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Nations of Nineteen Eighty-Four – Wikipedia, the free …

Posted: August 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia are the three fictional superstates in George Orwell’s futuristic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

The history of how the world evolved into these three states is vague. They appear to have emerged from nuclear warfare and civil dissolution over 20 years between 1945 (the end of the Second World War) and 1965. Eurasia was likely formed first, followed closely afterwards by Oceania, with Eastasia emerging a decade later, possibly in the 1960s.

Oceania is the superstate where protagonist Winston Smith dwells. It is believed to be composed of the Americas, the British Isles (called “Airstrip One” in the novel), Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, and southern Africa below the River Congo. It also controlsto different degrees and at various times during the course of its perpetual war with either Eurasia or Eastasiathe polar regions, India, Indonesia and the islands of the Pacific. Oceania lacks a single capital city, although London and apparently New York City may be regional capitals. In the novel, Emmanuel Goldstein, Oceania’s declared public enemy number one, describes it in the fictional book The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism as a result of the United States having absorbed the British Empire. Goldstein’s book also states that Oceania’s primary natural defense is the sea surrounding it.

The ruling doctrine of Oceania is Ingsoc, the Newspeak euphemism for English Socialism. Its nominal leader is Big Brother, believed by the masses to have been the leader of the revolution and still used as an icon by the party. The personality cult is maintained through Big Brother’s function as a focal point for love, fear, and reverence, more easily felt towards an individual than towards an organization.

The unofficial language of Oceania is English (officially called Oldspeak), and the official language is Newspeak. The restructuring of the language is intended to eliminate unorthodox political and social thought, by eliminating the words needed to express it.

The society of Oceania is sharply stratified into three groups: the small ruling Inner Party, the more numerous and highly indoctrinated Outer Party, and the large body of politically meaningless Proles. Except for certain rare exceptions like Hate Week, the proles remain essentially outside Oceania’s political control and are placated by trivial sports and other entertainment; the Thought Police easily manage any Prole socially aware enough to be a problem.

Oceania’s national anthem is Oceania, Tis For Thee which, in one of the three film versions of the book, takes the form of a crescendo of organ music along with operatic lyrics. The lyrics are sung in English, and the song is reminiscent of God Save the Queen and My Country ‘Tis of Thee.

Even the names of countries, and their shapes on the map, had been different. Airstrip One, for instance, had not been so called in those days: it had been called England, or Britain, though London, he felt fairly certain, had always been called London.[1]

Like Europe as a whole, Britain was hit by atomic weapons in the conflicts before the revolutions in Oceania and then elsewhere. One British town, Colchester, is referenced specifically as having been destroyed; flashbacks to Smith’s childhood also include scenes of Londoners taking refuge in the city’s underground transit tunnels in the midst of the bombing.

It is stated that Eurasia was formed when the Soviet Union annexed the rest of continental Europe, creating a single polity stretching from Portugal to the Bering Strait. Orwell frequently describes the face of the standard Eurasian as “mongolic” in the novel. The only soldiers other than Oceanians that appear in the novel are the Eurasians. When a large number of captured soldiers are executed in Victory Square, some Slavs are mentioned, but the stereotype of the Eurasian maintained by the Party is Mongoloid, like O’Brien’s servant, Martin. This implies that the Party uses racism to avert sympathy toward an enemy.

According to Goldstein’s book, Eurasia’s main natural defense is its vast territorial extent, while the ruling ideology of Eurasia is identified as “Neo-Bolshevism”, a variation of the Oceanian “Ingsoc”.

Eastasia’s borders are not as clearly defined as those of the other two superstates, but it is known that they encompass most of modern-day China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. Eastasia repeatedly captures and loses Indonesia, New Guinea, and the various Pacific archipelagos. Its political ideology is, according to the novel, “called by a Chinese name usually translated as Death-worship, but perhaps better rendered as ‘Obliteration of the Self'”. Orwell does not appear to have based this on any existing Chinese word or phrase.[2]

Not much information about Eastasia is given in the book. It is known that it is the newest and smallest of the three superstates. According to Goldstein’s book, it emerged a decade after the establishment of the other two superstates, placing it somewhere in the 1960s, after years of “confused fighting” among its predecessor nations. (At the time of writing, the victory of Mao Zedong’s Communists in the Chinese Civil War was not yet taken as a foregone conclusion. The Korean War had also not yet occurred, but Korea was already being administered by two competing governments. Japan was still under military occupation and, at least until shortly before Orwell completed the book, by several different powers. Power in the real life nations that make up the fictional Eastasia was, therefore, very much in flux.) It is also said in the book that the industriousness and fecundity of the people of Eastasia allows them to overcome their territorial inadequacy in comparison to the other two powers. At the time Orwell wrote the book, East Asians, including the Japanese, all had birth rates higher than those of Europeans.[citation needed]

The “disputed area”, which lies “between the frontiers of the super-states”, is “a rough quadrilateral with its corners at Tangier, Brazzaville, Darwin, and Hong Kong”.[3] This area is fought over during the perpetual war among the three great powers, with one power sometimes exerting control over vast swathes of the disputed territory, only to lose it again. The reason three super-countries seek to control this area is to harness the large population and vast resources within the region. Control of the islands in the Pacific and the polar regions is also constantly shifting, though none of the three superpowers ever gains a lasting hold on these regions. The inhabitants of the area, having no allegiance to any nation, live in constant slavery under whichever power controls them at that time.

Eastasia and Eurasia fight over “a large but fluctuating portion of Manchuria, Mongolia, and Tibet”.

At one point during the novel, Julia procures tea to share with Winston, and remarks that she thinks Oceania recently captured India (or perhaps parts of India) but such “control” is usually transient.

The world of Nineteen Eighty-Four exists in a state of perpetual war among the three major powers. At any given time, two of the three states are aligned against the third; for example Oceania and Eurasia against Eastasia or Eurasia and Eastasia against Oceania. However, as Goldstein’s book points out, each Superstate is so powerful that even an alliance of the other two cannot destroy it, resulting in a continuing stalemate. From time to time, one of the states betrays its ally and sides with its former enemy. In Oceania, when this occurs, the Ministry of Truth rewrites history to make it appear that the current state of affairs is the way it has always been, and documents with contradictory information are destroyed in the memory hole.

Goldstein’s book states that the war is not a war in the traditional sense, but simply exists to use up resources and keep the population in line. Victory for any side is not attainable or even desirable, but the Inner Party, through an act of doublethink, believes that such victory is in fact possible. Although the war began with the limited use of atomic weapons in a limited atomic war in the 1950s, none of the combatants use them any longer for fear of upsetting the balance of power. Relatively few technological advances have been made (the only two mentioned are the replacement of bombers with “rocket bombs” and of traditional capital ships with the immense “floating fortresses”).

Almost all of the information about the world beyond London is given to the reader through government or Party sources, which by the very premise of the novel are unreliable. Specifically, in one page Julia brings up the idea that the war is fictional and that the rocket bombs falling from time to time on London are fired by the government of Oceania itself, in order to maintain the war atmosphere among the population (better known as a false flag operation). The protagonists have no means of proving or disproving this theory. However, during preparations for Hate Week, rocket bombs fell at an increasing rate, hitting places such as playgrounds and crowded theatres, causing mass casualties and increased hysteria and hatred for the party’s enemies. War is also a convenient pretext for maintaining a huge militaryindustrial complex in which the state is committed to developing and acquiring large and expensive weapons systems which almost immediately become obsolete and require replacement. Finally, according to Goldstein’s book, war makes handing over power to a small caste easier, and gives pretext to do so.

Because of this ambiguity, it is entirely possible that the geopolitical situation described in Goldstein’s book is entirely fictitious; perhaps The Party controls the whole world, or possibly its power is limited to just Great Britain as a lone and desperate rogue nation using fanaticism and hatred of the outside world to compensate for political impotence. It’s also possible that a genuine and large-scale resistance movement exists, or that Oceania is indeed under a large-scale attack by outside forces.

