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Tagged with “science fiction” (351)

  1. How Octavia Butler’s Sci-Fi Dystopia Became A Constant In A Man’s Evolution

    It was middle school, eighth grade, when a sheltered 13-year-old boy suddenly found himself immersed in an unfamiliar world, guided by a girl who wasn’t much older, a girl on the verge of leading a religious movement.

    At first glance, it might appear as if all they had in common was age, but there was more. They were both growing up in religious households — she a Baptist in a walled community outside of Los Angeles, he a Muslim in suburban Maryland. And they shared a burning desire to understand the constantly evolving, confusing world they occupied.

    The boy was me. The girl, Lauren Oya Olamina, is, of course, the main character in Octavia Butler’s classic science fiction novel Parable of the Sower. We were introduced by an adventurous middle school English teacher who assigned the book to my class.

    https://www.npr.org/2021/02/16/968498810/how-octavia-butlers-sci-fi-dystopia-became-a-constant-in-a-mans-evolution

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  2. The Incomparable | Cracks In His Armor (Episode 546)

    Is this the way? We break down the second season of “The Mandalorian,” which sees our title character struggle with his own identity as a Mandalorian as well as coming to grips with the important task of protecting the child that he’s been caring for. What’s the difference between good and bad fan service? How many different spin-off shows were being set up this season? And we workshop a Baby Yoda sitcom.

    https://www.theincomparable.com/theincomparable/546/

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  3. The Time Machine

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ideas explored in HG Wells’ novella, published in 1895, in which the Time Traveller moves forward to 802,701 AD. There he finds humanity has evolved into the Eloi and Morlocks, where the Eloi are small but leisured fruitarians and the Morlocks live below ground, carry out the work and have a different diet. Escaping the Morlocks, he travels millions of years into the future, where the environment no longer supports humanity.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0009bmf

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  4. Weird Studies Episode 75: Our Old Friend the Monolith: On Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

    JF and Phil discuss a film they’ve been bringing up since the beginning of the podcast: Kubrick’s masterful 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

    "You don’t find reality only in your own backyard, you know," Stanley Kubrick once told an interviewer. "In fact, sometimes that’s the last place you’ll find it." Oddly, this episode of Weird Studies begins with Phil Ford hatching the idea of putting a replica of the monolith from 2001 in his backyard. As the ensuing discussion suggests, this would amount to putting reality — or the Real, as we like to call it — in the place where it may be least apparent. Perhaps that is what Kubrick did when he planted his monolithic film in thousands of movie theatres back in 1968. Moviegoers went in expecting a Kubrickian twist on Buck Rogers; they came out changed by the experience, much like the hominids of great veld in the "Dawn of Man" sequence that opens the film. This is what all great art does, and if you look closely, maybe 2001 can tell you something about how it does it. Because in the end, the film is the monolith, and the monolith is all art.

    https://www.weirdstudies.com/75

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  5. Ray Bradbury, a master of science fiction

    Celebrating the author of Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles.

    ”People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it.” Ray Bradbury has been acclaimed as the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream but, as the quote above shows, he regarded himself as the author of modern philosophical fables, rather than a sci-fi writer. In his dystopian works, such as Fahrenheit 451, he holds up a mirror to contemporary society and then transposes it into fantastical and futuristic scenarios. Bradbury was a prolific writer who tried his hand at everything from poems and novels to TV and radio scripts but it’s his early short stories which he produced in his twenties that are perhaps the most imaginative.

    To mark the centenary of Bradbury’s birth, Rajan Datar is joined by three Bradbury experts to help him navigate through the author’s prodigious output: Professor Jonathan Eller from Indiana University who is also the Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies; Dr. Miranda Corcoran who teaches American literature at University College Cork with particular interest in science fiction, horror and the gothic; and Dr. Phil Nichols who combines research into Bradbury’s TV and other media work with the teaching of Film and Television Production at Wolverhampton University.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cszjvr

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  6. Psychohistory: Isaac Asimov and guiding the future

    100 years on from Isaac Asimov’s birth, Matthew Sweet looks at one of the bigger ideas contained in some of his 500 books; Psychohistory.

    The idea, from Asimov’s Foundation series, was that rather like the behaviour of a gas could be reduced to statistical probabilities of the behaviour of billions of molecules, so the history of billions of human beings across the fictional galactic empire could be predicted through a few laws he called ‘Psychohistory’.

    The idea inspired many to think that social sciences and economics can really be reduced to some sort of idealized set of physics principles, making future events completely predictable. It and similar ideas are still breeding enthusiasm for such things as data science, AI, machine learning, and arguably even the recent job advert by Downing Street advisor Dominic Cummings for more ‘Super-Talented Wierdos’ to work for government. But how do we see what is real and what is not, what is Sci-Fi and what is hype, what is reasonable and what is desirable, in the gaps between innovation and inspiration, restraint and responsibility?

    Jack Stilgoe of University College London has a new book out ‘Who’s Driving Innovation?’. Science and Tech journalist Gemma Milne’s forthcoming book is called ‘Smoke and Mirrors: How hype obscures the future and How to see past it’. Una McCormack is an expert on science fiction writing at Anglia Ruskin University, and Alexander Boxer is a data scientist who’s new book ‘Scheme of Heaven’ makes the case that we have much to learn about human efforts to deduce the future from observable events by looking at the history of Astrology, its aims and techniques.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p080lvrb

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  7. Free Will, and the Nature of Time | Robert Wright & Ted Chiang [The Wright Show]

    01:33 How Ted’s Story of Your Life became Arrival

    26:32 Experiential and theoretical grounds for determinism

    33:58 If the future is set… Why bother?

    54:02 The Predictor—an imagined device that will freak you out

    63:24 Wormholes and time travel

    84:27 Are free will and determinism compatible?

    Robert Wright (Bloggingheads.tv, The Evolution of God, Nonzero, Why Buddhism Is True) and Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)

    Recorded on May 22, 2017

    Join the conversation on MeaningofLife.tv: http://meaningoflife.tv/videos/38665

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    Original video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOWVzR7ZwAI&list=WL&index=6&t=0s
    Downloaded by http://huffduff-video.snarfed.org/ on Fri Dec 27 21:01:28 2019 Available for 30 days after download

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