Interesting Article

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Interesting Article

Postby Omphalos » Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:24 pm

Well, I haven't read it all the way through yet, but I found this on James Gunn's FB page, so it should be pretty interesting:

http://www.salon.com/2012/08/05/science ... 2_salpart/
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Re: Interesting Article

Postby Freakzilla » Tue Aug 07, 2012 5:19 pm

Would you say that most sci-fi authors are optimists? I mean, for you to believe there's going to be a future/advanced technology, you kind of have to be, don't you?
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby Omphalos » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:33 pm

I think back in the day most were. These days, with the more literary bent and the millennial fears (which12 years later really haven't abated at all) ess are, IMHO.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:14 pm

I'm no expert, but it certainly seems more "on trend" to be pessimistic in SF now than it was in the past. Obviously there have been dystopia and post-apocalyptic stories since the beginnings of the genre, but it seems to me that these are even more common now and seem even darker.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby Omphalos » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:29 am

Its all in the tone that you take. There have been plenty of dystopia/catastrophe books in the past, but I would say that by a large margin most of those from before the 2000's were about rebirth; as in, the world we know goes to hell, but something better comes from it. A lot that I see these days are about chaos and the end of it all.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:53 pm

I agree with that, based on what I've read of the style anyways.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby Freakzilla » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:02 pm

I'd like to think that even the pessimists are writing in a warning style, with the hopes that those terrible things won't happen because we'll eventually get our shit together.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:43 am

I personally figure we'll go through cycles of almost-extinction until we simply run out of the resources that allow us to rise to such a destructive level. We'll almost wipe ourselves out, learn the lesson for a bit, forget it and go back to our old ways, repeat, repeat. Unless we nuke the whole thing or a disease takes us out anyways.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby Serkanner » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:22 pm

Humanity has found a "solution"to every single problem it has encountered. I believe the species will find a solution to avoid extinction and solve the question of how to colonize the galaxy.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:56 pm

Serkanner wrote:Humanity has found a "solution"to every single problem it has encountered. I believe the species will find a solution to avoid extinction.


I agree with this part entirely, we're pretty hard to bump off - I just think we'll come very close to extinction more than once in our future.

Serkanner wrote:and solve the question of how to colonize the galaxy.


This one I can't say won't happen, but I have my doubts - not sure if I really have any belief that we'll actually manage to colonize anywhere else. We COULD if we cleaned up our act, but I don't know if we ever will, we'll clean it up enough to not die off completely for sure, but I'm split on whether we'll clean up and stay clean.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:19 pm

What I personally think is the most likely scenario is that eventually, maybe 50 years, 200, whatever, we'll pollute this rock to the point where disease and famine become extremely serious problems for the vast majority of us. What exactly our population will be reduced to I obviously have no idea, could be a billion, could be a million, could be less. We'll persevere, because we're really bloody good at living, but not the majority of us. I'm not talking some kind of apocalypse, this is going to be a pretty long slow fall - by the time we finally clue in to how much damage we're doing to a great enough degree to make us actually start changing it will be far too late to prevent the majority of the damage.

And so we'll be reduced to a smaller number, and that number will do 1 of 2 things. A: realize that if they stay clean the world will eventually get better for some distant future generation, and they will stay clean (for a while at least), or B: realize that now that we're not so overpopulated they can basically pollute as much as they want and not really do any further damage, meaning they can now get away with even more than we do currently... and they'll just perpetuate the damage, slowing down the rate the world recovers.

Few thousand years later, the earth will probably be doing kinda decent again - and so, if we have any oil reserves left, we'll go right ahead and wreck it again, and the whole process will repeat.

I like to think that eventually (after a few rises and falls) we'll actually clean up and stay that way though! I'm an optimist I SWEAR! This is just pretty much the journey I figure we'll take before we become sane.

---
People will stop using oil when we run out, not before in my opinion. We'll stop polluting in all the other ways only as we actually start watching people around us die as an obvious direct result of that specific pollution.

One of our greatest powers is our power of denial and delusion - those let us accomplish a lot of amazing things. They're also what let us smoke, follow blindly, ignore wrong doings happening around us... they're very very powerful in humans.

This has been edition one of AToE's doomsday rant. Carry on.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby Liege-Killer » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:25 am

A Thing of Eternity wrote:I personally figure we'll go through cycles of almost-extinction until we simply run out of the resources that allow us to rise to such a destructive level. We'll almost wipe ourselves out, learn the lesson for a bit, forget it and go back to our old ways, repeat, repeat.


