robots

Automata: desertification, solar storms, and messing with Asimov

Robot laws

Asimov’s laws as a storytelling device and what you get when you alter the formula. “Humans are the true robots.”

Automata

The difference between “automata” and “robots.” Ancient Greek, Arab, and medieval church automata. Automata and robots making humans realize we need to explain what makes us special. Realizing that, on the whole, we probably aren’t really. Cartesian dualism as a stop-gap measure. Moral progress. Appreciating that we stopped seeing other animals as automatons and vivisecting them.

Modern automata

NASA getting into the automata game for difficult environments. The Automaton Rover for Extreme Environments. Mixing electronic and (mostly) mechanical components for robustness against horrible, deadly, no good, very bad atmospheres. Sending data back home from limited electronic or even completely mechanical systems.

Solar storms

Various phenomena caused by disturbances in the sun. The Carrington Event. Imagining the losses in the trillions from a Carrington-strength event in the modern day. Civilizational collapse with worldwide disturbance/destruction of telecommunications infrastructure.

World population

Realizing that several billion humans on Earth is actually like a real real lot of people. Very many. So many that even a 97% reduction leaves millions. Oy.

Desertification

Defining deserts by rainfall. Defining desertification by a land’s inability to hold water.

Links:

Automata by In Our Time: BBC
Ghost in the Machine by Radio Lab: WNYC

AXL A-X-L movie robot dog backdrop

A-X-L: dogs as technology, domestication, and unpleasant sticky materials

Doggo

Man’s best friend! And one of (many of?) our best technologies. The level to which we can handicap animals for aesthetics if we put our mind to it. Domesticated foxes.

Domestication

Domestication. Plants and animals. Bending chosen qualities to better human use.

Watermelon as of The Renaissance. Yay selective breeding! We win!

Warbot design

Implicit and explicit communication channels. Dog human body language-reading. Data connections and cloudy signal processing. Adaptation of dog body-design to robots. The small design effort required to get people to treat a robot animal like an animal.

Flamethrowers

The difference between industrial and military flamethrowers. An unpleasant, sticky material: napalm and napalm-like products!

Survey!

We have one of those. Pls help.

Netflix Extinction 2018 movie backdrop

Extinction: space stealth, leaving Earth, and the evolution of consciousness

Spoiler alerts

Special conditions requiring primary and secondary warnings.

Robots

How to tell if you are a robot? New Study Finds Best Way To Determine If You Are Android Still Cutting Open Forearm To Reveal Circuitry Within. Self-delusion and mass self-delusion.

Earthvacuation

Earth is really well-tuned for our needs (or is it the other way around?), and humans should try to maintain this as a base of operations if at all possible.

Surviving outside of Earth

Key resources on Mars and elsewhere in the solar system (outside of Earth). Iron for bullets. Rocket fuel.

Stealth in space

There is no stealth in space. Trying to hide from Earth (on Mars). Difficulties in hiding propulsion, light-blocking, and infrared emission. Hiding “in” the sun.

Attacking Earth

Shock and awe vs the impossibility of stealth. Why a nuclear EMP attack might not be a great idea. Throw a rock at it.

Zap Brannigan style

Evolving consciousness

Evolved consciousness in Earth life. The possibility of consciousness emerging in “artificial” life. Attention Schema Theory. Central processing of separate signal enhancement.

Links

Real Quick: LSG Media
What is Consciousness? by Vsauce: YouTube

Aliens 1986 movie backdrop

Aliens: hyperlseep, how to terraform, and Blade Runner reconciliation w/ Josh from LSG media

Featuring guest co-host
Josh from LSG Media headshotJosh from LSG Media

Love

Love! For James Cameron and Aliens. And the great utilitarian design of the spaceship interiors. Great world-building.

Hypersleep

Cryosleep? Ice sublimation and mummified Sigourney Weaver. Hibernation. How to shove pine cones up your butt, chug some Nyquil, and turn into a bear. Cryogenic specimen preservations: sperm! DIY fecal plugs for hibernation.

Private space industry

The rise of private space industry. Going dystopian.

Planetary operations

Planet? Moon? The delineation between planets and moons and looking forward to the future when we get confused again. Demoting Pluto to planetoid. Terraforming Mars. Sad news on Martian CO2 supplies for atmosphere creation. Crater settlements and whether or not you need a roof. Atmospheric density limits for human comfort and thriving.

Xenomorphs

But are they really called Xenomorphs? The throwaway line in Aliens that spawned decades of confusion.

Send the robots

Always send the robots. Unless you are an evil corporation with shady goals. Milk robots…?

Blade Runner connection

Blade Runner and Aliens are the same universe. The separate lines of technological development that yielded replicants and Aliens’ “synthetics.” Blade Runner 2049’s anime prequel and how that informs the universe crossover.

Links

Aliens: iTunes | Amazon
Josh’s shows on LSG Media: Science Fiction Film Podcast | The X-Files Podcast
Josh’s escape room in Massachusetts: Mass Escape
Jurassic World, Jurassic Values by Mike Hill: YouTube

Blade Runner city backdrop

Blade Runner : Episode 105

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Blade Runner

What: Harrison Ford hunts humanoid androids and it’s beautiful.
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah

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Judge Dredd 1995 backdrop

Judge Dredd [1995] : Episode 99

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Judge Dredd [1995]

What: Lawwwwwwwww. And spandex. And desert hobos.
Directed by: Danny Cannon
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Rob Schneider, Diane Lane, Max Von Sydow

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Bruce Willis Surrogates Poster

Surrogates : Episode 37

Stream the movie:
iTunes | Amazon

Surrogates

What: Old Bruce Willis wears a young Bruce Willis suit; has to save the day.
Directed by: Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Bruce Willis, Rosamund Pike, James Cromwell, Ving Rhames, Jack Noseworthy, Radha Mitchell

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best science fiction tv shows

Top 5 Science Fiction TV Shows : Episode 18

Holiday Special: Our Top 5 Sci-Fi TV Shows

What: Our combined top 5 science fiction TV shows. Spoiler-free as much as humanly possible?
How: The main criteria: “what would you recommend to someone else?”

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