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Babylon 5/Star Trek and Serious Sci-Fi about the Shape of Things to Come
Posted: 24 May 2013 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 451 ]
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TimB - 24 May 2013 03:04 PM
mid atlantic - 23 May 2013 08:52 PM
TimB - 23 May 2013 03:14 PM

If one has little capacity for doing or understanding science, then, naturally, one would have little interest in science.

I don’t think this is accurate.


Well, for example, in my past vocation, I have known many individuals who have had moderate, severe and profound intellectual challenges.  None, that I recall, showed indications of “interest in science”.

Individuals as those would not, but a person without those challenges can find something interesting without really having the capacity to do it, or be really good at it; sports immediately comes to mind. I find most science (not all) to be fascinating, but I don’t have the ability to be a scientist or understand all concepts in science.

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Posted: 24 May 2013 04:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 452 ]
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The question is, would Homer have ever been particularly interested in science, if his teacher had not inspired him to learn the science of rocketry.  Were there other potential Homer Hickhams who never became interested in science, because they were not “inspired”?

Good point Tim and all the more reason to be an effective teacher but as Edison said, “success is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration” meaning the interest lies with the individual. Unless you live completely divorced from the media there are many ways to be inspired to pursue an interest. Of course you have to have an IQ of at least 100.  grin


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 24 May 2013 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 453 ]
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mid atlantic - 24 May 2013 04:17 PM
TimB - 24 May 2013 03:04 PM
mid atlantic - 23 May 2013 08:52 PM
TimB - 23 May 2013 03:14 PM

If one has little capacity for doing or understanding science, then, naturally, one would have little interest in science.

I don’t think this is accurate.


Well, for example, in my past vocation, I have known many individuals who have had moderate, severe and profound intellectual challenges.  None, that I recall, showed indications of “interest in science”.

Individuals as those would not, but a person without those challenges can find something interesting without really having the capacity to do it, or be really good at it; sports immediately comes to mind. I find most science (not all) to be fascinating, but I don’t have the ability to be a scientist or understand all concepts in science.

True.  I recall one young lady who had profound intellectual challenges who seemed to like football.  She seemed to find it very funny whenever players fell down or were tackled.

But I suggest, that you or I, given an increased standard deviation in IQ, might find science to be even more enjoyable and fascinating.

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Posted: 26 June 2013 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 454 ]
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Ian Banks died recently and his science fiction works have been significant among SF readers.  I was never a fan of his though.

I have finally finished Look to Windward.  It is a significantly more interesting story than Player of Games, which is the only other Banks book I have completed.  But it is a much more annoying read than PoG.

LtW has three main characters and Banks jumps between them in the telling of the story.  Additionally one character is explained in lots of falshbacks so in addition to jumps between characters there are jumps in time.  By the way this flashbacked character has another mind implanted in his brain with a device called a soul keeper.  I must have backtracked in the book about 10 times to try to understand what was going on.

When the 3rd character is introduced he is hanging upside down and is a human in a non-human body.  That is a technological capability in The Culture.  Regrowing and transferring bodies is common.  But this upside down character drops something like a pen called a “stilo”.  He then dithers before deciding to drop after it But what is obvious is that just falling he can’t possibly catch especially since he is bigger and must have greater air resistance.  But Banks does not make this obvious physics clear in the way he writes.

But that dropping of the “stilo” where the Newtonian physics with gravity didn’t make sense was important since that is what led the character into getting involved in the whole plot of the story.  I get the impression that gravity in the airsphere must be less than the Moon’s but Banks never says that.  And characters walk around as though it is Earth normal, Banks never gives the impression the gravity is different.  But it takes less than 3 seconds for a falling object to reach 22 m/s in 1 G and about 22 seconds for that to happen on the Moon.  The fall seems to take a rather long time as Banks describes it.  That is why I think it must be less than lunar gravity.  That is why propellers could work on someone’s ankles.

I suppose Bank’s books are really an explanation of The Culture via these characters and not how anything really works.

So for me LtW was better and worse than PoG.  I don’t think I will be exploring Banks works any further.  I can’t really take The Culture very seriously.  So I can only recommend his stuff with caution, depending on the reader’s tastes.

[42,585]
psik

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Posted: 30 June 2013 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 455 ]
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psikeyhackr - 26 June 2013 08:58 AM

Ian Banks died recently and his science fiction works have been significant among SF readers.  I was never a fan of his though.


psik

I’m a fan of Ian M. Banks sci fi and just finished his last book The Hydrogen Sonata.