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Nations of Nineteen Eighty-Four – Wikipedia, the free …

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Index [www.susanblackmore.co.uk]

Posted: August 12, 2016 at 2:39 pm

“Should Blackmore’s theory turn out to be true, there’s little doubt she will be remembered as one of the great thinkers of the 20th century.” Barry Lyons reviewing The Meme Machine

Je suis Charlie and why

New

AI is already evolving beyond our control – the implications of a third replicator in CommentisFree September 2015

“Genes, Memes and Tremes” on TV in Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, May 2015

Twitterbrain – how analyses of viral memes is helping track information spreading in the brain.

and a must-watch video ‘This video will make you angry’ is a brilliant rant about ‘thought germs’. What a shame it mentions the word ‘meme’ only once.

The Eye of the Tremes Watch our New Video. This is based on the idea that the phones, computers and servers we are building are becoming interconnected like neurons in a brain. But this treme machine has no eyes. Or does it? With the advent of drones we may have found the eye of the tremes.

Tremes v temes

I have had such trouble with the term ‘temes’ that I am trying ‘tremes’ instead. I am sorry if this is confusing but I hope it might help.

100 walked out of my lecture on memes. On the RDF website with hundreds of comments. Aug 2014

Practical Memetics: A huge new website by Martin Farncombe devoted to understanding memes in business and organisations, includes extracts from my work.

Paper on memes in science Kuhn et al 2014 Inheritance patterns in citation networks reveal scientific memes

A fun article on Internet memes in the Virgin Australia Inflight Mag -refers to ‘the burgeoning field of memetics’!

The third replicator –

To find out more about temes, watch my TED talk now podcast in English and with a choice of subtitles in 21 other languages! or short lecture at the Hay Festival 2011 “Genes, Memes and Temes” read a book chapter a blog from Hassners on my lecture or read the Feature article in New Scientist .

Podcast interview with Sue on US Public Radio To the best of our knowledge about memes and temes. 29 July 2012

Jonnie Hughes article in The Independent 14 July 2012 on his new book On the Origin of Tepees.

Alan Winfield’s 5 minute lecture on dancing robots, from his Artificial Culture Project at UWE Bristol. Interview on dancing robots in BBC News Technology June 2012

Q&A with Sue for Know Your Meme, April 2012

Art experiments with copying and Chinese Whispers by Rachel Cohen

Richard Dawkins on memetically engineering the word “bright” in “Atheist – the Dirty Word” YouTube

Edge Question 2009 What will change everything? Read my response – Artificial, self replicating meme machines.

How to get rid of religion – a memetic view by Floris van den Berg

Imitation makes us human Extract.

The Loo Roll meme !

More criticisms from Mary Midgley

Virus of the mind Jolyon Troscianko

Memetics UK

This site began with the Bristol based memelab. I hope to provide a simple, but useful, resource for finding out what is happening in the world of memes and memetics.

About memes

Links to other memes

People

Publications

Sue’s publications on memes.

To watch or listen …

Interview on memes with Karol Jalochowski, with subtitles in Polish, Jan 2012

Internet memes on The Pod Delusion 2010

C-Realm podcast – Sue talks to KMO about memes, drugs and Zen. 28 Jan 2009

Genes, memes and temes. Lecture at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Monterey, CA, 28 Feb 2008

Is God a dangerous delusion? A debate with Alister McGrath at Bristol University, 13.11.2007

Darwin Day Lecture “Darwin’s Meme: On the origin of culture by means of natural selection” , , University of Central Lancashire, 12.02.07 Abstract

The Sci Phi Show – Outcast #8, Interview on Memes, 21 August 2006

The Future of Memetics audio of a lecture given at Pop!Tech 2005

To read ….

my blog at CiF is about Internet memes April 2011

The Edge Question 2010. How is the Internet changing the way you think? See my response on Self and the Third Replicator as well as previous answers.

Articles in New Humanist – Natural selection applies to everything, in Aesthetica – Memes, Creativity and Consciousness, and follow up to Massimo Pigliucci’s objections to memetics in Skeptical Inquirer 2008.

Art and memes article

Interview for NextModernity Library.

Review of Richerson and Boyd’s new book Not by Genes Alone.

Interview for GEO magazine (German), December 2003 Die Tyrannei der Meme.

Interview with Pascal Jouxtel for the la Socit Francophone de Mmtique, inboth French and English

Memes in Japan

… and Old (1997)! Interview with Andrew Brown for Salon Magazine

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Index [www.susanblackmore.co.uk]

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Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012) – Rotten Tomatoes

