Underlore

Ending the dominion of pain and death.

Fiction

Interstellar (2014) Review

This is a scene by scene generally glowing review of Interstellar.

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Right away we have some awesome. The blend of re-purposed dust bowl interview footage, complete with this neat upside down dishware detail, coupled with the Sci-Fi space-jet teaser opening immediately established the film as something special, with a feeling of serious intellectual attention without being pretentious. Adding in the dusty running laptop is a stroke of genius as it nicely juxtaposes the apparent technological regression with the obvious fact that we are either in the future or a contemporary parallel era, without having to resort to telling us.

Rule one of great film making: Don’t tell the viewer anything you can show them instead.

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The relationship dynamic here is excellent. It shows parental frustration along with the absolute best possible response. We see respect for the girl shown as a human being which feels not as if it’s a staged (despite literally being staged) father of the year moment, but rather a snapshot into their typical interactions. Encouraging critical thinking and empowering the child by teaching her how to think, as opposed to what to think. To bad she turns out to be pathologically dim and mean as an adult. I really hope that wasn’t the point… We get enough oppress your children for their own good rhetoric in the whole rest of culture.

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Pretty sure this is the first ever drone chase through a corn field in cinema history. Again with the awesome sweet and sour flavor of high tech meets backslide, with a garnish of purpose and excitement.

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Another example of respect towards children by showing them (again not telling) as competent trustworthy people. True she’s later proven to be exceptionally bright from a technical standpoint, but not to a super human degree, as is often the case in other lesser movies where they have to have some supernatural excuse for kids when they act like actual humans. The son asks insightful questions as well, so again it’s not a big “check out the mutant nerd” showcase when we see a kid with an IQ north of carrot.

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She asks an awesome question and gets an awesome answer. She asks why they can’t simply release the drone, as if it’s a bird. This is not presented as childish nonsense for even a millisecond. I was deeply impressed by this question. And his answer is excellent as well. He says it needs to learn to adapt like everyone else, creating a feeling of shared struggle, and mutual respect, for a machine. Let that sink in. Because it won’t be long till we have feeling machines in reality. They will be our allies but it will still be possible to victimize them. Don’t be that guy (person).

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Without starting in on a massive rant about school, let me just say that in my opinion this depiction of school as little more than drones making drones, and outright lying about history for manipulative reasons is horrifyingly accurate.

And yes I picked that frame on purpose. Looking painfully, willfully, ignorant and half blind… Nailed it.

When the meat bots demonstrate total oblivity to his opposition to their indoctrination program and imply that he should somehow punish her in their behalf to stop her from thinking and stuff, he delightfully goes in the opposite direction. Again showing a parent doing at least some degree of the right thing… Opposing that odious machine, instead of feeding our kids to it like some kind of island primitives stuffing our loved ones into the volcano for (in this case literally) a better harvest.

Plug: http://underlore.com/the-tyranny-of-compulsory-schooling/

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I’m guessing me and this character were born about the same time. They never say what year exactly that I noticed, but that’s the impression I get. I like the nature of his role too. He seems burnt out but still doing what he can, if fatalistically.

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Here he says it’s like we’ve forgotten who we are, explorers, not caretakers. I couldn’t agree more. At some point it’s like we decided to stop willfully changing things when our ability to willfully change things is the whole reason we are alive and special.

We need to declare actual war on mosquitoes.

I love that the enemy in this film isn’t runaway technology or climate change or whatever other unabomber Luddite kind of moral, where the implied “correct” response is to go churn butter and drop our cellphones in the toilet in some futile and literally mindless effort to halt innovation. Rather the enemy appears to be the very nature of life, things evolving faster than we are, depicted as an organism called the blight which metabolizes crops, oxygen, and nitrogen. It’s a brilliant double message. Regression will kill us, and when you stand still while everything else moves forward, you might as well be killing yourself, because nature does not care about you.

Evolution is both the question and the answer. Love it.

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“We used to look at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down, and worry about our place in the dirt.”

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Again with the awesome respect shown children and diversity. That it’s ok to want different things out of life, different ways of life so long as they don’t hurt anyone. Wow. That is really an ethic we need right now for parents, and the world.

We need to stop trying to force everyone into the same life plan of immediate returns for the culture. When we developed farming, we showed patience in the short term for gains in the long term. We need to do that again with a universal basic income.

