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Old 09-25-2012, 04:39 PM   #196
JAcheson
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You think 50's era robot-back exploration is wacky?
After watching that movie? :eek.
Yes, astronauts riding big-eared robots like howdahs is goofy, to me at least. Though I suppose if you made them more like anime mecha, my objections would go away.

As for the movie, very early on I completely lost track of any connection between it and the source material. I think that was for the best.

Movie Fact: the movie didn't start out as an adaptation of I, Robot at all. It started out as an independent Alex Proyas project, and then they brought the Asimov concepts and intellectual property in during development and bolted them onto their existing storyline.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:15 PM   #197
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I though it was an excellent commentary on the monoculture of our petroleum based society. also on Mass Addiction,

And how all of our presumed alliances or long standing & rivalries are superficial and quickly evaporate& Change when the one thing we all depend on is threatened Like Fiat Currency and fractional reserve lending.
and how private corporations who control banking & the "mono crop"(oil) are the true masters
of our lives ( The Guild & Choam in Dune)

Just like U.S. Federal Reserve and Exxon
and how they Make presidents and even so called Galactic Emperors in Dune Disposable Front men who must represent their interests or be quickly deposed .

One needs to read all the Herbert Dune Books if you have not, and think about our world here to day in late 2012 to see the true timelessness of Frank Herbert's writing IMHO.

its much deeper than predicting what kind of personal computers we would be using in the year 10,000 etc .
I'm looking at a deeper point. The native Dune ecology was purely monoculture, just one species in a metamorphic cycle. No hint was made that it was made by humans, it seemed to pre-date human discovery.

Who built it? Why? What sort of trap (if it was a trap) was it. Or was it just a crop of coffee (sic) sweetener...And what happened to those creators?

For all the complexity of Dune and it's sequels (Damn the Romans!), the whole thing revolves around a basis just thrown out for convenience, without deep thought. It would serve the purpose, so use it...(Just like the old S/F pulps)
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:32 AM   #198
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I'm looking at a deeper point. The native Dune ecology was purely monoculture, just one species in a metamorphic cycle. No hint was made that it was made by humans, it seemed to pre-date human discovery.

Who built it? Why? What sort of trap (if it was a trap) was it. Or was it just a crop of coffee (sic) sweetener...And what happened to those creators?

For all the complexity of Dune and it's sequels (Damn the Romans!), the whole thing revolves around a basis just thrown out for convenience, without deep thought. It would serve the purpose, so use it...(Just like the old S/F pulps)
I do not agree with this. The book was not about who built it and so on. Also the planet fitted in with the whole world building very well so I did not at all get the same feeling you can get from old S/F pulps of something just thrown in there.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:01 AM   #199
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I'm looking at a deeper point. The native Dune ecology was purely monoculture, just one species in a metamorphic cycle. No hint was made that it was made by humans, it seemed to pre-date human discovery.

Who built it? Why? What sort of trap (if it was a trap) was it. Or was it just a crop of coffee (sic) sweetener...And what happened to those creators?

For all the complexity of Dune and it's sequels (Damn the Romans!), the whole thing revolves around a basis just thrown out for convenience, without deep thought. It would serve the purpose, so use it...(Just like the old S/F pulps)
One of the prequels mentioned that it had once had a normal-ish ecosystem with liquid water on the surface, and suggests that the sandtrout were actively keeping it dry by locking down any moisture they could find. After all, the monocology had been broken in God-Emperor of Dune before getting mostly restored thousands of years later.

What I had more trouble believing were the dang ornithopters.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:28 AM   #200
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What I had more trouble believing were the dang ornithopters.
Strangely, I had no trouble with those - maybe because I had one of those rubberband bird toys.

What I had trouble with was even more nit picky: shield/lasgun explosions. I could see how a laser could make the shield explode; it's repelling or storing engery after all, and its possible to overload it. How could this energy travel back along a laser to explode the gun?
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Old 09-26-2012, 01:41 PM   #201
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What I had trouble with was even more nit picky: shield/lasgun explosions. I could see how a laser could make the shield explode; it's repelling or storing engery after all, and its possible to overload it. How could this energy travel back along a laser to explode the gun?
A type two standing wave effect could cause both to overload.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_wave
Bad design on the lasgun, but still...
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:15 PM   #202
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:35 PM   #203
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Strangely, I had no trouble with those - maybe because I had one of those rubberband bird toys.

What I had trouble with was even more nit picky: shield/lasgun explosions. I could see how a laser could make the shield explode; it's repelling or storing engery after all, and its possible to overload it. How could this energy travel back along a laser to explode the gun?
I thought shield and laser gun caused an atomic explosion or equivalent. That is how I remember the book.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:21 AM   #204
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Movie Fact: the movie didn't start out as an adaptation of I, Robot at all. It started out as an independent Alex Proyas project, and then they brought the Asimov concepts and intellectual property in during development and bolted them onto their existing storyline.
Yeah.
Asimov would never, ever have wanted his robots attacking people like the trailers for that movie (I never watched it, ugh). It wasn't really an Asimov movie. Try Bicentennial Man instead (at least it gets the spirit right).

Maybe once in a while one runs amok a bit (confusion with the laws). Sometimes they are capable of hurting people (generally when humans fiddle with the first law - generally commentary on people tinkering with the definition of human - parallel with instances that humans do this.)

