Star Trek Into Darkness was about as mediocre as I expected

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I expected Star Trek Into Darkness to be at least mildly enjoyable. And it was in fact mildly enjoyable. Unfortunately, it also ends up less being a movie than a series of action scenes strung together by references to Trek lore that will only make sense to fans. [Read more...]

Star Trek’s reactionary take on human enhancement

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Reading transhumaist fiction makes Star Trek look as reactionary as Lord of the Rings. All of Trek’s greatest villains are enhanced, while enhanced heroes are relegated to Token Orc status. [Read more...]

How unhappy are you about J. J. Abrams directing Star Wars?

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There seems to be some mild backlash over the announcement that J. J. Abrams will be directing the next Star Wars movie (example here). But did anyone else hear that and think “total disaster”? I wasn’t thinking that when I first heard about Disney buying the franchise. I was hoping for an enjoyable if unsatisfying on reflection movie like The [Read More...]

From the archives: Why so serious? Notes on the rise of seriousporn, with reflection on the human condition

I haven’t done a “From the archives” post in awhile, but decided to re-post this one (from March 2009) after seeing the movie poster for next year’s Star Trek movie–which is not only making an unsubtle attempt to announce itself as darker and edgier with the title “Into Darkness,” but also blatantly rips off The Dark Knight [Read More...]

In a non-futurismic world, human-level AI changes everything forever

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I just finished reading Cory Doctorow’s excellent essay collection Content, which included one essay that introduced me to a term I’d never heard before: “futurismic” (Doctorow talks as if the word was coined by someone else, though he doesn’t say who, and he seems to be the top search result using the word in his sense): [Read more...]

Richard Carrier and Luke Muehlhauser on time to superhuman AI

A few weeks ago my new boss, Luke Muehlhauser, did an AMA on Reddit. I highly recommend this post by Geek Dad for a full summary, but one thing that stuck out is when Luke said, “I have a pretty wide probability distribution over the year for the first creation of superhuman AI, with a [Read More...]


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