Friday, February 02, 2007

Challenges (computer graphic trailers!) and other kinds...

Many of you will recall that I touted the “CG Challenge” that calls upon computer graphic artist around the world to enter vivid contests to illustrate their skills. The latest challenge takes a big step from static, single frame art to animated shorts... either storyboards or a “movie trailer”... inspired by one of the great science fiction novels of all time, Greg Bear’s EON.

 Go to the main CG Challenge and sample the array of entries......then tell me which of my own works you think might make a good subject for a trailer or storyboard! (I am next in line.) I’m leading toward having the contest be about storyboarding, rather than a trailer. But the trailer sure is tempting! (Some of my short stories can be found on my website.)

Have a look at the entrants in the EON contest, and discuss em! Help us judge which deserve the prize. Then look at this one that missed the entry deadline, but is super cool.

Addenda: The winners of the Uplift Universe: Alien Relations Challenge can now viewed on the CGSociety Website.

==Miscellaneous Science News==

--An extremely thought provoking article about how major drug companies have been taking the process of testing new drugs for safety and effectiveness overseas, in part to avoid FDA stringency but also because Americans just don’t volunteer for drug testing, anymore. Read it and try not to react by reflex. There is some villainy involved, certainly. But perhaps more in the details than in the general trend.

--Likewise, a fascinating call by the National Association of Evangelicals for the conservative movement to re-examine Global Warming.

--University of Southern California researchers have found that cancer is rooted in stem cells.

--Circumcision appears to reduce a man's risk of contracting AIDS from heterosexual sex by half, according to U.S. government health officials. Yipe.

--Researchers report that small plastic pellets called "mermaids' tears", which are the result of industry and domestic waste, have spread across the world's seas. The scientists had previously found the debris on UK beaches and in European waters; now they have replicated the finding on four continents.

Finally, turning back a little political... though actually psychological...

A reminder to keep this one in your pocket, whenever you feel that lack of inttelligence explains the attitudes of troglodyte reactionaries.

A few of us discussed this Reactionary Catechism under comments, in the previous blog entry. But I wanted to cite it here at top level, as well. This fellow is another species. One that would prefer to stay feudal, terrified, and only half sapient forever -- though with confident expectation that God’s reality is a cramped, short term exercise, and so it does not matter.

He praises elitism, mythology, romanticism, nostalgia, mysticism, exceptionalism, ritualistic-dogmatic traditionalism, and prejudice in the purest meaning of the word - pre-judice - judging others and all thoughts based upon comfortable, self-serving assumptions and eliminating all processes that test those subjective assumptions against the genuine holiness of the Creator’s greatest work, a thing called objective reality.

Indeed, denial of objective reality or its relevance is the underlying commonality that this fellow howls in perfect synchrony with romantics of the far left, whose praise of ancient mysticism and tribal ways converge eerily on the extreme, with "reactionaries" like this guy.

(Naturally, my own theology, that were were meant to be apprentices and knowingly (through science) begin sharing and completing the art/craft of Creation, would send both types shrieking.

If you have not seen it, do. And know the full range of human personality that makes our task so duantingly difficult. Trogs who know that 6,000 years of trying their way never got humanity anything but pain, nevertheless bitterly resent us our turn, trying something new and blatantly better.

No wonder they are fighting back so hard, as we speak. They must re-establish the old way fast, or lose their chance forever, as humanity finally steps into the light.

41 comments:

Jose said...

I liked your commentary on far right partisans (I don't like giving them insulting names, describing them as far right extremists has the virtue of both being more polite and pissing them off more). I don't have a link handy but there's been some research that indicates that they don't use their cerebral cortex much when evaluating political statements. Instead another part of their brain associated with emotional rewards lights up whenever they affirm the "correct" side or disagree with the "incorrect" side. I'm sure such a pack mentality came in handy back in the day but it's ill suited to a democracy.

I think this is also why we see such an overlap between creationists and people who vehemently object to global warming. The global warming hypothesis requires them to believe in a moral cause of a nature that they find unpalatable (there's no foreign enemy to blame it on and they're not necessarily the good guys).

Deconstructing the far right is easy. Just turn their accusations around, most of them in fact apply to them: global warming is a religion (they're creationists and/or heavily influence by christian dominionism), liberals are arrogant and ignorant, etc. etc.

But in fairness we should be deconstructing the loonies on the other side of the political spectrum too. Unfortunately this is a lot harder to do since they're a lot more diversified and neurotic, a Baskin Robbins of ideological weirdness (although a lot of them them tend to have issues with daddy). The end result is basicaly the same nature of thinking, just with different packaging.

Tony Fisk said...

My vote is for Earth... some rather dramatic moments in there for the big screen.

(Plus, I have this image of Daisy busily revamping movies to the beat of Blondie's 'Rapture' ... just before she gets on with the spring cleaning!)

OdinsEye2k said...

For the CG stuff, I definitely would go with Earth (although I've only read it and Postman - the second DQ'ed for obvious reasons) gazer beam scenes. I would love to see concept art for the displays (and what happens when a matter/gazer resonance hits).

Stefan Jones said...

