linguistics

Battlestar Galactica last supper cast backdrop

Battlestar Galactica: curse words linguistics, formal code verification, and robo Jesus

Review

Battlestar was so good! The importance of Ronald D Moore’s work on Deep Space Nine. The genesis of the “gritty” scifi drama juxtaposed against Star Trek’s utopia. Judging the best scifi captains: Adama? Picard?

Frak!

The difficulties with “frak.” “Fraking” vs “fracking.” Changes of spelling. Designing the curse words of scifi futures. Appreciating Nick Farmer‘s “Belter.” The nature of “swear words.” Comparing the sounds of made-up brand names to test linguistic form/function clustering.

Anti-AI security

Computers are good at computers. Fully securing your “hello world” program. Code testing and integration. Formal verification to mathematically guarantee computer code, and the incredible expense thereof.

Robo Jesus

Creatures coming into sapience in a world with the scientific method and body of knowledge and still turning to “God.”

Links:

Diaspora, The Free BSG Space-Sim based on Freespace 2: Hard-Light.net
Caprica: iTunes | Amazon

Atlantis Disney movie backdrop

Atlantis: the Silurian hypothesis, ancient language, and updating the drake equation

Myth and history

Getting past the nonsense. The reasonable idea that civilizations have in fact existed and then fallen, without notice by modern study. Rocking Like a Hurricane in the B.C. era.

Human history irl

Humanity circa 10,000 years ago. The beginnings of civilization. Early agriculture. Making beer and eventually bread. How not to make bread by putting beer in the oven. More Rocking Like a Hurricane. Just invent pants, beer, and bread and you’re off to a really solid start. “Why are pants, different than shirts?

The Silurian Hypothesis

The Silurian Hypothesis. Imagining the difference in civilizational detectibility over hundreds of thousands or millions of years. Thinking like ze dolphin. Plastic permanence. Climate impacts written into geology. Radiological evidence.

Proto Indo European

The “Atlantean” conlang. Marc  Okrand and Klingon. Language before language was written down. How we figure out anything about a language from 6500 years ago that is no longer spoken and was never written down.

Links

Atlantis: iTunes | Amazon Prime Video
The Silurian Hypothesis: Would it be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record?: arXiv.org

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Dolphin communication, the babelfish, and bad AI

Adaptations

Appreciating the book(s). Bigtime. Adapting Douglas Adams. Remembering the text adventure video game exists.

Dolphins

Dolphin intelligence. It’s not about how smart they are, it’s about how they’re smart. Mammalian sameness as an avenue into better understanding life in the sea. Dolphin communication. Dolphin “language” and the possibility of translation. The Dolphin C.H.A.T. interface.

Betelgeuse

Big star! Red supergiant, 9th brightest in our sky. “Brightness” outside the visible spectrum. Dying stars gnoshing on their planets before going off.

Life form dominance

Metal boxes, taking over the planet and slowly digesting the soft squishy things inside them. Street Fighter-style car-breaking. How to judge the “top” species of a world.

Babel fish

Universal translators. A visit from Nick Farmer from the past, when we asked him about universal translators in our Q&A #2.

Space is big

Mind-bogglingly big! The bigness of space and the difficulty in finding a sense of scale from a human perspective.

Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.

-Douglas Adams

AI

Doors deriving sexual pleasure from providing their service. Polar opposite extreme AI demeanors. Deep Thought and AI constraints.

Links:

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy The Game: BBC Radio 4
DRONE Solar System Model by Mark Rober: YouTube
VFX Artist Reveals the True Scale of the Universe by Corridor Digital: YouTube

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Blade: blood, colloidal silver aposematism, and scoville testing

Blade

Blade enthusiasm motivational poster

Silver

Weaponizing silver. Colloidal silver. Papa Smurf. Blue anti-vampire aposematism.

papa smurf Paul Karason

Spray defense

Pepper spray. Garlic spray. The difference between bear spray and self-defense pepper spray. The positives and negatives of fog-mode sprays in vampire club fighting. Johnny Knoxville pain ratings.

