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Babylon 5/Star Trek and Serious Sci-Fi about the Shape of Things to Come
Posted: 27 November 2012 07:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 421 ]
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Now this is funny:

Why Smug Atheists Should Read More Science Fiction
http://io9.com/5963475/why-smug-atheists-should-read-more-science-fiction

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Posted: 27 November 2012 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 422 ]
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I’m all for everyone reading more science fiction.  It is much more entertaining than any religious dogma that I am aware of.  And it has the advantage of recognizing itself as fiction.  Was that a smug thing to say?  Hmm…

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 28 November 2012 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 423 ]
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psikeyhackr - 27 November 2012 07:17 PM

Now this is funny:

Why Smug Atheists Should Read More Science Fiction
http://io9.com/5963475/why-smug-atheists-should-read-more-science-fiction

psik

I like the comments. They are much more intelligent than the article itself.

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Posted: 24 December 2012 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 424 ]
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I recently reread Arthur C. Clarke’s The Sands of Mars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sands_of_Mars

Who is more prophetic, Ray Bradbury or Arthur C. Clarke?

I have read Martian Chronicles but not in a very long time.  Maybe not since about the time I last read Sands of Mars.  I remembered scenes but not the entire story.  One part I completely forgot is the description of an expedition to Saturn.  But what is missing from Clarke’s story is computers and robots.  We have actually had an expedition to Saturn with the Cassini robot probe.

But one of my favorite Bradbury stories is There Will Come Soft Rains which is about a robot house.  We have the technology to make that robot house now.  So Clarke may have given us a more realistic Mars than Bradbury but Ray did robotic technology better.  And that got us to Saturn.  LOL

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Posted: 27 December 2012 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 425 ]
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Hey psych was this you?  tongue wink
homeless-guy-sign-very-funny-scotty-now-beam-down-my-clothes.jpg

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For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

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Posted: 27 December 2012 10:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 426 ]
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macgyver - 27 December 2012 03:30 PM

Hey psych was this you?  tongue wink

Yes, I reprogrammed the computer to do that when Mr. Scott was at the controls.

And humans think Vulcans have no sense of humor.

We just keep it under cover to better laugh at humans.

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Posted: 06 January 2013 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 427 ]
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This incident has presented us with a curious science fiction conundrum.  Ethiopian kids who can’t read can educate themselves with computers?  Is that for real?  How well will it work?

http://www.techrevu.com/php/Review-id.php?id=5533

But Isaac Asimov wrote this in the early 50s. 

users.aber (dot) ac (dot) uk/dgc/funtheyhad (dot) html

The ironic thing is, is that he was not expecting it for another 140 years.  What have our educators really been doing for the last 50 years?  But NELL is derived from another science fiction book, Diamond Age (1995) by Neal Stephenson, though Orson Scott Card described something similar in Ender’s Game in 1985 it was not as central to the story.

NELL is named from Diamond Age.

http://cscott (dot) net/Publications/OLPC/idc2012 (dot) pdf

But the narrative educational technique could have been used via science fiction books long ago.  It just would not be nearly as cool and interactive.  Studies from the 1950s showed many engineers and scientists were inspired by science fiction and if those SF books contained accurate science then wouldn’t they do very similar things for children as NELL software running on tablets?

http://onlinelibrary.wiley (dot) com/doi/10 (dot) 1002/sce (dot) 3730430106/abstract

So why wasn’t this done long ago and why aren’t people talking about STEM today suggesting sci-fi reading now?

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PS - The spam filter is a pain in the ass.  I could not put in 4 links so they would work.  I had to put in that (dot) crap.

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Posted: 31 January 2013 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 428 ]
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I will suggest 5 stories as archetypes to demonstrate some differences rather than only explain the characteristic with words. These stories are all in the public domain so everyone can get them easily and they are also available as audiobooks.

#1. Red Nails by Robert E. Howard
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/32759/32759-h/32759-h.htm
http://librivox.org/red-nails-by-robert-e-howard/

#2. Cat and Mouse by Ralph Williams
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24392/24392-h/24392-h.htm
http://ia700300.us.archive.org/2/items/short_scifi_006_0811_librivox/catandmouse_williams_blb_64kb.mp3

#3. The Servant Problem by Robert F. Young
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23232/23232-h/23232-h.htm
http://ia600408.us.archive.org/25/items/short_scifi_028_0910_librivox/servantproblem_young_64kb.mp3

#4. Omnilingual (Feb 1957) by H. Beam Piper
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/03/scientific-language-h-beam-pipers-qomnilingualq
http://www.feedbooks.com/book/308/omnilingual
http://librivox.org/omnilingual-by-h-beam-piper/