Wrote a note an another spot in the forums—cross-referencing here—
Banks was an atheist and his Culture books overall expressed an optimistic view of a future galaxy where liberal ideas succeed. This far future is an amazing place.

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/15995/#182701

I’ve read all the sci-fi books and can generate a short summary—but not here.  They vary in construction/layout.  “Look to Windward” is different from the rest and very difficult to read.
Consider Phlebas is a more straightforward example [wikipedia link tells the whole plot so not giving the link] and has the background of an enormous war between the Culture and another
civilization obsessed with religion.

One of my favorites is Against a Dark Background, which is not set in the Culture but also has some crazy religionists filling part of the story.

This last book the Hydrogen Sonata is serious in some places and yet takes a Douglas Adams ‘crazy universe’ angle in others,  emphasizing the eccentricities in the
far future when all things are possible.  One central point of the story revolves around how the Culture should respond to finding out that the religion of another
civilization might be based on a fraud.  Thus the book ties into the question many of us have—is it our responsibility to tell relatives that really there isn’t any God, or
to just let it be.

Near the end of the book we have the quote p.500  

...that’s just in theory.  In practice, people don’t believe for good reasons anyway, they just believe and that’s it, like we don’t love
for good reasons, we just love because we need to love. 

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Posted: 02 July 2013 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 456 ]
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Jackson - 30 June 2013 04:27 PM

Consider Phlebas is a more straightforward example [wikipedia link tells the whole plot so not giving the link] and has the background of an enormous war between the Culture and another
civilization obsessed with religion.

I gave up on Consider Phlebas about 2/3rds through.  It just seemed like random gratuitous violence to me.

There was a religious factor in Look to Windward also.  It involved getting 4.5 billion aliens into heaven.  The story was difficult enough to understand with all of the jumping around between characters and time I didn’t focus on that aspect.

http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/reviews/books/0-7434-2192-2.html

psik

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Posted: 16 November 2013 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 457 ]
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OK, I have seen Ender’s Game.

I think it suffers from the same problem as the first Dune movie with Sting and Patrick Stewart.  The movie isn’t long enough for the story.  Another 30 minutes could have changed it from OK to very good.  The first Harry Potter movie is 30 minutes longer the Ender’s Game‘s two hours.

So unfortunately it was mostly the disappointment I was expecting compared to the book.

If you like the movie but have not read the book then you should read the book.

psik

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Posted: 09 December 2013 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 458 ]
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In terms of the Box Office, which is what really matters in Hollywood, Catching Fire is blowing away Ender’s Game.

psik

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Posted: 28 January 2014 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 459 ]
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Recently I finally found and picked up all four seasons of one of my all time favorite TV shows: Lexx.  It was a Canadian-German sci-fi show from the late 90s about a group of four weirdos who accidentally steal the Lexx, an enormous living space ship shaped like a wingless dragonfly that is also the most powerful force of destruction ever made.  The show follows their wanderings as they look for a new home and run from various bizarre enemies.  Like Mantrid, a human/insect/machine hybrid who ends up using his self-replicating drones to destroy and convert over 60% of the Light Zone’s (universe’s) mass to his own drones.  The show was weird, deranged, endlessly creative, hilarious, and often rather surreal.  Damn, I missed this show.

EDIT
Fixed a brain fart.

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Posted: 18 April 2014 09:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 460 ]
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“Methuselah’s Children” - Robert A. Heinlein - BBC 4 Radio

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKZLtcB8D_M

I don’t understand how a radio broadcast can be public domain if the book it is based on is not.

But hey, the author is dead and the story is 73 years old.

psik

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Posted: 01 July 2014 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 461 ]
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Transcendence

http://watchmoviesonline247.blogspot.com/2014/06/watch-transcendence-online-free-download.html

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Posted: 19 July 2014 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 462 ]
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I started writing a novel a few months ago.  This is about 1/4th of what I have written so far:

http://www.wattpad.com/story/19630700-the-itod-singularity

This is a story about the immediate future though it starts in 1995 introducing the main characters.  A neuroscientist is working on her PhD.  Ultimately it is about education via tablets if the proper software is developed.

Wattpad says it is 16 pages but it is more like 35 book pages.

psik

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Posted: 28 August 2014 05:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 463 ]
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Another interesting development for and from Star Trek fans

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/194429923/star-trek-axanar

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Posted: 30 August 2014 08:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 464 ]
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macgyver - 28 August 2014 05:48 AM

Another interesting development for and from Star Trek fans

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/194429923/star-trek-axanar

Thanx

That looks so much better than The Original Star Trek.  It is like science and technology have reinvented science fiction since the 60s.  Star Trek is TOST.

psik

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