DOES SCI-FI ALLOW FOR POSSIBILITY OF A SOUL?
With all the avant-garde trends in sci-fi television and movies to allow for cloning and downloading, it poses a mind-bending question: What about a person’s soul?
Perhaps no two television series have addressed so thoroughly this impossible question than the sci-fi dramas “Dollhouse” and “Caprica.” Both are dependent upon the idea that a person’s persona or personality can be saved onto a computer chip and downloaded into another being – whether it be human or robotic.
But as we watched the collision of personal identities between Echo (the imprintable doll) and Caroline (the person) in “Dollhouse,” how can we say which was more entitled to the physical body than the other.
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BEAM ME UP SCOTTY: IS SCIENCE FICTION DESTROYING SCIENCE?
As a genre, science fiction could potentially wield more influence over its followers than any other cultural force. Through film, television, and comics, it has inspired countless socially-awkward young people to think outside the realms of objective reality, even compelling them to congregate en masse in bizarre costumes. Sure, science fiction has been known to attract all kinds of hyper-intellectuals and leaders of tomorrow, but people in the science and sci-fi communities are arguing over how it positively or negatively affects education.
While it’s known primarily for its contribution to popular culture, science fiction has influenced countless minds. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman was influenced by the genre, as was most of the current brain trust at NASA. But when it comes to a sense of real-world educational value, science fiction could be more fiction than science.
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WHERE HAVE ALL THE SCIENCE FICTION POSTERS GONE?
I’ve got two blank spots on the wall behind my TV that are just begging to be filled, so I’ve spent the last few days scouring the web for worthy film posters to fill the void. I’m a bit partial to the UK Quad standard size, so a search through various online poster collections turned up a nice selection of classic sci-fi posters that got me wondering… when did sci-fi posters become so lame? Sure, the overall poster industry has been suffering, but the sci-fi sector has taken a particular flogging. And that makes zero sense considering if anything should be showing creativity in the poster department, it should be a damned science fiction film.
Moon had several outstanding poster designs, but it’s been the only cool game in town recently. District 9‘s was quite striking, but even it also loses points for being a still from the actual movie. So I decided to look up the current posters for some of the more visible sci-fi films left on the docket for 2010 to see if this trend was on the turn around. The results? Not great.
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It seems lately everyone is on a ‘science fiction is getting destroyed, we need more real science in science fiction, and science fiction is dead’ tip.
The following comment astounds me: “Emory physics prof Sidney Perkowitz, has established a set of guidelines for Hollywood producers to help them observe the laws of science and not mislead their fanboy following. These guidelines were in direct response to some of the scientific implausibilities presented in science fiction films.” Why are we over analyzing sci-fi films to death? Take Starship Troopers, the scientists said that if you scale a bug to the size it is in the film, it would collapse under its own weight. Hence, the major implausibility. I agree, but disagree with applying it to such films, because it means any movie made about humongous bugs could never been made if Hollywood if it were to adhere to such strict guidelines, and there’s been plenty. Why stifle creativity and imagination? Fictional films are suppose to take you on a journey, one of wonderment or horror, implausibility and craziness. It’s an escape. If Hollywood starts abiding by rules that force it to maintain plausibilty in science, what about those disturbing car chases in every action movie, where the car does a quadruple smash bang somersault on concrete, falls off a bridge, into a tank of sharks and the protagonist swims out of the side window, with only a scratch on his forehead. I believe that less than a 10-story tall insect. Car crashes involves physics which is a science. Hello!!
Rant aside, I know what they really mean. They don’t want the actual use of science within a film to be depicted in such a preposterous way it’s insulting to science itself. That type of sci-fi flick will have to move over into the fantasy genre I suppose in order not to be scrutinized.
What are your thoughts?