Disillusionment With Western Sci-fi?

Well not so much disillusionment as disappointment…maybe?

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One of my favorite games is Fallout 3 and then Fallout: New Vegas, both worlds are large and visually interesting (well somewhat) but story wise, nothing grabs me. Even the usual stellar B plots are just uninteresting.

Contrast that Metro 2033, both the novel and the game. They have an intense dark atmosphere and a rich interesting world. All the little stations have a personality to them, you can taste Artyom’s fear in places. The game replicates it quite well, within it’s confines.

And it seems that Metro’s author making the story as an allegory to modern Russia is what does it. Realising that the story has more then one level is fantastic. But Fallout never reaches that.

But I play to poke my head in holes and shoot things.

 

-Aaron

iTunes: User friendly no more?

Computer programs have seemed to be getting more and more user friendly, this is a trend headed mostly by Apple.

Three Wise Guys Podcast, 5 long, long steps away in iTunes, 1 away in Google!!!!!!

Apples tag line has long been, it just works. It doesnt need years of training and a manual thick enough to stop a RPG to get it to work.

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What is that?!?!?!?!

But iTunes seems to be damn near indecipherable to lots of people. It is cluttered with suggestions to get you to buy stuff, its covered in advertising, and its always moving. Add to that the fact that I cant remember the last time I opened it with out it telling me it needed to be updated…

If, by chance, you want to find something on their yourself with out just buying whats on the chart (for an inflated price), well good luck, we’ll wait a week for you then hold a simple memorial service, since you were undoubtedly lost somewhere in there.

When we first submitted our show to iTunes podcasts, it took them three weeks to notice a RSS feed that takes most people, 4,2 seconds. They placed it in the wrong section, and over 6 months latter, still have the blurb wrong.

The most common question we have received for the show, is not what topic is next, or when we are going to revisit a topic with lots of feedback, its where is it on iTunes, since that is where most people get most of their music/podcasts from.

Even the search function isnt a lot of help, being hidden away in the corner, iTunes draws you attention away from it with flashing banners on their latest high market hits. Then once searched, it offers nice suggestions on anything but what you actually want.

I have never had the heart to explore the other feed options provided by Google or Microsoft. Since Apple was supposed to be the easy one, I am almost afraid to think what those look like. I just dont have the heart to try.

So we Blog and we Tweet (oh how I hate twitter almost as much as iTunes) and Facebook away, hoping one of those never ending updates will finally fix something!

Three Wise Guys = Subscribe, can iTunes do it with out blowing up a RSS feed?

It takes 5 steps to find it on iTunes, it takes 1 on Google.

 

Three Wise Guys 018

Topic: Johnson Space Centre Warp Drive project, ever boyhood fantasy of the Three Wise Guys has come true!!!!!!!!!

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SoapBox: Cloud Atlas and Stupid Critics

This weeks topic is close to home for Preston, litereally, with the Johnson Space Centre in his backyard he has been closly following the real life development of the Warp Drive project, Classification and a lack of security clearence leave us wondering how far we really are to summers on Alpha Centure.

Also a Soap Box looking at the Independent Film, Cloud Atlas, its depth, and the lack of depth of reviewers.

Man vs Nature

Man vs Nature, and a lot of the time, it does seem like a fight. Fight for survival, fight against the elements, fight to preserve what we make. Fight for the right to party… not so much.

 

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I have traveled a lot both in my previous jobs, and for personal reasons. For almost three straight years I never spent more than a week in any one country. I went on tours as a tour guide, I went off by myself to explore cities older than my own country. I haggled with taxi drivers in a dozen languages. 

 

The one thing I take away after all these years an all these countries, that despite what most people think, despite what most travel books print on their covers, despite what many of us want to be true. We love the works of our own hands, far and above that of any work of nature.

 

There is something almost tangible about standing in front of the pyramids, or at walking through the ancient canyon city of Petra in Jordan. A lot of the time, its not even the fact that these places are especially amazing. Anyone who has walked a street in New York and then sees the pyramids tends to shrug and almost go “Is that it” for even though they were the tallest building for millennium, we have far surpassed them in the last century. 

 

But even so, the sense of history, the sense of human achievement. It is almost visceral feeling you get, the connection through time to our ancestors. 

 

And it is something that is completely lacking in nature. I have seen some amazing natural scenery, I am from what is considered to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world and have visited most of the other. But you get used to it very quickly, I was in Alaska once for 5 months, and was bored of the scenery after 2 weeks, as was every single other person at my firm of several hundred people. 

