Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Sheridan »

Sarevok wrote:Heh. The human form being the ultimate perfection always struck me as nonsensical. Has there been a reverse of BSG in scifi stories so far? Where man becomes the machine and is both happy and not evil about it ?
Star Trek: The Motion Picture, though only if you take Decker's willingness to bond with V'ger as "happy", and ignore Shatner's novels post-Generations.

Aside from that, the only other one that I can remember is the last book in the Inheritance trilogy, by Ian Douglas, Semper Human. Even that, though, was just mentioned in passing; one of the points of those novels (if not the point) is that "Joe Marine" is an essential component of human society.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Junghalli »

Sheridan wrote:Star Trek: The Motion Picture, though only if you take Decker's willingness to bond with V'ger as "happy", and ignore Shatner's novels post-Generations.
And V'Ger wanted to absorb Decker because it needed his irrationality in order to ascend to higher dimensions "the existence of which cannot be proven logically", which is an idea that has a pretty strong whiff of the usual human-wanking about how a rational AI would somehow be inherently inferior to us. It's especially bad when you apply fridge logic to it and realize the thing has supposedly explored whole galaxies but apparently has never met any aliens with similar neurological characteristics whose brain architectures it could rip off instead, and this in a universe where at least our galaxy is full of human forehead aliens, so it comes off as a really massive and nonsensical Humans Are Special deal too.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Sheridan »

Yeah, it's not a great example. It's just one of only two that I could come up with off of the top of my head. I'm sure that there're more; I just can't think of any right now.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Big Orange »

Gramzamber wrote: To be fair ED-209s had all the programming robustness of Windows 3.1 from the very beginning.
ED-209 was a satire on GM/Microsoft products, I know, and it had its faults (going literally overkill in the boardroom demonstration and tumbling down a flight of stairs), but it was still a formidable and armed to the teeth fighting machine that very nearly killed Murphy in the vastly superior first movie (to destroy it in a straight fight, Murphy had to use an anti-tank rifle on it). A little girl just plugging a early 1990s laptop into ED's foot to enter its CPU didn't make much sense and was a pretty dreadful defanging moment.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Lord of the Abyss »

Sarevok wrote:Heh. The human form being the ultimate perfection always struck me as nonsensical. Has there been a reverse of BSG in scifi stories so far? Where man becomes the machine and is both happy and not evil about it ?
That's actually a major plot point in the Heechee stories; humans and Heechee convince the organic-life-destroying Assassins to not exterminate them because eventually organic intelligent species will always choose to be uploaded. "Storage is simply better."

The uploaded humans of Diaspora seem perfectly happy about being uploaded ( barring the ones who had no choice in the matter and fled to uploading out of necessity ) and weren't evil.
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Big Orange wrote:Perhaps the worst example of a resourceful kid that could do anything was Nikko from the horrid, 12 rating friendly RoboCop 3 (where she smugly defangs a mighty ED-209 guard with her dated laptop).
To be fair ED-209s had all the programming robustness of Windows 3.1 from the very beginning.
Well, the ED-209s were deliberately designed badly. The whole idea was to sell them to the military and then make huge profits from selling the military endless upgrades and bugfixes.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Big Orange »

Lord of the Abyss wrote: Well, the ED-209s were deliberately designed badly. The whole idea was to sell them to the military and then make huge profits from selling the military endless upgrades and bugfixes.
Dick Jones had the ED-209 somewhat overegineered and buggy to keep it a cash machine in law enforcement and military service, but on the otherhand he had to make it well armed and very tough enough to be appealling to NATO buyers (annoying little sidekicks shouldn't have been a concern).
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Gramzamber »

I won't deny that Robocop 3 is shit and the original Robocop is a gem, just that there's always been somewhat of a precident for ED-209s not being very robust; in Robocop 2 the news segments showed one unit completely crapping out in public and it seemed these malfunctions were a regular occurence.
Though yes a little brat reprogramming large military hardware on a whim is always going to be daft.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Crazedwraith »

Where's the ED-209 was deliberately shitty coming from? Considering Jones uses it as his ace in his hole against Robocop and pimps it off the boss in a massive board meeting to show it off. He obviously expected it to work.

He expresses in difference when it fails; but it was not intend to be as shit as it was. The quote is something like 'I had a guaranteed sale with ED-209! Maintenance! Spare parts for twenty years! who cares it worked?!
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Big Orange »

RoboCop 2 was a flawed movie, although nowhere near as bad as R3, it wasn't quite as sharp as the first instalment and the belittling of ED-209 in a "Media Break" cameo was perhaps a way to build up the menace of RoboCain (an amazing cyborg that combines the eloquence and intelligence of RoboCop with the strength and firepower of ED-209).
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'Secondly, I don't see why "income inequality" is a bad thing. Poverty is not an injustice. There is no such thing as causes for poverty, only causes for wealth. Poverty is not a wrong, but taking money from those who have it to equalize incomes is basically theft, which is wrong.' - Typical Randroid

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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by adam_grif »

I remember in Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free Or Die Hard in some regions) this dude on his laptop used his wireless to hack an F-35 and target, lock and fire it's missiles at something.


I think hacking in general is handled very poorly in films, although granted the real stuff isn't all that thrilling.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Adrian Laguna »

adam_grif wrote:I think hacking in general is handled very poorly in films, although granted the real stuff isn't all that thrilling.
Unless it's lead pipe hacking, which is hardly boring, but makes the heroes look decidedly unheroic.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

I think in Die Hard 4, they didn't really hack that F-35 but just told the F-35's pilot to kill John McClane.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by andrewgpaul »

It's always the little things that tweak my SOD; Watching Avatar last night, I could accept the magic blue space-Indians, the tree-internet and all the big shiny things, but the thing that made me go "what? no." was the mirror-perfect solar panels (radiators?) on the Venture Star.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Darth Wong »

adam_grif wrote:I remember in Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free Or Die Hard in some regions) this dude on his laptop used his wireless to hack an F-35 and target, lock and fire it's missiles at something.