Scoville units

Laboratory capsaicin measurement by high-performance liquid chromatography vs the organoleptic method. The obvious unreliability of the original organoleptic (tasting) method.

Blood

Blooooood. Blood drinking. Hemoglobin deficiencies. Heme. Porphyria and the vampire legend. Blood doping.

Sun block

Vampires and ultraviolet sensitivity. “Chemical” and “physical” UV sunblocks.

Decipherment

Decipherment vs translation. Ancient manuscripts. Multispectral imaging. Machine learning supremacy. Making random noise until you know how to play Mario.

Links

Blade: iTunes | Amazon
The World in UV by Veritassium: YouTube
Sunscreen in UV by Physics Girl: YouTube
Red Bull Crashed Ice 2012 Uphill Race: YouTube

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Sorry to Bother You: code switching, indie media, and the power of scifi w/ Eliot Peper

Featuring guest co-host
Eliot Peper headshot with puppyEliot Peper, author of Borderless

This movie

It gets a bit weird! And we have a bit of a time summarizing it.

Storytelling

Adventure stories. Social allegory. The power of science fiction in particular to force you to reframe your perception by believably breaking your assumptions. HG Wells and Moreau. Science fiction tropes and the subversion thereof. Christopher is bad at human things.

Code Switching

Languages, dialect, and speaking to your audience. “Not having to think about it.”

Media

Mass media vs indie communities. The lowest common denominator. Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans.

Milk stuff

A lament for the concentration on cow’s milk. Mare milk. Fermented milk products from cows and horses.

Links

Eliot Peper: Bandwidth | Borderless | Amazon Author Page
Key & Peele Obama Meet & Greet: YouTube
Key & Peele on Code Switching: YouTube

Black Panther T'Challa movie backdrop

Black Panther: rhino domestication, click languages, and Killmonger overheating

Afrofuturism

Wishing there were more of this in popular media.

Invisible cities

A review of invisibility technology: spatial, temporal, and spectral light cloaking. Vibranium to the rescue.

Vibranium

Space impactors. Resource

Armor

Body armor, stationary armor. Avoiding concussive force. Reactive armor in tanks: shaped explosives that explode at the other thing that’s gonna explode! Molecular springs of carbon for storage of mechanical energy from kinetic. How not to turn into Black Panther jelly when the suit releases its energy (be superhuman).

Absolute monarchies

Bas Rutten for king. Right hoooook.

Scars and sweat

Killmonger’s scarification and scar damage to the dermis. Sweat patterns around scars.

Telepiloting

Remote vehicle control. Light-speed communications delays. AI-assisted remote human driving.

War Rhinos

Domestication vs trainability. Extinct war elephants and why we can’t have war rhinos. Dürer’s rhinoceros, drawn from notes on the first rhino seen in Europe since Roman times.Dürer's Rhinoceros

Click language

Xhosa! Bantu languages. The possibility of a connection to the earliest human languages.

Links

Decipher RPG Part 1 | Part 2

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Westworld : Episode 139

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Westworld [1973]

What: Robots! And six shooters! you get the idea.
Directed by: Michael Crichton
Starring: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin

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Stargate (feat Dominic Perry of The History of Egypt Podcast) : Episode 136

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Stargate

What: Stargate science in the movie that spawned the sprawling franchise. Yay ancient Egypt!
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Kurt Russell, James Spader, French Stewart

Featuring guest co-host
Dominic Perry headshotDominic Perry of The History of Egypt Podcast

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The Mummy [2017] (feat Dominic Perry of The History of Egypt Podcast) : Episode 111

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

The Mummy [2017]

What: Tom Cruise and an unusually-attractive dead lady run around the desert. Curses!
Directed by: Alex Kurtzman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella, Annabelle Wallis, Russel Crowe, Jake Johnson

Featuring guest co-host
Dominic Perry headshotDominic Perry of The History of Egypt Podcast

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Guardians of the Galaxy : Episode 89

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Guardians of the Galaxy

What: Charming rag-tag group of unlikely heroes unite to… guard the galaxy. From evil things.
Directed by: James Gunn
Starring: Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Lee Pace, Dave Bautista

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