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Babylon 5/Star Trek and Serious Sci-Fi about the Shape of Things to Come
Posted: 27 November 2010 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 331 ]
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I’m with Psik, B5 is better.  Star Trek is too preachy and unrealistically optimistic.  And the Treknobabble.  Dear god the Treknobabble.

Psik, over on another board I’m on, we have an entire thread dedicated to sci-fi technology that’s become reality.  Everything from portable lasers and bionic replacements to bone lacing and quantum teleportation.  It’s fascinating how far we’ve come in the last 100 years or so.

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Posted: 27 November 2010 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 332 ]
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I’ve been reading science fiction for just about 70 years and watched Startrek (each series) from the beginning.  I also tried Babylon 5, but stopped after not too many episodes.  While I enjoy the technical advances all of the series postulate, I find their use as only a vehicle for addressing troubling social situations in ways that allowed them to be examined while bypassing the viewer’s prejudices about those same situations in today’s society far more interesting.  And Startrek TOS and TNG were superlative at doing that.

Occam

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Posted: 27 November 2010 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 333 ]
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Dead Monky - 27 November 2010 01:03 PM

And the Treknobabble.  Dear god the Treknobabble.

Aw man, you don’t like Treknobabble.  ROFL

I just ignore it and focus on the story.  I think it got out of hand on Voyager though or maybe I was just even getting fed up with even ignoring it.  I quit watching the show when the aliens were taking over the ship and turning the holodeck into WWII so they could play NAZIs.  That was just too much.

Psik, over on another board I’m on, we have an entire thread dedicated to sci-fi technology that’s become reality.  Everything from portable lasers and bionic replacements to bone lacing and quantum teleportation.  It’s fascinating how far we’ve come in the last 100 years or so.

I am still fiddling with this Sylvania I bought yesterday.  I read mixed reviews about it and some people really slam it.  But I built my first computer in 1978. It cost me $400 and I still had to solder it together.  Not that I minded at the time.  But this Sylvania blows that away so bad it it like comparing the Enterprise to the Wright brother’s plane but so much smaller.  $400 got me EIGHT KILOBYTES.  This thing has 128 MEGABYTES.  And the whole computer with a screen is smaller than 2 circuit boards from that Heathkit H-8.  And I still had to buy a dumb terminal for the H-8 that cost me $600.  So I suppose I have a hard time understanding some of the complaints about this Sylvania.  The USB ports are all 1.1 not 2.0.  Some reviews said one was a 2.0.  I copied 500 megabytes of flash videos to a thumb drive in about a minute from my desktop but it took 6 1/2 minutes to copy them into the Sylvania.  But it plays most of the flash videos OK.  Apparently not all flash videos use the same codecs.  DIVX is too jerky, almost unwatchable.  The reviews talk about YouTube but say nothing about just loading videos for playback.

I wonder if we could be ready for a second micro-computer revolution.  This thing could hold 1000 books.  How many grade school kids read that many in eight years?  I could load 15 45 minute flash videos.  An 8 gig SD card could hold 80 Star Trek episode.  That is enough for all of TOS.  So the math videos from Khan Academy could be put on an SD.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wZugqi_uCg

Is that why Kirk was screaming KHAN!!!  ?  LOL

If you could go back in time and select the books for you to read when you were a kid what would pick from what was available at the time.  I just learned about The Tyranny of Words by Stuart Chase.  It is partly derived from Science and Sanity by Alfred Korzybski which I tried to read when I was 20.  Chase’s book is from 1938.  I would give that book to myself when I was in high school.  So how come I’ve never heard of it?

So how much good public domain stuff is there today that could fit on $100 computers.  When I built my Heathkit I wasn’t thinking about reading books with it.  So the new revolution could be an educational one.  The teacher’s unions better watch out.

psik

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Posted: 27 November 2010 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 334 ]
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And I wanted more techno

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 27 November 2010 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 335 ]
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Quoting psik

I just learned about The Tyranny of Words by Stuart Chase.  It is partly derived from Science and Sanity by Alfred Korzybski which I tried to read when I was 20.  Chase’s book is from 1938.  I would give that book to myself when I was in high school.  So how come I’ve never heard of it?