The whole Zeroth law concept comes up later but never really works that well even for R. Daneel and his cohorts, several millenia later - it's not such an easy concept.
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:51 PM   #205
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A type two standing wave effect could cause both to overload.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_wave
Bad design on the lasgun, but still...
I think we need to be careful about assuming that lasgun's work exactly the same way that lasers do now. Shields and essentially much of the rest of the technology of Dune's Universe is built on physics that we have no knowledge of.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:35 PM   #206
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I think we need to be careful about assuming that lasgun's work exactly the same way that lasers do now. Shields and essentially much of the rest of the technology of Dune's Universe is built on physics that we have no knowledge of.
I wasn't saying it was.
Just that it wasn't impossible.
In line with *good* SF writing, what he postulated cannot be falsified by current science. And that there is at least one plausible, rationnalist explanation for what he described.
(Even after 40-plus years. Within the context of this thread that's pretty good.)
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:02 PM   #207
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I thought shield and laser gun caused an atomic explosion or equivalent. That is how I remember the book.
Found

http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Shield

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However, if a lasgun beam hit a Holtzman field, it would result in sub-atomic fusion and a nuclear explosion. The center of this blast was determined by random chance; sometimes it would originate within the shield, sometimes within the laser weapon, sometimes both.
I did not remember that the center could be in the gun.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:04 AM   #208
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"One of the prequels mentioned that it had once had a normal-ish ecosystem with liquid water on the surface, and suggests that the sandtrout were actively keeping it dry by locking down any moisture they could find. After all, the monocology had been broken in God-Emperor of Dune before getting mostly restored thousands of years later."

Exactly!! it was suggested on the Sequels/prequels that The worms/sandtrout were not originally native to Dune but indeed were transplanted there by some long forgotten ancient race.

It Dune Chapter house it was proven that any planet that can successfully host sand trout will eventually be come a desiccated desert world inhabited by Worms
(Adult sandtrout)

I dont see how Herbert not exploring this
In detail was a literary shortcoming.

as his focus was Characters and the Societal /political structure
not secret archeological origins.

Last edited by Anabran; 09-28-2012 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:30 PM   #209
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In 1968, when Charles Hall tried to apply for a patent on the waterbed he thought he had invented, he found he was unable to do so because Heinlein had already described one in sufficient detail in Double Star (and other places). This impressive bit of technological pre-empting sits neatly alongside the fact that the book is generally cited as the first to use the abbreviation "ET" (or at least, eetee). [snip]
I've heard this before, too. But apparently it's not true:

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General Background

2
Hall is the named inventor and current co-owner of U.S. Patent No. 3,585,356 (the '356 patent), entitled "Liquid Support for Human Bodies." Hall filed the application that matured into the '356 patent in 1969, and the patent itself issued in 1971. Upon issuance, the patent was assigned to Innerspace Environments, Inc. (Innerspace), a waterbed manufacturing and sales company that Hall co-founded in 1968 or 1969. Waterbeds became very popular and, as their popularity grew, Innerspace grew also. Indeed, Innerspace soon became the largest retail seller of waterbeds in the U.S., owning and operating over 30 retail stores with annual sales over $5 million. The company's primary focus was on promoting the popularity of waterbeds; during the period from 1969 to 1975, Innerspace spent approximately $1.5 million on retail sales advertising in the California market alone.
From a 1996 patent case.

http://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/...1.96-1014.html

Also, according to wiki, waterbeds were actually invented in the 1800's and used for therapeutic purposes.

Re: Asimov, etc. -

Unfortunately, I think our appreciation of sf of the 40's and 50's (and to some extent the 60's) is hampered by the fact that it was predominantly a literature of short stories. There were a few novels produced, but they were very much in the minority. The real action was in the short stories published in the magazines.

Unfortunately, in the late 60's/ early 70's, the economics changed and the novel became the primary form, with short stories becoming increasingly marginalized. Once consequence of this is that the works we tend to be most familiar with from the 40's-50's are the novels, not the short stories; this gives a very limited view of sf in this period. (Of course, some of the sf novels from this period were made up of short stories.)

This explains some of the attributes of Asimov's work pretty well - a brief character sketch is often enough for a short story where the main focus is on a particular idea and its consequences. In novels, though, there is a lot more room and we tend to prefer characters to be more fleshed out.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:03 PM   #210
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Yeah.
Asimov would never, ever have wanted his robots attacking people like the trailers for that movie (I never watched it, ugh). It wasn't really an Asimov movie. Try Bicentennial Man instead (at least it gets the spirit right).

Maybe once in a while one runs amok a bit (confusion with the laws). Sometimes they are capable of hurting people (generally when humans fiddle with the first law - generally commentary on people tinkering with the definition of human - parallel with instances that humans do this.)

The whole Zeroth law concept comes up later but never really works that well even for R. Daneel and his cohorts, several millenia later - it's not such an easy concept.
Yep the movie "I Robot" isn't strictly speaking a direct translation of the book to movie. They used some of the concepts from the short stories in the book "I Robot" as plot points in the movie and invented the Will Smith character as a way of tying them all together.
Spoiler:
in one a robot loses itself among other robots and in another one envisions himself as the Moses of his people, there's even one where a robot takes over a space station thinking that it's doing the "Master's" will by doing so which has shades of the computer in the movie.
As for robots attacking people Asimov's characters speak about trying to deal with the "Frankenstein Complex" that the public seem to have about robots.
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