I'm an entrepreneur and scientist. As an entrepreneur, I founded CardVine. As a scientist, I study evolution, ecology, genetics, and genomics. Learn more about me at http://ralphhaygood.com/.
By KarenUhOh on Innovation Abounds
Punctuationally arcane, I momentarily became excited by the prospect of premium potash in Miller Beer. A definite innovation, that, as well as a marked improvement in the flavor profile.
But I also take it the perfume actually is supposed to smell like suede. Which means I'm going to have to sniff my shoes.
Wait. How is "Would you rather?" even a question? Unless I've stumbled onto a Bizarro Awl, which is of course entirely possible, OBVIOUSLY we'd all choose the Pagan/Agnostic polyamorous lesbian wedding.
By brilliantmistake on One Shocking Graph That Explains Why You Don't Need To Worry About "Peak Troll"
This just means we're approaching the troll singularity, when the development of supertrolls exceeds modern computing capacity plunging us into trollverse wherein all known physics break down and society as we know it ceases to exist, but the number of unique visitors makes it all worth it.
What did you do with Balk?
@KarenUhOh She named her twin daughters Ashleigh and Bracie, so paying it forward, etc.
By Niko Bellic on Bloomberg Cronies Desperately Trolling To Recast The Bloomberg Era As "Progressive"
@sigerson Yeah, no ideology. No cronyism. No corruption. Yet somehow, everyone will leave their posts, even though it will still be the same city, the same citizenry, the same work, the same pay. If they were all about competency, they wouldn't be leaving. Plus, it irks me when people talk about brains in politics or finance. Unless it's scientists we are talking about, people's brains are HIGHLY replaceable, believe me.
America: Disheartening Our Young For 50 Years (80? 100? 227?)
"... the one thing science fiction is supposed to do: make us think about the future." I don't agree. It generally makes us think about the present, often makes us think about the past (District 9) and sometimes about the eternal. Really good SF is often a philosophical "thought experiment", like The Matrix, which makes us ask "How do you know 'reality' is really out there and not in here?", or Blade Runner, which is a kind of meditation on the Turing Machine. Or Minority Report, which might be of interest to many of the inhabitants of Guantanamo. Sometimes, true, it does make us worry about the future, like Soylent Green, which was very much the product of a decade worried about ecological disaster.
As for Pacific Rim, I was stunned to learn that most people liked it. I guess the real purpose of SF movies is to make money, and all you need for that, apparenlty, is some whizbang graphics, a gullible audience, and a thundering soundtrack to try to make up for the complete lack of substance.
Nice essay, but I think you're misunderstanding (or misrepresenting) many of the science fiction films you claim pose technology as the "bad guy." In 2001, for example, technology is depicted in almost completely positive terms, it's humans (specifically, lying and secrecy) that are the villains. HAL feels compelled to kill the crew of the Discovery because he can't reconcile his morality (to discover and share knowledge) with his orders (keep the true mission secret from Bowman, et al). Similarly, Jurassic Park's villains are human hubris and greed, not the cloning technology. Equilibrium makes no comments on technology; it is the suppression of emotion that is the "bad guy." And so on. I also think that several of the other films you cite (the Matrix and Prometheus) are too incoherent to extract a pro- or anti-technology stance from.
I'm certainly not claiming that no science-fiction films use technology as the villain (the mis-named Frankenstein complex), but I think these films are in the minority. Many films simply don't deal with ethical issues of technology in a coherent way.
By KarenUhOh on Do You Believe That God Created The Bunnies And The Clouds And The Skeletons With A Touch Of His Finger?
"We bought a timeshare on an ark."