Friday, January 15, 2016

Self driving cars but Piloted space fighters?

Yes, I'm one of those people.  You don't want to watch Science Fiction  or movies set in the 1950's or 60's with me because I'm going to ruin it for you with my comments and criticisms about inaccuracy.  Even TV commercials can set me off.  Take the Geico ad I saw this morning where the lizard is driving along in an MGA 1600 (you can clearly recognize the dashboard and the air scoop on the fender) but when he gets our of the car,  it becomes an MG Midget, bug-eye headlights and all.  How can you buy from a company so careless about details?  It's so typical these days when last week is ancient history and everybody was born yesterday.

Needless to say, I can't watch Sci-Fi movies of the Space Opera type, a type which includes any of the Star Wars Genre based on WWII Sea Battle scenarios or those WWII bomber movies people of my age grew up on. Don't even raise the subject with me. You'll hear me rattle on about how such things are already so obsolete as to be laughable today and how much more would it be in an age where faster-than-light travel is possible.  Manually controlled machine gun blisters are already antique and close-in dog fighting under pilot control with fighters making turns that aren't possible in a vacuum are so stupid as to be beyond laughter.  Did you know the Millennium falcon cockpit is taken from the B29?  Let's not even get into relativity.  A hundred years later, and Hollywood is just discovering it but still getting it wrong, just as it gets Newtonian Physics wrong.

An interstellar craft travelling at unimaginable speeds is not going to have some sea-captain sitting in a chair issuing orders to the engine room or directing weapons control.  Think about it.  Nobody is going to be "plotting courses" as though they were on a planetary surface or two dimensional space. Computers are going to be better in a few thousand years and they're already doing these things for us. Handsome young heroes just aren't going to be going hand to hand with machines in combat when decisions must be made in femtoseconds.

I won't get started on bipedal humanoid aliens or alien civilizations that mimic our own at various historical periods, It's just more of the uninformed, unimaginative extrapolation from the past that  I loathe. Will 25th century spacecraft have human crews at all?  Planets with big, blue women on them?  Really?

Real science is so much weirder and so much more fascinating because it deals with things we never would have imagined in our backwards looking human minds, but if you don't want to hear all about it, don't watch TV, don't go to the movies with me, just stay away.

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