in technology without allowing the citizens in the country to leave their home area or rip any benefits resulting from their efforts. They acquire power by controlling their water resources and using technology to connect and oppress the subjects by controlling them from the implanted nodes from the other side of the border. However, Memo Cruz, the protagonist of the film who is passionate about technology and hacking, uses a reverse of the technology to conquer the America with an aim of reclaiming their water sources and regaining freedom. Accordingly, the essay focuses on the impact of technology in changing the dynamics of power in close reference to body nodes and drones as depicted in Sleep Dealer movie.
Effective communication is the biggest benefit gained from technology in influencing power dynamics. Use of technology to achieve efficient communication is a key factor in changing power dynamics through the dissemination of information that is necessary for decision-making and execution of plans. This achieved through the use of technology and surveillance in the movie Sleep Dealers. The United States used robotics by implanting nodes on the arms and backs of the subject to enable effective communication between the workers and easy monitoring from the other side of the border with the use of remote-controlled military vehicle and drones (“SLEEP DEALER”). With the utilization of this technology to gain information, they were able to ensure their work was carried out efficiently and consequently the growth of the economy, which results in power acquisition. In reverse to changing power dynamics, Memo builds an electronic receiver to tap into their communication channels to find information that works against them. Memo and Ramirez are connected later on by Luz, where they bypass the network and can control one of the drones and use aerial dogfighting to blast one of the dams and consequently regain power (“SLEEP DEALER”).
Technology enables the creation of sophisticated weapons and devices that are very useful in changing power dynamics, especially in a battlefield. Superior weapons that are created through the invention of modern technology are used to win battles and acquire necessary information for conquering the enemy in focus. In the movie, the United States used sophisticated weapons to conquer and manipulate the laborers in Santa Ana. This technology included the use of advanced drones to locate and destroy Memo’s home and kill his father (“SLEEP DEALER”). They also use remote-controlled military vehicles to locate and launch an attack and thus gaining control and power over the subjects who were outdated in technology. In the reverse, Memo and his brother use live broadcast to intercept frequency of drone. However, the attempts fail as they were caught and the drone ends up destroying their home and consequently killing their father. Memo and Ramirez use their hacking and electronic devices knowledge to access the network to control one of their enemy’s drones (“SLEEP DEALER”). The move is intercepted by other aerial vehicles and hence ends up in dog fighting, which manages to blast a hole in one of the dams and consequently, regain control of the water and effectively changing the power dynamics. Ironically, Ramirez and Memo used the advanced technology of their superiors to work against them by applying reverse knowledge in technology.
Technology enables quick dissemination of information, which is necessary for decision-making while acquiring and maintaining power. The information provides a competitive advantage over rivals, and this is important while making important decisions that affect power. For instance, the United States Company implanted nodes on the arms and backs of laborers to guard and acquire information from them that gave them an advantage over their subjects (“SLEEP DEALER”). They used a remote-controlled military aerial vehicle for surveillance to gain necessary data for decision-making. When Memo was monitoring the frequency of the drones, the remote-controlled military vehicle was used to acquire information that intercepted him and consequently attacked his home. The company also strategically positioned nodes into the arms and backs of people and used digital brains to acquire the necessary information with an objective of gaining power. Memo and his brother used technology to learn of the impending drone attack in their homes and consequently, they run to save their father, a move that failed. Luz and Memo used nodes to obtain useful information, which later used by Ramirez to learn that he was wrongly advised. As a result, he joined hands with Memo to fight for the people, and they were able to change the power dynamics (“SLEEP DEALER”).
Sophisticated technology acts a great equalizer in power acquisition since it enables one to acquire valuable information and to disseminate it effectively with an aim of informing actions. In the movie, technology acted as a primary equalizer in power acquisition and reversely in the later change of supremacy dynamics. The film depicts the residents of Santa Ana as technologically backward population without necessary information, communication channels, and modern weapons and devices to counter invasion driven by technology. However, Memo who is passionate about technology, hacking and electronic devices connects with two other like-minded people with an aim of using the United States machinery to reverse power back to their people (“SLEEP DEALER”). In this regard, technology acted as an equalizer in the change of power dynamics.
In conclusion, technology is one of the main factors that influences power dynamics as it drives structure of power as depicted in the movie Sleep Dealer. In the film, the United State use post-modern technology to invade and control Santa Ana with an objective of obtaining free labor. Technology is used to promote effective communication that is important in decision-making as depicted in the movie in instances of power acquisition and reversal. The use of modern technology also ensures the provision of superior weapons and devices that are useful in power acquisition. The use of modern technology also ensures the provision of superior weapons and devices that are useful in power acquisition as evident when the United States Company applied sophisticated arms to acquire power and also derive information, knowledge, and experience from the people. In this perspective, I agree with Rivera and Anderson that individuals without power can realign the power dynamic by re-appropriating technologies.
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