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Decipher SciFi

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Decipher SciFi explores the how and why in science fiction with conversations about technology, humanity, and the future. This is not a review show, nor will you see much criticism or snark. It is a rationally optimistic look, through film, at where society and technology are and where they are headed. Also, butts.

Decipher SciFi explores the how and why in science fiction with conversations about technology, humanity, and the future. This is not a review show, nor will you see much criticism or snark. It is a rationally optimistic look, through film, at where society and technology are and where they are headed. Also, butts.
More Information

Location:

Princeton, NJ

Description:

Decipher SciFi explores the how and why in science fiction with conversations about technology, humanity, and the future. This is not a review show, nor will you see much criticism or snark. It is a rationally optimistic look, through film, at where society and technology are and where they are headed. Also, butts.

Language:

English


Episodes

Species: alien bio-containment, the Arecibo message, and Von Neumann trolls

9/17/2019
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Species Wow there some really good movies in 1995! Geiger alien designs. Not “Alien,” but “alien.” This time, with nipples. Ptosis Forrest Whitaker. Chris’s history of eyelid laziness variability. Being either a dolphin or a flamingo. Eye farts? The Arecibo Message The limited utility of sending messages to aliens 25,000 light years away. The Arecibo […] The post Species: alien bio-containment, the Arecibo message, and Von Neumann trolls appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:30:33

Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines: hacking cars and supercomputing Skynet FLOPS w/ Joe Ruppel

9/10/2019
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Meta James Cameron blank checks and record-breaking budgets and payouts. Arnold Getting re-jacked to your original shape at 56 years old. Screening your movie at Saddam’s palace. Terminators The broadness of the term “nanotechnology.” Upgrading your liquid-metal nanotechss32 robots. Data Collection Placing this movie in the data collection timeline: after the dawn of big data […] The post Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines: hacking cars and supercomputing Skynet FLOPS w/ Joe Ruppel appeared...

Duration:00:43:59

On Decipher History: The Last Samurai w/ Isaac Meyer

9/3/2019
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A small taste of our new episode of Decipher History to remind you to subscribe to the new show. This week featuring our new friend Isaac Meyer from The History of Japan Podcast! New episode: The Last Samurai: Bushido, European influence, and howizters w/ Isaac Meyer Subscribe!: Decipher History The post On Decipher History: The Last Samurai w/ Isaac Meyer appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:03:26

Roundtable: Colossus The Forbin Project w/ Chris Noessel, Damien Williams, and Jonathon Korman

8/27/2019
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At the table: Jonathan Korman: Twitter Chris Noessel: Twitter | Sci-fi Interfaces Damien Williams: Twitter | A Future Worth Thinking About Weirdly prescient and quietly influential AI portrayal in film. Recognizing 2001: A Space Odyssey. Command and control. Unintended consequences. Personal movie connections and impact decades before Bostrom’s Superintelligence. Game of Thrones??? 70s scifi cynicism. […] The post Roundtable: Colossus The Forbin Project w/ Chris Noessel, Damien Williams,...

Duration:01:09:03

Terminator 2: advanced puppetry, Skynet, and liquid nitrogen handling w/ Joe Ruppel

8/20/2019
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People Love and appreciation for the humans involved. James Cameron is amazing. Arnold, always our favorite. Linda Hamilton playing one of the most iconic characters in film. Robert Patrick doing the robot. James Cameron doing everything himself. VFX VFX and CG and the high shot counts for the time. The expense of CG and the […] The post Terminator 2: advanced puppetry, Skynet, and liquid nitrogen handling w/ Joe Ruppel appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:51:50

Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse: particle colliders, art, and magnetic monopolies w/ Adrian Falcone

8/13/2019
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Featuring guest co-host Adrian Falcone (@AdrianBFalcone), internet nerd Colliders Particle collider scales. Increasing energies. Finding the Higgs Boson. Different ways of smashing things. Straight colliders, ring colliders, and rings so large they kinda seem straight at a certain scale. Adrian’s new area of expertise. “Natural experiments” in particle physics. Imagining future colliders and subsequent discoveries. […] The post Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse: particle colliders, art, and...

Duration:00:37:41

The Terminator: bootstrapping, machine uprising, and time traveling meatballs

8/6/2019
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People James Cameron’s first film! And Arnold is amazing! The possibility of casting O.J. Simpson as the T-100. Harlan Ellison lawsuit. Robots The thawing of the AI winter of the 70s. Robots finally showing up in our lives and in the workplace. Terminator bootstrapping. Robotics and machine learning. Skynet The possibility of AI becoming “self-aware” […] The post The Terminator: bootstrapping, machine uprising, and time traveling meatballs appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:42:46

Lockout: plagiarism, space shuttle design, and how to skydive… from space!

7/30/2019
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Plagiarism John Carpenter, this movie, and Escape from New York plagiarism. Metal Gear Solid also as an Escape ripoff. Running popular media through a “Hideo Kojima filter” to see what comes out. Space Shuttles Side-mounting your spacecraft. Flying a brick. Deorbiting and landing in the space shuttle’s “orbiter.” Wiggle-worm descent. Having only one chance because […] The post Lockout: plagiarism, space shuttle design, and how to skydive… from space! appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:31:40

Rocky IV: sports science, brain injury, and horsepower punches

7/23/2019
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Forces Height and reach advantage and impossible momentary punching force. Punching with horsepower vs just straight up hitting people with horses. ‘Murrica James Brown and showboat Apollo. The Khaleesi naming scheme. Sports Science The rising tide of money in sports. The “big bang of body types.” Steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. Brain Injury The particular […] The post Rocky IV: sports science, brain injury, and horsepower punches appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:30:02