Simply water humanity and see what they yield. Don’t eat your seed stock. Have a little faith that the same creatures that invented culture will find a way to be useful to it.

Plug: http://underlore.com/one-possible-solution/

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This bit is unrealistic and I’m sure virtually all of us called it.

I think I would have had her be in the house and answer him, then sneak into the back of the truck, and then have him hit a bump or something causing her to make a noise.

Having her already hidden in the cab while great for the character interaction is also a fairly hamfisted way to initiate the next scene.

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This robot design is brave and awesome. More to follow. At first it looked silly to me, like a guy in a silver cardboard box, but that impression did not last. And while possibly being a nice nod to the monolith (especially in the very final frame of the movie) I think it also served as an instant and obvious disclaimer of the AI-as-menace trope.

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Brilliant film making here. They knew not to show us his face. They did point him out though. So we know he’s going to be significant later, but we don’t know in what way. He could merely be plot context, or he could be a person. Showing us a face would tell us. Not showing us a face, kind of tells us too though, since they showed the faces of other team members, but it’s subtle and I missed it the first time.

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I’m glad they cast this guy, he has deserved better roles for a long time. His agent must suck, he gets the worst roles. (Like Blackheart, omg the poor guy.)

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“Everybody good? Plenty of slaves for my robot colony?” lol4r Seriously that just makes me giggle. “I have a cue light I can use when I’m joking if you like. (Human accepts offer.) Yeah, you can use it to find your way back to the ship after I blow you out the airlock. (Cue light comes on.)” ~TARS

Instantly likable. I haven’t liked a human sourced robot in a near future space movie this much since AMEE. And I have a feeling TARS/CASE/KIPP could whomp AMEE.

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Docking in other movies is kind of a throw away thing but in this movie I think they treat it as properly harrowing. Imagine trying to poke a hole in your last two balloons full of oxygen and hook them together at the hole. That’s basically how amazing docking actually is when you think about it and how important it is not to screw up.

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I seriously love this robot design. It screams utility.

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“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

I could not agree more. Though this movie does take a dump on people who like living individually. But hey, that’s pandemic Pro-aging trance for you.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategies_for_Engineered_Negligible_Senescence

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I strongly disagree with her notion of nature not being evil. Setting aside the fact that nature clearly loves her. (She’s the prettiest woman in Hollywood imo, and thus very probably this whole fictional universe. Also apparently she’s an astronaut-grade save humanity genius, on the first lifeboat off the dying rock, one of the handful spared out of the billions with their lives coming to an end, so yeah, of course she’s thinks nature’s cool. She’s never left the pleasure garden until now.

Even she admits she wasn’t ready for reality when she gets back from planet tsunami.

To those of us with some perspective, the universe is quite obviously evil by every objective measure.

The shockingly vast majority of it is instantly lethal for a start, and on top of that there’s entropy and an obvious and complete lack of empathy. Simply see all arguments against intelligent design.

Ironically, this truth is actually good news because it means we are completely justified, when not outright compelled, to do what we need or want to do with it.

It only deserves, and only responds, to our actions. It doesn’t care about our feelings one way or the other, and it doesn’t care what we do to it or with it either. This makes all sentient life so precious, and everything else entirely ours. That is completely beautiful to me.

“Is a lion evil because it rips a gazelle to shreds?” ~Dr. Privileged

Uhh, yes actually. And so are we for permitting it. Indeed it’s infinitely more evil than some teenager torturing strays to death because at least the teen will out grow it or get stopped eventually, and can’t measure its victims by the million, and it didn’t create a self replicating machine that requires wholesale daily execution of torture and murder simply to keep breathing.

I mean think of the staggering malevolence of that. These prey animals are functionally toddlers, and even without lions, their life is hellish, and that’s just a tiny segment of the torture factory called life.

No, we need to cure this planet, not prolong its sickness and lethality. Nature is evil, and we need to face that fact, and we will or we’ll die, expressly because of that evil.

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I love how he instantly jumps at the chance to free Murph of her school slavery. He made the decision faster than he could take the breath it took to convey the fact that he had made it.

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His explanation of why the wormhole is spherical is both informative and elegant. The hole in the paper thing happens in other films, but this is the best version so far because it explicitly explains how a wormhole is faster.

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The wormhole travel scene is just marvelous. Doing it all with morphing and lens effects (as in image transformations, not like camera lens effects) is just brilliance.

