“If you don’t use it, you lose it!” -Every Personal Trainer’s favourite phrase.
The story of the Quarians and the Geth Uprising is about how our technology can turn against us and in more ways than one. The story of the Geth Uprising is the same old AI uprising story and the story of the Quarians is really similiar to a current argument regarding social networking.
The Geth are a race of non-intelligent machines invented by the Quarians for cheap labor. One thing that made the Geth unique is the Neural Network, which allows each individual Geth to communicate with each other and send information. Unfortunately for the Quarians, the Geth became sentient through connectivity, a single unit is brainless, but through numbers they become intelligent. Everything after that is pretty much the same old story of AI rebellion except a bit different.
The Quarian reaction was a rush to destroy all Geth, before anything happens. The Quarians lost the war and were forced to abandon their home-world. Their home-world was the only one clean enough to support their fragile immune systems. Most of the bacteria that was on the planet was actually beneficial to their immune system. After being forced off their planet, they fell back to ships that did not contain these bacteria. As a result their immune systems went even further into atrophy. Now the Quarians have to constantly wear suits to protect them from any harmful bacteria. They cannot interact with anything physically or directly, cannot show their face and filters in their suit remove tone of voice. This video is a bit more descriptive:
Why this is important. Currently there is an argument as to whether social networking is good for society and one of the main points for the negative side is that it entices people to not interact face-to-face. Social Networking ProCon.org One of the other main points against it is that this lack of face-to-face conversation will degrade our skill of doing so (like atrophy). Skills like; interpreting body language, detecting hormones and even detecting and transmitting sarcasm. That is why in the video above, Tali is shy.
“Uuuumm… is the far cry of the chronic masturbater.” –Two and a Half Men spoken by Charlie
The Quarians were killed by, what is literally a sentient communication network. Eventhough this seems like a rather grim view of social networks, but the story also shows the benefits of social networking, because the Quarians have the most democratic society in the Mass Effect galaxy.