It's basically religious mythology and theology retold in a sci-fi story. Super intelligent "God" which is so far beyond human comprehension is very interested in humanity. They create humans and have some long term schemes for us. The ending is Bowman coming into contact with God and going beyond humanity. Much like the after life.
It's thick with religious themes and what amounts to magic. I like the film, but it's not "hard sci-fi" at all.
Considering that at the time it was made, sci-fi was about little green men invading Earth in flying saucers, 2001 is hard as fuck. Not to mention all the technology was pretty realistic and scientifically accurate.
>>12429489 >the late 60s >sci-fi was little green men There was just as much breadth to sci-fi's exploration of humanity and the cosmos prior to 2001 as there has been after it. While that's probably what the man on the street would boil sci-fi down to in either period (including today), the man on the street is also an idiot.
Kubrick has said some things on the subject of religious themes in 2001, but the notion of a greater intelligence uplifting younger races predates it and is not an especially religious concept in those works either. His own religious views were decidedly outside established religions, and probably not even what members of those churches would CALL religion, but he also wasn't a hardcore "there's this and that's it" atheist. He seems to have believed in spiritualism and the idea that there could be something more to existence, the romance of the grander cosmos. But you'll find this in a lot of sci-fi, even those that explain away the mystery.
Take the view of religion as man's way of processing things greater than him: ancient peoples couldn't wrap their heads around the eruption of a volcano or what caused thunder and lightning, so as with everything else they dealt with in their lives, they must have had living actors responsible for their working; gods. Man in 2001 can't wrap their heads around the incredible technology of the monoliths and the unraveling of all their mythology, so surely this must have fit into it all along. This can't have been the work of aliens, but of God, even if He is rewritten as a galactic intelligence whose neurons are the strings between galaxies.
But no, it's just aliens. The monolith's just a talky spaceprobe with uplift capabilities. And while this isn't Kubrick, Clarke's later novels reveal they're normal, boring aliens who evolved just like humans, but without a monolith. They did ascend to become energy beings though, so that's pretty spiffy.
>>12429650 Also, hard sci-fi doesn't say squat about there not being a god or anything like that. You can write a spiritual hard sci-fi novel, or even one where the Abrahamic God with a capital Y is real and all that Jesus stuff is gospel truth. Hard sci-fi's just how realistically you try (note: TRY) to treat your tech and physics and explain them.
>>12429667 That's why Gundam was considered harder sci-fi than the 70's nagai bots that had vehicles semi-magically turning into other things, or being powered by Evolution. It's not that MSG was hard science, but it tried more to convey its robots as mundane combat vehicles rather than steel gods.
>>12429712 >Gundam was considered harder sci-fi kek. No it wasn't. It was pretty much a show for little boys just like nagai bots.
>but it tried more to convey its robots as mundane combat vehicles rather than steel gods. Haha but nope. The RX 78-2 is considered to be very special even in its own show. What made Gundam different from previous series was that the enemy faction consisted of humans instead of aliens.
You need an excuse to rewatch 2001? I mean granted, it's a long fucking movie, but it's still good.
Also, while I said it's about evolution, it's clearly one being manufactured by a higher being. Plus in the novel HAL went nuts because he had contradicting orders in his programming and couldn't hanle it.
Because the Monolith changed them. It's all part of some plan by some fatherly aliens who are doing the same role as God does in theology. They are a bit more hands off though, as they likely don't interact with humans after that, and instead just wait for us to improve technologically so we can go out to them. Then the person who meets them becomes more than human, sort of like they shed their mortal form and became a soul.
It's heavily influenced by religious theology is what I'm saying.
>>12429447 >Gays claimed rainbows, Catholics claimed transcendent enlightenment I claim seven minutes of my life wasted. Call it heresy if you want, but I don't see what's so good about 2001 except for its iconic soundtrack.
>>12429476 The search for God (in the non-Abrahamic sense) has nothing to do with religion and >any sufficiently advanced technology The word you're looking for is "spiritual", and spaceships aren't at odds with getting a lump in your throat when you look across the vast and yawning chasm of space and are faced with your own insignificance.
>>12436772 >there are people who still don't understand one of the primary purposes of science fictions is to challenge the perceptions and expectations of society by positing scenarios that, rather than being alternate reality fantasy lands or the past, are the direct future of the present where cultural norms have been flipped upside-down or to cast a light on contemporary thought through allegory tell you wot, we're not gonna get closer to the meaning of life through stories about dragons or BDSM
>>12436985 Because science fiction frames our view of the world in the future.
Why do you think people think of flying cars when they think of the future? Because science fiction authors dreamed about flying cars before there was even the slightest feasibility. They dreamed of cars before there were cars, and space travel before the Russians sent a man into space.
