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Sci fi tropes that annoy you?


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#21
SG-1

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There are a lot of things we consider intelligent actions that we do unconsciously.  I recommend reading "Incognito - David Eagleman" it basically says that the simpler an action is, the more complex it is in our brains to accomplish it.  Consciousness is actually detrimental to a lot of simple actions.

 

Here is a story: There was a centipede with 300 legs walking around, until a bug walked by and said, "Wow! How do you walk with so many legs! Which one goes in front of the other?" The centipede stopped and thought about it and couldn't explain it.  When he tried to walk he fell over and couldn't move.  He forgot how to coordinate his movements.

 

This is an example of "muscle" memory.  Some functions are so essential to our survival that they become instinct and are hardwired into our brains.

 

 

I would think an intelligent being would not be so different in mental capability to ourselves, although thought process is probably very different.  They wouldn't have to worry about instinctual behaviors (these are what robots are good at btw), and they probably stopped evolving once they reached the intelligence level to do basic hunter/gather stuff.  Evolution in a society like that would take a looong time, and by the time their intelligence or brain structure could change they would have already become advanced enough to take control over biology with technology.

 

Maybe I'm wrong but I think any other form of intelligence is probably only able to be so different than us or it risks not being able to function properly to develop technology in a form we could relate to.


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#22
Practical Mind

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What I meant was, not "similar in mentality" but actually physically similar, humanoid, about 2 m tall, air-breathing, two arms, two legs, head with two eyes. Maybe different cranial ridges. 

 

That's way too close, I think. It means that the entire evolution process was nearly the same. 

 

Crabs have great prerequisites to tool use. So are octopi. Aquatic sentient life would have to be different. 

 

Star Maker of Stapledon draws a much more diverse picture based on the physical attributes of the home world. For example, a large planet was home to a kind of "bird cloud" intelligent species, which functioned as "hive minds" consisting of primitive non-sentient birds - because the gravity was too strong for an organism with a large brain to emerge. Another one had "nautiloids", boat-like creatures dwelling in oceans. Yet another one had symbiotic dual race, which developed of two species, functionally bound by evolution. 


Edited by Practical Mind, 07 April 2013 - 05:20 AM.


#23
Squillimy

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i actually don't like how bizarre they make aliens look in movies. they obviously have to have hands to grab things. and eyes to see in the front since theyre predators. ears on the side to hear. and ofcourse a mouth + anus with reproducing organs among other organs including a brain and a heart. They would have apendages (not sure howto spell that word), and most likely legs for walking. this is why i think aliens would end up looking somewhat similar to us. because they need all these things since they are intelligent life.

 

This is why i don't like how in movies the aliens may be 6 legged spider like creatures with crab claws. or feral looking creatures with shark mouths and claws with dragon type legs. these things sound like unintelligent life, not a species that has mastered interstellar travel. Personally i think a mammal type species with antennae from insect like dna is an interesting concept for an alien. maybe they''d have 4 eyes like spiders, maybe not. You know, something not-so far fetched


What becomes of man when the things that man can create are greater than man itself?


#24
Practical Mind

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Here's another thing about sci-fi aliens. They're either bad (eliminate or enslave humanity or destroy the Earth) or, if allies, always led by humanity.

 

Even in Star Trek, enlightened logical species like Vulcans are playing a second fiddle. Why? 

 

I wonder if / when the real aliens show up, how they look at it. I would think that the humans are highly xenophobic. 



#25
zEVerzan

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Space is apparently very noisy.

 

*PEW! PEW! PEW! KABLOWAWOW KABOOOOOOOOOMMMM! - every space battle

 

I'm not exactly pleased how space battles usually look a lot like dogfights (with "fighter craft") or naval battles (with "cruisers"). It's an entirely different environment altogether, and so any warfare pitched in space would look very, very different. It has a lot of potential for creativity because we're not exactly sure what space battles would look like, so I don't know why everyone just goes with "WWI-style dogfight".

 

Another one that gets on my nerves is when they treat space as an ocean, as if galaxies are some kind of 2-Dimensional plane.

"We've got your ship surrounded, there's no hope of escape!"


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#26
razer1994

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Here's another thing about sci-fi aliens. They're either bad (eliminate or enslave humanity or destroy the Earth) or, if allies, always led by humanity. Even in Star Trek, enlightened logical species like Vulcans are playing a second fiddle. Why? I wonder if / when the real aliens show up, how they look at it. I would think that the humans are highly xenophobic. 

A realist senario is where the aliens conquer humanity, kill 40% of us directly and another 50% die from societal breakdown. The survivors are integrated into the alien civilization as a lower class in society.