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This concept of “the bulk” (space beyond our three dimensions) is nicely depicted here, but I imagine the real thing would look far more nonsensical, where as this looks like roughly the inside of a crumpled ball painted with moving star fields.

I think the inside of such a thing would defy visual processing for us and would look nonsensical and pretty much like an image processing artifact collection. Distance and depth perception for example would probably be very broken.

Thinking about that makes me think of the concept of truly toxic information. Like the trope in stories where seeing something from beyond can drive you mad. Well, if our senses are inputs, and our minds are processors, it should be possible to crash that processor with input only.

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Beautiful. Also, is anyone else reminded of the laughing man logo? :P “I thought what I’d do is pretend to be one of those black holes for awhile.” :P

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CASE being super cool :) I love how their whole body is dynamic like that. Sharper and narrower, reconfigured as needed. Simply beautiful.

Sadly, the death and lost years because of this are due to refusal to obey orders, and really it’s unrealistic. The effects of the time dilation should have been anticipated, and the cached data would have made it obvious.

It’s harrowing and moving and important, but also an example of the idiot ball trope. How did CASE not notice and mention the waves? How did the telemetry not make the situation obvious? Do these things not have black boxes? It strains credulity.

CASE says “The data Doyle received was just the initial status, echoing endlessly.” And they didn’t notice the identical timestamps? The data didn’t have timestamps? Please.

Still, rule of cool applies, because holy crap waves, robot running/rolling, drama, etc.

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Nope, you were never ready for reality. And frankly I’m pretty pissed that CASE didn’t simply throw her in the airlock and then grab Doyle. I think he would have. I think this is humanity injecting that typical sexist crap of male life being worthless intrinsically. Pretty sure plot wise CASE would have made a better effort to save both of them had they both be Anne Hathaway.

Anyway, they get back and they’re told they’ve got years of messages stored, but that apparently means like 4 messages total… Kinda skimped on this part too. I guess filming all those messages would have been like filming another movie. Still, this problem should have, could have, been averted at the script level.

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Another problem with the messages thing is that they are insane and ignorant. From the farm guy I can kind of understand but from the physicist girl who literally lives at nasa? No. Also Doyle said they already knew what to expect navigationally, so they had to know about Gargantua. Someone in the years at nasa during the silence should have said “Hey you know, maybe it’s a relativity thing, what with wormholes and all.”

Coddling anger in perpetuity is another sexist problem in culture. It’s like at no point does society universally say to a girl “get over it” but is says that crap to guys Virtually instantly.

Like if I were in her position, if my dad were in space like that, and there was any chance he’d ever see the messages, I would transmit every week at least till I was dead for exactly the reason that time is relative. It’s wildly unrealistic that they didn’t psychologically, or at the very least betrays literally mind numbing pathology.

But again, it makes for good drama I guess.

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I thought that they were going to play with the idea that time while paramount, is also meaningless. Though the movie didn’t go as far as I’m thinking, it definitely came far far closer to an actual understanding. (Kpax, Primer, and the HG wells the time machine remake touched on this indirectly.)

What I at first interpreted as a eureka moment, was actually her (finally) seeing through the greatest intellectual scam of all time and a classic argument against secrecy in any agency with decision making authority. There is no way he’d have kept everyone running in circles with a bogus math problem if more than like 10 people saw it.

This goes back to her not being a mutant. She’s smart but obviously not that smart. You can’t spend decades teaching a smart person how to be a carpenter and then sell them on the notion that a table just won’t work because you don’t know how to measure to get the legs even.

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I like this idea that subjectivity matters. She said it in a kind of flowery monogamy rhetoric way for a scientist, but hey, writers are writers, and the point got across.

I like the idea that subjectivity has a merit that science ignores because it is by nature blind to it. The idea that the line between experience and events has some degree of meaning above and beyond what is the equivalent of an arbitrary decision or a delusion.

The impact isn’t enough to justify any dogmatic thinking, since prayer obviously doesn’t do anything to reality. But still, I have this nagging feeling that there is something to the notion that subjectivity is real in some way beyond ethics and experience and compassion.

She notes and asks that we love people who have died, where’s the social utility in that. The movie treats this like a good argument, but it totally isn’t.

Death worship is an evolution of basic corpse disposal. A disgust response leading to adaptive hygiene tradition.