A "Canticle for Liebowitz" scenario, yeah I can see that happening.

A Thing of Eternity wrote:One of our greatest powers is our power of denial and delusion - those let us accomplish a lot of amazing things. They're also what let us smoke, follow blindly, ignore wrong doings happening around us... they're very very powerful in humans.


Some biologists have asked whether or not human intelligence is actually adaptive in the long run, and for the very reason just quoted I often find myself leaning toward the opinion that it's probably not. Perhaps our brand of intelligence is a blip, just an evolutionary experiment that seemed to show some success for a while, but is ultimately doomed to fail.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby Omphalos » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:07 am

Liege-Killer wrote:
A Thing of Eternity wrote:I personally figure we'll go through cycles of almost-extinction until we simply run out of the resources that allow us to rise to such a destructive level. We'll almost wipe ourselves out, learn the lesson for a bit, forget it and go back to our old ways, repeat, repeat.


A "Canticle for Liebowitz" scenario, yeah I can see that happening.

A Thing of Eternity wrote:One of our greatest powers is our power of denial and delusion - those let us accomplish a lot of amazing things. They're also what let us smoke, follow blindly, ignore wrong doings happening around us... they're very very powerful in humans.


Some biologists have asked whether or not human intelligence is actually adaptive in the long run, and for the very reason just quoted I often find myself leaning toward the opinion that it's probably not. Perhaps our brand of intelligence is a blip, just an evolutionary experiment that seemed to show some success for a while, but is ultimately doomed to fail.


Hi there L-K. Long time, no see! Are you saying you are a doomsdayer? If you had asked me a few years ago I would have told you that I liked the literary trends in apocalyptic fiction - I think in a review of something I called it a slant towards "gritty realism" or some bullshit like that. Lately I have been missing the good old days of SF where things just worked out and human beings solved their problems.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Re: Interesting Article

Postby lotek » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:32 am

Freakzilla wrote:I'd like to think that even the pessimists are writing in a warning style, with the hopes that those terrible things won't happen because we'll eventually get our shit together.


I totally agree, I think that the more pessimistic they sound, the more optimistic they really are.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby Omphalos » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:59 pm

lotek wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I'd like to think that even the pessimists are writing in a warning style, with the hopes that those terrible things won't happen because we'll eventually get our shit together.


I totally agree, I think that the more pessimistic they sound, the more optimistic they really are.


Its really difficult sometimes to guess as to someone's true motivations. I guess you can take some of this stuff that way, but IMHO doing that is pretty difficult with some books. For example, The Road.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Re: Interesting Article

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:49 pm

I loved The Road, but it's definitely questionable whether the message is "look how bloody terrible this will be, we'd better not freaking go this route", or if it's just dark for the sake of dark.
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Re: Interesting Article

Postby Omphalos » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:54 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:I loved The Road, but it's definitely questionable whether the message is "look how bloody terrible this will be, we'd better not freaking go this route", or if it's just dark for the sake of dark.


Agree. The story is dark, dark, dark, yet it ends on a note that could be construed as good. Take that new family that the boy joins and the death of the dad (the old ways) there is a rebirth element to it. at least in the end.

Then again, maybe they're cannibals, and now the boy doesn't even have daddy to love him.

if it was the former, that'd be a first for McCarthy.

Ambiguity, good sir. It titilates us but screws our cognitive pocess up good.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

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Re: Interesting Article

Postby Robspierre » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:47 pm

What I loved about "The Road" was the relationship between the father and the son, everything that happened was so that relationship could be accentuated and I took the ending to be, now it is the son's turn to become a man.

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Re: Interesting Article

Postby lotek » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:26 am

Omphalos wrote:
lotek wrote:
Freakzilla wrote:I'd like to think that even the pessimists are writing in a warning style, with the hopes that those terrible things won't happen because we'll eventually get our shit together.


I totally agree, I think that the more pessimistic they sound, the more optimistic they really are.


Its really difficult sometimes to guess as to someone's true motivations. I guess you can take some of this stuff that way, but IMHO doing that is pretty difficult with some books. For example, The Road.


As I said, I just think, or feel that. Maybe because despite my pessimism I still wish I could be optimistic ? ^^
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