say nope to tropes
happy new years! sober up, and let’s dive into it.
saw a movie recently, lucy (2014). not great. but it gave me an idea for a new post. i thought i would throw out some of the well worn sci fi tropes, and we could all have a laugh. i’m probably guilty of some of em, but here’s the ones i find most obvious. add to the list, if you feel the urge. in no particular order things that irritate even the most passive nerd….
learning a language in a day. this one drives me nuts. ok, so you want you character to seem super smart. fine, but an evening of watching tv, or a few moments of the flickering of a monitor with internet access is not enough to imply that a person learned an entire language, nuances and all, between scenes. ok, there’s an exemption from the rule….. if it’s an AI, i think we can believe someone downloaded something. but a meat person watching sitcoms is gonna be at it for a while before they can talk pretty like me.
people seeing data flying in front of them. i get it, you want to show your character ‘gets it’ on a fundamental level, and maybe at first it seemed cool, but as time goes on, this seems like a lazy use of vfx. in the matrix, is was part of the style. and it should have stopped there, imo.
consciousness uploading. this is one of my least favourites and has always bugged the bejesus out of me. congratulations, you’ve built a device that can somehow read brains like fortune cookies. huge accomplishment. say you even built a computer that can store them, and remodel a brain out of the results. aside from the fact that this is not enough to create a model of a brain from, it’s not the same thing as the person you ‘downloaded’ them from. and even if it was, it’s just a copy. so, why do we see this as some sort of sci fi way to cheat death, and achieve immortality? a copy of my brain is no more my soul than a jpg photo is my body. it’s lazy. the exception is the black mirror episode ‘white christmas’.
intelligence drugs. this one is one the edge, cause i kinda think it could happen. you pop a pill, cut to a montage of particles exploding around brain cells, and you can pass the big exam. i mean, if you were paying attention in class in the least. what makes less sense is you pop a different pill, and suddenly you know things you didn’t know in the first place, and maybe you can even manipulate matter a little. turn invisible? basically, scifi drugs make you a jedi. and maybe that’s cause we haven’t come up with stuff cooler than jedis lately.
overuse of wormholes. i know this isn’t a fake one, that the theory of wormholes is out there, and quite possible. but if i see one more ‘science guy’ dumb it down for someone on the marine crew by pushing a pencil through a piece of paper, i’m gonna lose it.
soon, i’m gonna make buttons of these, and send them to my fans as a little ‘thanks’ . patreon patrons will get first bite, then eventually up for sale, but like, super cheap. putting a toe in on this whole ‘consumerism’ thing. come on, support a fella!