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Film Studies 101
Feature
We're All Living In A Sci-Fi Movie
Current scientific research shows that the present is the future…

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We're All Living In A Sci-Fi Movie | Psychohistory
Psychohistory

As (not yet) seen in: Foundation

What’s The Science? Isaac Asimov invented 'psychohistory' in his Foundation series, describing it as a mathematical model capable of predicting the course of human civilisation. While not able to predict the actions of individual human beings, it could predict big events – in particular, the downfall of a galactic empire into millennia of barbarism. The creation of the Foundation was designed to safeguard civilisation during this time and shorten the interregnum. But enough sci-fi! Back here in the real world, the Nautilus SGI supercomputer crunched 100 million news articles, analysing mood and location to assess events worldwide, and is said to have predicted the Arab Spring and even picked up clues to Osama Bin Laden’s hiding place better than US government intelligence. Read more here, via this link

So how long until we see practical results? So far, the analysis has been used retroactively and has picked up on events on such a large scale that it is sometimes indistinct. It will take a while, and more supercomputer time, to see if it can spot things reliably in advance and prove its real-world usefulness. Once it can ferret out a country’s mood reliably and bring us news of big changes, all it needs is a taste for martinis and an insatiable libido and we can retire James Bond for good.

Which films might this change? You could build any number of political thrillers around it and lots of scary, oppressive government dystopias. And hey! If the oft-mooted Foundation film ever happens, it could even be set more-or-less in the present day instead of in a future galactic civilisation. Last we heard, in 2009, Roland Emmerich had it; let’s hope he’s paying attention.

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Your Comments

1 nah!!!
If that's true, where's my Milenium Falcon? More

Posted by danielthompson99 on Sunday November 13, 2011, 00:22

2 Exoskeleton suit!
How about an Ironman or Aliens-loader-esque exoskeleton suit? Yo Ripley, check it out. We've got knives, sharp sticks, exoskeleton suits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hkCcoenLW4 and http://exoskeletonsuit.net/ More

Posted by Mezla on Friday November 11, 2011, 13:13

3 Great article...
"The potential for scaring away all your friends and romantic interests is HUGE." That made me laugh hugely. Which, now I think about it, makes me a little sad... The Michel Gondry comment was also very amusing. As I said, great article, it's stuff like this that makes me a regular visitor here. Hey, it beats working...! More

Posted by drawmyfoot on Thursday November 10, 2011, 15:57

4 I'm gonna sound like such a geek but...
I'm suprised the ipad hasn't had a mention, we see sci-fi films with these funny plastic boards with the cast pretending it has information on it, now look it's actually real. ...Maybe Rodenberry was onto something after all! More

Posted by Sphinx on Wednesday November 9, 2011, 20:00

5 RE: Star Wars Tractor Beam
Helen, how could I have forgotten that scene, I stand corrected. More

Posted by dholleyuk on Wednesday November 9, 2011, 16:17

6 RE: Star Wars Tractor Beam
L: dholleyuk Apart from the following little issue, great artical, interesting to see where we are now and the next steps we may take! You guys at Empire really do love Star Wars a little too much. The "tractor beam" term was used in Star Trek between 1966 - 1969 TV show. Mr "need to make more money" Lucas coined the phrase 15 years late, but Empire, we never got to see it, just hear the words "prepare the tractor beam" hank you! But we do see a tractor beam used: that's what pulls the Millenium Falcon into the Death Star in Star Wars. Obi-Wan has to go disable it. I did mention Star Trek, and the only reason we got a pic of Star Wars is that Amar found better ones floating about. I think we can all agree that Trek did most sci-fi things first, or at least popularised most sci-fi things first, but it's harder to get pics from TV. More

Posted by Helen OHara on Wednesday November 9, 2011, 15:36

7 Hover Travel
" it’s still three years until 2115" Wow, that was some long Hypersleep I must have been in for the last 100 years. More

Posted by pollytechnic on Wednesday November 9, 2011, 13:56

8 Star Wars Tractor Beam
Apart from the following little issue, great artical, interesting to see where we are now and the next steps we may take! You guys at Empire really do love Star Wars a little too much. The "tractor beam" term was used in Star Trek between 1966 - 1969 TV show. Mr "need to make more money" Lucas coined the phrase 15 years late, but Empire, we never got to see it, just hear the words "prepare the tractor beam" More

Posted by dholleyuk on Wednesday November 9, 2011, 13:15


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