Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Rise of Gothic Fantasy

I am surprised by the fairly recent massive rise of vampire, angel, magician, shapeshifting fiction in books, TV and movies.
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Or was.
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I think about it and I remember a quote from Arthur C. Clarke that said (paraphrased of course) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
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I am reminded of that because in many ways our world has progressed into sufficiently advanced to
Wolfman, Ghost and  Vampire from SyFy
seem magical.
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For instance, you could speak into a phone to make dinner reservations for tomorrow in Vienna and, depending if you phrased it correctly, it could do it.
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Now, I can explain how the internet message travels to a name server, how it parses and finds the server in Vienna.  How it is traded at a transport hub for the trip from New York to Vienna (assuming the restaurant's server is in Vienna) and gets to the server.
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But I have no idea how a voice command is parsed into code.  I have no idea how the reservation ap works in Vienna.  And I could take a healthy stab at how the Viennese Server is set up and loaded, but the smart phone construction might as well be Sumerian hieroglyphics.
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Through this prism of impossible things happening every moment, the possibility of Vampires and Werewolves seems less out there.
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I don't believe in them, but I get it.

1 comment:

Joc said...

I believe in Siri. And the internet. And servers. And parsing. I draw the line at vampires, zombies, and the undead. I loved me the Dracula stories but I think it was the neck bites that attracted me. Can't wait for this phase to be over.