Science fiction authors have always imagined what life would be like before it was a reality, or even close to being one. You could argue that they're just predicting a future that is very much within humanity's grasp, but you could also argue that humanity is trying to recreate science fiction.
Politics is a short-term endeavor. Politicians deal in the here and now rather than the soon and later, because long-term gains don't get votes the way short-term gains do. Science-fiction can sometimes be a window into what we could be; what humanity could be or could achieve if we strive in all the right places. When was the last time politics really drove an interest in achieving something truly great?
>>12436985 My phone has nearly all of the features of a tricorder and communicator from Star Trek. The people who invented the technology that made that possible watched Star Trek when they were younger, and it helped inspire them as to what was possible.
We have real hoverboards now, they only work on special metal surfaces but they work. The people who invented those boards were inspired by Back to the Future.
Science fiction inspires us as engineers and as scientists to try to go beyond what we think is possible. Nothing can be more important to our development as a species than that.
That was propaganda and it was the fucking 60s. It didn't accomplish ANYTHING other than raising the morale for american retards, and seriously, if you think that's an accomplishment, you must think 9/11 was the second coming of Christ or something.
>>12437058 The problem with that line of thinking is that it's highly ignorant of reality. It's basically become politicking rhetoric to appeal to people who don't know better, to convince them that science and technology are the boogeyman because they cost us valuable moneydollars.
Organizations like NASA are the best thing that have ever happened to our country. It's easy to assume that there's no way that expensive missions to put people on the moon would ever have any tangible benefit for the rest of us, but that's pretty far from the reality of it.
For example, most people wouldn't think that NASA researches agriculture. I mean, what does agriculture have to do with sending people into space? Surprisingly people like to eat, and especially when they're in space, so being able to grow plants in less-than-ideal environments that can provide sustenance to astronauts in a reasonable time frame and in reasonable quantity is of importance.
More obvious advancements would include metallurgy, composite materials research, electronics, photoimaging, wireless technologies, and so on and so forth. I'm sure NASA would love to have a lightweight composite material that's as durable as steel and can withstand extreme environments without fear of corrosion and such. I'm sure that nearly every manufacturer wants that.
Of course if you want to talk about the importance of tossing shit into space, satellites are pretty damn important. Asteroid mining will be pretty important in the future as well.
So that idea that sending stuff into space is a waste of money that could be spent on taking care of people on Earth? A lot of the stuff NASA does translates directly into communications and aviation. Personally, I'd love to get fiber speeds on a lightning-fast 7-hour flight from Seattle to Hong Kong.
>>12437110 >It didn't accomplish ANYTHING Only if you discount the various technologies that had to be developed to get objects into space, and then back onto Earth.
The Apollo Program particularly contributed some pretty neat stuff in the form of textiles and food preservation, just to name a couple.
But then again who gives a fuck about firefighters, insulation materials, and food preservation? Fucking everybody, that's who.
>>12437127 I don't know much about South Africa, but I know that your government isn't exactly known for its quality as a governing body. You've got bigger problems that space rockets.
America? America doesn't have problems big enough to warrant a government-endorsed stagnation of technological innovation, despite all those people screaming about how it's a waste of money and how it just adds to the national debt that America totally doesn't need to be economically stable or anything like that. Because, you know, maintaining the economic stability and viability of a key player of the world economy is exactly the same as what's required of a three-person American family. The average American family can avoid crippling (it's not) debt (they can't), so why can't America?
>>12437144 I'm not entirely sure what you're on about. The U.S. provides assistance to South Africa in various ways and has for a couple decades now.
Also that assumes that people in America can all afford food, which is simply not true. We have poor and homeless people here, but the difference is that we have programs to help support those people. Programs that many outspoken Americans would love to cut because they don't want to pay for no homeless people to get free food when they have to pay for it with their taxes. I've met many a so-called person who would gladly let those damn poor people die in droves because, "I have a job and I can pay for food and a home, so why can't they?"
I'm not really trying to sound brash here, but I really don't know what you expect. If anyone was going to feed all the poor people in South Africa, it would've been the U.K. and not the U.S.
I'm obviously not an expert on South Africa, so my question for you is: Why can't South Africa provide for its poor people? Is it because you can't support welfare programs to feed the poor, or is it because your government won't?
Either way, this is starting to turn into a shockingly-well-mannered /pol/ discussion, so unless we're going to talk about spaceships or giant robots I'm not too keen on keeping this going.
>>12437167 >The U.S. provides assistance to South Africa in various ways and has for a couple decades now.
and yet 1 in 6 child deaths here are from malnutrition.
>If anyone was going to feed all the poor people in South Africa, it would've been the U.K. and not the U.S.
