When astronomers in 2006 declared that Pluto was no longer a planet, the world gasped — and then obeyed. School textbooks were re-written, and scientific discovery ruled the day. Then this week, a Minnesota astronomy professor took on something even more sacred — our horoscopes. The astrological calendar was all wrong, he said in public comments that set the Internet aflame. Leading astrologers, after getting their collective bearings, were unified and defiant in their response: Not this time, Science. “It holds no water,” said South Florida’s self described “master astrologer” Jeffrey Brock. Brock said it was a “completely unfounded” attempt by scientists to discredit astrology, which they’d never been fond of to begin with. Proclaimed Miami astrologer Ron Archer: “Mythology is always true.”
The shiny happy futurism of the 1950s gave way to much darker predictions for humanity in the 1970s. With energy crises, fears of terrorism and skyrocketing unemployment, it’s really no wonder that Americans of the 1970s were often pessimistic about the future. Out of this dread, the apocsploitation film was born. Movies like Future Shock and The Late Great Planet Earth served up apocalyptic visions of the American future, both secular and religious. The second episode of paleofuture.tv looks at the doomsday documentary films of this era, which strangely enough all seemed to be hosted by Orson Welles. The production values in this episode still leave much to be desired, but I hope you enjoy it!
Something that the almost inscrutable science-fiction film Primer does quite well is to paint enough of the contours of its science and technology to give the viewer the sense that *something is going on that should make perfectly good sense..if I was only a bit more techo-literate in the arcane minutia of quantum mechanics, time travel and so on. Early on we see the DIY garage tinkerers/hackers/engineers working on a proof-of-concept of…something. They’re in their *garage, and that’s where weird, misunderstood, works-of-passion happen, at least in the American suburbs _ like garage bands, garage science is populated in the cultural imaginary as where real, dyed-in-the-wool innovation happens. (Much like the time-travel science/design-fiction in How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe, as it turns out.)
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