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To what extent is the future influenced by Hollywood fiction?

  • 24-12-2022 3:40pm
    Registered Users Posts: 5,985 ✭✭✭

    Everyone in the western world is exposed to Hollywood films to a certain extent from the poorest homeless man sitting on the street to the richest of the elite.

    Back in the 80's when Back to the Future was released the seed was planted into our heads that we should have hoverboards in 2015. Of course the technology wasn't there yet to actually make things hover with no magnets beneath them (or it was suppressed by the CIA and stored in Roswell to help the oil industry) so we ended up with those horrible dangerous 2-wheeled contraptions from China. Had it not been for Back to the future I reckon there is a good chance those contraptions would have remained a plaything for a few kids in Shenzhen or simply never been invented at all.

    Policymakers like Eamonn Ryan have also seen their fair share of movies about the future. I reckon he watched the Matrix when it came out in the late 90's and was captivated by the efficiency of storing all those pesky humans in small vats of liquid. Thus he set about his plans to make this become a reality. Firstly by attempting to keep them in the same place by hatin' on cars and SUVs and by encouraging them to live in small apartments. Once pesky humans are living in said small apartments and spending their whole life wearing virtual reality goggles and being fed crushed beetles and bluebottles through a tube he will go about "upgrading" the apartments to vats of liquid and meanwhile all the people in the VR industry have already accepted the cable into the back of the head as the natural evolution of VR goggles.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,838 ✭✭✭✭AMKC

    Not a film but Star Trek definitely influenced the advance of communications. Why I say not a film is because it was mostly in the original series TOS and TNG in the 60s and 80/90s respectivly that the communicators and for that matter desktop computer's and laptop's were used in Star Trek.

    Yes the films had some but Star Trek is mostly about the series and that is where all the influence for PCs, laptops and then mobiles phones came from :)

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 19,816 CMod ✭✭✭✭Ten of Swords

    One of the best examples I can think of is Exoskeletal Armour for soldiers. The concept had been around for about 100 years but got renewed interest, and research, following the publication of Robert Heinlein's 1959 book Starship Troopers.

    US Airborn Ranger Monty Reed, who shattered his spine following a parachute accident in the 80s, read the book while he was recovering in hospital and went on to develop a suit based on what he had read with a view to helping paralysed people. As of the mid 2000s he's had some success with these suits.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,099 ✭✭✭AllForIt

    I think what you see in Hollywood sci-fi is often based on theoretical sciences for example all that stuff about the 'spacetime continuum'/time travel/ parallel universes you see in Star Trek etc is just an artistic licence take on theoretical/real physics. The movie Interstellar would be one where this was particularly the case.

    Similarly scientists looks at creatures like bugs to see how they can do things we can't like walking up walls and try to emulate the mechanics.

    So I think it's more the other way around mostly i.e. Hollywood is influenced by science.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,444 ✭✭✭SuperBowserWorld

    ET nearly killed himself trying to phone home in the 80s.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭Count Dracula

    Theoretically speaking, at some stage in the future we will invent time travel and quite possibly learn how to manipulate and control time?

    I doubt they would be all that bothered with any of the dross produced in Hollywood over the last 30 years. Can't see them setting the Flux Capacitor to the early 3rd millenium either.

    If you compare the growth acceleration of humans on earth over say the last 10,000 years, we have literally grown exponentially over the last 100 years. However I don't think we are capable of managing the current branch of progress. At some stage it will crash and more than likely stunt progress, just my gut on that one. It might be climate change or the oil running out or a mutated virus or something something.

    I doubt when time travellers are visiting this epoch, that they will spend much time examining the tripe Hollywood has made? People who have travelled back over a 100,000 years won't have the time to not spend doing something useful with it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,082 ✭✭✭silliussoddius

    Maybe to aliens a Michael Bay film will be their equivalent of this

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,291 ✭✭✭Riddle101

    I've often felt that some of the motivations for inventions over the past two decades have been largely influenced by movies. Like some scientist or inventor saw something in a futuristic movie and decided to put the theory to the test. Smartphones being like computers could easily be something out of an old sci-fi movie or show from the 70's or 80's.

    There are also drawbacks though as well I think. Movies like The Terminator which depict a Rogue AI attacking humanity in the future seem to have created a sense of paranoia about the creation of AI. I always say those are just movies and nothing is certain about what AI will do in the future, but then you've got Elon Musk going on about an AI apocalypse creating all sorts of fear around AI which I think only hinders the progress of science.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,985 ✭✭✭Ubbquittious

    Elon coiuld be right though. ChatGPT is scary ****, despite it spewing a lot of bullsh1t at the minute imagine how many jobs an improved version would take. AI does not have to become conscious Terminator style to cause a lot of trouble. If its good enough you will see it sweeping up all the jobs and you end up with a really poor unemployable underclass and a really wealthy robot-owning upper class with a robot army (already happening to an extent) without any consciousness or inherent evil needing to exist within the AI itself.

    I'd say in future generations you'll have lots of really poorpeople existing on UBI in tiny apartments soaking up virtual reality all day for escapism while the robot owners can do what they like with their massive mansions and superyachts