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Babylon 5/Star Trek and Serious Sci-Fi about the Shape of Things to Come
Posted: 29 March 2011 11:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 376 ]
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Actually lots of science fiction perpetuates the wrong attitude about science.

Unfortunately, so do a lot of so-called science teachers who are currently teaching the cirriculum in our schools. One has to wonder how science education can get anywhere when the educators themselves don’t understand it and in some really perverse instances, refuse to accept it.

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Posted: 01 June 2011 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 377 ]
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Here is a little known sci-fi writer, popular from the days before Star Trek

MACK REYNOLDS (1917 – 1983) An American born author of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Mystery, Mack Reynolds is perhaps best remembered for his 1960 and 1970 novels. But, Reynolds wrote prolificly as a short story writer. All of his work is currently out of print. He spent most of his writing career living in Mexico. Reynolds had a long writing career spanning more than 40 years. His fantastic tales were often told from an off-kilter or left of center perspective. Themes of humor, sociology, communism, socialism, economics, satire, and utopia, pervaded his Fantasy and SF.

http://www.sffaudio.com/?page_id=3485

I did a little review of him since there is a significant amount of his material in public domain.

Why buy an e-reader and then have to spend a bunch of bucks on stuff to read?  There is good stuff to read that is FREE.

http://www.lunch.com/Reviews/d/North_Africa_Trilogy_by_Mack_Reynolds-1740056.html

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Posted: 23 July 2011 10:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 378 ]
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32,178 - another 1,000 views since June 1st.  But no responses.  What are these Lurkers doing?

Is this thread just picking up people because of Google searches because there is so much stuff in it?

Oh well, time for another science fiction commentary.  The 1632  series by Eric Flint.

This series is interesting for an atheist website because its setting is the Thirty Years War with Europe going violently crazy with religion as the primary excuse.  This tale has a townful of Appalachian hillbillies sent back through time to southern Germany.  It’s a kind of Deliiverance meets Braveheart kind of story.  No Braveheart was 13th century not 17th century.  The locals have primitive guns but their reload speed was pretty slow.  So anyway the hillbillies are quite confused and have to figure out how to adapt to the 17th century and vice versa.  So the clash of mosern ideas and technology with post-medieval northern Europe makes for a good tale.

Historical fiction can help provide a perspective on the past that history textbooks usually lack.  The textbooks say what happened but don’t provide a feel for the times.  I recall reading Shogun and a character was actually afraid of a priest, believing that the man had the power to condemn him to hell.  Since I had attended Catholic schools I found this pretty amazing since that had never crossed my mind in school.  It was the nuns with their miniature baseball bats that were scary.  So the 1632 series is kind of like that by putting the reader into that time with just a bit of barbaric hillbilly humor.  A fun time is had by all except the mercenaries who encounter hillbilly shotguns.

This series has gotten rather extensive, there is one book for 1632 and 1633 but 4 books for 1634 and 4 more for 1635.

All I suggest are 1632, 1633 and 1634 The Baltic War.  Two of the other 1634 books weren’t so impressive.

The first 16 chapter of 1632 are free on the net so it can be tested without buying the book.

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0671319728/0671319728___0.htm

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Posted: 23 July 2011 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 379 ]
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H.G. Wells and the Genesis of Future Studies
by W. Warren Wagar, Jan. 30, 1983
 

The importance of H.G. Wells to the development of future studies lies not only in what he wrote, but in his influence on later thinkers. Historian and futurist W. Warren Wagar reviews the range of Wells’s contributions to the discipline of future thinking.

Every field of study, like every nation, has its founding fathers and mothers. Figures of legend or of history, they help give the oncoming generations a sense of identity. They instill pride, confidence, and purposefulness. They supply standards by which to measure the performance of new practitioners.

Examples spring easily to mind. In modern physics, Galileo and Newton were the great path breakers; in economics, Adam Smith and the French physiocrats; in history as an academic discipline, Leopold von Ranke. But who “founded” the study of the future? Herman Kahn? Arthur C. Clarke? Bertrand de Jouvenel?

The answer is unsurprising, yet not as obvious as perhaps it should be. The founder of future studies was a man born long before any of these noted seers: the English novelist, popularizer, and journalist par excellence H.G. Wells. No one else begins to rival him. In Wells all the tendencies in earlier futurist thought coalesced; and in his abundant writings models may be found for nearly all that is best in present-day futures inquiry.

http://www.wnrf.org/cms/hgwells.shtml

The Space Merchants by Frederick Pohl may add a factor the Wells never covered.  It was written 5 years after wells death.  We are seeing the economic effects now.  How much have economists been screaming about planned obsolescence for the last 50 years?

