Science Fiction Elsewhere and Here

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Jon Hastings has this post on the definition of “Sci-Fi” that I’ve been meaning to respond to. Unfortunately, he’s got anonymous comments disabled and, wow, is it ever a hassle to have to register just to make a short comment. In any case I agree with Jon on this issue — Sci-Fi is determined by its color. If you have robots, artificial intelligences, spaceships, and so on it is Sci-Fi. This is pretty much tautological because the determination of genre is a consensus activity and a consensus of people would agree that these are features of Sci-Fi stories. I suppose the thing that interests me is how this consensus will change as things like robots (Roombas, etc) become more commonplace — Perhaps in the future the color of Sci-Fi will become the quotidian and thus the consensus agreement of Sci-Fi genre stories will move to be more selective. For the time being, though, it is how it is.

Via Digg I find this link to Geeklogie. Some interesting things here, although I won’t waste time mentioning them all. This particular post that I found interesting has to do with using precisely calculated motions to write on water, an idea I had a variation of a few years back that has stuck with me. Intriguing to see these things come to fruition, though I can’t really see an application for it.

Also found on Geeklogie, this post featuring a “license plate blurring device.” Here’s the video from their site:

Personally I think it’s a bit shortsighted to call this a “license-plate-blurring” device. A more appropriate term might be a “No-Field” or “Electronic-Optical Cloak.” Unfortunately the post doesn’t really have any details about how this works or whether it has potential to be miniaturized in the near future. Just imagine all the celebrities in the world carrying one of these around, saving us all from having to see the indignities of their daily lives. I imagine these would catch on pretty quickly with more average people too as governments and corporations move to put more and more surveillance equipment to monitor your every move.

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