Posted: June 21, 2016 at 11:18 pm

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After all the contemporary right wing is in the pocket of conservative Christians, yet Rand was an ardent atheist; the modern day right wing gives welfare to corporate fat cats whom Rand would consider looters. What does this have to do with the film? The iconography of the protesters and Hannity place the film in our historical moment, not Rand’s, which takes us out of the film’s world. nSecond, I was impressed with Samantha Mathis’s performance. Her Dagny was given more to human emotion, which played peek-a-boo amid Dagny’s characteristic stoicism. But her acting was the best of the cast. I particularly disliked Jason Beghe’s gravel-voiced Rearden. nFinally, the film is poorly paced. The speeches by Readen and Francisco belong in the film, but director John Putch should have taken a walking and talking page from Aaron Sorkin’s book to give the film some energy, and the montages of poverty do little to add to the plot. nOverall, this is a controversial film not because Rand is a controversial figure (even though she is) but primarily because the film doesn’t really get her.”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Jim Hunter”, “userId” : null }, { “id” : “10814”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 4.0, “ratingDate” : “2013-06-25T18:51:02-07:00”, “userImage” : { “thumbnailUrl” : “graph.facebook.com/v2.2/100001504732128/picture” }, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “What the heck happened here? They changed the actors for almost EVERY role from the part 1 of this saga. Whose bright idea was that?? This could have been an interesting continuing story, but I found the new actors way too distracting….were they all busy? sheesh…”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Cynthia S.”, “userId” : null }, { “id” : “10815”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 3.0, “ratingDate” : “2013-02-21T05:58:59-08:00”, “userImage” : null, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “You’d think after the horrible and horribly boring Atlas Shrugged: Part One that a promised Part Two might just disappear into the ether. If only we could have been so fortunate. Ayn Rand’s cautionary opus about the evils of big government is given another creaky adaptation that fails to justify its existence. I feel like I could repeat verbati
m my faults with the first film. Once again we don’t have characters but mouthpieces for ideology, an ideology that celebrates untamed greed. Once again the “best and brightest” (a.k.a. world’s richest) are disappearing and the world is grinding to a halt without their necessary genius. Does anyone really think if the world’s billionaires left in a huff that the world would cease to function? The assumption that financial wealth equates brilliance seems fatally flawed. Once again it’s in a modern setting where America has gone back in time to value railroads. Once again the main thrust of the inert drama is over inconsequential railway economics. Once again people just talk in circles in cheap locations. Once again the government agencies are a bunch of clucking stooges, eager to punish successful business. Once again Rand’s Objectivist worldview is treated as gospel and value is only ascribed to the amount of money one can produce. This time we have a slightly better budget, a better director, and some recognizable actors like Samantha Manthis, Esai Morales, Ray Wise, Richard T. Jones, and D.B. Sweeney as the mysterious John Gault. The story transitions to a ridiculous government mandate that include such incomprehensible edicts like making sure no one spends more money than another person. Can you imagine the paperwork involved? This woeful sequel will only appeal to Rand’s most faithful admirers, and you probably don’t want to hang out with those people anyway. There’s your clue: if you see someone carrying a copy of Atlas Shrugged: Part Two they either lack taste or are far too generous with movies. If there is indeed a concluding Part Three, it will be further proof that Rand’s market-based screeds are not accurate. 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Cooper”, “vanity” : “jackie-k-cooper” } }, { “id” : “2111190”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “The film’s excruciating unwatchability transcends politics.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “1/10”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-19T16:43:50-07:00”, “url” : “http://antagonie.blogspot.com/2012/10/no-galt-on-her-tail.html”, “publication” : { “id” : “1900”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Antagony & Ecstasy” }, “critic” : { “id” : “12682”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2219”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyMjE5O2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDsxMDA7MTAw”, “height” : 100, “width” : 100, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Tim Brayton”, “vanity” : “tim-brayton” } }, { “id” : “2111061”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “Atlas won’t be the only one to shrug off this tiresome load.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “1/5”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-19T03:34:34-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.austinchronicle.com/calendar/film/2012-10-12/atlas-shrugged-part-ii/”, “publication” : { “id” : “28”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Austin Chronicle” }, “critic” : { “id” : “34”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : null, “name” : “Marjorie Baumgarten”, “vanity” : “marjorie-baumgarten” } }, { “id” : “2110734”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “fresh”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “Rand’s detractors will hate the movie as much as they do her, but her fans will be satisfied … “, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “3/5”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-18T06:05:08-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/atlas-shrugged-part-2/content?oid=8118808”, “publication” : { “id” : “599”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Sacramento News & Review” }, “critic” : { “id” : “3224”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2104”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyMTA0O2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDs5ODsxMjI”, “height” : 122, “width” : 98, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Jim Lane”, “vanity” : “jim-lane” } }, { “id” : “2110404”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “A niche movie on a par with any cheapjack faith-based picture, which is why it resembles one — and only the most ardently faithful need apply.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “.5/5”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-16T07:51:47-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.mountainx.com/movies/review/atlas_shrugged_part_ii”, “publication” : { “id” : “1020”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)” }, “critic” : { “id” : “5783”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-1730”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsxNzMwO2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0NA”, “height” : 44, “width” : 38, “format” : “JPG” }, “name” : “Ken Hanke”, “vanity” : “ken-hanke” } }, { “id” : “2110277”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “It’s still kinda bad, but at least this movie won’t be an industry punchline for years to come. … Oh, what a difference competence makes.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “4.5/10”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-15T05:06:41-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.craveonline.com/film/reviews/197977-review-atlas-shrugged-part-2”, “publication” : { “id” : “1906”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “CraveOnline” }, “critic” : { “id” : “14539”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2338”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyMzM4O2c7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0Mg”, “height” : 42, “width” : 38, “format” : “GIF” }, “name” : “William Bibbiani”, “vanity” : “william-bibbiani” } }, { “id” : “2110117”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “The portrait of American gloom and doom has its layers of meanings and philosophies, but I’d rather approach Atlas as a clumsy B-movie with occasional entertainment value.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “C”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-14T06:18:04-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.blu-ray.com/Atlas-Shrugged-Part-II-The-Strike/152217/?show=preview”, “publication” : { “id” : “2468”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Blu-ray.com” }, “critic” : { “id” : “2771”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-2237”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsyMjM3O2o7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDsyNTA7Mjg1”, “height” : 285, “width” : 250,
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Sean Hannity or another right-wing mouthpiece told them so.”, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “B-“, “creationDate” : “2012-10-12T09:31:55-07:00”, “url” : “http://www.tampabay.com/features/movies/review-atlas-shrugged-part-ii-upgrades-casts-action/1256106”, “publication” : { “id” : “1457”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Tampa Bay Times” }, “critic” : { “id” : “3876”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-1710”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsxNzEwO2c7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0Mg”, “height” : 42, “width” : 38, “format” : “GIF” }, “name” : “Steve Persall”, “vanity” : “steve-persall” } }, { “id” : “2109891”, “type” : “review”, “score” : “rotten”, “topCritic” : false, “quote” : “A stupid person’s idea of what a smart movie sounds like. “, “movieId” : 771311191, “scoreOri” : “1/4”, “creationDate” : “2012-10-12T06:56:59-07:00”, “url” : “http://rogersmovienation.com/2012/12/30/movie-review-atlas-shrugged-ii/”, “publication” : { “id” : “2448”, “type” : “publication”, “name” : “Tribune News Service” }, “critic” : { “id” : “1238”, “type” : “critic”, “mainImage” : { “id” : “c-1654”, “thumborId” : “v1.YzsxNjU0O2c7MTcwMTA7MTIwMDszODs0NQ”, “height” : 45, “width” : 38, “format” : “GIF” }, “name” : “Roger Moore”, “vanity” : “roger-moore” } } ], “audienceReviews” : [ { “id” : “10816”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 6.0, “ratingDate” : “2014-09-22T05:17:35-07:00”, “userImage” : { “thumbnailUrl” : “graph.facebook.com/v2.2/100000440772572/picture” }, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike is a compelling and provocative film that brings Ayn Rand’s classic novel to life. The saga continues with Dagny Taggart and Henry Rearden struggling to hold off a total economic collapse while an oppressive government tightens their control and leading industrialists mysteriously disappear. All of the major roles have been recast, which is rather off putting and doesn’t result in any noticeable improvements in the characters. However, the directing is a little better and delivers a clearer vision than the first film had. Additionally, the special effects are fairly well-done for an independent film, and are used quite effectively to add energy and excitement to the scenes. While Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike doesn’t live up to the quality of the source material, it still delivers a solid dramatic thriller.”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Dann Michalski”, “userId” : null }, { “id” : “10813”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 5.0, “ratingDate” : “2013-06-29T09:30:16-07:00”, “userImage” : null, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “Ayn Rand’s industrialists fight against the Fair Share Act, which further strangles the economy. nFirst, the most unfortunate thing about this film was the endorsement that the real Sean Hannity gave to the fictional Hank Rearden. Additionally, protesters directly referenced the Occupy Wall Street rhetoric. The one-to-one relationship between the modern day right wing and Rand’s objectivists is bullshit, and it’s a shame that this film’s creators got sucked into Rand’s abduction by the right wing. After all the contemporary right wing is in the pocket of conservative Christians, yet Rand was an ardent atheist; the modern day right wing gives welfare to corporate fat cats whom Rand would consider looters. What does this have to do with the film? The iconography of the protesters and Hannity place the film in our historical moment, not Rand’s, which takes us out of the film’s world. nSecond, I was impressed with Samantha Mathis’s performance. Her Dagny was given more to human emotion, which played peek-a-boo amid Dagny’s characteristic stoicism. But her acting was the best of the cast. I particularly disliked Jason Beghe’s gravel-voiced Rearden. nFinally, the film is poorly paced. The speeches by Readen and Francisco belong in the film, but director John Putch should have taken a walking and talking page from Aaron Sorkin’s book to give the film some energy, and the montages of poverty do little to add to the plot. nOverall, this is a controversial film not because Rand is a controversial figure (even though she is) but primarily because the film doesn’t really get her.”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Jim Hunter”, “userId” : null }, { “id” : “10814”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 4.0, “ratingDate” : “2013-06-25T18:51:02-07:00”, “userImage” : { “thumbnailUrl” : “graph.facebook.com/v2.2/100001504732128/picture” }, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “What the heck happened here? They changed the actors for almost EVERY role from the part 1 of this saga. Whose bright idea was that?? This could have been an interesting continuing story, but I found the new actors way too distracting….were they all busy? sheesh…”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Cynthia S.”, “userId” : null }, { “id” : “10815”, “type” : “audienceReview”, “score” : 3.0, “ratingDate” : “2013-02-21T05:58:59-08:00”, “userImage” : null, “superReviewer” : true, “movieId” : 771311191, “comment” : “You’d think after the horrible and horribly boring Atlas Shrugged: Part One that a promised Part Two might just disappear into the ether. If only we could have been so fortunate. Ayn Rand’s cautionary opus about the evils of big government is given another creaky adaptation that fails to justify its existence. I feel like I could repeat verbatim my faults with the first film. Once again we don’t have characters but mouthpieces for ideology, an ideology that celebrates untamed greed. Once again the “best and brightest” (a.k.a. world’s richest) are disappearing and the world is grinding to a halt without their necessary genius. Does anyone really think if the world’s billionaires left in a huff that the world would cease to function? The assumption that financial wealth equates brilliance seems fatally flawed. Once again it’s in a modern setting where America has gone back in time to value railroads. Once again the main thrust of the inert drama is over inconsequential railway economics. Once again people just talk in circles in cheap locations. Once again the government agencies are a bunch of clucking stooges, eager to punish successful business. Once again Rand’s Objectivist worldview is treated as gospel and value is only ascribed to the amount of money one can produce. This time we have a slightly better budget, a better director, and some recognizable actors like Samantha Manthis, Esai Morales, Ray Wise, Richard T. Jones, and D.B. Sweeney as the mysterious John Gault. The story transitions to a ridiculous government mandate that include such incomprehensible edicts like making sure no one spends more money than another person. Can you imagine the paperwork involved? This woeful sequel will only appeal to Rand’s most faithful admirers, and you probably don’t want to hang out with those people anyway. There’s your clue: if you see someone carrying a copy of Atlas Shrugged: Part Two they either lack taste or are far too generous with movies. If there is indeed a concluding Part Three, it will be further proof that Rand’s market-based screeds are not accurate. The market has already rejected two of these dreadful movies.rnrnNate’s Grade: D”, “ratingSource” : null, “userName” : “Nate Zoebl”, “userId” : null } ], “heroImage” : { “id” : “n-31649”, “thumborId” : “v1.bjszMTY0OTtqOzE3MDEwOzEyMDA7MTIwMDs2MDE”, “height” : 60
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son 4”, “title” : “The Americans: Season 4”, “tomatometer” : { “state” : “certified_fresh”, “value” : 99 } }, { “link” : “//www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/catastrophe/s02/”, “score” : 100, “showId” : 15683, “rating” : “certified”, “showTitle” : “Catastrophe: Series 2”, “title” : “Catastrophe: Series 2”, “tomatometer” : { “state” : “certified_fresh”, “value” : 100 } }, { “link” : “//www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/the-detour/s01/”, “score” : 82, “showId” : 16022, “rating” : “certified”, “showTitle” : “The Detour: Season 1”, “title” : “The Detour: Season 1”, “tomatometer” : { “state” : “certified_fresh”, “value” : 82 } }, { “link” : “//www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/full-frontal-with-samantha-bee/s01/”, “score” : 100, “showId” : 16038, “rating” : “certified”, “showTitle” : “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee: Season 1”, “title” : “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee: Season 1”, “tomatometer” : { “state” : “certified_fresh”, “value” : 100 } }, { “link” : “//www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/game-of-thrones/s06/”, “score” : 93, “showId” : 15349, “rating” : “certified”, “showTitle” : “Game of Thrones: Season 6”, “title” : “Game of Thrones: Season 6”, “tomatometer” : { “state” : “certified_fresh”, “value” : 93 } }, { “link” : “//www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/the-girlfriend-experience/s01/”, “score” : 81, “showId” : 14501, “rating” : “certified”, “showTitle” : “The Girlfriend Experience: Season 1”, “title” : “The Girlfriend Experience: Season 1”, “tomatometer” : { “state” : “certified_fresh”, “value” : 81 } }, { “link” : “//www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/lady-dynamite/s01/”, “score” : 93, “showId” : 16258, “rating” : “certified”, “showTitle” : “Lady Dynamite: Season 1”, “title” : “Lady Dynamite: Season 1”, “tomatometer” : { “state” : “certified_fresh”, “value” : 93 } }, { “score” : 100, “showId” : 771442788, “rating” : “certified”, “showTitle” : “O.J.: Made in America”, “title” : “O.J.: Made in America”, “tomatometer” : { “state” : “certified_fresh”, “value” : 100 } }, { “link” : “//www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/orange-is-the-new-black/s04/”, “score” : 100, “showId” : 15200, “rating” : “certified”, “showTitle” : “Orange is the New Black: Season 4”, “title” : “Orange is the New Black: Season 4”, “tomatometer” : { “state” : “certified_fresh”, “value” : 100 } }, { “link” : “//www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/orphan-black/s04/”, “score” : 97, “showId” : 15230, “rating” : “certified”, “showTitle” : “Orphan Black: Season 4”, “title” : “Orphan Black: Season 4”, “tomatometer” : { “state” : “certified_fresh”, “value” : 97 } } ]}

