Category Science

THE IMITATION GAME

Decoding THE IMITATION GAME: Fact and Fiction in the Film and Alan Turing’s Place in the SF Genre

Decoding THE IMITATION GAME: Fact and Fiction in the Film and Alan Turing’s Place in the SF Genre  by  Timothy S. Johnston   — “Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”   The above phrase is spoken no less than three times in […]

escape velocity

When Science Makes Fiction Obsolete

It used to be that you could write a novel and put it in a drawer for six to twelve months. In fact, that used to be recommended. Lately, you can’t stop for long at all before your science fiction just becomes the present. NASA has just validated the principles behind an “impossible” space drive, […]

What Will They Think of Next?

A torus is a shape that crops up often in science fiction, when space stations and other creations—like the Halo of the eponymous video game—are imagined. Basically, it’s a very big donut, which seems to be an open invitation to snacking by space creatures but it’s been a popular idea all along. Now, apparently, someone’s […]

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New superhero movie “LUCY” based on stupid urban myth of stupidity

A trailer for the upcoming superhero movie Lucy starring Scarlet Johannson and directed, written, and co-produced by Luc Besson, looked pretty damn awesome until I reached 1:13 … … That’s when Morgan Freeman, portraying a professor and scientific researcher who should have known better, said, “It is estimated most human beings only use ten percent […]

escape velocity

Future Ethics 2 — Changing Minds

The future is now. And the ethical implications are…uncertain. We’re on the verge of literally being able to change people’s minds in the here and now. There are new medications—or new uses for medications—that will allow people to change how memory and trauma affect them. Anti-depressants already alter the chemistry of our brains for better […]

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Future Ethics — The Past

The future is already here in many ways, bringing us ethical challenges that make for fantastic stories and gripping conflicts, both now and in the distant future. Some of those issues have been explored in blockbusters such as Jurassic Park, which speculates about a present in which science has outstripped present progress. Bringing back the […]

AI: Friends or Enemies

The term ‘robot’ was first used in R.U.R. or Rossum’s Universal Robots by writer Karel Čapek—robota means “forced labour” in Czech. In their very first outing in science fiction, robots—in this case, semi-organic, intelligent, manufactured creatures—don’t behave very well. They rise up, overthrow their human overlords, and set fire to civilization. Not a great start. […]

Ode to “I f*cking love science”

I’m struggling under some substantial deadlines, and I’m super behind, so I’m gonna cheat a bit today. I’m leaving you with a few interesting articles I discovered through the I f*cking Love Science FB page (and from there, the associated web page). If you’re so inclined, like the page – I’d love to provide the […]

escape velocity

In the Future: Seasons of Change

In half the world it’s turning from fall into winter and in the other half it’s getting ready for the furnace blast of summer. The seasons have been a vital part of being human since long before we began recording what it’s like to be the odd creatures that we are. Our lives are marked […]

In the Future: The Big Sleep

One of the big barriers to space travel for humans is…well, being human. That’s a common theme in movies about interstellar travel. We get bored. We stab each other in the back. We go crazy. But no matter how we get out there, the trip is going to be a long one—and the moment it’s […]