The problem with this line of thought it that it basically starts at the assumption that humans are terrible, awful, flawed creatures and that our machine descendants can easily transcend beyond our small petty flaws to become cybernetic gods. But, much like the "why not just fly to Mordor on the eagles" argument, it… » 12/16/14 11:41am Tuesday 11:41am

I grew up, not poor, but let's say lower middle class. I remember the first time I saw Cable TV in my small home town. A friend's family had it, and it seemed like a marvel. Dozens of channels, no static, even a remote control instead of the pair of pliers we had to use to turn the dial after the tuner knob broke off. » 12/09/14 5:11pm 12/09/14 5:11pm

I broke down and actually bought a physical copy. I don't do that much these days, but I think this was worth it. I'm sure it will be streaming officially someday, but it's well worth watching, and the deleted scenes on the disk are fascinating. Jodorowsky's passion for art is dazzling, and it really makes one wonder… » 12/02/14 6:09pm 12/02/14 6:09pm

Every time giant robot enthusiasts try to have fun, there's always someone who feels a strange compulsion to remind them that giant robots are "unrealistic". And for what? Many genres are unrealistic, that's often the point. Superheroes, space operas, zombie apocalypses, fantasy high, low, and urban. All could be… » 12/01/14 5:26pm 12/01/14 5:26pm

As a long-time Dredd fan myself, I must partially disagree. Yes, things weren't as over-the-top as some Dredd stories (such as your excellent example), but they maintained a lot of the subversive tone in a many ways. In particular, Urban did an amazing job with Dredd's dry wit. Also, notice how in almost every violent… » 11/24/14 3:41pm 11/24/14 3:41pm

It makes me wonder if we are on the edge of just another such "phase transition" in modern human culture. All the social tools we've built up for the last few thousand years were created to deal with a very different set of societies than the ones we have now. Even setting aside concepts like a technological… » 11/17/14 4:55pm 11/17/14 4:55pm

Funny thing is, I actually would be way more excited for a Captain America vs. the Serpent Society movie than a Civil War film. Civil War will be good, I'm sure, but it's going to be a lot of terse and turgid shouting and gritting of teeth and stuff, ending with the Joss Wedon finally killing Steve Rogers the way… » 11/03/14 6:01pm 11/03/14 6:01pm

I agree with your "Mad Scientist = Evil Wizard" reading of the use of scientific bad guys in genre fiction. However, I would like to go a bit further with that idea. Because we are now about a century to a century and a half in to the era when a writer could replace an evil wizard with a mad scientist, and this change… » 10/06/14 3:24pm 10/06/14 3:24pm