#27
zEVerzan

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A realist senario is where the aliens conquer humanity, kill 40% of us directly and another 50% die from societal breakdown. The survivors are integrated into the alien civilization as a lower class in society.

 

That gives me another one: The aliens attempt an invasion, steal a whole bunch of resources, take out a whole bunch of population centers, and topple governments, then Randy Quaid gunks a plane all up in their junk and trashes their entire effort. Then the people of Earth rejoice and party, and everyone lives happily ever after as the audience learns a valuable lesson about the tenacity of the human spirit.

 

Everything will not continue happily ever after. Society is in ruins; the world has basically been reduced to a state of anarchy due to the collapse of world governments, and hundreds of millions of people have died. Humanity's victory is a phyrric one at best, and a possible scenario is that the alien force they encountered was just a scouting fleet for the REAL DEAL invasion, one humanity truly stands no chance against. This goes for any alien invasion flick.


I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
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#28
Practical Mind

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And why is it realistic? 

 

This is one of the tropes that annoy me. 

 

For example, USA can conquer Tuvalu and kill not only 40, but 100% of the population. Why don't they? 



#29
NightWolf235

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Space is apparently very noisy.

 

*PEW! PEW! PEW! KABLOWAWOW KABOOOOOOOOOMMMM! - every space battle

 

I'm not exactly pleased how space battles usually look a lot like dogfights (with "fighter craft") or naval battles (with "cruisers"). It's an entirely different environment altogether, and so any warfare pitched in space would look very, very different. It has a lot of potential for creativity because we're not exactly sure what space battles would look like, so I don't know why everyone just goes with "WWI-style dogfight".

 

Another one that gets on my nerves is when they treat space as an ocean, as if galaxies are some kind of 2-Dimensional plane.

"We've got your ship surrounded, there's no hope of escape!"

 I like the way EVE Online deals with this. Capsuleers (the pilots) control their ships from a pod inside. They control the ships with their mind and are expected to maintain top mental condition. As such, the pods will project sound effects such as laser blasts and booms to keep the pilot sane.

 

This is actually what a lot of Sci Fi should use. Speakers would give pilots some degree of sanity. I mean can you imagine just floating around in space with no sounds? Creepy.

 

ff79fb881232ff3


Edited by NightWolf235, 08 April 2013 - 05:33 PM.


#30
razer1994

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And why is it realistic? This is one of the tropes that annoy me. For example, USA can conquer Tuvalu and kill not only 40, but 100% of the population. Why don't they? 

Because I hope the aliens are civil enough to not be completely genocidial. Even the Spanish conquerings of the New World, in which nearly 80% of the population was killed, 20% still survived. The Europeans viewed the natives as trash, less than dogs, and treated them as such. They had the technological and diseases capability to wipe the natives out, but they still did not. I think it would be more economical for the aliens to keep some of us alive. And on top of that, even if they think we are ants, they still probably will not kill us all for the sake of killing.

#31
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I think you're not getting my drift. 

 

USA never attacked Tuvalu and will not likely do that in the future. Why? Because, why bother?

 

Any war effort is only worth if the invader gains something. The Spaniards gained new lands and huge wealth. It was when natural resources mattered a lot. 

 

If you have interstellar propulsion, it does not run on coal, steam, or oil. What can they possibly gain by conquering a far away world, likely not 100% similar to their own, with different gravity, atmosphere, biosphere? 


Edited by Practical Mind, 09 April 2013 - 03:32 AM.


#32
CamGoldenGun

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 What can they possibly gain by conquering a far away world, likely not 100% similar to their own, with different gravity, atmosphere, biosphere? 

A feeding ground or 7 Billion slaves.



#33
zEVerzan

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 What can they possibly gain by conquering a far away world, likely not 100% similar to their own, with different gravity, atmosphere, biosphere? 

A feeding ground or 7 Billion slaves.

 

A parking structure planet?


I always imagined the future as a time of more reason, empathy, and peace, not less. It's time for a change.
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#34
Raklian

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I don't think we will want to "conquer" other worlds. Colonizing to accommodate the rising human population might be a more constructive perspective to have.

 

We'll probably have the technical know-how to construct giantitic platforms for a large majority of the human population to live on. That's assuming we haven't achieved the breakthrough of mind uploading, which of course will change the way we perceive as "living" and no longer need physical means of "staying" somewhere.


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#35
Practical Mind

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 What can they possibly gain by conquering a far away world, likely not 100% similar to their own, with different gravity, atmosphere, biosphere? 

A feeding ground or 7 Billion slaves.