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Posted: 23 July 2011 10:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 380 ]
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I’ve been going through about 160 old video tapes before tossing them.  Most of the time it was easy, but I certainly had trouble discarding a few when I saw Seven of Nine on Startrek Voyager, and especially Dark Angel with Jessica Alba.  Tossing those two ladies away is really painful.  smile

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Posted: 24 July 2011 04:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 381 ]
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Occam. - 23 July 2011 10:57 PM

Tossing those two ladies away is really painful.  smile

Not to be uncouth, but in England that sentence has an interesting connotation ...

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Posted: 24 July 2011 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 382 ]
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Occam. - 23 July 2011 10:57 PM

I’ve been going through about 160 old video tapes before tossing them.  Most of the time it was easy, but I certainly had trouble discarding a few when I saw Seven of Nine on Startrek Voyager, and especially Dark Angel with Jessica Alba.  Tossing those two ladies away is really painful.  smile

Occam

Memorable Seven of Nine Moments [FUNNY]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JckeeSxe6Rc

Seven of Nine will be strutting her stuff on Voyager when Jeri Ryan is old and gray.

Assimilation is Eternal

Time is Futile

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Posted: 24 July 2011 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 383 ]
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dougsmith - 24 July 2011 04:57 AM
Occam. - 23 July 2011 10:57 PM

Tossing those two ladies away is really painful.  smile

Not to be uncouth, but in England that sentence has an interesting connotation ...

Really?  I thought I had a fair knowledge of sub-meanings in both American and English speech, but that one is well beyond me.  If it is too uncouth to post, Doug, could you PM it to me?

Thanks,
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Posted: 24 July 2011 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 384 ]
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Occam. - 23 July 2011 10:57 PM

Most of the time it was easy, but I certainly had trouble discarding a few when I saw Seven of Nine on Startrek Voyager, and especially Dark Angel with Jessica Alba.

If it had been up to Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Ryan would NOT have been on the show.  She didn’t think the show needed a hot sexy alien.  Go figure.

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Posted: 24 July 2011 07:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 385 ]
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Occam. - 24 July 2011 11:51 AM
dougsmith - 24 July 2011 04:57 AM
Occam. - 23 July 2011 10:57 PM

Tossing those two ladies away is really painful.  smile

Not to be uncouth, but in England that sentence has an interesting connotation ...

Really?  I thought I had a fair knowledge of sub-meanings in both American and English speech, but that one is well beyond me.  If it is too uncouth to post, Doug, could you PM it to me?

Not that uncouth, and I’m being a little tongue in cheek. Check out tossing ...

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Posted: 24 July 2011 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 386 ]
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OK, now I understand.  However, to be picky, use of the “away” sort of shifts the meaning away from that one, don’t you think?

Occam

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Posted: 27 July 2011 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 387 ]
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For your perusal: 6 Technologies Conspicuously Absent From Sci-Fi Movies.

You’ve got (or forgot really) night vision goggles, remote control, wi-fi, and more.  Personally, I’ve always kind of seen the lack of much of these techs as a sign of bad writing.

My favorite line:
“What’s the point of being in the future if you can’t have robots murder backwater natives for you?”

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Posted: 29 July 2011 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 388 ]
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Dead Monky - 27 July 2011 09:46 AM

For your perusal: 6 Technologies Conspicuously Absent From Sci-Fi Movies.

My favorite line:
“What’s the point of being in the future if you can’t have robots murder backwater natives for you?”

That is an issue.  I would be very surprised if we don’t have a mini-tank about the size of a lawn tractor with a machine gun in the turret.  A drone flying above could relay the sensor and control signals. 

With todays technology how difficult would it have been to wire the jungles of Vietnam?  With sensors every 100 yards how could the VC sneak anywhere?  They would need jammers but even that would reveal a location so they would need false jammers.  LOL

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Posted: 15 September 2011 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 389 ]
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The Federation will not be televised!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhQbjoDx0p8

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Posted: 16 October 2011 08:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 390 ]
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Stumbled across an interesting Babylon 5 page

http://www.chronology.org/noframes/b-five/

and A Short History of the World by H. G. Wells is now loose in the wilds of the net.

A Short History of the World by H. G. Wells
http://www.bartleby.com/86/

History by a futurist.  LOL He does do a funny socialist rant a few chapters from the end.

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