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Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2012) – Rotten Tomatoes

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Atlas Shrugged: Part I – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: June 16, 2016 at 5:57 pm

Atlas Shrugged: Part I is a 2011 American film adaptation of part of Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged, intended as the first film of a trilogy encompassing the entire book. After various treatments and proposals floundered for nearly 40 years,[4] investor John Aglialoro initiated production in June 2010. The film was directed by Paul Johansson and stars Taylor Schilling as Dagny Taggart and Grant Bowler as Hank Rearden.

The film begins the story of Atlas Shrugged, set in a dystopian United States where John Galt leads innovators, from industrialists to artists, in a capital strike, “stopping the motor of the world” to reassert the importance of the free use of one’s mind and of laissez-faire capitalism.[5]

A sequel film, Atlas Shrugged: Part II was released on October 12, 2012. The third part in the series, Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt? was released on September 12, 2014.[6]

It is 2016 and the United States is in a sustained economic depression. Industrial disasters, resource shortages, and gasoline at $37/gallon have made railroads the primary mode of transportation, but even they are in disrepair. After a major accident on the Rio Norte line of the Taggart Transcontinental railroad, CEO James Taggart shirks responsibility. His sister Dagny Taggart, Vice-President in Charge of Operation, defies him by replacing the aging track with new rails made of Rearden Metal, which is claimed to be lighter yet stronger than steel. Dagny meets with its inventor, Hank Rearden, and they negotiate a deal they both admit serves their respective self-interests.

Politician Wesley Mouchnominally Rearden’s lobbyist in Washington, D.C.is part of a crowd that views heads of industry as persons who must be broken or tamed. James Taggart uses political influence to ensure that Taggart Transcontinental is designated the exclusive railroad for the state of Colorado. Dagny is confronted by Ellis Wyatt, a Colorado oil man angry to be forced to do business with Taggart Transcontinental. Dagny promises him that he will get the service he needs. Dagny encounters former lover Francisco d’Anconia, who presents a faade of a playboy grown bored with the pursuit of money. He reveals that a series of copper mines he built are worthless, costing his investors (including the Taggart railroad) millions.

Rearden lives in a magnificent home with a wife and a brother who are happy to live off his effort, though they overtly disrespect it. Rearden’s anniversary gift to his wife Lillian is a bracelet made from the first batch of Rearden Metal, but she considers it a garish symbol of Hank’s egotism. At a dinner party, Dagny dares Lillian to exchange it for Dagny’s diamond necklace, which she does.

As Dagny and Rearden rebuild the Rio Norte line, talented people quit their jobs and refuse all inducements to stay. Meanwhile, Dr. Robert Stadler of the State Science Institute puts out a report implying that Rearden Metal is dangerous. Taggart Transcontinental stock plummets because of its use of Rearden Metal, and Dagny leaves Taggart Transcontinental temporarily and forms her own company to finish the Rio Norte line. She renames it the John Galt Line, in defiance of the phrase “Who is John Galt?”which has come to stand for any question to which it is pointless to seek an answer.

A new law forces Rearden to sell most of his businesses, but he retains Rearden Steel for the sake of his metal and to finish the John Galt Line. Despite strong government and union opposition to Rearden Metal, Dagny and Rearden complete the line ahead of schedule and successfully test it on a record-setting run to Wyatt’s oil fields in Colorado. At the home of Wyatt, now a close friend, Dagny and Rearden celebrate the success of the line. As Dagny and Rearden continue their celebration into the night by fulfilling their growing sexual attraction, the shadowy figure responsible for the disappearances of prominent people visits Wyatt with an offer for a better society based on personal achievement.

