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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

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

Avengers Endgame: Appreciating the enormity of the MCU

4/30/2019
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A review Spoiler alert: we liked this movie Phase 1 Appreciating the establishment of the characters of Iron Man and Captain America. That grenade scene. Joss Whedon writing and directing teams of characters learning to work together. Realizing the first movie in the MCU came out in 2008. Realizing just how long ago 2008 was. […] The post Avengers Endgame: Appreciating the enormity of the MCU appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:38:40

After Earth: pheromones, murder-birds, and language evolution

4/23/2019
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This movie Not well reviewed. Will Smith’s “painful failure.” The real twist is the lack of explanation for things. Jaden Smith wisdom. Accent and language The future “language” in the film. The difference between accent and dialect. how languages change over time, by example. Trying to understand original spoken Shakespeare and generally succeeding. Trying to […] The post After Earth: pheromones, murder-birds, and language evolution appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:42:18

Back to the Future Part II: time travel options, retro futurism, and hip thrust combat w/ Daniel Barker

4/16/2019
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Likenesses The legal precedent set by Crispin Glover’s lawsuit against the production; folks are more careful these days as a result. “Grandma Tarkin.” Rick & Morty Rick & Morty’s original short lampooning Doc & Marty. The future The fun, friendly future where the alleyways are safer than the streets. Worrying about your future children and […] The post Back to the Future Part II: time travel options, retro futurism, and hip thrust combat w/ Daniel Barker appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:52:57

Them!: nuclear optimism, amateur myrmecology, and Wilhelm-screaming w/ Joe Ruppel

4/9/2019
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Featuring guest co-host Joe Ruppel, history nerd Rise of the nuclear monsters The era of nuclear nervousness and the nuclear monsters in cinema. “Take an object, and biggify it.” Nuclear power in the 1950s. The possibility of “unmetered” energy. White Sands, gypsum, and the Trinity test. Nuclear optimism The nuclear success hit list and the […] The post Them!: nuclear optimism, amateur myrmecology, and Wilhelm-screaming w/ Joe Ruppel appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:42:35

Aquaman: cetaceans, riding sea animals, and the bends

4/2/2019
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DCEU Aquaman as a sign of possibility the of interesting things going forward in the DC Extended Universe. Sexy Jason Mamoa. Underwater Superman. Atlantis Unlimited power when everyone else thought the world was flat. Appreciating the innovation that was realizing the Earth was mostly spherical. Ancient Greek steam turbans. Eating raw fish and seaweed. the […] The post Aquaman: cetaceans, riding sea animals, and the bends appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:35:15

The Matrix: green phosphors, neuroplasticity, and rejecting utopia w/ Adrian Falcone

3/26/2019
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Featuring guest co-host Adrian Falcone This movie is awesome It is! And also we’re old. But honestly this is still unironically the best thing. The legacy of the Matrix. Falling back in love with the Wachowskis. Addressing the sequels. Cyberpunk The Matrix as cyberpunk. Comparing against other touchstones. Philip K Dick. William Gibson’s review from […] The post The Matrix: green phosphors, neuroplasticity, and rejecting utopia w/ Adrian Falcone appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:55:17

Atlantis: the Silurian hypothesis, ancient language, and updating the drake equation

3/19/2019
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Myth and history Getting past the nonsense. The reasonable idea that civilizations have in fact existed and then fallen, without notice by modern study. Rocking Like a Hurricane in the B.C. era. Human history irl Humanity circa 10,000 years ago. The beginnings of civilization. Early agriculture. Making beer and eventually bread. How not to make […] The post Atlantis: the Silurian hypothesis, ancient language, and updating the drake equation appeared first on Decipher SciFi.

Duration:00:33:41

Prospect: sleep rhythm, amputation, and meat-sack organic gemstones

3/12/2019
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Indie scifi Impressive shoestring productions. Remembering Moon. Lived-in duct-tape science fiction. Sleep cycles Circadian rhythms. Setting our clocks by light exposure. Light exposure and activity levels. Wearing your sunglasses at night. Different varieties of blindness and sleep rhythms. Retinal sensitivity to light. Space prospectin’ Alien meat-testicle gems. Personal testicular security systems. Organic gemstones. Pearl production. […] The post Prospect: sleep rhythm, amputation, and...

Duration:00:32:57