They weren't the ones in control of the government for decades, it was the Afrikaans Dutch.
>Why can't South Africa provide for its poor people? Is it because you can't support welfare programs to feed the poor, or is it because your government won't?
It is both, and neither. We have always had, and still have, an incredibly inequal society. Around 40% of the country is unemployed, and that doesn't change because you die in whatever economic class you were born into. Not to mention a lot of the hungriest are people that fled Congo because of the war, and SA is a very xenophobic nation so most of my countrymen genuinely don't care if those people die. We have those programs, but clearly they aren't doing their job.
>Either way, this is starting to turn into a shockingly-well-mannered /pol/ discussion, so unless we're going to talk about spaceships or giant robots I'm not too keen on keeping this going.
My point was that the people who dream of the futures you see in science fiction are the people who never have to deal with the things that other parts of the world do and don't concern themselves with such.
>>12429396 Honestly, aside from the Monolith and the trippy ending, wasn't the rest of the movie pretty hard scifi in its depiction of space, and an AI like HAL?
>>12437024 >When was the last time politics really drove an interest in achieving something truly great?
I understand and agree with what you're saying, but also keep in mind that a stable political structure is necessary for scientific advancement. A lot of NASA science guys got into science via star trek, but they also needed good schools to teach them IRL science, a stable government that could give them the money and materials they need, etc. etc. etc. It's not a good idea to discount the social fabric of a society if you want to enhance its scientific foundations.
>>12437560 >wasn't the rest of the movie pretty hard scifi in its depiction of space, and an AI like HAL? Yeah. The novel provides a lot more details on some of the stuff, like the random asteroid that flies by Discovery in the movie, in the novel they specifically made course changes to get a better look at it - which makes it probably the most realistic depiction of an asteroid field on film.
That phrase is pure bullshit. Physics imposes basic limitations. You can't just handwave anything with that.
For instance, there's like 4 fundamental forces in the world. It doesn't matter where you live, or how advanced your technology is. The monolith has to use one of those forces to do whatever wonky shit it's doing.
So, is it sending out electromagic signals which changes the apes to improve their brains? I don't think that's possible. So, you could replace that with something that is more grounded. Maybe they sent out nanomachines which made the resultant changes? That could work, but you'd have to then analyze what is and is not possible with nano machines.
>>12438454 You don't seem to understand the phrase. There's a reason scientists and other people much smarter than the both of us aren't tripping over themselves to slap down this quote. Magic in that context doesn't mean "violates the laws of physics", but that to someone who is ignorant of how the technology works, its effects seem magical. A color television would seem magical if I toured it around in the early 1800s. A radio would get you called a witch if you started listening to tunes in the late 1600s America. If I landed a helicopter on King George I's lawn, sprayed a flamethrower into the air after disembarking, and said, "I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD," we'd see some knees hitting the dirt.
We don't even have to imagine physical properties of the universe as-of-yet not understood to see how future technology could be considered magic. We know (well enough) how superconducting magnets work, and if someone had hover shoes with room-temperature superconductors TO-DAY that let them skate around a foot above the ground, it'd blow peoples' minds. Not just people in developing countries, or the rural types in Podunk, Nowhere, or your mom who still doesn't get this "internet" thing, but smart, tech-savvy individuals. In fact, the smarter people would probably be even MORE puzzled, because while "magnets!" might satisfy the lay person, someone with a good understanding of their physical properties would know there has to be something more to these hoverboots.
>replace EM waves with something more grounded like nanomachines Altering brain chemistry with wubwubs is closer to us than microscopic robots with neuron-sized snippers and sutures.
>>12437212 You might want to pick a bone with the people producing reality television or any number of other far more "useless" endeavors and wastes of cash than exploring the cosmos and developing new technology.
Space exploration isn't a means to forget about Earth's problems, it's a forward-thinking way of solving them; it's not just our ticket off this rock when shit goes south, but a means to stop that from happening and an insurance policy if we can't. Forget the idea of colonizing Mars if we fuck up the Earth too much for a moment, and imagine what cheap asteroid mining could mean for resource extraction here. Why would I enslave people to dig up my blood diamonds when there are spaceships hauling them out of the sky by the ton? Why would I upturn this mountain, destroy the ecosystem, and pollute all the rivers downstream if there's more platinum in a single rock up there than whole continents down here?
The people who go to space and come back more keenly understand both the insignificance of our planet and its fragility. They've gotten to look at the biggest picture of all, the one that says all this politicking bullshit is just that. However you might feel that space exploration workers' ideals don't benefit the little man in Dirtghanistan or the Darkest Jungles of Africa in the here and now, know that they are infinitely closer to bettering the lot of future peoples in those situations than politicians who want to line their pockets with as much cash as possible before they die, vapid entertainment moguls, clothing designers, and so on. The hydro- and aeroponic farming research NASA does is alone more relevant to feeding the world than anything Bieber has done.