 

Nature seems to wear thin quickly, it is common place. Which is probably why we don’t mourn it very much when we bulldoze through the middle of it to build a highway or pipeline.

 

Where as our history, our creations through time… even the smallest of achievements of our ancestors millennia ago are revere now, where as mountains that took millions of years to rise are defiled for the ore they can give us. 

 

While I think we need to preserve nature and that it is a good an honorable goal to preserve and protect the nature.

 

I cant deny that on the list of most amazing things I have seen in my life, its a long way down the list before anything made by nature appears. 

Three Wise Guys 017

Three Wise Guys

 

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Topic: Psuedo Science and Same Sex civil rights

 

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Soapbox, Florida Court Case on same sex couple

 

Hosts: Aaron, Preston, Ben

 

Summery, A look at some of the many forms of psuedo scince passing off as real medicine and science in our community, the harm they can do if taken seriously and the costs, both financial and ethical, of letting them continue.

 

Also a look at following the spirit of the law, rather than the letter.

Twitter vs Facebook vs Blog

Twitter Vs Facebook Vs Blogs

 

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Its an age old question, assuming your age is less than 10 years.

 

There are casual users for each who use them to stay in touch with people and find items and people of similar interests.

 

There are businesses that tend to ruin it for everyone by using all of them, at the same time, as just another venue to advertise and market themselves, usually with hilariously tragic results.

 

Facebook seems to be for everyone, old and young, to keep in touch. Almost everyone I know uses it, some more some less. For me it has almost totally replaced email as a way to rapidly keep in touch with friends and family around the world. And used in moderation, I think its great, the amount of times Facebook as told me I am in a country or city of someone I had no idea was there. Some of the best Real life moments in my life are due to Facebook warnings.

 

Twitter, if I’m honest, I must say I hate twitter. Its so full of either totally useless spam, business marketing, or people trying to get a trend or some slacktivisum, that the genuinely good stuff, is buried. I now use twitter solely to get the mood of groups of people. When Three Wise Guys got their account, I followed 20 random people from a bunch of different topics, so I we could see what groups of people were thinking about certain topics. The recent vote in Texas on abortion has been a good example of it. Numerous different group showing numerous stand points, some extreme, some not. But it will never give a understanding of a topic, it’s too small, to emotional and it is very rapid. People posting before they have time to really think about an issue.

 

I think Blogs are the happy medium, you get the voice of the people on topics, usually pretty rapidly as they happen. But due to their nature people have time to think and formulate posts, and respond, and have dialog. Dialog! Something missing from the rapid firing tweeting and texting.

 

Each thing has its place, and if you know how to use them, and how to take them with a ton of salt, can be useful in understanding issues. It helps you see the emotional, rational and intellectual aspect to issues. 

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Three Wise Guys

 Space Colonies…

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And…

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Topic: Space colonies and the future of manned space

 

Soapbox: Tea Party

 

Hosts: Aaron, Preston, Ben

 

Summery: A look at the future of manned space flight and our presence in space above and beyond the international space station. Also a look at the new trip to Mars run by reality TV. Is a manned mission just beyond us, economically, for the foreseeable future, are we doomed to one planet so long as people keep crying “Wont somebody please think of the children?!?!”

 

Soap Box is looking at the high jacking of the tea party by the far right. How it started, and where it is heading and what their politics might mean for all of us.

 

Three Wise Guys 015

Three Wise Guys

 

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Topic: Designer Babies

 

Soapbox: The Liberator Pistol

 

Hosts: Aaron, Preston, Ben

 

A look at the up coming ethical problem of designer babies and where the line may need to be drawn to seperate the levels of genetic engineering we will be facing in the coming decades.

Three Wise Guys 014

Three Wise Guys 014

 

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Episode 014

 

Topic: GMO, Genetically modified foods past, present and future

 

Soap Box: Oblivion review

 

This weeks episode takes a look at Genetically modified food stuffs in our societies, its pros and cons and societies opinion of it.

 

Three Wise Guys 013

Three Wise Guys

 

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Episode 013

 

Topic: CGI in movies and personal identity right. This week we look at the fate of CGI and what may happen when realistic CGI becomes widely available. Will we start seeing dead actors ataring again? Will we see celebrities cast in roles they wouldnt want? 

 

Soapbox: Why Aaron and Preston support gun ownership.