The next morning, Dagny and Rearden begin investigating an abandoned prototype of an advanced motor that could revolutionize the world. They realize the genius of the motor’s creator and try to track him down. Dagny finds Dr. Hugh Akston, working as a cook at a diner, but he is not willing to reveal the identity of the inventor; Akston knows whom Dagny is seeking and says she will never find him, though he may find her.

Another new law limits rail freight and levies a special tax on Colorado. It is the final straw for Ellis Wyatt. When Dagny hears that Wyatt’s oil fields are on fire, she rushes to his home but finds a handwritten sign that reads, “I am leaving it as I found it. Take over. It’s yours.”

Wyatt declares in an answering machine message that he is “on strike”.

In 1972, Albert S. Ruddy approached Rand to produce a cinematic adaptation of Atlas Shrugged. Rand agreed that Ruddy could focus on the love story. “That’s all it ever was,” Rand said.[9][10][11] Rand insisted on having final script approval, which Ruddy refused to give her, thus preventing a deal. In 1978, Henry and Michael Jaffe negotiated a deal for an eight-hour Atlas Shrugged television miniseries on NBC. Jaffe hired screenwriter Stirling Silliphant to adapt the novel and he obtained approval from Rand on the final script. However, in 1979, with Fred Silverman’s rise as president of NBC, the project was scrapped.[12]

Rand, a former Hollywood screenwriter herself, began writing her own screenplay, but died in 1982 with only one third of it finished. She left her estate, including the film rights to Atlas Shrugged, to her student Leonard Peikoff, who sold an option to Michael Jaffe and Ed Snider. Peikoff would not approve the script they wrote and the deal fell through. In 1992, investor John Aglialoro bought an option to produce the film, paying Peikoff over $1 million for full creative control.[12]

In 1999, under John Aglialoro’s sponsorship, Albert Ruddy negotiated a deal with Turner Network Television for a four-hour miniseries, but the project was killed after the AOL Time Warner merger. After the TNT deal fell through, Howard and Karen Baldwin, while running Phillip Anschutz’s Crusader Entertainment, obtained the rights. The Baldwins left Crusader, taking the rights to Atlas Shrugged with them, and formed Baldwin Entertainment Group in 2004. Michael Burns of Lions Gate Entertainment approached the Baldwins to fund and distribute Atlas Shrugged.[12] A two-part draft screenplay written by James V. Hart[13] was re-written into a 127page screenplay by Randall Wallace, with Vadim Perelman expected to direct.[14] Potential cast members for this production had included Angelina Jolie,[15]Charlize Theron,[16]Julia Roberts,[16] and Anne Hathaway.[16] Between 2009 and 2010, however, these deals came apart, including studio backing from Lions Gate, and therefore none of the stars mentioned above appear in the final film. Also, Wallace did not do the screenplay, and Perelman did not direct.[1][17] Aglialoro says producers have spent “something in the $20 million range” on the project over the last 18 years.[2]

In May 2010, Brian Patrick O’Toole and Aglialoro wrote a screenplay, intent on filming in June 2010. While initial rumors claimed that the films would have a “timeless” settingthe producers say Rand envisioned the story as occurring “the day after tomorrow”[18]the released film is set in late 2016. The writers were mindful of the desire of some fans for fidelity to the novel,[18] but gave some characters, such as Eddie Willers, short shrift and omitted others, such as the composer Richard Halley. The film is styled as a mystery, with black-and-white freeze frames as each innovator goes “missing”. However, Galt appears and speaks in the film, solving the mystery more clearly than in the first third of the novel.

Though director Johansson had been reported as playing the pivotal role of John Galt, he made it clear in an interview that with regard to who is John Galt in the film, the answer was, “Not me.”[7] He explained that his portrayal of the character would be limited to the first film as a silhouetted figure wearing a trenchcoat and fedora,[8] suggesting that another actor will be cast as Galt for the subsequent parts of the trilogy.

Though Stephen Polk was initially set to direct,[19] he was replaced by Paul Johansson nine days before filming was scheduled to begin. With the 18-year-long option to the films rights set to expire on June 15, 2010, producers Harmon Kaslow and Aglialoro began principal photography on June 13, 2010, thus allowing Aglialoro to retain the motion picture rights. Shooting took five weeks, and he says that the total production cost of the movie came in on a budget around US$10 million,[20] though Box Office Mojo lists the production cost as $20 million.[3]

Elia Cmiral composed the score for the film.[21] Peter Debruge wrote in Variety that “More ambitious sound design and score, rather than the low-key filler from composer Elia Cmiral and music supervisor Steve Weisberg, might have significantly boosted the pic’s limited scale.”[22]

In a lot of ways, this project reflects the ethos of the Tea Party. You had both Republicans and Democrats who felt rejected by the establishment, and the same process is going to happen with Atlas Shrugged: We’re going to build a constituency of people who believe in limited government and individual liberty.

The film had a very low marketing budget and was not marketed in conventional methods.[24] Prior to the film’s release on the politically symbolic date of Tax Day, the project was promoted throughout the Tea Party movement and affiliated organizations such as FreedomWorks.[23] The National Journal reported that FreedomWorks, the Tea Party-allied group headed by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, (R-Texas), had been trying to get the movie opened in more theaters.[23] FreedomWorks also helped unveil the Atlas Shrugged movie trailer at the February 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference.[23] Additionally, it was reported that Tea Party groups across the country were plugging the movie trailer on their websites and Facebook pages.[23] Release of the movie was also covered and promoted by Fox News TV personalities John Stossel and Sean Hannity.[25][26]

The U.S. release of Atlas Shrugged: Part I opened on 300 screens on April 15, 2011, and made US$1,676,917 in its opening weekend, finishing in 14th place overall.[27] Producers announced expansion to 423 theaters several days after release and promised 1,000 theaters by the end of April,[28] but the release peaked at 465 screens. Ticket sales dropped off significantly in its second week of release, despite the addition of 165 screens; after six weeks, the film was showing on only 32 screens and total ticket sales had not crossed the $5 million mark, recouping less than a quarter of the production budget.[29]

Atlas Shrugged: Part I was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on November 8, 2011 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.[30] More than 100,000 DVD inserts were recalled within days due to the jacket’s philosophically incorrect description of “Ayn Rand’s timeless novel of courage and self-sacrifice”.[31] As of April, 2013, 247,044 DVDs had been sold, grossing $3,433,445.[32]

The film received overwhelmingly negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 11% based on 47 reviews, with an average score of 3.6 out of 10. The site’s consensus was: “Passionate ideologues may find it compelling, but most filmgoers will find this low-budget adaptation of the Ayn Rand bestseller decidedly lacking.”[33]Metacritic gives the film a “generally unfavorable” rating of 28%, as determined by averaging 19 professional reviews.[34] Some commentators noted differences in film critics’ reactions from audience members’ reactions; from the latter group, the film received high scores even before the film was released.[35][36][37]

Let’s say you know the novel, you agree with Ayn Rand, you’re an objectivist or a libertarian, and you’ve been waiting eagerly for this movie. Man, are you going to get a letdown. It’s not enough that a movie agree with you, in however an incoherent and murky fashion. It would help if it were like, you know, entertaining?