I think "Kil'n People" has the best shot for adaptation. A really nifty concept. Possibility: Write a book in the same setting that's deliberately made with adaptation in mind.

Earth, maybe, but you'd need to drastically simplify it. But then again, the best part of the book is the rich tapestry of people and places we see in the first half. Maybe it is best left as a book.

Rob Perkins said...

Oh, come on.

Gotta be Sundiver. Images of the Vanilla Needle, the aliens of the Five Galaxies, and the sunships themselves, particularly of a ball of ice plummeting *out* of the sun...

That's what I would pick.

Stefan Jones said...

Oh, if you think that Catechism was bad, there's a site devoted to "patriarchy" (partriarchy.org?) that makes it look tame.

It for Christian patriarchs. Clean-cut shepherds of the family flock.

The article I read there was an earnest description of how the author was managing his daughters' education. No need for high school or college; the only career they might be allowed (before settling into wife and motherhood): Midwife.

* * *

Sundiver? You know, that could work. It's a mystery story, and relatively short.

Blake Stacey said...

In no particular order: Earth, Kiln People, Sundiver and Foundation's Triumph.

Michael "Sotek" Ralston said...

I'd say Kiln People or Sundiver, myself.

Earth is just too big, Too much going on, and the scale is part of what makes the story.


Sundiver is nice and self-contained... and Kiln People has a ready-made narrator! Always a plus.

Todd said...

Sundiver.

Oh, re the Catechism, I'm reminded of a line from a Bob Colwell editorial in IEEE SPECTRUM years ago:

"Surely vagueness is a small price to pay for irrefutability."

David Brin said...

Thanks for the suggestions re the CG challenge. Yes, Sundiver would be vivid for a trailer.

Kiln People would be great for a storyboard, especially since a top screenwriter in Hollywood has already created a script. I may ask her.

We've also discussed doing "Dr. Pak's Preschool."

Have any of you looked at the EON trailers? How cool! Tell me which ones you liked best, and why.

Todd, thanks for the Bob Colwell quotations. Excellent. Let me know if you ever get a more precise citation.

And now, ahem, a link that I am deliberately misspelling. http://www.operatinthetan.com/ ("operating" is missing a "g") Have a look sometime from a internet cafe or some otherwise untraceable source. I make no judgements about the veracity of anything. What I do believe is that sincere people who rationalize conspiratorial secrecy and evading accountability soon plunge down an all-too human path that dooms the soul.

If you comment here, stay vague and allusive. No names.

Todd said...

For David "CITOKATE" Brin:

IEEE Computer, not Spectrum. I thought for sure it was Spectrum so didn't bother to check. See what happens?

Bob Colwell, "What Technology Is Doing to Music," Computer, vol. 35, no. 7, pp. 6-8, Jul., 2002.

See:

http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=619077.622010

Here is the whole abstract:

"A surprisingly high percentage of engineers are also avid musicians. Notice that if I don't actually quote a number for 'high,' that sentence seems irrefutable. Surely vagueness is a small price to pay for irrefutability.Perhaps the concept of engineers-as-musicians surprises us mostly because we engineers take pride in our rational, positivist view of the world, and we don't quite know how to explain why we also participate in an activity as emotional, messy, uncertain, and generally nonlucrative as music. So any percentage that is nonnegligible will strike us as interesting, and would probably tell us something important about ourselves if only we knew what it meant. My guess is it means our intellect tells us the obvious: It's much more feasible to do engineering for a career and dabble in music than to be a professional musician and dabble in engineering."

Lauren said...

Sundiver was the first that popped into mind. As an observer, I've noticed most CG artists seem to have an obsesion with fire effects that exceeds their actuslly utility in storytelling. I'm sure a story that takes place within the sun will get plenty of notice.

I would also like to toss Glory Season out there. A long time since I've read it, but multitudes of identical people is a great way to show off CG, if in a more subtle way. Maybe it would be better to wait a few years, though, as the better techniques for creating CG actors trickle down to the hobbyist.

David Brin said...

I have long marveled at the asymetry in CP Snow's so-called "two cultures" dichotomy (in which he maintained that the arts and sciences could not ever understand each other).

1. All my life I have noticed that ALL of the best scientists and engineers I knew always had artistic hobbies and passtimes. All of them. In many cases, at near virtuoso levels of ability.

2. I am affiliated with UCSD's "Sixth College" whose mission is explicitly to bridge the arts and sciences, assuming that it can be done by tech-friendly artists and aristic techies. For proof, look at www.exorarium.com and then click over to the site of my colleague Sheldon Brown.

The 21st Century has to shatter cliches. Like the left-right axis... and CP Snow's canard that human beings are simplistic creatures, a notion that many are addicted to, from Marxists to neocons. fie on them.

You'll note that this notiuon is mostly spread from the "srty" side. Not by skilled artists themselves, but by postmodern academics and "soft science" types, who seem to feel a desperate need to claim that harder scientists are incapable of grasping the other side. It is obvious why they feel this need. Because THEY cannot even remotely understand science, and it would be demeaning to recognize the truth.

