Is the Earth the right way up?

Child voice: Dad, the flat earthers are rioting again.
Child voice: Dad, they’ve clashed with a bunch of hollow earthers.
Child voice: Dad, there’s some upside-down earthers taunting both groups
Adult voice: Sigh, thanks Son. What’s everyone else doing?
Child voice: It’s a hot day, dad. Most of them are inside, sleeping.
Adult voice: And those that aren’t, son?
Child voice: Are under cover drinking and laughing.
Adult voice: Grand. Give me a mo, and I’ll make it all true.
Child voice: But won’t they all fall off, Dad?
Adult voice: That’s the point, Son. But some of the sane ones might survive.

Science and Rediscovery: the basic history of the scientific cults

The rise and fall of science

During the Space Anticipatory Age (the mid-20C to late-22C AD), humans maintained a widespread opinion that magic was a figment of historical imagination. Futurist and science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s third law stated that ‘any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,’ gaining a following of like-minded scientific imaginists. Similarly ignorant of the rule of threes, natural philosopher Isaac Newton’s third law states that ‘for every action force there is an equal and opposite reaction force.’ We can only speculate whether Newton was aware that his law held as true in the scientific field as it did in the magical field, as few natural philosophers distinguished between the two, and the majority of magical records have since been lost. It wasn’t until the 18C AD, with the advent of steam engines, that magic began to go out of fashion in the public sphere.

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Film: Spectral

Spectral-2016-232x323Spectral is a recently released movie in which a DARPA engineer is sent to a eastern-European conflict zone to investigate a new and deadly weapon system that is decimating special-ops troops. Set in the near future, it is not immediately clear that the story is science fiction rather than stock standard military fiction, and could easily have been a simple spec-ops mission movie. The sci-fi aspect is a nice twist away from that trope, providing a hook to hold even the most tired civilian mind – as I was when I saw it. Additionally, most, if not all, of the background scientific theories check out, and are introduced with enough focus of the facts to truly provide the feeling that the portrayed events might indeed, one day, happen.

I am writing this review, however, as in looking up the science, I chanced across a number of whining reviews that purely pissed me off. Many of these reviews derided the underlying tale as having been ripped off from other movies, so this is my response to those reviewers. Continue reading