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film only one star, calling it “the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault.”[1] Columnist Cathy Young of The Boston Globe gave the film a negative review.[38]Chicago Tribune published a predominantly negative review, arguing that the film lacks Rand’s philosophical theme, while at the same time saying “the actors, none of them big names, are well-suited to the roles. The story has drive, color and mystery. It looks good on the screen.”[39] In the New York Post, Kyle Smith gave the film a mostly negative review, grading it at 2.5/4 stars, criticizing its “stilted dialogue and stern, unironic hectoring” and calling it “stiff in the joints”, but also adding that it “nevertheless contains a fire and a fury that makes it more compelling than the average mass-produced studio item.”[40]

Reviews in the conservative press were more mixed. American economist Mark Skousen praised the film, writing in Human Events, “The script is true to the philosophy of Ayn Rand’s novel.”[41]The Weekly Standard senior editor Fred Barnes noted that the film “gets Rand’s point across forcefully without too much pounding”, that it is “fast-paced” when compared with the original novel’s 1200-page length, and that it is “at least as relevant today as it was when the novel was published in 1957.”[42]Jack Hunter, contributing editor to The American Conservative, wrote, “If you ask the average film critic about the new movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged they will tell you it is a horrible movie. If you ask the average conservative or libertarian they will tell you it is a great movie. Objectively, it is a mediocre movie at best. Subjectively, it is one of the best mediocre movies you’ll ever see.”[43] In the National Post, Peter Foster credited the movie for the daunting job of fidelity to the novel, wryly suggested a plot rewrite along the lines of comparable current events, and concluded, “if it sinks without trace, its backers should at least be proud that they lost their own money.”[44]

The poor critical reception of Atlas Shrugged: Part I initially made Aglialoro reconsider his plans for the rest of the trilogy.[45] In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he said he was continuing with plans to produce Part II and Part III for release on April 15 in 2012 and 2013, respectively.[46] In a later interview with The Boston Globe, Aglialoro was ambivalent: “I learned something long ago playing poker. If you think you’re beat[en], don’t go all in. If Part 1 makes [enough of] a return to support Part 2, I’ll do it. Other than that, I’ll throw the hand in.”[47]

In July 2011, Aglialoro planned to start production of Atlas Shrugged: Part II in September, with its release timed to coincide with the 2012 U.S. elections.[48] In October 2011, producer Harmon Kaslow stated that he hoped filming for Part II would begin in early 2012, “with hopes of previewing it around the time of the nominating conventions”. Kaslow anticipated that the film, which would encompass the second third of Atlas Shrugged, would “probably be 30 to 40 minutes longer than the first movie.” Kaslow also stated his intent that Part II would have a bigger production budget, as well as a larger advertising budget.[49]

On February 2, 2012, Kaslow and Aglialoro, the producers of Atlas Shrugged: Part II, announced a start date for principal photography in April 2012 with a release date of October 12, 2012.[50] Joining the production team was Duncan Scott, who, in 1986, was responsible for creating a new, re-edited version with English subtitles of the 1942 Italian film adaptation of We the Living. The first film’s entire cast was replaced for the sequel.

The sequel film, Atlas Shrugged: Part II, was released on October 12, 2012.[51] Critics gave the film a 5% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 22 reviews.[52] One reviewer gave the film a “D” rating,[53] while another reviewer gave the film a “1” rating (of 4).[54] In naming Part II to its list of 2012’s worst films, The A.V. Club said “The irony of Part II’s mere existence is rich enough: The free market is a religion for Rand acolytes, and it emphatically rejected Part I.”[55]

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Atlas Shrugged: Part I – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Online Casino & Online Poker Room – 888.com

Posted: June 12, 2016 at 8:25 pm

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Online Casino & Online Poker Room – 888.com

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The Futurist: The Top Ten Transhumanist Technologies

Posted: May 4, 2016 at 7:45 am

The Lifeboat Foundation has a special report detailing their view of the top ten transhumanist technologies that have some probability of 25 to 30-year availability. Transhumanism is a movement devoted to using technologies to transcend biology and enhance human capabilities.

I am going to list out each of the ten technologies described in the report, provide my own assessment of high, medium, or low probability or mass-market availability by a given time horizon, and link to prior articles written on The Futurist about the subject.

10. Cryonics : 2025 – Low, 2050 – Moderate

I can see the value in someone who is severely maimed or crippled opting to freeze themselves until better technologies become available for full restoration. But outside of that, the problem with cryonics is that very few young people will opt to risk missing their present lives to go into freezing, and elderly people can only benefit after revival when or if age-reversal technologies become available. Since going into cryonic freezing requires someone else to decide when to revive you, and any cryonic ‘will’ may not anticipate numerous future variables that could complicate execution of your instructions, this is a bit too risky, even if it were possible.

9. Virtual Reality : 2012 – Moderate, 2020 – High

The Technological Progression of Video Games

The Next Big Thing in Entertainment, Part I, II, and III

The Mainstreaming of Virtual Reality

8. Gene Therapy : 2015 – Moderate, 2025 – High

The good news here is that gene sequencing techniques continue to become faster due to the computers used in the process themselves benefiting from Moore’s Law. In the late 1980s, it was thought that the human genome would take decades to sequence. It ended up taking only years by the late 1990s, and today, would take only months. Soon, it will be cost-effective for every middle-class person to get their own personal genome sequenced, and get customized medicines made just for them.

Are you Prepared to Live to 100?

7. Space Colonization : 2025 – Low, 2050 – Moderate

While this is a staple premise of most science fiction, I do not think that space colonization may ever take the form that is popularly imagined. Technology #2 on this list, mind uploading, and technology #5, self-replicating robots, will probably appear sooner than any capability to build cities on Mars. Thus, a large spaceship and human crew becomes far less efficient than entire human minds loaded into tiny or even microscopic robots that can self-replicate. A human body may never visit another star system, but copies of human minds could very well do so.

Nonetheless, if other transhumanist technologies do not happen, advances in transportation speed may enable space exploration in upcoming centuries.

6. Cybernetics : 2015 – High

Artificial limbs, ears, and organs are already available, and continue to improve. Artificial and enhanced muscle, skin, and eyes are not far.

5. Autonomous Self-Replicating Robots : 2030 – Moderate

This is a technology that is frightening, due to the ease at which humans could be quickly driven to extinction through a malfunction that replicates rouge robots. Assuming a disaster does not occur, this is the most practical means of space exploration and colonization, particular if the robots contain uploads of human minds, as per #2.

4. Molecular Manufacturing : 2020 – Moderate, 2030 – High

This is entirely predictable through the Milli, Micro, Nano, Pico curves.

3. Megascale Engineering (in space) : 2040 – Moderate

From the Great Wall of China in ancient times to Dubai’s Palm Islands today, man-made structures are already visible from space. But to achieve transhumanism, the same must be done in space. Eventually, elevators extending hundreds of miles into space, space stations much larger than the current ISS (240 feet), and vast orbital solar reflectors will be built. But, as stated in item #7, I don’t think true megascale projects (over 1000 km in width) will happen before other transhumanist technologies render the need for them obsolete.

2. Mind Uploading : 2050 – Moderate

This is what I believe to be the most important technology on this list. Today, when a person’s hardware dies, their software in the form of their thoughts, memories, and humor, necessarily must also die. This is impractical in a world where software files in the form of video, music, spreadsheets, documents, etc. can be copied to an indefinite number of hardware objects.

If human thoughts can reside on a substrate other than human brain matter, then the ‘files’ can be backed up. That is all there is to it.

1. Artificial General Intelligence : 2050 – Moderate

This is too vast of a subject to discuss here. Some evidence of progress appears in unexpected places, such as when, in 1997, IBM’s Deep Blue defeated Gary Kasparov in a chess game. Ray Kurzweil believes that an artificial intelligence will pass the Turing Test (a bellwether test of AI) by 2029. We will have to wait and see, but expect the unexpected, when you least expect it.