  Damn, you just caused me to check my bookshelf on language.  Now I recall why I had to buy another copy of Language in Thought and Action about twenty years ago.  About forty years ago I lent both Chase and Hawakawa to someone and never got them back.  I had forgotten about the loss of the Chase book.  I still have Korzybski which I also bought at about 20, but I could never wade all the way through it.

Yes, I would have enjoyed them had I read them when I was 13 or 14 rather than 18 to 19, but what bothers me is that I don’t know of any similar books available now for highschool kids to read.

Occam

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Posted: 21 December 2010 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 336 ]
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Well we have gone beyond 28000.  Maybe we can pass 28200 by New Years.

I have encountered an interesting Sci-fi website with numerous essays on the subject.  I have only read two but will check out more later maybe others will find it interesting.

http://jameswharris.wordpress.com/science-fiction/

[28026]
psik

PS - 28200 on 12/30/2010 Yay!

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Posted: 19 February 2011 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 337 ]
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THE DISASTROUS STATE OF AMERICAN EDUCATION

  * SAT score decline
  * High School dropout rate
  * Quality of Education
  * Quality of the Teachers
  * Futility of Reform - Principles underlying government schooling
  * Tragic consequences
  * Education - Home Schooling
  * Science Fiction as an introduction to the study of Science
  * Books about Science

http://www.reocities.com/athens/olympus/7695/SCHOOLS.HTM#263

  * Science Fiction as an introduction to the study of Science.
  One of the best ways to engender an interest in science in the minds of
young people is to introduce them to it through works of good science
fiction. Arthur Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and James Hogan are
authors who combine science fact with thoughtful scientific speculation
into well-written, intelligently imaginative stories.
  These seven books are by James P. Hogan. (All are Ballantine Del Ray
books.) All are a rare combination of excellent science and excellent
fiction.
  (The first three are a trilogy)
  INHERIT THE STARS - #31792
  THE GENTLE GIANTS OF GANYMEDE #32327
  GIANTS’ STAR #32720
  THE GENESIS MACHINE #30576
  THE TWO FACES OF TOMORROW #32387
  THRICE UPON A TIME #32386
  CODE OF THE LIFEMAKER #30549

  RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA - Arthur C. Clarke - Ballantine #345 24175 4
  The investigation of an uninhabited space ship wandering through the
Solar system. Excellent science exposition in this book.
  THE SENTINEL - Arthur C. Clarke - Berkley #6183
  THE DEEP RANGE - Arthur C. Clarke - Bantam #28925
  A FALL OF MOONDUST - Arthur C. Clarke - Signet #9795
  TRUE NAMES - Vernor Vinge - Bluejay #94444   For computer programmers,
hackers, and those interested in Artificial Intelligence.
  ROBOT VISIONS - Isaac Asimov - Penguin #45064
  An integrated collection of both science essays and robot stories. Many
of the stories are parables illustrating the problems in logic encountered
when dealing with machine intelligence, and the essays deal with the idea
of computer intelligence and its significance to human society.
  THE PAST THROUGH TOMORROW - Robert Heinlein - Berkley #10223

Someone else that goes along with the idea of sci-fi to promote science education.  No mention of age though.  Grade school kids should get it.  Burn Harry Potter books. LOL

[28886]
psik

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Posted: 19 February 2011 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 338 ]
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psikeyhackr - 19 February 2011 02:37 PM

SAT score decline

It hasn’t declined for white students. It’s not the education problem, it’s the Mexican border problem.

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Posted: 20 February 2011 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 339 ]
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George - 19 February 2011 11:38 PM
psikeyhackr - 19 February 2011 02:37 PM

SAT score decline

It hasn’t declined for white students. It’s not the education problem, it’s the Mexican border problem.