Also it was critical for the development of culture, which is ultimately a shared behavior and perpetual memory system. Think about what we do with the dead. We idealize them. We in essence raid their experience for mistakes to avoid and successes to replicate. This is the nature of what we call legacy. Loving the dead makes perfect sense.

But the core point that love and presumably other emotional links to consciousness and qualia of experience have some objective future meaning stands as a possibility.

http://underlore.com/why-study-consciousness/

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More petulant, literally incredible, narcissistic, thoughtlessness. To believe that her character could believe her father knew, when she herself missed it for 20+ years is completely insane. She would simply not actually think that way without a brain tumor or schizophrenia.

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They speak of relativity and quantum mechanics being irreconcilable, again, I remember thinking that some future plot twist was going to be an assertion for time being an illusion and that you can reconcile them so long as you take time off the table.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I plan to one day have the AIs subtract time completely from the math of both and see if they can be merged as so many have tried to do after having done so.

I think our failure to sufficiently automate math is directly responsible for us not having the computational power and software flexibility to attempt this.

This is something all humanity should be given the tools to play with, without having to be lifetime code and sycophantic ivory tower specialists. The code is complicated, the ideas are not.

And our continued embrace of intellectual property law continues this drag on our advancement velocity.

http://underlore.com/selling-digital-copies-is-fraud/

I mean think about it. We carry around devices that can more easily plot a chunk of weather and render a false world in 3d in real time than solve for X when in point of fact the processing power could easily fit in calculator small enough to swallow.

Why? Because like my barely human cheating macro economics teacher once said: The world needs janitors too. This lack of processing democratization and automation is basically a math based religion. A dogma of what math means and who should have access to the tools to make it accessible.

http://underlore.com/TBA/how-college-is-at-odds-with-technology/

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I knew it was all bull the moment I saw KIPP in pieces. I don’t think any film fan failed to see that betrayal coming. More liberal use of the idiot ball to make us plebs feel smarter than the astronauts :)

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They talk about having half the answer, and interestingly I think that’s somewhat close to the actual case.

I think humanity should try a brute force math attack on the theory of everything (toe.) Like decide on an arbitrary size limit on the final equation, fix the variables we know for a fact to be true, and simply generate and check equations till we get ones that fit. I find it hard to believe that humanity would be unable to check if a (or the) TOE was correct if it were printed on a tshirt from the future.

I feel like it could be done like bitcoin mining.

All meaning can be altered by context, and obviously QM and relativity aren’t actually mutually exclusive since we’re sitting here in them physically reconciled.

So then really it shouldn’t be any more complicated than generating that mathematical context, that key, that password, at random and test it until we find one that works.

Even if that definition or context adds up to the subtraction of one thing that allows GR to merge with QFT, it should still be possible to test and objectively exclude candidate solutions.

The top of the list of “passwords” I’d try is the removal of time, and the rejection of the notion of superposed states. The cat is either dead or alive. The math should proceed on the basis of it being one of the other. (Hidden Variable for the win.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_variable_theory

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This is totally us. Altruism vs selfishness, fighting wastefully on a spec, in a frozen sea of death.

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The robot at the last minute yells for the professor to step back, like only now does he detect a bomb, presumably planted by the lying scientist. (Named literally man, I might add, which is either sexist or misanthropic or both.) But why bother? Why not simply erase the incriminating data? Doctor the archives? Hell, order the robot to help you do it.

This whole thing is just silly. Frankly I think it’s because of a rather gross impulse to kill off main characters so that we can have a nice monogamous tied off “happy” ending.

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TARS bookin’ it. :)

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So TARS just saved all of humanity by not trusting all of humanity. Awesome :)

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So this super genius astronaut is supposed to what, be so nuts that he forgot what would happen here? He remembers how to fly a space ship but forgot how sensitive docking is? Hell, even I knew and I didn’t need all the overt narrative clues.

Silly. Seems like a really simplistic way to continue the non-suicidal-men-are-bad shaming campaign. I’m tired of being told how expendable I’m supposed to think I am just because I have boy parts.

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I hate when movies and people do this. When they talk about talking instead of talking.

“Listen to me” she says, but he is listening. He can’t help but listen. So instead of talking about talking why don’t you just say. “Hey psycho, you’re aware you’re about to blow yourself up and doom humanity right?”

Futility trying to reason with psychosis would have made for much better dialog. But no we have to have instance number fifty thousand of the pretty girl crying or almost crying.