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The Futurist: The Top Ten Transhumanist Technologies

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Space Adventures, Ltd. | Home

Posted: at 7:45 am

November 18, 2014

Reasons you should fly to space

At Space Adventures we are often asked why private citizens should fly to space. So I asked our previous spaceflight client, Richard Garriott, who spent 12 days on the International

October 7, 2014

10 Best Photos of Earth Taken By Astronauts

Pictures Taken From Space Provide a Look into the Space Travel Experience Since the first astronauts returned with photos showing our planet from a new perspective, our desire to see

July 18, 2014

Taking the Next Step for Mankind

Forty-Five Years After the First Landing, Sights are Set for the Moon Once Again. On July 20, 1969 (45 years ago on Sunday), Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the

July 10, 2014

When Life Imitates Art

How Real Space Programs Are Inspired By The Movies. Drawing inspiration from real events is a staple in the entertainment industry, but less common is when science takes a cue

July 1, 2014

To HollywoodAnd Beyond!

A Look at How Weightless Flights Have Revolutionized the Production Industry. Today marks 19 years since the premiere of Ron Howards blockbuster movie, Apollo 13. Considered one of the most

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Space Adventures, Ltd. | Home

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The Amazingly Accurate Futurism of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Posted: January 19, 2016 at 3:28 pm

Slide: 1 / of 1 .

Caption: The Making of Stanley Kubricks ‘2oo1: A Space Odyssey’ Taschen

Slide: 1 / of 10 .

Caption: A new book, The Making of Stanley Kubricks 2001: A Space Odyssey chronicles the creation of the epic sci-fi movie. Here, actor Keir Dullea poses in the equipment storage corridor to one side of Discoverys pod bay. Dmitri Kessel/Getty Images

Slide: 2 / of 10 .

Caption: The central design challenge for 2001 was creating a set and props that could outpace 1960s technology. While they filmed, NASA was trying to put a man on the moon. If 2001 looked too much like what NASA had created, its futuristic setting wouldn’t be believable. Taschen

Slide: 3 / of 10 .

Caption: The book’s author Piers Bizony points out that here and there, the movie forecasts our technology today. The executive briefcase with its phone handset and dial? Look closely, and all the elements of the laptop or smartphone are there, half a century ahead of time, he says.Taschen

Slide: 4 / of 10 .

Caption: Kubrick hired a skunkworks team of aeronautics engineers and astronomy illustrators to help create the set. This drawings shows a cross section of the Discovery. Oliver Rennert/TASCHEN

Slide: 5 / of 10 .

Caption: Kubrick and his team shooting the nal scenes of 2001 in the faux-luxurious bedroom. Stanley Kubrick Archives/TASCHEN

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Caption: Actor Gary Lockwood in the main command deck of 2001: A Space Odyssey’s interplanetary spacecraft. Even though the design of the movie needed to outpace what NASA was creating, the designers took some cues from the industry and based spacesuits on actual NASA designs.Stanley Kubrick Archives/TASCHEN

Slide: 7 / of 10 .

Caption: Kubrick and author and co-creator Arthur C. Clarke pose for publicity photographs inside the passenger deck set of the Aries lunar ferry. Stanley Kubrick Archives/TASCHEN

Slide: 8 / of 10 .

Caption: Stanley Kubrick gives instructions through a hatch at the bottom of the centrifuge, as actors Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood prepare for a scene. Stanley Kubrick Archives/TASCHEN

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Caption: Most of the movie was filmed in England. Here, Kubrick directs the lunar monolith scenes over the Christmas of 1965 at Shepperton, on Europes second-largest shooting stage. Taschen

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Caption: Book cover designer Roy Carnon helped created a visual scheme for how lighting might look in outer space. This is a rendering of the docking area at the hub of the space station, with a winged shuttle parked after arrival.Taschen

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The Making of Stanley Kubricks 2001: A Space Odyssey documents in nearly scientificdetail exactly that: the story of how the iconic science-fiction film came into existence, and how it predicted much of the technology we take for granted today.

Science writer and space historian Piers Bizony offers an extraordinarily detailed catalog. It begins with the genesis of Kubricks masterpiece, starting with his partnership with author Arthur C. Clarke, and extends through the creation of the films futuristicset design. Only 1,500 copies were printed, and theyve long since sold out at $1,000 each. (A $70 second edition version is now available for pre-order.)

In the tome, which is chock-full of previously unseenimages, Bizony highlights the central tension of the films design: Even as Kubrick and his teamincluding cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth and art director John Hoesliwere creating a fictive future set in space, NASA was racing to put a man on the moon. The set and props in 2001: A Space Odyssey had to dramatically outpace the emerging technology, lest NASA succeed while they were filming and make Kubricks vision appear outdated, or, worse, flat-out wrong.

Thisforced Kubricks team to do deep, meticulous research, which Bizony says helps explain why much of the set design accurately forecasted how we live with technology today. The executive briefcase with its phone handset and dial? Look closely, and all the elements of the laptop or smartphone are there, half a century ahead of time,Bizonytells WIRED. You could also, for example, see HAL 9000 as a proto-Siri.

The book is packed with other detailsabout the making of the film (for example, Clarke wrote the most of the screenplayat the Chelsea Hotel, in the company of William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg), but is most elucidating in its attention to the technical and design details that made the film such anenduring paragon almost 50 years after its release.

In the 1960s, television spelled trouble for film executives. With more viewers getting their entertainment athome, studios needed a way to lure them into movie theaters. The board of MGM grew interested in a new widescreen format called Cinerama, which used a three-camera system to create an impossibly large, wide picture. It required special projection equipment, and audiences would buy tickets and seats ahead of time as if they were going to a Broadway playor, by todays standards, to a 3-D IMAX flick.

With the country entranced by NASAs race to the moon, Kubrick and Clarke realized the sweeping galaxy-building of their filmthe working title was Journey to the Starswas exactly the widescreen extravaganza MGM needed. MGM took the bait,Bizonysays.

That left Kubrick to build a space-age world unlike any other. After surveying set designs from other 1960s-era sci-fi films, Kubrick decided he didnt want to leave 2001s mise en scne in the hands of film industry artists. He wanted a more realistic setting. He assembled a skunkworks team of astronomical artists, aeronautics specialists, and production designers. Aerospace engineersnot prop makersdesigned switchpanels, display systems, and communications devices for the spacecraftinteriors.

This particularly helped with the movies light design. Artist Richard McKenna was creating color schemes for spacecrafts before anyone really knew what they might look like. Roy Carnon, another illustrator, created a visual system for Kubrick that imagined how sunlight and shadows might fall in space. Other advisors took cues from submarines and military vehicles to create the red-lit interiors of the moonbus cockpit.

Hans-Kurt Lange, who worked as an illustrator in NASAs Future Projects Division, modeled 2001s space suits on NASAs, using the same horizontal stitching to maintain a constant volume of air. They resembled a slimmed-down Michelin Man. Likewise, drawings of the Discoverys control panels were based on NASA photos showing astronauts huddled around an in-development Apollo space capsule.

Kubrick and Clarke needed to conceive of an onboard computing system for the Discovery, which they initially called Athena, not HAL. They went to IBM, then the worlds largest computing company, for drawings and blueprints that could imagine the future of personal computing.

IBM had trouble with that. Eliot Noyes, IBMs industrial design consultant, based his renderings on current technological achievements, which were room-sized supercomputers used only by professionals and the military. He proposed to Kubrick that a computer of the complexity required by the Discovery spacecraft would be a computer into which men went, rather than a computer around which men walked. Kubrick lost it. He wanted something smaller, like a control panel. IBMs assumptions were behind the times, Bizony writes. Rival companies, such as Motorola and Raytheon, were pushing toward miniaturization, spurred in large part by NASAs urgent requirement for computers small enough to fit inside the new lunar capsules.

In the end, Kubrick warmed to IBMs drawings for the sake of creating another character and adding drama to the movie. Of course, to animate HAL 9000, Kubricks team had to create thegraphics. ButDoug Trumbull, who did airbrush paintings for films, hit a speedbump: Computer-generated graphics didnt exist in any real way yet. MIT, where Kubrick had met with AI and robotics professor Marvin Minsky, was developing them, but they had a resolution of just 512 pixels across. That was advanced for the 1960s, but Kubrick knew it would be too crude for the year 2001. So histeam faked it by mounting high-contrast film negatives onto mobile glass panels. Trumbull played with colored filters, photographed different graphics slides, and then projected them onto the set.

