Sci-Fi Storm

The old, tired Sci-Fi cliches

by on Feb.05, 2007, under General News

Here is an interesting and humorous article about all the old sci-fi cliches – and why they should – or can’t – stop. I don’t know about some of the accuracy – I don’t remember Event Horizon in quite the same way – but it is a good article.

6 Comments for this entry

  • Anonymous Coward

    404 Not Found

    Too bad – seemed interesting…

    • Doc

      Re:404 Not Found

      I checked the link again…still works for me (and from a different location no less…)

      • iamsheridan

        Re:404 Not Found

        Works for me too!

        I was thinking about astronauts moving in slow motion. Could it not be that if you’re not “fixed” to something (by gravity or in a harness etc) you make slow movements to keep from floating around?

        Just a thought… šŸ™‚

        // IamS

    • chad

      Re:404 Not Found

      Worked fine for me. Maybe a temporary problem?

  • nickvotrobeck

    “All aliens should sound like Hugh Grant.”

    Really? That’s your goto guy for someone who speaks the King’s English?

  • chad

    Ignoring the Butterfly Effect

    This has actually been one of my pet peeves about time travel, and he doesn’t explain it very well.

    Many phenomena have a relationship between input and output that is roughly linear–if you increase the input by a little, then the output increases as well. Add more of the input and you’ll get more of the output. This is true for straight lines f(x)=x, and even exponential curves f(x)=x^2.

    Chaos theory throws this concept out the window. Two nearly identical inputs can cause dramatic differences in output, and two significantly different inputs can cause near-identical outputs. The result is deterministic, yet appears random. This is a feature of chaos math. The 3-body orbit (three planets in orbit around each other) is a chaotic system. When we model it, the computer uses a certain number of significant bits for the numerical computations. If we increase the number of bits, one would expect greater accuracy. But this is not the case. Instead, the model changes drastically.

    The butterfly effect mentioned by the author is a thought experiment saying that a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon can change the weather halfway around the world.

    So let’s bring this back to time travel. If I were to travel back in time to a unpopulated, desert location, and do nothing but stand there and breathe for 30 seconds, I have made enough micro changes to cause macro changes in the world I return to. The author of the article is trying to say that there is no such thing an non-invasive time travel. Either time is closed loop, and everything you do back in time has already been done before you went back in time -or- you spin off a new universe with every change -or- you come back to a radically changed future that probably doesn’t even include you as a person.

    And that’s the way it is.

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