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Science Fiction Genre - Religion vs Scientific Origins, and the Nature of Self Destruction

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Chapman proved himself last nite as the Cubs ace closer-deliberate, methodical, and threw heat at over 100mph. Reality strikes terror at the plate.:D

He is ridiculously intimidating. I am convinced he throws the occasional 100+mph wild pitch just to put a little more fear in the batter. Salary cap, future growth, "smart" trade, blah, blah, blah - I didn't want the Yankees to lose him as no team in their right mind would want to lose him. I wish him and Cubs the best, he could be the difference for them this year.
 

philosophygirl78

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Then what? The one concept that neither science or religion can truly rectify, is the concept of forever! How long was the nothingness before here? What is beyond our universe, and how far does it go on? And so forth, in other words forever!

One could say if the nothingness was here at any point in time, it is still here. that could also be an argument for the world as we see it to be a mere illusion or agreed upon perception, irrespective of true reality. (That's a pretty popular physics perspective now).
 

philosophygirl78

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When it comes to science fiction, I prefer the questions "what does it mean to be human?", "what does it mean to be non-human?", "what are we?", and "how would we know the difference?"

I know that doesn't answer your questions.

the current show "Wayward Pines" has done this quite well in a science fiction wrapper.
 
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Chapman is an unapologetic bringer of the gas. Exactly what I want in my closer. You lucky Devils.

Say what you want about "The Boss," but I bet Steinbrenner would have kept him. I saw Chapman in person for one game this year. Christ the guy is intimidating. And cheesy or not, the Yankees played some ominous music when he entered - which wouldn't have worked if he then didn't proceed to fire one 100+mph pitch after another as he ended the game 3 up / 3 down with, IMHO, the last batter not even really trying (the music and missiles had him thinking - "just get me out of here before he hits me in the head with one of those things").
 

Harp

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- I didn't want the Yankees to lose him as no team in their right mind would want to lose him. I wish him and Cubs the best, he could be the difference for them this year.

I heard Theo intentionally sweetened the Chapman deal and sent a pack of prospects off to New York to skewer all other trade compensation discussions.;)
 
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I heard Theo intentionally sweetened the Chapman deal and sent a pack of prospects off to New York to skewer all other trade compensation discussions.;)

Let's see, a pack of promising prospects versus a pitcher firing 100+ mph fastballs that makes it, effectively, an 8 inning game of defense for your team - hmm. The problem with being older is you've seen too many trade deals with young prospects go nowhere. Sometimes, you never hear of the most-promising-prospect-in-the-world ever again after the deal.
 

LizzieMaine

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takemeout8.jpg
 

Lean'n'mean

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Science fiction and baseball. They go together like a horse and carriage.

Or ham & eggs........the fervor that many supporters of the game display & the astronomical prices vintage memorabilia fetch, are truly in the realm of science fiction.
It would appear all roads metaphysical lead to sport. :rolleyes:
 
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Benzadmiral

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SF has become "mainstream" partly because change has become mainstream, something everyone can observe in his daily life.

In Victorian England, say, a businessman had every reason to believe that the world around him would be the same, generally speaking, as the world of his father, and that his son would live in the same sort of world. Change happened, but it often took longer than one human lifetime. Thus, science fiction concepts were harder to swallow. ("That Mr. Wells certainly has a wild imagination, doesn't he? A war between planets! Whatever will he think of next?")

Now, especially since the '70s, we see a tremendously accelerated rate of change. Rotary phones are gone; push-button phones (heck, landlines in general) are going, replaced by cell phones; computers have replaced typewriters, email letters, and so forth. Mores change in less than a generation: what's in, what's out, as fast as fashion trends. So people today can accept the idea that the future will not look just like the present -- in fact they probably expect the change, whatever it is, to happen next week. What was once a "far out" concept like living in space, or that precogs can detect crime before it happens, or that humans all over the world will suddenly become sterile, is about change. And we handle change every day.
 

MikeKardec

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Both this post and the OP are put in pretty intellectual terms and I'm not sure if I can really speak to that since my approach to the world is a bit more blue collar, however, the following is what I'm thinking at the moment ...

I was talking to a friend the other day, who said to me he didn't much care for science fiction.... This got me to thinking about the intense popularity that Science Fiction has taken over the last few decades, and subsequently, the origin of it.

