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Prophets of Science Fiction 
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Post Re: Prophets of Science Fiction
jeepojiii wrote:
Same impression. It was all to Ridley Scott's agenda, which had nothing to do with the reality of IA and/or his work. Concentrated entirely on his "robot" stories....


And did a lousy job with them. I have just completed my reading of all of the robot novels and prequels to Foundationand Foundation itself and am now reading Foundation and Empire, but not the stories in I, Robot itself. However, I know these stories well.

a) They said that "Reason" had men working in the power satellite with the 'help' of a robot. Actually, the men were only there to check out the robot's controlling of the satellite so as to turn over complete control to the robot and then leave. Things got complicated when the robot found 'religion'. In the end, the men left the robot in charge.

b) They said that in The Naked Sun, Asimov had a robot which could 'brainwash' humans and control them. Wrong!, R. Giscard, the robot with the ability to control human minds appeared in The Robots of Dawn and it was severely limited by the Three Laws into just how much it could affect humans. R. Daneel received this ability from Giscard, because he, Daneel, was able to extend the Three Laws to include the 'Zeroth' law which made the law read "no harm to humanity' and the Three Laws were knocked down a notch. the 'Zeroth' law was a much more difficult law to properly as 'humanity' is an abstraction, not something that can be pointed to.

c) I think that they referred to The Naked Sun also in talking about 'defining human' so that Robots could kill them. This was in Robots and Empire where the inhabitants of Solaria abandoned the surface and left its protection to robots who were programmed to treat humans who did not speak in the Solarian dialect as being non-human and they had instructions to kill all 'non-humans'.

d) I got the distinct impression that Asimov was drafted in 1945 because of his education and technical background to 'help out' the Army. That's the first I have heard of that and I seriously doubt it. Had that been the case, he would probably have been put in a quickie OCS class and be commissioned as was De Camp.

e) Finally, they said that Asimov envisioned the future of men and robots working together side by side. Well, beginning with Robots and Empire, until the events in Prelude to Foundation men were almost totally ignorant of even what a robot was. It was in this novel that we find that Daneel has been secretly helping humanity throughout the many thousands of years, but humanity was totally aware of it.

I only saw the second half of the show, but I gather from what I did see, that I didn't miss much

I have to say that, Asimov, in tying all of these varying stories and novels together, there were a large amount of inconsistencies and that always throws me off a little. Nevertheless, I still enjoy reading them now and then.


Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:35 pm
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Post Re: Prophets of Science Fiction
From chapter 9 of Arthur C. Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey," published in 1968:

Quote:
When [Floyd] had tired of official reports, memoranda and minutes, he would plug his foolscap-sized Newspad into the ship’s information circuit and scan the latest reports from Earth. One by one, he would conjure up the world’s major electronic papers. He knew the codes of the more important ones by heart and had no need to consult the list on the back of his pad. Switching to the display’s short-term memory, he would hold the front page while he searched the headlines and noted the items that interested him.

Each had its own two-digit reference. When he punched that, a postage-sized rectangle would expand till it neatly filled the screen and he could read it with comfort. When he finished he could flash back to the complete page and select a new subject for detailed examination.

Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man’s quest for perfect communications. Here he was, far out in space, speeding away from Earth at thousands of miles an hour, yet in a few milliseconds he could see the headlines of any newspaper he pleased. (That very word “newspaper,” of course, was an anachronistic hangover into the age of electronics.) The text was updated automatically on every hour; even if one read only the English versions, one could spend an entire lifetime doing nothing but absorbing the ever-changing flow of information from the news satellites.


Remind you of anything?

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Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:26 am
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Post Re: Prophets of Science Fiction
DanHenderson wrote:
From chapter 9 of Arthur C. Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey," published in 1968:

Quote:
... a postage-sized rectangle would expand till it neatly filled the screen and he could read it with comfort. When he finished he could flash back to the complete page and select a new subject for detailed examination.

Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man’s quest for perfect communications. [...]


Remind you of anything?

