Author Topic: Science Fiction.  (Read 2178 times)

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #60 on: November 25, 2019, 02:44:15 PM »
You really are a one trick pony.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #61 on: November 25, 2019, 02:56:54 PM »
I have loved SiFi since I started reading.  I love the 'what if' that one can find in that category.  And I liked the adventure aspect that many novels give.  But most of all I like the social commentary that what I consider good sifi to be.  A Stranger In A Strange Land comes to mind as one of my favs.  Heinlein gave us many, many good novels with social commentary as an integral part of the story.  When I read any science fiction I always have in the back of my mind that the predictions made most likely will not come to pass--but if the writing is good, who cares.  I also love post apocalyptic science fiction--like Earth Abides, or War of the Worlds, or The Swan or The Stand--I could go on and on; and I love that category of video games as well--FO4 for example.  I don't see science fiction as mostly or mainly predictive--it covers a huge amount of topics.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #62 on: November 25, 2019, 03:27:24 PM »
Responding to the commentary on society aspect, I am thinking of my favorite classic sci-fi book, Dune.

There is alot to love about it, for one the main science it is doing fiction to is ecology, which is dope. Pretty good action adventure, cool powers coming from human potential honed by intensive skilled training. But most of all for its interesting back story.

Advanced AI was seens as so antithetical to a good or compelling story by the author that he banned it from the fictional universe. "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind" was one of the core ethics of the religion of that universe, an ethic earned long ago at a hard cost. Humanity had tried to gain freedom by using thinking machines, only to become enslaved to those who controlled the machines. That right there is some fine social commentary!

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #63 on: November 25, 2019, 03:33:39 PM »
And in the end the power elite controlled the mentats. Nothing important changed.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #64 on: November 25, 2019, 03:47:07 PM »
Yeah, it was a bleak series of paths, kinda a ruthless blade taken to any hopes of egalitarianism. But, I still cherish the notion that humanity is not condemned to progress. That a technology can be possible, yet rejected.

Offline SGOS

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #65 on: November 25, 2019, 04:19:27 PM »
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I grew up on Star Trek TNG, and still have some tender feelings for it, but sci-fi as a whole I think is kinda  a crazy head trip lots of the time.
I was in college for the second time when the first Star Trek was starting it's reruns.  Oddly I missed the original airings.  One of things I enjoyed about it was so much of it dealt with social issues of the time, so it had a lot of human interest along with the high tech.  I didn't follow TNG, enjoyed the episodes I watched, but can't remember if it retained the human interest parts as well.  I still won't miss today's Star Trek movies, but I think sci fi today is  better.  Sci Fi is my favorite genre.  All the others form a loose cluster on the bottom of my likeability chart, and then there's sci fi, by itself way at the top.

I go to movies mostly for enjoyment.  I'm not looking for much addressing the human condition.  The movies that win the Oscars seldom get my attention.  Sci fi hardly ever wins an Oscar, but it's rare when I don't like a sci fi film.  I like suspending my sense of reality and imagining the impossible.  It bothers me not at all when they fly through worm holes or travel at speeds at multiples of light.  I'm watching my set of Stargate SG1 episodes for the umpteenth time.  I watch it once a year.  I think it's great.

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #66 on: November 25, 2019, 04:33:51 PM »
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Yeah, it was a bleak series of paths, kinda a ruthless blade taken to any hopes of egalitarianism. But, I still cherish the notion that humanity is not condemned to progress. That a technology can be possible, yet rejected.
Adults pick and chose.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Online Hydra009

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #67 on: November 25, 2019, 10:35:44 PM »
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Remember people walking on the moon, or pushing back on the final frontier? I don't. I heard history of people in the past who did that, like Columbus or something, but not in my life time. We checked out space, found that it was vividly inhospitable, and for all practical purposes gave up on a childish dream.
Well, we had people walk on the moon.  Several times.  And while manned exploration has not exactly matched a pulp scifi timetable (what has?), robotic exploration is still going strong.  And of course, there's been a continuous human presence on the ISS going on 19 years.

Seen through heavily damaged pair of coke-bottle glasses, it might appear as if astronauts landed on the moon, then nothing at all happened since, leading one to surmise that NASA has given up on manned exploration entirely.  This is not the case.

Online Hydra009

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #68 on: November 25, 2019, 10:45:59 PM »
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Advanced AI was seens as so antithetical to a good or compelling story by the author that he banned it from the fictional universe. "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind" was one of the core ethics of the religion of that universe, an ethic earned long ago at a hard cost. Humanity had tried to gain freedom by using thinking machines, only to become enslaved to those who controlled the machines. That right there is some fine social commentary!
Perhaps.  My take-away was just that Herbert wanted to focus more on the human condition and have humans wield fantastic powers and thus had to give an in-universe reason for the use of human calculators rather than...well, calculators.

The Dune setting is interesting in that on one hand, humanity is quite advanced, but laboring under a feudal - basically medieval - political order.  So very advanced and yet so primitive.

Online Hydra009

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #69 on: November 25, 2019, 10:59:13 PM »
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Yeah, in some ways science fiction has done us a great disservice, because of the way it's portrayed the universe as having lots of livable planets that are relatively easy to get to.
Yeah, that was super off.  I still think there's a chance we'll have outposts on the moon within my lifetime, possibly Mars or Venus in the generation to come, and a very slim maybe to gas giant moons within a couple hundred years.  But that's about the full extent of our foreseeable future reach in the solar system.  And barring some game-changer like FTL, it might likely stay that way for centuries.

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So many people don't realize that this Earth is all we have, and all we're ever going to have.
Eh, I wouldn't quite say that.  Ever is a pretty long time.  But even if - and this is only an if - mankind does spread out along the lines of my rosiest hopes, they will be extremely dependent on the Earth for almost everything for a long, long, time.  Terra is definitely a system we can't afford to lose.

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While too many other people think God will save us - or "the aliens" will save us - from the consequences of our own bad behavior.  And science itself may not be able to save us, either.
Yes, that is a very dangerous mindset to have.  Science will never be able to lengthen the rope we use to hang ourselves to the extent that it's harmless.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 11:03:31 PM by Hydra009 »

Offline Baruch

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #70 on: November 26, 2019, 07:39:25 PM »
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Yeah, it was a bleak series of paths, kinda a ruthless blade taken to any hopes of egalitarianism. But, I still cherish the notion that humanity is not condemned to progress. That a technology can be possible, yet rejected.

Japan under the Shogans.  Also a scifi series were only medieval weapons were allowed, but psy powers that came from human alien cross breading dominated.

Bioweapons and human gene modification.  That is something more than nukes.  It is already happening.
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #71 on: November 27, 2019, 05:28:24 AM »
"Cross breading"...
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Baruch

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #72 on: November 27, 2019, 06:42:27 PM »
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"Cross breading"...

Yes, Dr Moreau uses a bread maker, to make his human-animal hybrids.
Zampa xiquihto.  Amo nimitzcuamachilia.
Say it again.  I don't understand you.

Re: Science Fiction.
« Reply #73 on: November 27, 2019, 06:43:31 PM »
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

 

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