Evolving Thoughts

Evolution, culture, philosophy and chocolate! John Wilkins' continuing struggle to come to terms with impermanence... "Humanus sum, nihil humanum a me alienum puto" - Terence

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Another geek meme

Usually I resist the temptation to display my inner geek (OK, OK, so it's not an inner geek!) the way PZ Mhyzr does, however one may spell his name, so frequently, but this one was too tempting for me. Of all the most significant SF films (don't call it "sci-fi" unless you want a long dissertation as to why that is the wrong term) bold those you've seen:
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
  • Akira
  • Alien
  • Aliens
  • Alphaville
  • Back to the Future
  • Blade Runner
  • Brazil
  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • Brother From Another Planet
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Contact
  • The Damned
  • Destination Moon
  • The Day The Earth Stood Still
  • Delicatessen
  • Escape From New York
  • ET: The Extraterrestrial
  • Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
  • The Fly (1985 version)
  • Forbidden Planet
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Gojira/Godzilla
  • The Incredibles
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
  • Jurassic Park
  • Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
  • The Matrix
  • Metropolis
  • On the Beach
  • Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
  • Robocop
  • Sleeper
  • Solaris (1972 version)
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Stepford Wives
  • Superman
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  • The Thing From Another World
  • Things to Come
  • Tron
  • 12 Monkeys
  • 28 Days Later
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • La Voyage Dans la Lune
  • War of the Worlds (1953 version)
I actually have seen a couple more than PZ Muorcz! I totally rock!

Guess what? The world isn't going to hell

It's a common riff - things are worse than they used to be. Back when I was a lad, sometime in the late Jurassic, you got a better class of nostalgia, but you also had more wars, more destructively, and more internationally, according to a report by Professor Andrew Mack of the Human Security Centre at the University of British Columbia. The report can be viewed here. It seems that since the end of the Cold War, there has been an unprecedented decline in war and deaths from war.

What about Rwanda, Chechnja, and Africa, I hear you say? Well, they are reported on by the media incessantly, and rightly so, but in terms of numbers, this is the best time in modern history ever. If you are constantly worried, don't watch the TV news or read newspapers. It seems that the media's desire for drama and crisis overloads our ability to see the world as it really is.

One interesting point is that the UN has been remarkably effective in preventing the continuation or resurgence of wars, contrary to neocon dogma. If the US would only pay its dues at the UN, it could perhaps be even more effective. Or is that contrary to the US's own perceived interests? Cynic that I am, I suspect this might be the case. Or at any rate, the interests of those lobby groups in the military and industry that make the US the best next candidate for invasion to install democracy.

After all, we know they have WMDs...