 

Like it was told before, slaves are expensive and inefficient compared to robots, let alone that they won't survive or function well in a planet with different gravity or climate or atmosphere. 



#36
stuffed_leader

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i actually don't like how bizarre they make aliens look in movies. they obviously have to have hands to grab things. and eyes to see in the front since theyre predators. ears on the side to hear. and ofcourse a mouth + anus with reproducing organs among other organs including a brain and a heart. They would have apendages (not sure howto spell that word), and most likely legs for walking. this is why i think aliens would end up looking somewhat similar to us. because they need all these things since they are intelligent life. This is why i don't like how in movies the aliens may be 6 legged spider like creatures with crab claws. or feral looking creatures with shark mouths and claws with dragon type legs. these things sound like unintelligent life, not a species that has mastered interstellar travel. Personally i think a mammal type species with antennae from insect like dna is an interesting concept for an alien. maybe they''d have 4 eyes like spiders, maybe not. You know, something not-so far fetched
Intelligence is too complicated to put a mammal stamp on it. Our ability to use tools didn't increase or add intelligence, they were a result. I don't like that the aliens with high intelligence MUST have a civilization. Civilization is a human creation based off agriculture and HUMAN social structure, not a universal law of intelligent species.

Edited by stuffed_leader, 10 April 2013 - 03:03 AM.

Omega point or extinction.

#37
razer1994

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 What can they possibly gain by conquering a far away world, likely not 100% similar to their own, with different gravity, atmosphere, biosphere? 

A feeding ground or 7 Billion slaves.

 Like it was told before, slaves are expensive and inefficient compared to robots, let alone that they won't survive or function well in a planet with different gravity or climate or atmosphere. 

If the aliens are truly civilized they will probably treat us well. As to your comment on how they will interact to the conditions of our planet, they might not be able to survive or could be very much like us. They also might just kill us all because they feel like it. They could also kill us by accident.

#38
midnightr

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To be honest there isn't much that annoys me about Sci Fi. I don't tend to get irate about things in that sense. I fully understand many concepts are not fully thought out, but that's OK, provided it makes a good movie. These are fictional accounts after all & should be given a certain amount of artistic license.

 

Regarding temperatures in space. While space is a vacuum you have to remember that most of our body is liquid, and that holds a great deal of our heat. Evaporating liquid would have a cooling affect on our body, especially our eyes mouth & lungs. This is what creates the frost effect you see on modern day movies, and is in fact what would happen if you were exposed to space. So while space is not "cold" per se, it can have a cooling effect on our body that is most certainly visible. 

 

Regarding sound in space, well they'd be boring movies with no sound don't cha think? 



#39
sweetwilliam

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Regarding the enslavement of the human race: Biological lifeforms require feed they are capable of producing themselves if given a bit of free reign (much like slaves were kept, they were allowed a small kitchen plot and were expected to feed themselves.)

Robots require resources and fuel, which could be used for many other things.

 

One thing our planet is rich in, resource wise, is liquid water, which could be a very important strategic resource for an expanding alien empire.

 

However, we sit in the edge of a spiral of a relatively new galaxy, I doubt space-faring aliens would ever have a reason to come here, there are much shorter travel distances between star systems the closer you get to the center of the universe, and I guess that is where the possibility of alien civilizations gathering are the highest, also because star systems there are older than ours, giving life a greater chance of being created and evolving

 

 

I think the trope I like the less, is that it is always the benevolent Americans who negotiate with alien species, talking about human rights and sovereign states and whatnot, which differs a lot from how US politics in the world has been since at least the 60's. Granted, they are the biggest and most humanitarian superpower in the world, but their human rights and war score is not exactly peachy..

 

Then again, most Scifis are made in the US, so it makes sense that there is a kind of centrism :biggrin:


Edited by sweetwilliam, 10 April 2013 - 06:51 PM.

The only sovereign you can allow to rule you is reason..... Faith and feelings are the darkness to reason's light

- Richard Rahl and Zeddicus Zorander, protagonists in the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind


#40
CamGoldenGun

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Like it was told before, slaves are expensive and inefficient compared to robots, let alone that they won't survive or function well in a planet with different gravity or climate or atmosphere. 

I was kind of jokingly hinting at the existence of Wraiths from Stargate Atlantis lol... "feeding ground" was the clue.

 

What if for some strange reason, a culture advanced enough never developed robotics because of an abundance of slaves and their economy revolved around the procurement and habitat for them? I mean if there was a species that communicated telepathically, you wouldn't see inventions like the telephone. If the need isn't there, the technology might not get developed. 






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