Two New Superversive SF Posts

“Defending the Abrams Star Trek Films” and “A Quick Explanation of the Puppies”.

From the first:

You can make the argument that the movies are badly written. You can make the argument that Kirk’s characterization is inconsistent with his characterization from the original series and movies. But you absolutely cannot make the argument that the Abrams movies are nihilistic. It requires an interpretation of the movies so obviously twisted that the only way to believe it is if you’ve already come up with your conclusions before you attempt to establish your premises. It’s just not true.

From the second:

Now let’s imagine that, suddenly, a show comes out: World’s Best Chef. The World’s Best Chef show is a major hit. Suddenly, the profession of chef explodes in popularity, and hundreds of thousands of people, even millions, become sous chefs who had previously never even heard of the profession.

The World’s Best Chef Award lives on, but a curious thing happens: The number of voters doesn’t rise. Despite there being millions more potential voters, there are still only a few thousand who vote for the award of Best Chef, and as a result the same people are winning each year. Not only that, but all the winners happen to be republicans. And yet, despite this, the World’s Best Chef Award still claims that it represents the World’s Best Chef.

You guys know what’s what. Comment here, there, both, or neither, whatever your heart desires.

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16 Responses to Two New Superversive SF Posts

  1. Ilíon says:

    Off-topic: short story idea — somehow based on punning (or confusing) “Final Redoubt” with “Final Read-out”

    Do with it what you will.

    • A computer AI tale (like in Reboot) where viruses have taken over the machine and are slowly corrupting it, so the programs attempt valiantly to reach the user so that the world might be restored….

      • Okay, the idea of machine minds suffering from the issue of computer viruses is so brilliant I can’t imagine somebody hasn’t used it.

        Don’t care. I will think on this. Thanks to both of you.

      • Well like I said, if you’ve watched the old show, Reboot, that was part of a story arc once.

        There’s also been a few variations out there in the more remote fandom sections.

        Also 2 other ways:
        1) You want to do what I almost did once (but it fell apart) where two AIs discuss killing/not humans? (I’d even make it easy and play the AI wanting to kill)
        2) The old “devil on one shoulder, angel on the other” using an AI, with malicious programs as the devil, user instructions as the angel.

      • Ilíon says:

        Perhaps Nate’s idea can be tied together with my pun in this way — as the virus is taking over the AI’s “mind” (*), an obscure-and-obsolete hard-copy printer becomes its last means of trying to communicate with the outside world. The read-out becomes its last redoubt of independence from the virus.

        (*) Though I must interject: there never will be any AI that *is* a mind; it is a logical impossibility, for computation, with is to say, counting (**), is not the same thing as thinking.

        (**) moreover, not only do computers not actually compute, they don’t even count; they merely simulate counting.

      • Oh, I agree with you about how AI would actually work, as in, it wouldn’t. But that’s what the second word is for in science fiction.

        That’s a cool idea! Interesting.

      • (Googled ReBoot…did you know a sequel series has been approved?

        There is hope, “Firefly” fans!)

      • which sequel series? there was also the sorta-sequel webcomic

        (was raised on Reboot, won’t dare hope until it happens)

      • well I’ll be delightfully surprised! 😀

      • Not sure about the “save the world” bit though. There was a charm to thinking about all the show’s stuff is happening in just 1 little old computer.

        I miss the style of older kid shows and movies that could have EPIC HAPPENINGS! in ordinary places like recess or your own backyard.

  2. I was thinking something like the old sci-fi canard where people upload their brains into computers. The realization that this might open them up to computer viruses is an excellent sci-fi concept.

    • Ilíon says:

      Indeed. If a person insists upon insisting (against all logic) that a particular execution (*) of a computer program *is* himself, then he is also saying that a computer virus might “infect” him, to varying unpleasant effects.

      (*) By “particular execution” I mean the computer program and a particular set of data upon which it operates, taken together as a whole. Thus, when I use Excel to open and/or modify the spreadsheet with which I manage my checking account, that is one “particular execution”. And, if I used Excel to open and/or modify the spreadsheet with which *you* manage *your* checking account, that is a different “particular execution”.

      The (silly and stupid) idea of uploading a human mind into “a computer” or into “the net” isn’t that there is a novel or specific program written (by whom?) to represent each uploaded individual, but rather that some unique (and unimaginably large) dataset representing each individual is uploaded. All these unique datasets would still be executed upon by a single computer program, or at most by a small number of similar programs.

      When you get down to it, the proponents of “strong AI” are saying that the human mind is the conceptual equivalent of an Excel spreadsheet.

    • Blackie’s AI suddenly getting pelted with Spam would change a lot of things in Wright’s “count to…” series wouldn’t it? lol

  3. Malcolm, I got your next collected anthology (and I want to be in it).

    All a bunch of stories built off one prompt.

    This is the prompt. (yep, that website)

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