[ExI] Science Fiction (was Re: Motivated Reasoning)

Kunvar Thaman f20170964 at pilani.bits-pilani.ac.in
Sun Mar 15 12:05:43 UTC 2020

I started reading SciFi books last year and have been on a binge of sorts
since. Why don't people like SciFi? I can understand usage of bad physics
irritating people and useless narration in some books but good SciFi books
are very good books.

>Can anyone think of a pro-transhumanist film or TV show?

You might like Hyperion Cantos books, where this is a major theme. I've
been waiting to read the culture series by Ian, everyone I know who's read
it always praises it. Too many good books, always going. in the queue to

On Sun, Mar 15, 2020, 4:52 PM Ben Zaiboc via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On 14/03/2020 17:07, Gabe Waggoner wrote:
> I always figured some Trek folks were part of this list, but I'm happy to
> see it explicitly mentioned.
> I'd be surprised if there were more than a handful of people on this list
> with a negative attitude towards science-fiction in general. I count myself
> as an SF nerd, having read the stuff for almost as long as I've been able
> to read.
> I've always found Star Trek to have an anti-transhumanist vibe, though. In
> fact, thinking about it, very very few SF TV shows or films have had even a
> neutral attitude to it, most of them being very anti. It's only in books
> that you tend to see pro-transhumanist attitudes. And there are some great
> ones (and that's not an American 'great', either, I really mean
> outstanding, not just 'good').
> Iain M Banks, Neal Asher, Peter Hamilton, Linda Nagata, Charlie Stross
> (when he writes SF), and to a lesser degree, Alastair Reynolds are probably
> my favourite modern authors, but of course there's a long list of
> precursors to them, stretching right back to Jules Verne.
> mean one that doesn't derive a negative message from transhumanist themes
> and aspirations? Longevity, enhancement, AI, uploading, etc.? The best I
> can think of are 'Transcendence' (ambivalent, if even that), 'Chappie',
> which might count as an exception to the rule, and 'Ghost in the Shell' (at
> the risk of starting an argument!), which has some nice technology, but is
> basically a dystopian vision.
> I'm not counting 'superhero'-type things, because these are about mutants,
> magic, special people or species, and the ordinary people aren't any
> different to usual. Batman's technology is reserved for Batman, Ditto
> Ironman (with a slightly more realistic element of the military muscling in
> on it). No-one ever thinks of giving other people spiderman-like abilities,
> or how to raise humans up to the level of Asgardians, and so-on.
> 'Limitless' and 'Lucy' are about single individuals gaining special
> abilities ('superpowers', essentially), just like Spiderman or Green
> Lantern.
> I would *love* to see someone do a film or TV show from the 'Culture'
> stories of Iain M Banks, or something where ordinary people are shown as
> having capabilities significantly beyond baseline human, without making a
> fuss of it. People who live indefinitely, cybernetic implants and full
> cyborgs being commonplace, uploads and multiple branching identities being
> background elements, that sort of thing.
> Despite all that, I still watch Star Trek, even the latest stupid one,
> which seems even more ridiculous and inconsistent than usual (and has a
> truly awful title sequence). It's entertaining, which makes up for any
> amount of awfulness (it's still not as bad as 'Deep Space Nine' though!).
> --
> Ben Zaiboc
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> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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