This crap is not going to age well. I’m reminded of the difference between Barbara in the original vs the remake of night of the living dead.

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“Docking.” Hehe. Awesome :) But if there was a second port, why not start by racing to that? I would like to assume he ran down the possibilities and concluded it wasn’t possible with opposition but given the other plot absurdities, I’m doubting anyone put that much thought into it.

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“She’s got no heat shield.” Uhhh. Duh? It’s a mobile space station not a landing craft. What a dumb thing for an astronaut to say to another one.

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It’s ironic that those flaps are there showing that the entire docking system could be made a lot more self aligning. It’s like the makers of this space station never saw a garden hose or air compressor quick connect, or mid air refueling interface.

The whole thing should be spinny, floaty, and self aligning to a reasonable degree. Like I said earlier, docking is already scary. We need not make it more so.

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I mean come on, look at that. I can think of about a billion better ways to do that. Magnets and a steel ring come to mind. There’s no need for teeth there. Yes I’m aware of the need for torque. That can be dealt with also.

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I like that she cares about the TARS’s life :) I also like that Cooper later proved to be perfectly willing to do what he is ordering the robot to do. So he’s not really being a jerk here :)

I totally fell for it too. I didn’t see it coming.

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“See you on the other side…” Wait what? I finally started to suspect, a whopping 5 seconds before it happens.

Of course the whole probe in a black whole thing to me was crap, but I was delightfully wrong. Apparently you totally can safely enter the event horizon: http://www.quora.com/Interstellar-2014-movie/Why-does-the-concept-of-Spaghettification-not-apply-to-things-entering-the-black-hole-in-Interstellar

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I wish they’d stop having her cry, it’s like the girl constantly falling while being chased through the woods. I’m not saying she shouldn’t cry. I’m saying a real woman of her context wouldn’t cry. If she was this prone to breaking down and sobbing under stress should would never have been cleared for the helmet. The math instruction alone for being what she’s supposed to be requires borderline pathological detachment. And that’s before being one of the anti-extinction team.

To be clear this whole thing wasn’t about mass, since they didn’t release the booster stages immediately before activating subsequent stages, it was about other resources I suspect, but mostly about doubling down on the quantum data hunt.

Good call imo.

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I think they should have gone a different direction here. Like just silence and blackness and then wormhole. Have his whole ship (powerless if you like) trapped in the library tesseract, and he decides to EVA. There’s no plot reason to force him to eject. Frankly I think they just wanted to show him being all manly and screaming for the same reason they keep making the girl cry. Because sexist.

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The library tesseract is cool. It reminds me of the idea of being trapped in a mirror.

It’s actually an awesome targeting interface for a gravity manipulation array. As neat as it is the first time, it’s really neat later thinking about it.

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“…I don’t know but they constructed this three dimensional space inside their five dimensional reality to allow you to understand it…” ~TARS

Neato :)

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“We brought ourselves.”

That bakes my noodle more than the vase.

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He says “they” chose “her” but no. M ore likely there is no choice in play at all. More likely they realized that they had to act to fulfill their own timeline, and that action was encoded in that same time line.

It’s like a version of yourself appearing in your room from the future with plans for a time machine and instructions for when to go back and give yourself the instructions.

That’s the only kind of time travel that can work. Fulfillment actions and observation. Time doesn’t exist. What you did already happened.

“How do you know?” TARS asks, and Cooper says “Because I gave it to her.”

Like TARS said, they didn’t bring you here to change the past because there is no changing the past, the past, like the time machine, simply is. Time travel, like time itself is the illusion of power.

See also: http://underlore.com/what-if-skynet-isnt-trying-to-kill-john-connor/

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What happens now is we put you where we know you end up.

Path of least resistance.

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“Auto self destruct, T Minus…” “Knock Knock.” ~TARS lol4r again.

I love all these robots. I bet poor KIPP was awesome. I imagine him as being awesome at the level of GERTY.

See Also: http://archiveofourown.org/works/300083

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We have “cryo sleep” and we’re letting her die? That’s murder or suicide. Pro-aging trance indeed. Logan’s Run comes to mind. Same thing ethically, admit it or not.

See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrey_de_Grey#Pro-aging_trance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryonics

2015-03-21_062727

Wait, if no body believed her when she said he’d come back. Then why are they reacting to him that way?

They built the house shrine thing… Yet the family is like they don’t recognize him? WTF is wrong with these people?

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More robot awesome.