>>12439401 >However you might feel that space exploration workers' ideals don't benefit the little man in Dirtghanistan or the Darkest Jungles of Africa in the here and now, know that they are infinitely closer to bettering the lot of future peoples in those situations
True but let's be fair here, that only happens if the countries developing that technology cares what happens to people in the 3rd world, and the reality is most don't. A lot of them have the mindset of "once a shithole, always a shithole", or just think that if we try to help, it'll just make things worse because of local politics there.
There's a reason the Peace Corps is always looking for more manpower. It's because they're short on it, because people don't care.
>>12439613 >it'll just make things worse because of local politics there. Except this is absolutely true. The Prime Directive should be applied to Africa. No amount of paternalistic racism is going to fix the third world.
And we have a pretty good understanding of them in certain areas. We sure as hell are NOT going to find another major fundamental force of nature that operates in the standard reality of our lives. We're going to discover a lot of very weird things, but they're going to be inside black holes, at size blow plank length, and so forth. Extreme situations. Don't underestimate how solid our understanding of physics in certain areas is. Like the LHC is opening up again at twice the power, and it will discover so much more about physics, but it won't suddenly discover that the phsyics of the world around us is fundamentally flawed.
> A color television would seem magical if I toured it around in the early 1800s.
Bad example. We didn't even have modern physics back then.
> Magic in that context doesn't mean "violates the laws of physics", but that to someone who is ignorant of how the technology works,
Ignorance doesn't cut it. There are certain very basic fundamental limitations that physics places on the universe. You will never go faster than the speed of light. I can say that with confidence. Will there be some weird loophole around that? Maybe. But FLT travel is impossible.
>>12439820 >but it won't suddenly discover that the phsyics of the world around us is fundamentally flawed. This.
People who think "but physics has been wrong before; look at how it got totally revamped!" are ignoring that "wrong" isn't a boolean quantity. Asimov wrote a great essay about this.
Sure, relativity and quantum mechanics are huge leaps in how we understand physics works. But if you take c to be infinite and h to be zero (which is damn close for anything outside of specific fuckhuge/fucksmall cases) they reduce perfectly to Newtonian mechanics. As long as physics has existed, physics has been pretty consistent outside of edge cases.
Think of it this way: There's a lot of unknowns in physics. A new force of nature that operates on a huge scale, at room temperature, at low speeds is NOT going to be one of them. If it existed, we would have discovered it by now.
>>12439860 How romantic a notion is might matter if you're writing an essay or flipping a burger but, contrary to efforts of humanities departments everywhere, it has no bearing on whether something is a fundamental physical force.
>>12439912 >The world will never give birth to the next Shakespeare with that attitude. Nah, there's still plenty of would-be Shakespeares out there. Just so long as they don't think they're physicists, and bring my pizza on time, it's okay.
>>12439967 >Literature is one of the founding basis of culture. It's the whole reason we have Science Fiction, because of its better name, Speculative Fiction. All absolutely true, and totally irrelevant to the physical laws of reality. As much as I harp on the humanities they do have an important role culturally. It's just not important scientifically.
>>12439820 Are you that vaguely Hispanic guy who pops up in all the threads about realistic mechs and complains about how even if we do have giant humanoid robots in the future we won't be able to control them because macros don't exist and computers are dumb?
>>12439777 It didn't work out well for the natives, though, which I think speaks to the point the other anon was making.
Technology ought to be used to benefit all humanity, not just a small part of it, and especially not at great cost to other parts of it. As you imply, the U.S (and, it's important to note, many other nations in the Americas) might have managed to evade comeuppance for what they did to "less advanced" peoples, but in this day and age, I wouldn't count on that happening again.
>>12440358 The Eradication of the Samurai as a class certainly qualifies as an uprooting. >>12439740 >You can't pretend it didn't happen Neither did the colonial powers who after 1900 set about trying to correct the worst of their excesses. Building up infrastructure. Setting up school and hospitals. The locales rose up and told them not good enough get the fuck out.
That was the last time anyone seriously tried to fix Africa. What exists now is neo-liberal (West) and neo-mercantilist (China) cold uncaring trade and a few sub-governmental organizations slapping bandaids on a dam.
Nothing to do with this good discussion (never took part in it) but...
>>12440209 > Are you that vaguely Hispanic guy who pops up in all the threads about realistic mechs and complains about how even if we do have giant humanoid robots in the future we won't be able to control them because macros don't exist and computers are dumb?
I happen to argue regularly against simplistic 1:1 interface, but was is precisely in favor of macros and heavily computerized control. I don't remember seeing your guy.
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