Is science fiction inevitable?

It appears to me, an uneducated sci-fi geek wannabe, that if the human mind can conceive of it, eventually we can bring it to fruition.  What was fiction in the early part of the last century is the reality of today.

I’ve just been watching a TV program which included robotic limbs, both as human limb replacements and as human limb extensions (for remote use in dangerous locations).  Limbs controlled by tiny electrical impulses from muscles, or by thought alone.  Semi-realistic limbs, with 4 or 5 mobile and flexible fingers.  Rather than guessing where we’ll be in 10 years, it’s easier to look back at where we were 10 years ago and imagine if we make the same rate of progress.

The same is true in so many areas of traditional sci-fi topics such as robotics, space travel, energy, communication.  I remember watching the black and white Flash Gordon and thinking how awesome it would be, to be able to see the person you were talking to on the phone.

Now video conferencing and videophone technology is increasingly commonplace.

It appears that at all scales (from space travel to the moon to the tiny elements of motors and computers), if sci-fi authors have imagined it, then science practitioners have brought it about and made it a reality.

I am sure that people more clever than me debate this all the time.  Asking questions about whether we make our own reality and hence anything we imagine can be made real, or that since sci-fi is based on a kernel of reality it’s bound to be possible to develop the ideas into real stuff.  But for me, I just like thinking about it.  Does sci-fi drive science research?  If you spent your youth watching C3-PO does that in turn result in your Robotics research taking the form of a large golden humanoid with a personality disorder?

Is it inevitable that most of the inventions of science fiction will become reality?

It’s Friday

I really needed this Friday to turn up.  Unfortunately I’m on-call this coming week, but at least the cold is finally beginning to abate.  I’m left now with just a stuffed nose and an irregular cough, instead of a streaming nose and a constant cough, which is how it’s been for three days.

My stomach/chest muscles hurt from the coughing, I hate having colds. The wound on my thumb never really hurt, it’s odd.  i expected at least some pain, but it’s knit together pretty well and there’s only any soreness if I press it.  Had to move the dentist appointment to next week, couldn’t imagine sitting in the dentist chair coughing and trying to keep my mouth open.  So, got that fun to come next week, really really not looking forward to it.

D&D tomorrow and lunch with some friends on Sunday should be good, I’m hopeful the coughing will have totally gone by then.

National Videogame Archive

One of the problems of blogging everything interesting you come across, as soon as you find it, is that you end up writing lots of small little blog posts.

Well, so be it.

I found this on the BBC News site.  In turn, that led me to this (save the video game).  Which inevitably led me here (the national videogame archive).

I think it’s a great idea.  There can be no doubt that videogames are the new rock and roll (and in fact, searching for “video games are the new rock and roll” on Google returns roughly 100 hits which agree with me), and in a few years the ties between film, videogame and other arts will be closer than ever.

If you immerse yourself in a videogame with 200 other people and tell a story and record the resulting images, why might it not be called a movie.

We should really preserve the history of videogames, the technology, the concepts and the games themselves in the same way we have with film, literature and other forms of art.  If I was to preserve some games it would be the Mega Drive version of the original Sonic the Hedgehog which I played to death in the very early 90’s, the Spectrum version of Bard’s Tale and F19 Stealth Fighter which got us through the first year of university on a friend’s Amstrad 1640 (you could hear the whistle of the engines from the other end of our floor).

Ok, Empire top 500

So here’s what I’ve seen in the Empire top 500.  Again, green are the ones I’ve seen.  Caveat: It’s a long list, I’m tired and not well, so I may have missed some, I may have mis-marked some and I can’t promise this list matches the top 250 list.  I didn’t mark the ones I’m interested in or the ones I own but haven’t seen (there are more in this list) because it’s a long-ass list.  I’ve seen about 124 out of this list.  People reading this in their RSS reader, sorry for the length.

  1. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981)
  3. Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner, 1980)
  4. Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994)
  5. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
  6. GoodFellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
  7. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
  8. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, 1952)
  9. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
  10. Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999)
  11. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
  12. The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)
  13. Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)
  14. Continue reading

IMDB top movies

A couple of friends have commented on my IMDB post from yesterday.  I thought I’d expand and answer their questions in another post.

JodyTheBad is up first.

I can’t help but share my opinions.

Good! More comments = always good.

I loved the dry humor of Fargo. And the ridiculous absurdity of it, kind of like Pulp Fiction in that way.

It’s been on my ‘I should really get …’ list for soooooooo long.  It’s probably like 2 quid from Amazon.  (In fact, it’s £3.48 for the special edition).  But then EverQuest took up all my spare time and I hardly watched any movies.  Now I have the Kevin Smith stuff to get through, and then I’ll probably start going through the Cohen Brother’s stuff in more detail.

I know everyone loves it, but I’d skip The Big Lebowski and instead watch The Graduate.

Yeh I should probably watch them both.  I have a real complex about watching classic movies made before I was of movie watching age, don’t ask me why. I’m not sure.

And you haven’t seen the Sixth Sense? I loved seeing it, although I guess it’s not as fun if you know how it goes. But I will very highly recommend seeing “Unbreakable.” It’s really great. A++++, would watch again.

Grete went to watch Sixth Sense when it was on in the cinema with a friend.  I can still clearly remember the conversation when Grete returned, she was telling me the story and I said, ‘oh, and Bruce is the guy who’s dead?’.  She was non-plussed.  I saw Unbreakable and I quite liked it, in fact I think I prefer the idea behind that more so than Sixth Sense.  But then I love SLJ in anything he does anyway.

And from Leigh,

I’m always quite please to see that I’ve watched nearly all of the first 100 and a substatial portion of the top 250.

Yeh, I’ve seen a lot of films that don’t make that top 250, but then movies are art, and one man’s empty, void and shallow movie is another’s fantastical trip into infinity.

The fact that T2 is ranked higher than Aliens is just crazy.

Yeh, frankly I’d rate Aliens higher than Alien as well, but that’s me.  Also it’s a pretty small margin between the first few.

I can’t believe you’ve not watched Se7en, 12 Angry Men, Schindler’s List (much like ‘The Green Mile’ I avoided this film for years thinking it wouldn’t be that good and I was very wrong), LA Confidential or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Se7en – not my kinda movie.  I don’t enjoy suspense for the sake of it movies.  12 Angry Men, sounds interesting but see above for ‘before I was born’.  Schindler’s List maybe on the right day.  LA Confidential – yep change to a blue.  Eternal Sunshine, I never forgave Carrey for Cable Guy.

Remember, I actually bought Shoot ’em Up, and thought Smokin’ Aces was ok, that’s the kind of philistine you’re dealing with here!

IMDB top 250

The IMDB top 250 is here.  I should think it doesn’t change very quickly, but this snapshot from the list was taken today (28/10/2008).  Green I’ve seen, Blue I specifically want to watch at some point, Red I’ve got on DVD but haven’t gotten around to watching, Black I won’t not watch them.

  1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  2. The Godfather (1972)
  3. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  4. The Dark Knight (2008)
  5. Buono, il brutto, il cattivo., Il (1966)
  6. Pulp Fiction (1994)
  7. Schindler’s List (1993)
  8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
  9. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  10. 12 Angry Men (1957)
  11. Casablanca (1942)
  12. Star Wars (1977)
  13. Shichinin no samurai (1954)
  14. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  15. Goodfellas (1990)
  16. Rear Window (1954)
  17. Continue reading

things i’m tired of

  • coughing so hard i have a headache
  • coughing so hard my stomach muscles hurt
  • coughing in general
  • not being able to breath through my nose
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • and i’m as sick as you guys about blog posts from me on my health, sorry