Author Topic: Episode #597  (Read 10448 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline gmalivuk

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3131
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #45 on: December 21, 2016, 07:43:17 AM »
Useless as a means of predicting the future, maybe, but not as a means of imagining andcconsidering possible futures.

Unless the reader himself lacks all imagination, I suppose.
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better...is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

Offline Ah.hell

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 13494
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2016, 09:54:05 AM »
Useless as a means of imagining the future. Certainly useful as fun escapist recreational reading when it is done well. In the age of Kindle (which I love) there's a lot of self-published crap.
I kinda hate how easy it is to self publish on account of that.  I need some gate keepers to filter out the poorly disguised marysue fan fiction. 

Aside from that, Sci fi is a broad category.  Some, like star wars is just fantasy in space but there is hard sci-fi which for the most part tries very hard to just extrapolate the future from current science and for the most part, the best sci-fi really just commentary on modern society and not really an attempt to predict the future. 

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9887
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2016, 09:54:36 AM »
Useless as a means of predicting the future, maybe, but not as a means of imagining andcconsidering possible futures.

Unless the reader himself lacks all imagination, I suppose.

I have enough imagination of my own that I don't need some pop-culture hack writer creating futures based on magical boxes that violate the laws of physics, for me to imagine possibilities for the future.
Daniel
----------------
“You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”
-- Greta Thunberg

Offline Ah.hell

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 13494
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2016, 10:04:52 AM »
I get not liking Sci-fi, to each their own, but I don't get the animus.  Sure, "the star trek effect" but that just seems like rationalization.  Show me on the action figure where sci-fi touched you.

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9887
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2016, 11:53:57 AM »
I dislike the mislabeling of fantasy as sci-fi for the same reason that I dislike the mislabeling of homeopathy as medicine. I like sugar, in moderation. I dislike it when people call it medicine. I like fantasy. I dislike it when people call Star Trek "sci-fi" and pretend that it's more "possible" than Lord of the Rings.

I also happen to think that Star Trek was bad writing and bad acting and utterly idiotic in its presumption that on first contact with distant worlds we'd meet English-speaking almost-humans.
Daniel
----------------
“You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”
-- Greta Thunberg

Offline Ah.hell

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 13494
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #50 on: December 21, 2016, 12:22:51 PM »
I dislike the mislabeling of fantasy as sci-fi for the same reason that I dislike the mislabeling of homeopathy as medicine. I like sugar, in moderation. I dislike it when people call it medicine. I like fantasy. I dislike it when people call Star Trek "sci-fi" and pretend that it's more "possible" than Lord of the Rings.
Oddly, I agree, I just give Sci-fi a pass on a few common fantastic conceits.  FTL and aliens speaking english for instance.  If the aliens don't speak English all sci-fi fiction with aliens would be a story about learning the aliens language.  That would be especially boring in a weekly TV show.  And despite the fantastic elements, Star Trek is more possible than Lord of the Rings, not much but more.  Star Wars is not, which is why I rankle at Star Wars being described as Sci-fi but not Star Trek.

I also happen to think that Star Trek was bad writing and bad acting and....
Often but they also had some great writing and pretty good acting at times, also unusual at the time for being an optimistic vision of the future, probably why it has such a following more than any other reason.

..and utterly idiotic in its presumption that on first contact with distant worlds we'd meet English-speaking almost-humans.
Thats the equivalent of saying you don't like stage plays because the stage settings aren't realistic.  That was all largely due to the limits of technology and budget available to the studio.  The classic example, the transporter was used because it was cheaper than filming a shuttle landing.  Humans with bad make-up because that was cheaper than filming actual alien aliens.  Its also easier to create characters actual humans can relate to and directors can elicit a performance from. 
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 12:25:36 PM by Ah.hell »

Offline gmalivuk

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3131
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #51 on: December 21, 2016, 02:29:27 PM »
Useless as a means of predicting the future, maybe, but not as a means of imagining and considering possible futures.

Unless the reader himself lacks all imagination, I suppose.
I have enough imagination of my own that I don't need some pop-culture hack writer creating futures based on magical boxes that violate the laws of physics, for me to imagine possibilities for the future.
You do realize that not all sci-fi is magical-box sci-fi, right?

There are millions of pages of science fiction that never involves faster-than-light travel (which is the main violation of physics that sci-fi usually includes).

But even outright fantasy can have merit that goes far beyond mere escapism.

Again, I contend that you must simply lack imagination if you are incapable of relating any of the themes and lessons of (soft) science fiction and fantasy to modern life.

You may not personally like stories, but the fact remains that most people relate to stories far more strongly than to base descriptions of facts, and so if you want to reach those people with your political or social or philosophical (or scientific) points, without them feeling like they're in class, you package your points in a narrative.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 02:31:29 PM by gmalivuk »
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better...is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9887
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #52 on: December 21, 2016, 03:46:16 PM »
Useless as a means of predicting the future, maybe, but not as a means of imagining and considering possible futures.

Unless the reader himself lacks all imagination, I suppose.
I have enough imagination of my own that I don't need some pop-culture hack writer creating futures based on magical boxes that violate the laws of physics, for me to imagine possibilities for the future.
You do realize that not all sci-fi is magical-box sci-fi, right?

There are millions of pages of science fiction that never involves faster-than-light travel (which is the main violation of physics that sci-fi usually includes).

But even outright fantasy can have merit that goes far beyond mere escapism.

Again, I contend that you must simply lack imagination if you are incapable of relating any of the themes and lessons of (soft) science fiction and fantasy to modern life.

You may not personally like stories, but the fact remains that most people relate to stories far more strongly than to base descriptions of facts, and so if you want to reach those people with your political or social or philosophical (or scientific) points, without them feeling like they're in class, you package your points in a narrative.