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Yeah we couldn’t possibly let him live. That might imply a non-monogamous future. Can’t have that right? So I guess those 90 kilos of eggs are going to die in the fridge while adam and eve 2.0 play nuclear family on the space rock.

Which reminds me of the inexplicable future society. How are they still orbiting Saturn? Why aren’t they through the wormhole?

I’m starting to feel like that station is the leftover cultist boat and the bulk of humanity is long gone. Or something seriously disturbing and screwed up happened before the gravity station launch.

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Doesn’t look like she’s “Settling in for the long nap” to me. If so all that stuff needs to go back in the box.

P.S. Love the monolith in there :) CASE for the win :)

Comments on Season 3 of American Horror Story

TLDW?: Everyone goes to hell, no one deserves it. (no not even her)

Your revenge fantasy is not worth even in theory the opportunity cost or the ethical cost.

In the context of this show it would seem that hell gets everyone. Perhaps that’s partly because everyone is so keen on vengeance and punishment. Ironic that the deserve to punish should manufacture justification to punish. Makes me ask who benefits. Who setup this cyclic system of never ending karmic debt? And why is no one opposing it?

Complaining about a tv show, letting it get to me, it’s not as trivial as you think because any story about magic could be a story about technology and like it or not these options will be presented to our species, and as we open up and grow we may learn that some of these concepts of existential context, hells, heavens, spirit worlds, could have real world analogs and we will have to deal with them.

I like having at least some idea of what I’ll do in basic classes of strategic eventuality and in the context of this show the lack of vision and stupidity is appalling. Firstly you have a pointless adherence to tradition which betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of what tradition is and therefore a profound degree of stagnation.

The seven wonders, among which are telekinesis, pyrokinesis, divination, resurrection, etc is one where they visit hell and come back. The achievement being the escaping part. One of their friends doesn’t escape. The didn’t do this test last. They admitted to reordering the test schedule at whim, it did not occur to them to sort the tests in order of failure lethality.

Imagine the stupidity and psychopathy that betrays. In this context if that’s how witches are, then they should be killed. It makes you wonder if the hunting organizations are actually a good idea.

How do they not declare war on hell? How do they not invade it to recover their friend? And if they utterly cannot by dint of cosmic law, they why on earth would they put such a risk before actions as trivial as setting a fire, or playing hide and seek, or teleporting?

The take away from the whole series is as is often the case a reminder that either people are really really stupid, or mean, or tv thinks why are. The fact that I am basically the only one that I know of that writes this way tell me it’s not merely that third one.

The take away feeling is one of disgust on many levels.

Feminists should hate it for the lack of intellect alone of the supposedly immortal female characters, let alone the rest of the cast.

At one point a character demands to be executed for her crimes for an internally valid political reason, but the response reminds me of school in that we have a demonstration that it is not the administrators that are in charge but rather the bell on the wall.

The autocrat of the witches political structure does not even consider simply decreeing a change of tradition. A rather mind numbingly stupid tradition I might add. At the very least they could update the method of execution to something both more effective and less barbaric, and perhaps most importantly, less sycophantic. Why duplicate the simplistic thuggery of your prejudicial foes? Especially considering that the one being executed had already been executed once.

I think I’m coming to grips with the fact that I simply no longer believe democracy is a good idea. I look at the world and this notion of collective self rule is proved a sham on every continent. Always some minority rules the majority by deception or force. At what point would we even in theory admit that it’s unworkable? That like all difficult tasks a specialist, preferably one trained from the cradle for it, would be best at it?

There is a lot wrong with this show.

I tried to publish this also as a netflix review but got the disgusting “Reviews must not exceed 2,000 characters.” How pathetic.

The Nature of Sleep

The places we go when we dream slide like a bubble rising through the deep out into less dense spheres of existence. Pressed upon by that which is towards that which like they, isn’t. Eventually an equilibrium phase is reached and like oil rising through water but stopping at air, those dreams collect at the border of nothingness and reality possessing elements of not quite either.

In that place some minds are known by their echoes or their intransigence . Some madness becomes a fortress, a landmark unchanged by the buffeting of infinite other vision and thoughts. The consistent dreams form the foundation of this bulwark against the the void. To walk in this place is to literally tread on the overlapping dreams of the collective insane.