I think hacking in general is handled very poorly in films, although granted the real stuff isn't all that thrilling.
Hackers in sci-fi films tend to be treated as stand-ins for fantasy wizards. It's essentially a magic power. Just plop him down in front of a keyboard, and within 60 seconds he will magically deactivate the security system, transfer millions of dollars anywhere you want, give you access to any file, and order a pizza on the President's credit card.

That's the problem with fiction writers in general: they take well-worn cliches from one genre and they just look for an excuse to stick them into another genre. What, no wizards in sci-fi or the real world? No problem: we have computer hackers!

If you're going to have magic powers, at least be honest and say they're magic powers.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Galvatron »

Sounds like you just described Neo.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Darth Wong »

Galvatron wrote:Sounds like you just described Neo.
He's just a scrawny pale antisocial gamer nerd who found the cheat codes and then deluded himself into thinking he was something special. Probably the most realistic character in the history of cyberpunk. Or at least he was, until the sequels came out and attempted to validate his Jesus complex.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Big Orange »

Movies involving computer hacking date especially badly - look at Wargames from the mid 1980s and Hackers from the mid 1990s. Tron was a bit more timeless since it was a straight fantasy and mostly set in very abstract computer world. And going back to the franchise deflating RoboCop 3, Nikko not only successfully hacked in the more rudimentarily programmed ED-209, but she also swiftly hacked into the considerably more advanced Otomo series androids (who resembled T-800s with near human intelligence and personalities).
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Rye »

Hackers is still great; sure the technological side of things is highly stylised and some of it dated (28.8 modem, you're in the butterzone now, baby!) but the film itself is far from bad or unwatchable.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Zixinus »

Yeah, but I think that showing hackers as wizards (unintentionally or intentionally) is due to stylization: just as every lovable and positive character on a TV show will die a dramatic death, you need hackers that work fast.

TV audience want the villain or at least resentful people to face a painful end and heroes (or anti-heroes or even likeable characters) with a noble death in what they are concious just long enough to say meaningful things to the other characters. Audiences don't want to see characters that they have emotionally infested in just shot off by a patient sniper and their bodies collapsing like a ragdoll in a sudden moment.

Likewise showing fat, middle-aged and immature nerd covered in cheap and dirty clothing, staring at the screen of code and tapping the keyboard for hours while muttering about exploits is not something that is visually very pleasing. Unless you are going for humour or realism specifically.

So genius kids cracking multi-million dollar security systems under minutes with a wireless connection from his or her cute laptop it is.

Not to say that writers shouldn't try to find new ways to express and portray the thing.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Shroom Man 777 »

I think Johnny Mnemonic had the best sci-fi depiction of hacking. Man, cyborg dolphins! :lol:
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Orm »

One of the things that's tended to bug me is flexible time in visual SF. An enemy ship will come out of whatever jump system they use, and fire one volley. Then everything will stop for long enough to get the captain from sleep to dressed and on the bridge, and fighters being launched before the next set of combat actions by either ship. So, we're taking a 5 minute (at least) break in the middle of a 1 minute combat.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Swindle1984 »

Big Orange wrote:
Gramzamber wrote: To be fair ED-209s had all the programming robustness of Windows 3.1 from the very beginning.
ED-209 was a satire on GM/Microsoft products, I know, and it had its faults (going literally overkill in the boardroom demonstration and tumbling down a flight of stairs), but it was still a formidable and armed to the teeth fighting machine that very nearly killed Murphy in the vastly superior first movie (to destroy it in a straight fight, Murphy had to use an anti-tank rifle on it). A little girl just plugging a early 1990s laptop into ED's foot to enter its CPU didn't make much sense and was a pretty dreadful defanging moment.
While the child-hacker cliche is incredibly irritating, that scene can (somewhat) be rationalized by ED-209 probably being programmed not to fire on children. OCP really doesn't need any more wrongful-death lawsuits than it already has.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Batman »

Um-have you actually WATCHED RoboCop 3? OCP SHOT people who refused to be evicted from their own homes. They hired STREET GANGS for Security when the Police went on strike, didn't seem to bat an eye when said street gangs turned to mayhem, and essentially declared WAR on the people who remained in old Detroit to defend their homes. You expect these people to give a damn about a little girl killed for trespassing? AFTER having been warned?
The very idea that she COULD hack ED-209 remains retarded and the fact that she managed to do it in time is adequately explained by it giving the intruders time to surrender due to being in Police/Security mode and her getting to the (conveniently placed in the foot) access port before that time ran out.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Gramzamber »

The whole hacking thing has gotten a little better over time.
I remember movies from the mid-90's where the kid-genius-hacker would use a fucking Game Boy to successfully hack into military supercomputers or whatever.
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Re: Little things that get to you in terms of beleivability

Post by Lord of the Abyss »

Orm wrote:One of the things that's tended to bug me is flexible time in visual SF. An enemy ship will come out of whatever jump system they use, and fire one volley. Then everything will stop for long enough to get the captain from sleep to dressed and on the bridge, and fighters being launched before the next set of combat actions by either ship. So, we're taking a 5 minute (at least) break in the middle of a 1 minute combat.
There's a fair amount of that in written sci-fi too. Most often I notice it when someone says something like "one minute until impact" and then a significant conversation or speech occurs that couldn't possibly take only a minute.
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