Where did you get ANY of this from??? I have said I enjoy fantasy. I have said I enjoy science fiction. I get upset only when fantasy is labelled as science fiction. All I'm saying is get your labels right. Don't sell sugar as medicine. And don't sell fantasy as science fiction. Label things what they are and I have no problem with it. (Though I dislike bad writing, but that's a separate issue.)
Daniel
----------------
“You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”
-- Greta Thunberg

Offline gmalivuk

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3131
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #53 on: December 21, 2016, 03:52:53 PM »
You yourself in this very thread said SF was fine as escapism but useless for imagining the future. You then implied there in that very quote that you take "imagining and considering possible futures" to mean "creating futures based on magical boxes that violate the laws of physics".
The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better...is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

Offline lonely moa

  • A rather tough old bird.
  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 5095
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #54 on: December 21, 2016, 04:13:54 PM »

Where did you get ANY of this from???

You should talk.
"Pull the goalie", Malcolm Gladwell.

Offline Dan I

  • Seasoned Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 891
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #55 on: December 22, 2016, 07:59:03 AM »
I dislike the mislabeling of fantasy as sci-fi for the same reason that I dislike the mislabeling of homeopathy as medicine. I like sugar, in moderation. I dislike it when people call it medicine. I like fantasy. I dislike it when people call Star Trek "sci-fi" and pretend that it's more "possible" than Lord of the Rings.

I also happen to think that Star Trek was bad writing and bad acting and utterly idiotic in its presumption that on first contact with distant worlds we'd meet English-speaking almost-humans.

Might I recommend:

http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/how-great-science-fiction-works.html

Offline Fast Eddie B

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 3385
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #56 on: December 23, 2016, 11:15:13 AM »
In trying to clarify about Premium gas, Dr. Novella again misstates something important...

As he's describing normal combustion, he says that the spark plug fires, causing the fuel/air mixture to "explode". That's a common misconception.

The spark plug or plug ignites the fuel/air mixture, which then burns in a controlled fashion as a flame front smoothly propagates and pushes the piston down.

If the mixture does explode, that's the pinging or knocking that can be heard when gas of too low an octane is used.

And that can be caused by two separate but related processes: Preignition and Detonation

Good video here:



This is aviation related, since my background is as an aviation instructor. But the same principles apply to and gas-powered internal combustion engine. But not diesels, where the fuel/air mixture does sort of explode - which is why they sound like they're knocking all the time!
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 11:51:07 AM by Fast Eddie B »

Offline SkeptiQueer

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7736
  • DEEZ NUTZ
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #57 on: December 23, 2016, 11:52:45 AM »
I dislike the mislabeling of fantasy as sci-fi for the same reason that I dislike the mislabeling of homeopathy as medicine. I like sugar, in moderation. I dislike it when people call it medicine. I like fantasy. I dislike it when people call Star Trek "sci-fi" and pretend that it's more "possible" than Lord of the Rings.

I also happen to think that Star Trek was bad writing and bad acting and utterly idiotic in its presumption that on first contact with distant worlds we'd meet English-speaking almost-humans.
Can I recommend a few books?

Cat's Cradle, Sirens of Titan, and Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut Jr are all sci-fi that does far more than just play out fantasy stories in space.

Red Shirts and the Old Man's War series, which explore the dark horror or Star Trek in a tongue-in-cheek manner and then the implications of humanity in space in a less than glamorous way, repaectively.

Sci-fi, unlike fantasy, is often very good at examining humanity and technology and challenging social norms and movements in a way that fantasy is not. While I agree that, for instance, Star Wars is fantasy in space, Star Trek was always so heavy on the social commentary that it even broke new ground in television with the first on-screen interracial kiss. You may not find either enjoyable, but I must ask that you draw a distinction between the two.
HIISSSSSSSS

Offline Ah.hell

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 13494
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #58 on: December 23, 2016, 12:13:50 PM »
Daniel might quite like red shirts as it pokes fun at most of the Star Trek conceits he dislikes so much. 

Offline Shipwreck

  • Not Enough Spare Time
  • **
  • Posts: 155
Re: Episode #597
« Reply #59 on: January 02, 2017, 01:14:58 PM »
All Sci-fi has fictitious elements to it, that's why it's called Science Fiction - not "Science", even the most "hard" of sci fi's will be speculative. Sometimes though yeah, the line can get blurred and that's what can affect people's SoD. For me, Gravity was too unrealistic with it's multiple crashes of space stations and fire extinguisher jet packs which affected my enjoyment of it (unlike Steve who considers it his favourite!  ???) but I'd still put it in that genre. Star Wars or Jupiter Ascending I would not. As SQ says, fantasy in space. I'm torn both ways on if the Imperial Radch trilogy (worthy a read too) qualifies either way.

I'd like to think that Steve's explanation correctly summarize's the situation: Steve was so familiar with Klein's scientific credentials and evidenced-based research, he forgot to mention any of it in the interview. Perhaps. But the more I read about Klein, the less I believe that is the case. I still haven't seen peer-reviewed work from Klein.

I re-listened to episode 430, the previous time the SGU interviewed him. There was no pushback against his views, and no evidence to support them. Klein said some things that I found a little appalling, using the term "henpecked", and suggesting that the typical Swedish man wants to have extramarital affairs. I also noted that Klein had a controversy with Skepchick, an organization that I support and trust.

I hope we can get further clarification about the choice to give this guy a platform.

I've just finished this episode and the preceding one. That interview and follow up really did feel off to me, and not because of the subject matter. I looked into your comment about Skepchick and wow. Now I'm really surprised this guy was even given a platform - and twice? His basic premise (there should be more education to children/teenagers about how porn isn't an actual representation of sex) everything else, was not.