Alfred Urrutia (ledzep@d2.com)
Fri, 01 Sep 2000 18:03:53 -0700


BlazeEagle@aol.com wrote:

>
> To me, the point of having hands/claws, is to make the robot multi purpose,
> I.E., hold a rifle and a shield, hold a bridge up for repairs or during
> construction, help build a building, etc.
>

Sure, that makes sense. But, like I was thinking, it depends on what you want
it to do. If you want a true all-purpose machine to take the place of a lot of
other machines then, ya, make it modular as possible, give it limbs, etc. But
if you want it to do a couple different things only then the design can become
more specific.

>
> My point is, it's pretty silly to except something like a giant robot
> anime, to be as realistic as possible. Yes, it should be believable, but if
> science-fiction was super, hard-core realistic, then it would so steeped in
> science fact, that there would be little room for fiction. Story tellers can
> and will take liberties to make their story interesting, especially in
> something that's science fiction.
>

Two hard science fiction movies come to mind. "2001" and "The Andromeda
Strain". Both were "real" as hell, the only liberties, really being the future
scenario itself. They're both entertaining and they're both not so steeped in
science fact as to be unwatchable. They're also rare. It's hard to pull that
off right, as shown by so many horribly science-inaccurate movies like
"Armageddon" and "Star Wars". The effort usually isn't worth it. But there are
sci-fi fans, like me, who like to imagine that their favorite movie/TV show
could actually exist in reality. Now, the more science accurate the science
fiction, the easier to accept the many plot devices and gear and the more
enjoyable to imagine. Gundam isn't that far off if you exclude the mecha
themselves, and they're not *too* insane. The space colonies, the shuttles, the
weapons, all of them are things I can see happening. A Z-Plus going full
vertical in the clouds seems reasonable. So, I agree that it's silly to
*expect* a giant robot anime to be realistic, but not silly to *want* it to be,
especially since it can be.

>
> Science-fiction is the realm of imagination, it's usually based somewhat in
> fact, but not totally. I think some people expect too much out of science
> fiction. Yes, there's probably science fantasy as well, I think Dunbine is
> science fantasy, from the little I've been able to find about it, in English.
>

Depends on your flavor of sci-fi. Hard science fiction is usually an
extrapolation of something that exists now or the taking of a theory as fact.
That's my favorite type, the 2001s of the genre. They're the most entertaining
to me because they are the most believable, I can really see myself living long
enough for those things to happen. And they're great for refuting someone's
assertion that it's sci-fi so it would never happen. "Didn't you read the
Discover magazine 2 months ago? They were talking about just such a discovery
in the lab. They say it could be practical within 10 years". "Oh, well
reading sci-fi is still dumb." "Try 'incomprehensible', ape."

Alfred.

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