Lots of people have written about the scientific ideas that went into the film 2001; a friend suggested, as the year 2010 approached, that I should create a talk on "The Science of 2010 (The Movie, Not the Year)."

The film may be nowhere near as good as its distinguished predecessor. But the post-1968 technical ideas incorporated into it are considerable, and I thought it should get some love. Examples: Aerobraking, Io's volcanoes, the use of a pair of Kaypro portable computers to collaborate on the screenplay between Sri Lanka and Los Angeles, and the use of a Cray to create animated shots of Jupiter's atmosphere.

To illustrate how the real year 2010 differed from world of the movies, I enlisted a pal who had obtained one of the first Apple Ipads. I sent him a still from 2001: A Space Odyssey and he brought it up on the Ipad's screen. In a restaurant, I photographed him, eating dinner, watching on his Ipad the scene where astronaut Dave Bowman is eating dinner, watching a BBC interview on his Newspad.

In describing this in words, I belabor the joke; but when I come to the slide during my talk, the audience grasps is very quickly.

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Sun Mar 18, 2012 12:34 pm
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Post Re: Prophets of Science Fiction
beamjockey wrote:
In describing this in words, I belabor the joke; but when I come to the slide during my talk, the audience grasps it very quickly.


I'd love to see your talk! Do you ever do it in the San Francisco Bay Area, somewhere open to the public?

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Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:21 pm
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Post Re: Prophets of Science Fiction
I have watched 2001 several times and still enjoy the back story. 2010 was so bad I have never watched it again and haven't even been tempete to watch the later versions (20??).


Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:53 pm
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Post Re: Prophets of Science Fiction
DanHenderson wrote:
beamjockey wrote:
In describing this in words, I belabor the joke; but when I come to the slide during my talk, the audience grasps it very quickly.

I'd love to see your talk! Do you ever do it in the San Francisco Bay Area, somewhere open to the public?
Not yet. Get someone to fly me out, and I will!

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Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:15 am
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Post Re: Prophets of Science Fiction
ChuckA wrote:
I have watched 2001 several times and still enjoy the back story. 2010 was so bad I have never watched it again and haven't even been tempete to watch the later versions (20??).
Be aware that 2012 is not a sequel to 2001 and 2010!

As for 2010, tastes vary. If 2001 had never existed, I think I would regard 2010 as a decent, but not outstanding, space movie.

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Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:21 am
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Post Re: Prophets of Science Fiction
beamjockey wrote:
As for 2010, tastes vary. If 2001 had never existed, I think I would regard 2010 as a decent, but not outstanding, space movie.


Much like I feel about the Gentry Lee sequels to Rendevous with Rama; if the original book had not been so superb, I'd probably have enjoyed the sequels. As matters stand, I couldn't finish them. Clark is simply the better writer. (And despite the collaboration fiction, he did NOT write the later Rendevous with Rama books.)

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Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:14 pm
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Post Re: Prophets of Science Fiction
I can't help but think there's an opportunity for a retrospective commentary to be made with a voiceover: " Coming soon: the 1972 congressional budget for NASA. And you'll see why 2001 won't be like '2001'."


Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:18 pm
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Post Re: Prophets of Science Fiction
beamjockey wrote:
ChuckA wrote:
I have watched 2001 several times and still enjoy the back story. 2010 was so bad I have never watched it again and haven't even been tempete to watch the later versions (20??).
Be aware that 2012 is not a sequel to 2001 and 2010!

As for 2010, tastes vary. If 2001 had never existed, I think I would regard 2010 as a decent, but not outstanding, space movie.


2010 is a decent but not outstanding space movie. I know 2001 is considered a masterpiece by many but it has not held up well for me. I was very impressed with it when I saw it in 1968 but after repeated viewings over the years, I have grown tired of the pretentious symbolism and the tedious story telling. I still admire the design and the ground-breaking VFX, and there are some scenes that really are classic, but the movie as a whole is not as satisfying. Kubrick should have had Heinlein do a script rewrite.

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Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:54 am
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