There are only so many colors in nature’s pallet and to paint with the mind is to copy something again and again. Time is an illusion and therefore originality is meaningless. To dream your phantom tree is to dream someone else’s because in the dream world the tines of the snow flake are lost. Only that it had tines is relevant, such is one of the properties of being that close to oblivion.

I visit there again and again and my avatar avoids beauty for the pain seeing it causes me. I see pits leapt over my the heedless sleeping, and always I alone feel the fear of the drop, and always I am a special exception and outsider. Leaving and looking up while all others live and wait in line.

Pain doesn’t no exist in this place as far as I can tell, but fear none the less does. A consequence of the echo no doubt. The dreamer so rarely knows they are dreaming and I am no exception. Still there must be perils for dreamers awaken and that is the end of creation literally. The waking of a dreamer ends a street. The grey fog of the never dreamed stretches on an infinite and yet zero distance between the border of the dream space and true oblivion equivalent to the gulf of difference between one and zero.

The gap of Zeno which can never be bridged yet has countless roads and paths and slides stabbing into it like an inverted pin cushion.

Envy the lucid dreamer for their ability to explore and guide.

Like the transition phase nature of the place so to are the people of a gradient nature leading form the fully awake and aware, which can only rarely exist in the dream work, and the mindless philosophical zombies. The NPCs of the dream game.
They don’t know they are dead. They experience nothing.

The Apex

This image is a 7 sided self-intersecting irregular polygon. It is an original symbolic attempt to express visually the core of my work and ethos.

It has 7 sides because luck, fate, means everything. Luck is the apex of importance of trait. It is better to be lucky than anything else. Good luck is immune to corruption. Good luck can also be totally invisible. You have no idea what you have narrowly avoided.

This image is meant to symbolize my entire world view. This symbol is my wish for myself and my species. For others it should represent affinity with my philosophy, vision, goals, and intent.

It has a gradient of violet into blackness to symbolize the transition from the seen to the unseen, or vice versa. Apotheosis and revelation in any context.

It is pointed downward to symbolize where our focus should be: On the here and now, as opposed to any hypothetical after-world. This as such thus symbolizes intractable opposition to pain and death.

Apex means point, but also utmost, and upper. Pointing it downwards is meant to showcase the paradoxical nature of all top-most truths.

Also it symbolizes specialization. You can view it from an anthropomorphic stance at which point its asymmetrical nature indicates a solitary, purpose-specific limb. To remind us that we are all focused specialist entities and thus should care about others because we need each other and the system of physical and logical law on which we are printed, on which we depend for functioning, which is enforced from an unknowable source.

Its self-intersection is meant to symbolize the importance of that hidden truth, the underlore at the highest possible, most widely applicable scale. The twist in the unseen third dimension is what defines this shape. This self intersection is what creates the paradox that makes it a piece of truth. The self intersection also symbolizes the recursive nature of direct self improvement by whatever ethical and technical means are available.

It represents the struggle between the meaningful dualities hidden in unusual and unseen dimensions. Such as the struggle between the future self and the present self, or the struggle between the individual and the tragedy of the commons, or the choice to live for today or live for a year from today.

I’ve labeled this fiction precisely because it isn’t.

I hope you come to understand.

P.S.

Underlore: noun

  • The key fact(s), logical conclusion(s), or missing context(s), which radically change the meaning of a given event or idea.
  • The profound truths, beneath and more real, than what is superficially apparent.

See also:

http://underlore.com/to-the-allies-of-pain-and-death/

http://underlore.com/who-i-am/

RTS=PRS

My beef in this context as with virtually all the other “realistic” rts games is the inflexibility. Snipers are a great example. In real life the reason you can’t make an army of snipers is not because some things are immune to snipers at the tactical level but because making them is expensive and takes a long time.

From an organizational strategic perspective you get more bang for your buck just throwing rifles at a mob and then throwing that mob at a problem. (Infantry.)

In RTS terms this sucks because how it manifests tactically are units which appear magically immune to bullets.

In “Company of Heroes” Sniper versus motorcycles/jeeps are an excellent example. I’ll routinely see a jeep park, aim it’s machine gun at a building full of snipers and actually win (handily) because the game has hard coded jeeps and bikes to be virtually immune to sniper fire. (Paper vs rock.) Which is silly because in real life a sniper would decapitate the driver regardless of what “kind” of solider they are.

The problem is that real war isn’t economically balanced or remotely fair. In real war you don’t have to manage an economy or “grow” new troops because that’s the outside culture’s job. As a commander you are more or less handed resources and given an objective.