The link contains the following:

  For the decade ending in 1962 the mean scores on the Scholastic Aptitude
Test varied within about a 10 point range (from 471 to 479 on the verbal
section and from 490 to 502 on the math section).
  In 1963 these scores commenced a decline which continued for almost 20
years:

YEAR    VERBAL       MATH 
1962
:    478          502 
1981
:    424          466 
        
-11%          -7

  From 1981 to 1991 the scores leveled off, holding within a few points of
425 Verbal and 470 Math. Some of this decline can be attributed to the fact
that a wider range of students now take the test than took it in the l960s,
but the Wirtz Commission concluded that about half of the decline represents
an actual decline among students with qualifications similar to those taking
the test earlier.

So over what period are you saying it has been level for Whites?

psik

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Posted: 26 February 2011 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 340 ]
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On a slightly related note, has anyone else on here seen the movie Inception?

I’ve seen it a couple of times now (and there will be many more!) and I’ve come to the opinion that it’s the best science fiction film I’ve ever seen. It’s extremely well-edited, well-performed, well-written, and of course I pay attention to the soundtrack; Hans Zimmer did a fantastic job.

The events portrayed in the film aren’t realistic, of course, but it does do an awesome job of showing how our brains have some severe flaws that can be taken advantage of. And that’s something that is directly relevant to world-class science fiction.

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Posted: 27 February 2011 01:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 341 ]
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Best sci-fi movie to date is Gattaca. It also did a remarkable job of not overstating the case.  In the decade that followed its release the story line only got more plausible not less.

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Posted: 27 February 2011 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 342 ]
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qutsemnie - 27 February 2011 01:02 AM

Best sci-fi movie to date is Gattaca. It also did a remarkable job of not overstating the case.  In the decade that followed its release the story line only got more plausible not less.

Yes. bio-engineering is quite likely to be the scientific issue of the century.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcXuKU_kfww

I would almost be surprised if methods for tripling human lifespans are not found by 2100.  So who gets access and who does not?  Many of our current problems are the result of failure to properly implement and adjust to technological advance.

psik

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Posted: 27 February 2011 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 343 ]
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qutsemnie - 27 February 2011 01:02 AM

Best sci-fi movie to date is Gattaca. It also did a remarkable job of not overstating the case.  In the decade that followed its release the story line only got more plausible not less.

Yes, certainly in terms of plot, Gattaca ranks up there. I’m talking about the whole presentation of the movie, not only the subject matter. Which plot is better can be arguable - they’re both great. But Inception definitely has more going for it in terms of soundtrack, editing, visuals, things like that. Of course, it helps that it was a much higher-budget film. Which doesn’t always guarantee quality, nevertheless.

Edit:

After a bit if internet searching, the prognosis seems mixed. Rotten tomatoes considers neither movie up at the top - Inception is 86% and Gattaca is 82% “fresh.” But the IMDb has Inception currently listed as #1 of their sci-fi list, with Gattaca not quite making their “top 50” with a 7.8 rating (where the movies at the bottom of the “top 50” seem to cut off).

Of course, there are some movies in either list that I wouldn’t rate as having that high of quality. For example, District 9, which I found to be extremely shallow once I got past the plight of the main character.

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Posted: 28 February 2011 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 344 ]
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I thought Inception was okay.  The story was nothing special, but it was interesting and pretty to look at.

And I don’t remember Gattaca very well.  I haven’t seen it in years.

The last sci-fi movie I went to see that inspired more than a shrug or a “meh” from me was District 9.

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Posted: 06 March 2011 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 345 ]
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Dead Monky - 27 November 2010 01:03 PM

Psik, over on another board I’m on, we have an entire thread dedicated to sci-fi technology that’s become reality.  Everything from portable lasers and bionic replacements to bone lacing and quantum teleportation.  It’s fascinating how far we’ve come in the last 100 years or so.

What is the other board?  Can it use another alien invasion?

An SF board I go to is more literary than sci/tech.

[29290]
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