MGMs contract with Kubrick stipulated that 2001 would wrap in 1966. It missed the deadline, but critics and fans alike would probably agree it was well worth the wait.) 2001: A Space Odyssey hit theaters in April 1968a year before Apollo 11 landed on the moon and provided another glimpse of what space travel might look like.

If there was a space race between Kubrick and NASA, the director won. But as the many, many pages in Bizonys book show, 2001 wasnt just a journey through space. It was a carefully wrought prediction for the future.

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The Amazingly Accurate Futurism of 2001: A Space Odyssey

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Secaucus, New Jersey

Posted: January 14, 2016 at 10:45 pm

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Our Town

Residents, as well as visitors staying at the community’s many fine hotels and motels, can be in Manhattan in as little as 20 minutes via express bus. Or they quickly can be on their way to other points in via the New Jersey Turnpike or State Route 3, both of which pass through the town.

And just across the Hackensack River, a mile away, is the area’s sports and entertainment center, The Meadowlands, home of the Giants, the Jets, concerts, circuses, ice shows, weekly flea market; and the Meadowlands Race Track.

Location! Location! Location! What makes Secaucus great for residents and visitors also makes it great for business. Secaucus is the corporate home of many major businesses and a distribution center serving Manhattan and Northern New Jersey. Its proximity to New York offers quick delivery.

This distribution center, cleverly separated from most of the town’s residential areas, has spawned the other activity for which the community was once well known – outlet shopping. Outlets have greatly deminished in number. However, along with the manufacturers’ outlets, you’ll find the true warehouse outlets, where the store’s in the front and racks of clothes are behind. Periodically the storehouses themselves are opened for that shopper’s dream, a real warehouse sale!

The town has not neglected it’s traditional business center, which residents call The Plaza. Flowers are pridefully planted in park areas in the center of town, where a beautification program was undertaken a few year’s ago. There, businesses thrive, many in the hands of local families who have served their customers for generations.

Harmon Meadow, at the eastern side of Secaucus, has a pleasant town square atmosphere. There, you’ll find many restaurants, some shops, a number of the major hotels, an attactive multiplex cinema and the Meadowlands Exposition Center. Nearby are the convenient big box stores that draw thousands of shoppers.

Secaucus has also become a communications hub, home of NBA Entertainment (and NBA draft), Major League Baseball Network, MY Channel 9 and news bureaus for other networks.

Sports and recreation abound for town residents. There’s a swim center for summer and an ice rink for winter and a Recreation Center for year round activities. There’s a soccer field and a roller hockey rink. There’s a boat ramp into the Hackensack River. There are gyms and fields and organized teams for virtually all outdoor and indoor sports.

Nature is preserved in areas large and small; Snipes Beach Park, The Duck Pond, Schmidts Woods, and a major Meadowlands preserve, Mill Creek Marsh, in the northern sector of the town. The trailhead of the 1.5-mile long Mill Creek Marsh Trail is located adjacent to the big box stores, providing access for birding especially. With its patches of marsh grasses, mud flats and long winding brackish waterways, the Meadowlands is home to 260 bird species, including 15 state-endangered species.

Canoe and kayak trips through the meadows are available at Laurel Hill Hudson Country Park in Secaucus. The Hackensack Riverkeeper (201-920-4746) rents canoes and kayaks on weekends from April through October. The Hackensack Riverkeeper Cruise Program, (201-968-0808) offers two-hour guided naturalist trips on the river and through the marshes of the Meadowlands The park also boasts two floating docks and the only free, unrestricted public boat ramp on the River. The Meadowlands Enviornment Center is a short drive from Secaucus. More on eco-tourism.

While sports and recreation serve the young, the town has also remembered its older residents. Secaucus has led the State in Senior housing. Three major Senior Citizen residences and a Senior activity center serve the needs of those who have served the town.

Secaucus is community centered, with clubs and organizations – Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, Masons, Unico. etc. One can become active with the Shade Tree Commission, or any number of other organizations. The Volunteer Fire Department is a focal point of activity and civic pride.

Secaucus offers fine schools for its children. There are two public elementary schools and a middle-high school. There, children get a caring education and are offered a range of extra curricular activities. The new Arthur F. Couch Performaning Arts Center was opened at the High Schoool/Middle School facility in 2005. There is a library preschool and day care centers for the town’s youngest. The public school system uniquely offers full day kindergarten and pre-kindergarten programs.

The Secaucus Public Library and Business Resource Center offers outstanding facilities for research and recreational reading, plus ample computer facilities with free wi-fi access, a small-business center and meeting rooms.

Eight churches and a Hindu temple serve the religious needs of the community. The Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, First Reformed, Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran and Shree Swaminarayan Hindu Temple each maintain their own religious centers. Quimby Community Church meets at The Church of Our Saviour, and North Jersey United Pentecostal Church meets at the First Reformed Church.

All this and more in a town of 16,000 residents! It’s a great place to live, work, raise a family, and a great place to visit.

Secaucus Data: The following are external links. To return to this page use back button on your computer.

Click here for detailed community profile.

Click here for US Census profile

Click here for NY Times profile.

Click here for NJ Schools Report Cards for Secaucus Schools

Click here for map of Secaucus and vicinity.

Click here for detailed weather data from the Harmon Cove Weather Station in Secaucus.

Click here for detailed weather data from the Hudson County OEM Weather Station in Secaucus.

Click here for detailed weather data from the Park Drive Weather Station in Secaucus.

Click here for normal Secaucus tides (not adjusted for storms, etc.).

Click here for New Jersey property tax charts

Secaucus.org online shopping

Secaucus High School Secaucus Middle School Clarendon Elementary School Huber Street Elementary School

Bergen County Scholastic League

Secaucus Adult School

Arthur F. Couch Performaning Arts Center

New Jersey Schools Report Cards for Secaucus Schools

Immaculate Conception School Harmony Early Learning Center Secaucus Day Care Center High School Marching Band

Churches and Temples Directory of Churches and Temples

Town Government Town of Secaucus Construction Code Enforcement: Health and Fire Inspections Mayor and Council Town Clerk Municipal Court Public Works Recreation Social Services Senior Center Taxes and Assessments Town of Secaucus Municipal Phone Directory E-mail Links to Secaucus Town Officials Secaucus Fire Department Secaucus Fire Department – Clarendon Tower Two Secaucus Fire Department – Engine Company No. One Secaucus Fire Department – Washngton Hook and Ladder Public Library and Business Resource Center

Secaucus Northend Association

Secaucus Medical Services Directory MDs, Chiropractors, Dentists, Optometrists, Pharmacists, Veterinarians
, Hospitals, etc.

Banks in Secaucus List of secaucus Bank Branches

Secaucus Web Directory Classified and Alphabetical Listings

Map of Secaucus Link to map and driving directions

Secaucus in Poetry In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus

Meadowlands License Plate available!

The Motor Vehicles Commission offers a license plate to support land preservation and conservation in the Hackensack Meadowlands and River Watershed.

For details click here.

Other MVC information, and the location and operation hours of the Secaucus MVC Inspection Station.

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Our Town | Residents’ Zone | TV | Movies | Lodgings | Transportation | Shopping | Tourism | Links | web directory | e-store affiliates

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Secaucus, New Jersey

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Brian Solis: Futurist, Anthropologist, Digital Analyst, Keynote Speaker – Video

Posted: April 11, 2015 at 7:40 am



Brian Solis: Futurist, Anthropologist, Digital Analyst, Keynote Speaker
http://www.bxworldwide.com/speaker-profile/?profileid=456 Brian Solis will change the way you view the world of business – from sales, marketing, and customer service, to product development,…

By: BX Worldwide Speakers + Entertainment

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Brian Solis: Futurist, Anthropologist, Digital Analyst, Keynote Speaker – Video

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