First Man: moon rocks, moon lasers, and the edge of space

7/16/2019
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One Small Step Worrying the minimum amount about your speech. The difficulty of quoting noisy radio transmissions. Because it is haaaahd Recognizing the small temporal distance from the first powered flight to the first moon landing. The cutting edge of the early space program. Test piloting. Gemini. The edge of space Defining the edge of […] The post First Man: moon rocks, moon lasers, and the edge of space appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:41:52

Alita Battle Angel: cybernetic cyborgs, photorealistic cg, and sports plus immortality

7/9/2019
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Alita “The movie with the cyborgs and the kicking and the punching.” There are two kinds of film: people in a room talking and people in a room kicking and punching. Robert Rodriguez lands firmly within only one of these groups. Accidentally fitting Alita into the Robocop universe. Shooting and punching people in their robo-bits. […] The post Alita Battle Angel: cybernetic cyborgs, photorealistic cg, and sports plus immortality appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:34:00

Reign of Fire: types of dragons, animals that hibernate, and the Purkinje effect

7/2/2019
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‘Murrica Jacked Christian Bale, Scottish Gerard Butler, and brash American hero Matthew McConaughey. Fighting a dragon with an axe. Appreciating the brash American caricature. Dragons Dragon VFX. Drawing the line from here to Game of Thrones. Animals that use a spray attack (or defense). Skunks, ants, horned lizard, snakes, even bombardier beetles and their boiling […] The post Reign of Fire: types of dragons, animals that hibernate, and the Purkinje effect appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:30:22

Battlestar Galactica: curse words linguistics, formal code verification, and robo Jesus

6/25/2019
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Review Battlestar was so good! The importance of Ronald D Moore’s work on Deep Space Nine. The genesis of the “gritty” scifi drama juxtaposed against Star Trek’s utopia. Judging the best scifi captains: Adama? Picard? Frak! The difficulties with “frak.” “Fraking” vs “fracking.” Changes of spelling. Designing the curse words of scifi futures. Appreciating Nick […] The post Battlestar Galactica: curse words linguistics, formal code verification, and robo Jesus appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:33:50

Black Mirror Season 5: dishwashers, sex stuff, and brain image reconstruction

6/18/2019
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Striking Vipers Human sexuality The bright and exciting future of who does what with whom and how. Polar bears. How we might have handles this VR technology as teenagers. Gaming Nostalgia for days-long gaming binges with Doritos and Easy Cheese. Ubiquitous full-spectrum VR experience. Neural mapping. Popular physics plugins , game engines, and the possibility […] The post Black Mirror Season 5: dishwashers, sex stuff, and brain image reconstruction appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:37:48

300: professional soldiers, the Spartan Mirage, and expert poking w/ Josh Effengee

6/11/2019
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Featuring guest co-host Josh from LSG Media This film Zach Snyder’s strengths in creating comic book panels on film. Slo-mo blood spatter. Abs and glistening man-meat. Western civilization Ancient Greece and “western civilization.” The birth of “democracy” in nearby Athens. Juxtaposing your historical culture with the “other.” Like George Washington crossing the Delaware but with […] The post 300: professional soldiers, the Spartan Mirage, and expert poking w/ Josh Effengee appeared first...

Duration:01:09:57

Automata: desertification, solar storms, and messing with Asimov

6/4/2019
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Robot laws Asimov’s laws as a storytelling device and what you get when you alter the formula. “Humans are the true robots.” Automata The difference between “automata” and “robots.” Ancient Greek, Arab, and medieval church automata. Automata and robots making humans realize we need to explain what makes us special. Realizing that, on the whole, […] The post Automata: desertification, solar storms, and messing with Asimov appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:30:38

Star Trek IV – The Journey Home: whale margarine, transparent aluminum, and time travel

5/28/2019
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Star Trek Best Star Trek movies. Liking things because they are familiar. The odd-even Star Trek movie rule. Mathematical proofs. Dismissing the reboots. Cosmic horror Giant cylinders and plumbuses. Finding out you are as an ant in the universe. Spreading across space and building giant robot suits to fight the larger incomprehensible creatures. Time travel […] The post Star Trek IV – The Journey Home: whale margarine, transparent aluminum, and time travel appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:47:30

Apocalypto: sacrificial practices, temples, and Mayan writing and math

5/21/2019
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Criticisms and controversy So yeah, Mel Gibson is bad. But then the movies are… really good? Trying to get past his framing. The tug of war between historical accuracy and entertainment. Anthropological criticism. Deciphering history The problem with burning nearly the entire written history of a people. Deciphering scant ancient texts. The remaining resources: art, […] The post Apocalypto: sacrificial practices, temples, and Mayan writing and math appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:42:24

Game of Thrones: medieval weaponry, variable winters, and final-season anxiety

5/14/2019
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The books Appreciating GRRM. And appreciating him double and triple as the show goes on. The setting The middle ages. The “dark ages” and how much is that a misnomer? Magic and dragons stagnating technological progress. Volcanoes beat dragons in rock-paper-scissors. Air force exclusivity. Ancient artillery. Ballistae and Scorpions and the peak of human weaponry […] The post Game of Thrones: medieval weaponry, variable winters, and final-season anxiety appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:33:42

Questions & Addenda #5: fermenting your pee, cute aggression, and centricities

5/7/2019
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We got so much feedback over time from supporter Jeremy that we’re dedicating a whole Questions & Addenda episode to covering them. Just like that one time. Star Wars: The Last Jedi [episode page] Guerilla space warfare. The Star Wars Geneva Convention. Chinese gun powder weaponization. Resources and impoetus in the development of killing […] The post Questions & Addenda #5: fermenting your pee, cute aggression, and centricities appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:37:00