In the world of books, which is where most of these ideas get started, SF has gone through a huge boom and bust cycle. Of course we might say that religion IS the original Science Fiction or speculative fiction and if that is the case (and I sort of think it is) then the doors come off this topic and it almost gets too big and potentially disturbing to people to talk about so I'm just going to mention that and move on. It's interesting that there are a lot of apocalyptic aspects to religion and that fits in with the OPs of both philosophygirl78 and her friend.

"Real" SF, in my opinion started with Shelly, Poe, Verne and Wells. With a big push from Gernsback's Amazing Stories and the writers it promoted, SF continued to develop through the mid century era but remained a limited "genre" entry in the literary scene (with the slight exception of it's founders Shelly, Poe, Verne and Wells) until the public's vision of the future of technology flourished during and after WWII. Postwar, SF took off becoming more and more popular until the late 1980s when (probably in lock step with the Atomic Age that had promoted it) it crashed. Fans fled the scene, authors fled the genre, and it settled back into a much more modest existence.

Now, looking at the world of movies and TV, it may not seem that way. SF suffered less in those areas. But the number of new titles, concepts, ideas, whatever, is still nowhere as high as it was in literature in the '80s and the quality of the speculative fiction has gone down as well. There used to be hundreds of SF titles released every year in the great days of the paperback original. Boosted by the studio's addiction to making films with special effects, modern SF in film and TV is still coasting on the momentum of the '80s.

So it's my opinion that genre SF is not what it once was, though it's showing signs of emerging health.

Here's what I think happened: Though apocalyptic SF has always existed (see the comment on religion above) it got a boost from the same force that gave postwar SF its lift off ... the atomic bomb. However, as the anti war movement evolved from fighting the Vietnam war, it started to include not just a "no nukes" message but a significant "to propose surviving nuclear war is immoral" narrative ... we the public had to be convinced that the shred fate of everyone was death. Eventually, we got a spate of post apocalyptic stories that were just weepies, no much focus on survival or adventure, just dealing with the devolving degradation of life after the Day After. Apocalypse stopped being interesting or even a challenge for many protagonists. Too much SF accepted doom.

Stepping back a bit in time, we also stopped sending men into space and the the Cold War ended and suddenly "the future" looked earth-bound and didn't even have the great threat of atomic war or the same sort of technology to power it. The true science of space travel and the adventures it might bring began to look fairly impossible, some SF authors experimented with "multiple universe" stories as a way out. Cyberpunk appeared with a distinctly nihilistic edge; the future seen through the eyes of many SF writers began to look a lot like the present just dirtier and more crowded. The narrative became, "the future is that there is no future." Too dark. Too limited.

People stopped reading the stuff, authors and fans jumped into Fantasy because the "rules" (science fiction being about the predictable future of our world and our people) combined with the dark cul de sac the genre had turned into weren't so limiting. You saw SF authors going to pure Star Wars style Space Opera (science fiction without the science), unbelievably distant futures like Dune and Alternative Histories. One of the most interesting transitions was to see big guns like Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle shifting from ground breaking, heavy duty SF like The Mote in God's Eye to Inferno ... a "fantasy" (?) novel set in Dante's Hell.

All this is not necessarily bad. The shift legitimized fantasy and spread the bounds of what you could do with fiction. It put greater pressure on the remaining SF writers to reinvent a vision of the future. An imperfect but easily accessed example would be Charles Stross's Saturn's Children in which the protagonist is an aging robot in a mechanized, self perpetuating, space faring civilization that humans have disappeared from ... and autonomous robots are both terrified and hopeful that their human Gods will someday return.

Anyway, the point is that the critical mass, the center of gravity of SF creation committed suicide in the '80s and '90s by doubling down on the Cyberpunk sub genre. There were editors that predicted this and tried to fight it. I talked to some of them as it was happening. If I remember correctly much of the original mission of the Bantam Books "Spectra" imprint was to reverse some of this self destructive trend and envision a more positive future. They produced apocalyptic material and cyperpunk, they had to survive, but they tried to turn the lemming like stampede a bit.

Genres do this suicide thing. Westerns did it several years earlier ... what the fans insisted on was not conducive to keeping the genre vibrant.

All that crud out of the way, I have often wondered what terrifying science fiction and horror films are preparing our society for. Are they a mechanism whereby we prepare for the future OR do they create it?
 

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