Open Thread for August 5, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Watch the Throne, Man of Steel and other news from the week of August 5th.

You can recycle this Open Thread, provided you remove all staples and original packaging, at most reclamation centers.

First, critics seem to be warming to the remake of the prequel to the sequel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. We saw our first preview pics of Henry Cavill as Superman, as well as rumors that Laurence Fishburne will play Perry White.

Don't slouch, Clark.

The hype continues to build around the Jay-Z / Kanye West album Watch the Throne. And something’s happening on “The Bachelorette.” Or something happened. Sorry, can’t even bother Googling.

(OMG Ashley got engaged to J.P.!!!!! ^_^ :-D OMG)

Comment of the Week goes to Brian on What Technology Wants in Battlestar Galactica:

I just rushed through “Straw Dogs” by John Gray in order to comment further on this article and it addresses this point straight on. Gray says that people who object to strong AI consciousness do so because it affronts their human superiority to control it. So, a point against Turkle. Also that AI will develop beyond human capabilities and also a soul or spirit of it’s own, but also develop it’s own illusions and errors that are an inevitable part of self-awareness.

He pretty much says that animism is the cure for this fear- not to stop AI but to accept it, and to drop a lot of other techno-progressive illusions of immortality. He says there’s always going to be war of scarce resources and whatnot. But these utopian ideals based on the faith that technological progress will change human nature for the better are dangerous too, they’re not a cure for human nature, there isn’t one. He mentions that “all science can do is give a new twist to the normal madness.”

He also says that some of science’s gifts are not mixed blessings, like clean water and medicine, so he’s not a Hippie nut job. Just that we can’t keep expecting science to control “fate and chance” or nature. The book was written in 2002 and it seems to line up really well with BSG and Caprica thematically, it wouldn’t surprise me if it served as some inspiration, though it’s not the only way to come about the same ideas.

And there’s more! He keeps going! If you want websites where we get into discussions about AI consciousness in the comments, there’s us and Slashdot.


Which fictional avatar of YHWH, super-intelligent ape, rap superstar, reality show bride or world leader would you like to wish a happy birthday to? Or is there something we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.

11 Comments on “Open Thread for August 5, 2011”

    • Gab #

      Oh God, I saw that this morning and nearly fell over from delight. She’s totally riding the Batcycle.


    • Brian #

      Catwoman being all tactical gadgetry and stuff is way cooler, I haven’t read the comics so not sure what that version of her character is like. But Anne Hathaway is hot even sporting old person sunglasses with led keychains glued on. I hope Catwoman’s Dark Knight civilian imitators are old people with decked out motorized scooters. If it isn’t the world of fanfic will right that injustice, and that justice will be 100% UV protective, fit over your regular glasses, and merciless.


  1. Trevor #

    With all the reboots lately, I wonder if the age-old complaint that Hollywood is running out of ideas is even relevant anymore, or has become a cliche. Sure, it’s a little disconcerting to see “Spider-Man” being rebooted after the past three movies only came out in the last decade (usually Hollywood at least waits a while, like forty years with “The Producers” or thirty with the new “Thing” movie), but the third movie left such a bitter taste in most moviegoer’s mouths that a reboot almost has to happen in order to make up for what came before. I don’t really have a complete thought about that, I just figured it could be discussed.

    That being said, the idea of “Teen Wolf” (Eighties Michael J. Fox movie) being recast as “Teen Wolf”( Twilight-wannabe MTV series) seems to be the absolute nadir of rebooting.


    • Lee OTI Staff #

      There’s definitely validity to the complaint that Hollywood is running out of original ideas, but perhaps this is inevitable and we should just embrace the fact that there are only so many variations that can be made to the typical plot tropes that make compelling stories (boy meets girl, hero’s journey, etc.). I think Fenzel takes this stance when he advocates for more remakes along the lines of how the same plays are re-produced time and time again. So basically, when “Spider-Man” gets redone, we should in some ways see that as X theater company’s take on “Hamlet” or “Julius Caesar” and we should be interested in how they uniquely interpret a familiar story.

      I’ll let him flesh out the argument in favor of this, rather than put words in his mouth.

      [turns on huge light that projects “PF” into the sky]


    • Johann #

      I think the “idealessness” is part of the Zeitgeist. Pretty much since 9/11, we are living in an age of crisis and uncertainty, maybe right now even more than at the beginning of the milennium. And we all now that such anxiety is a creativity killer. Creative people and audiences alike will favor the known and somewhat predictable over the totally fresh stuff. I would bet that during the mostly safe 90s, the rate of prequels, sequels and remakes was much lower. Hasn’t someone done an OTI analysis on this already?


      • Trevor #

        There weren’t as many reboots in the Nineties per se, but there was a spate of Shakespeare “reimaginings” that went from more orthodox versions of the old tales (anything with Kenneth Branagh was pretty faithful to the original text) to totally out-there but still recognizable (Romeo+Juliet) to the teen comedy version (10 Things I Hate About You). At least in those instances, a distance of about three hundred years seperated the original from the remake. But, as I tried to say with the Spider-Man reboots, the itchy trigger finger in Hollywood seems to be spreading when it comes to greenlighting reboots of films that aren’t that removed from the public memory. Perhaps the new Spidey will reinvigorate the genre, but I fear it might be steering into James Bond territory in the sense that, every few years, a new guy comes into the role and we as an audience are asked to accept it almost at face value.


  2. Paul #

    Hey, I’m trying to find the podcasts where you talk about your skype problems and reverting to the previous version. When I try to search, I keep getting a 403 error saying ‘Your client does not have permission to get URL…’ Is this because I’m using Opera? Not that it matters much.

    Can you point me to the relevant podcast episodes? A friend is having problems recording his podcast using skype and I wanted to get him whatever info I could.


  3. Wyatt #

    I’ll bet Marvel is really embarrassed now that they put Owebama in a Spider-Man comic. I would be.


Add a Comment