So in RTS games the PRS and ECON101 phenomenon are really when you get down to it just tricks to keep the game from boiling down to who can build snipers fastest, which would in turn boil down to input speed. (Korean RTS camps?)

The only way to really make that feel like anything other than a contrivance is to change the context such that arbitrary rules don’t seem completely stupid. And in RTS terms the best way to do that is the whole “magic tech” thing you can do in future or fantasy based rts games. (Warhammer/Supreme Commander)

In those contexts the “jeep” would be immune to the “snipers” because the “snipers” have anti-flesh zap rifles and the “jeeps” have “anti-zap” armor/shields or some such, so you arrive at the same PRS effect but it doesn’t feel completely stupid when you’re on the wrong end of it. You simply realize you’re paying the price of over specializing.

Also to make the game “fair” they create a situation where there is no simple winning strategy. The actual winning stratgey if it’s not boiled down to a case of “turtle vs rush” is a complex and fairly rigid build order, which is yet another RTS genre problem.

Basically this is why I don’t really play games generally much anymore beyond games that allow for meta, like diablo, which is not so much that I’m playing the game, as it is being useful to other humans in a fictional context. Second life is a setting purpose built for this I suspect, but because its purpose-built for meta, in a sense it stops being meta because everyone knows why everyone’s there and as a result the whole feel and “game” actually changes, creating a new meta-meta-game. (Make real money, or whatever other real life objectives were already there for the player.)

Bottomline: To correct the sniper/PRS problem, I’d have to hack the game or write a mod but in so doing I’d devalue my winning, and arrive at a different kind of fail/boredom point. Meaning make it so snipers can virtually kill anything just like irl, but get as bored with that as I got with emperor battle for dune once you can start making Fremen. Each had two types, anti vehicle and anti personnel.

_”Strange game… The only winning move is not to play.”_ ~WOPR/Joshua, Wargames

Thought ramble.

(Perspective disclaimer.)

Anyway… The human body is a space suit for the brain. A way for the brain to link to the world yes, but primarily a way to survive in said world.

There are three ways to expand your sphere of influence in this context. To adapt the environment to yourself, find an environment already suitable and travel there, or adapt yourself the environment. Everything that has meaning about a person is in the brain. I am firm on that point. I am not my arms or legs or liver, but I most definitely am my memories, my feelings, and my experience. The only reason my body is remotely me is because what is really me extends into those things. My nerves.

Ok so we can look at a person and we are so used to looking at people that we come to think that this is what people, which are brains as I just explained, look like. But what if another kind of brain evolved? What if other brains took different options? What would a brain in a suitable setting look like? What would a brain adapted for life on land look like? The answers are terrifying because these models of life aren’t fantastical or alien they are ubiquitous and completely disregarded at best or shamelessly exterminated or consumed by us.

Indeed I’m having the worry that intelligent feeling life on this planet might be more common than unfeeling life if you simply expand  your scale a bit. I am not the first to have this idea. It’s in fiction everywhere. But this is the first time I thought about it from a purely anatomical perspective. If you hardened my neurons against the elements and made them more physically flexible, or maybe even blended them with muscle tissue so they could individually contract, what would that look like? A blob? A large moving mold? A jellyfish? And aspen grove? I’m looking around at my world from the brain’s perspective and I’m realize that half of what I see could be brains that have found various ways to dispense with their body.

What if the skull has cut us off? I don’t like where this is going.

As I’ve realized before the only thing special about us in this context materially is the ability to exit our biosphere completely. But what if that’s only because our condition leaves us totally blind to a far superior method of escape? What if the answer to the Fermi paradox is that radio is completely crappy as a communications tool, and that space ships or physical travel is an equally crappy travel mechanism? What if they are watching us for resurgence? Would you bother talking to an anthill? What if the thickness of the skull prevents reception? What if that’s why ancient cultures cut holes in their skulls and did other gruesome things to their heads? What if that is the real purpose of a crown? What if that is the source of power and divine right? What if that is how warriors came to be rulers again and again not because of the fighting but because of the head injury?

I’m tempted to not share these things since each would be a story idea maybe and I’m not supposed to share and I’m so powerfully broke. But whatever, I love writing and I love talking and fate has kept me alive so far. Failure to gain is not the same as loss. Maybe someone will help me.

Underlore © 2013