#5. All Day September by Roger Kuykendal
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24161/24161-h/24161-h.htm
http://ia700508.us.archive.org/21/items/short_scifi_016_0905_librivox/alldayseptember_kuykendall_bt_64kb.mp3

#1 is blatantly not science fiction but instead sword and sorcery fantasy.  It is part of the famous, or infamous, Conan series.  Many stories called science fiction today are actually fantasy and some mix SF and fantasy elements.
#2 was nominated for a Hugo but lost to Flowers for Algernon so it should be decent even though it says nothing whatsoever about the “science” or “technology” enabling the story. An alien just makes things happen as though by magic though in this genre we assume the alien is using advanced but unexplained science.
#3 is unusually similar to #2 in that the technology driving the story performs the same function of interstellar transportation but the writer offers a kind of explanation mentioning topology and mobius loops and also includes a little astronomy.  A bit of Treknobabble though not quite that bad in this case.
#4 is a mixture of speculation about future technology combined with considerable discussion of real science regarding physics and chemistry though it describes a Mars which we now know does exist.  This story is from before Sputnik and after World War II.  I regard this story as the quintessential science fiction tale.
#5 is strictly hard SF and contains nothing likely to be impossible at some time in the not too distant future. It is in fact curious in that it is a Moon colony story 10 years before the first Moon landing in 1969 and a prospector finds water on the Moon which was actually found in October of 2009. The story also has a little chemistry. It brings to mind A Fall of Moondust by Arthur C. Clarke.

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Posted: 02 February 2013 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 429 ]
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40,006

Ah,ha!

Passed 40,000 views and I am sure I did not do more than 50% of them.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 430 ]
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I don’t understand how this thread gets 300 views per month but hardly anybody posts to it.

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I have made an interesting discovery.

http://librivox.org/the-magnificent-ambersons-by-booth-tarkington-version-2/

Now I am a science fiction fan so why would I find this interesting.  I have heard this title before and knew there was an Orson Welles movie but I don’t think I have seen it and would not have sought it out.  But it is one of the first Pulitzer Prize winners and it is about TECHNOLOGY.  A major part of the background is the automobile industry changing the economy and lifestyle of Americans.  So this book also gives a kind of historical perspective on America from before World War I.

Technology changing society is a major science fiction theme because it really happens.  Tablet computers are changing the publishing and education industries now.  So you can read and/or listen to this nearly 100 year old book on your tablet to get a perspective on the next change.

I just learned that RKO studios ruined Wells’ film.  It was originally 140 minutes and they chopped out 50 minutes and burned it.  Why burn it?  Ridiculous!

But The Magnificent Ambersons would make for an interesting comparison to a lot of science fiction stories where some technology changes society, or people allow the technology to change society by the way they implement it.  Like Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold.

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Posted: 15 April 2013 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 431 ]
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psikeyhackr - 02 February 2013 04:36 PM

40,006

Ah,ha!

Passed 40,000 views and I am sure I did not do more than 50% of them.

psik

Pff, my thread has over 150,000 views. Beat that!  cool smirk

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Posted: 15 April 2013 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 432 ]
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George - 15 April 2013 01:10 PM

Pff, my thread has over 150,000 views. Beat that!  cool smirk

Ahh, I remember reading that OP. 

At the current rate it should only take 30 years to catch up assuming you don’t get any more views.  LOL

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Posted: 16 April 2013 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 433 ]
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Don’t forget that many of the view numbers are from someone who clicks onto the thread or topic then thinks, “Oh geez, not that again” and quickly clicks off and onto the next thread.  LOL

It’s also from the moderators and administrator who may not be at all interested but have to check each to verify no spam/insults/porn/vulgarity/etc. smile

Occam

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Posted: 17 April 2013 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 434 ]
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Occam. - 16 April 2013 07:23 PM

Don’t forget that many of the view numbers are from someone who clicks onto the thread or topic then thinks, “Oh geez, not that again” and quickly clicks off and onto the next thread.  LOL

It’s also from the moderators and administrator who may not be at all interested but have to check each to verify no spam/insults/porn/vulgarity/etc. smile

Occam

But hen shouldn’t a lot of other threads have bigger numbers?  And moderators should only need to check if the date of the last post changes in which case it would rise back to the top?

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Posted: 17 April 2013 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 435 ]
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The threads with unusually high number of views have almost certainly very little to do with our members. I imagine that both your and my thread come up in a Google search when people look for popular topics like Star Trek or speed of light.

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