I know many poor souls who would rather do housework or sleep than watch an episode of Star Trek or Defiance. But they’re still my friends.
I suspect that my love for science fiction is embedded in my belief in the value that it adds to human existence.
Encouraging, creating and embracing change
The human species encountering change, whether it arrives via scientific discoveries, technological innovations, natural events, or societal shifts.
Ideas and philosophy, answering questions such as, “What if?” or “If this goes on…,”
Asking the next question, and then the one after that. Seeking to understand how we know things – ontological, metaphysical, or cosmological.
It is concerned with all of us rather than individuals, and with how we got to be what we are, and what we might become.
The multi– and interdisciplinary approach; exploring core values of diverse fields.
Provides an approach to understanding the universe we live in. It provides the tools, tropes, and cognitive framework within which we can explore ideas and safely run thought-experiments where we cannot or ought not in real-world experiments.
By dramatizing such scenarios, populating them with believable characters, and providing the background necessary for the audience to willingly suspend disbelief, SF brings ideas to life.
Science fiction is a community of thinkers and creatives. It is a collaborative effort by people from creative fields; as well as experts in technical, scientific, and humanities fields… all coming together to better understand and share our individual visions of what it means to be human impacted by ever-accelerating change.
Science Fiction Movies & TV Shows
I don’t want to get into the argument of what is better: a film or a book? For the purposes of this article let’s assume that a science fiction movie or tv episode:
- portrays the story in sufficient detail
- provides us with the freedom to imagine the linkages in the background
- gives us the ability to watch it and take it in at our own pace
- let’s us enjoy it in our chosen environment
- does not require special viewing equipment
- any other reasons people put forward as to why books are better.
Put yourself anywhere, anytime viewing a SciFi film and when you are enjoying yourself it’s probably because of one or more of these reasons:
Visual Stimulus & Eye Candy
Seeing what is possible on the screen offers instant understanding. There is no interpretation needed. We all have the same opportunity to see the same things.
What we each actually see depends of course on our unique psychological filters that prioritise the inputs.
- The sexy actor on the right may distract us from the interesting but ugly alien on the screen.
- If we are watching it on a large screen, IMAX or from a weird angle in the cinema/living room, we might not have the chance to rubber-neck the whole screen.
- If there’s so much detail, we might need to watch a movie more than once to pick up on different elements.
- We might also perceive the messages differently a second or third time. How many times do you have to watch Inception to understand?
What we take away from a movie can also be distorted.
- Spoilers before a movie may colour your thoughts and views.
- Reviews and critiques after a movie may cause you to question your understanding of the message or give you regrets that you didn’t see or hear or understand ‘that bit’.
- Distractions during a movie may remove elements of understanding altogether.
The models and other visual effects are often astounding. Even the man-made earlier models in Blakes 7 still offer the viewer to opportunity to be there. Add CGI, 3D and all the other tricks and techniques as we can nearly believe we are in the movie. Escapism. Love it!
- Did you know that Blakes 7 is being rebooted?
- You can watch all of the Blakes 7 episodes on YouTube.
- Read more about it on IMDd.
Enjoying the sounds
Soundtracks bring tears and put goosebumps in all the right places. My all-time favourite composer is Bear McCreary – creator of soundtracks for hits including:
10 Cloverfield Lane: watch behind the scenes how the orchestra is supplemented by amazing and unexpected sound-making devices.
Black Sails: see the hurdy gurdy in action
Outlander: (more Outlander music)
Da Vinci’s Demons: (more Da Vinci’s Demons music)
Battlestar Galactica & Caprica: (link to more BSG music)
More SciFi movie soundtracks – Sci-Fi playlists on YouTube.
Mental, Emotional, Spiritual Challenges
Today we have access to highly advanced technologies. But our social and economic system has not kept up with our technological capabilities that could easily create a world of abundance, free of servitude and debt.
We have the technology to build a global paradise on earth, and at the same time we have the power to end life as we know it. I am a futurist. I cannot predict the actual future–only what it can be if we manage the earth and its resources intelligently.
Working with drug addicts, alcoholics, and so-called juvenile delinquents in New York City convinced me that instead of working with individuals, more effective methods would deal with the societal conditions that create dysfunctional behaviours in the first place.
I didn’t want to teach my kid how to read, so I used to read to him at night and close the book at the most interesting part. He said, “What happened then, daddy?” I said, “If you learn to read, you can find out. I’m too tired to read. I’ll read to you tomorrow.” So, he had a need to want to learn how to read. Don’t teach children how to read. Don’t teach them mathematics. Give them a reason to want it. In school, they’re working ass-backwards.
Human behaviour is subject to the same laws as any other natural phenomenon. Our customs, behaviours, and values are byproducts of our culture. No one is born with greed, prejudice, bigotry, patriotism and hatred; these are all learned behaviour patterns. If the environment is unaltered, similar behaviour will reoccur.
Only when science and technology are used with human concern in a world in which all of the earth’s resources are held as the common heritage of all of the earth’s people can we truly say that there is intelligent life on Earth.
Future by Design (Official full length movie)
The Choice is Ours (Official full movie)
More Science Fiction Goodies
A list of great SciFi reads by Chris McKitterick ranging from Isaac Asimov to Roger Zelazny.
List of most popular Sci-Fi documentaries (via IMDb)
50 Brilliant Science Fiction movies you must see.