That the inability-to-perceive is largely unidirectional.

----

regarding the mysterious matter I alluded to, you can learn more at the extropiansite, where folks have more courage than I do. Type extropy and then dotorg.

W.B. Reeves said...

It's always refreshing, after a hard slog through the infantilism that characterizes so much of the blogosphere, to swing by a place where critical thought and stringent articulation is prized above cheerleading.

Re: the trog catechism. Interesting to note that the title is a lift from Bakunin and Nechaev's "Revolutionary Catechism". The latter author turned out to be a criminal lunatic of such Doestievskian dimensions that he was eventually repudiated by the revolutionary left in Tsarist Russia. Imagine that. So extreme and unprincipled as to be rejected by the pre bolshevik radical intelligentsia.

One point somewhat overlooked is the evidence that the Trog author provides that the "left/right" axis is not quite so obsolescent as we might wish. Regard his first principle. The primacy of "private property" explicitly linked to a defense of the current corporate kleptocracy. This provides a clear continuity with historic rightwing/reactionary movements who used this principle to defend everything from the decayed aristocracies of the 19th century to the fascist siezures of power in the the 20th.

The question of property and, by extension, wealth is the fundamental touchstone of the left/right divide. One side sees these as the possession/product of the individual or a class of individuals. The other insists that property and wealth are social creations and therefore the proper subject of social policy.

The antagonism between these warring principles is clearly on display in the ongoing debate over global warming/climate change. It underlies the entire righwing meme of "environmentalism as an anti-capitalist conspiracy".

I'm afraid we have a long ways to go before we can dispense with the Left/Right axis.

Floyd Gilmore said...

Hi Dr. Brin.

After going through the many lush and wondrous contributions to the Eon trailer project, I had to narrow the field down to the two trailers posted by Alpo Oksahariu and Emiliano Colanoni.

Both are outstanding short trailers. The quality levels were extraordinary. I hope both of these teams will work on the story selection to be made on the next challenge.

I'd also nominate the still image by Paul Hume of the Soviet troops in freefall above the second chamber city.
Incredible!

Now, as to my suggestion for which story of your might work as a subject for the trailer project, I'm going to toss out "Detritus Affected" from the Otherness collection of short stories.

I'm not sure there would be a wide audience for this particular story. The ideas posed in the story do deserve some exploration.

And for those who suggested "Earth" as a possible candidate, I would say don't give up! I believe that "Earth" would make a wonderful made-for-HBO production. Perhaps a season long mini-series? Where is Tom Hanks when you really need him?

Stefan Jones said...

RE scientists and art and the Two Cultures:

A great book exploring this topic is The Existential Pleasures of Engineering by Samuel C. Florman.

Amazon Link

DB writes:

"I have long marveled at the asymetry in CP Snow's so-called "two cultures" dichotomy (in which he maintained that the arts and sciences could not ever understand each other)."

HUH? Snow laments the split and suggests common ground can and must be found.

Doug S. said...

Speaking of HBO: If George R. R. Martin can get an HBO series - not just a miniseries, a full, multi-season series - then maybe, if it does well, they'll be willing to try other projects, as well.

David Brin said...

WB... Actually the one left-right parameter that I consider to be usefully relevant and consistent is attitude toward private property.

In fact, I describe a way to use this in a better political mapping, in a cheme that I think you’ll find interesting and less tendentious than most such efforts. See:
http://www.reformthelp.org/marketing/positioning/models.php

Still, I think you misread the reactionary. He is, in fact, willing to go only so far in defense of property and corporations. The EXTREME right is deeply suspicious of both.

Floyd thanks for the Eon feedback! I am tempted by:
1) if it is to be a movie trailer like EON -- SUNDIVER

2) if it is to be the next step... an ANIMATED STORYBOARD OF A SCREENPLAY -- then KILN PEOPLE

Yes, EARTH is a dream. The director of SPACED INVADERS was once the hot guy in town and planned to make EARTH his debut in “big/grownup” film making... but alas torched his career with a money loser. Ooog. A miniseries would do it. Save the world!


Yup, Stefan, you are right, I keep confusing CP Snow with CS Lewis! Why do I DO that!!!!

Tony Fisk said...

Well, it's all dreams when you get down to it. I happen to have read 'Earth' most recently and still have a lot of the imagery it evoked. It's a fair point that folk have made about film adapability, though.

Speaking of dreams and visions, have you anything to do with this 'Uplift Academy' that Jamais Cascio's been talking about recently (specifically the 'good ancestor workshop')?

Tony Fisk said...

...OK Just re-read the attendance list (duh!)

matzebrei said...

Rob Perkins said...
Oh, come on.
Gotta be Sundiver. Images of the Vanilla Needle, the aliens of the Five Galaxies, and the sunships themselves, particularly of a ball of ice plummeting *out* of the sun...



You can add to that the scenes where the Jacob slips into bullet time (over a decade before Keanu Reeves!...)


-- Matt

Blake Stacey said...

Earth could make a rockin' mini-series. There may be too much good stuff in there to fit it all into a two-hour film (although such squeezage could lead to a very rich background texture). It just seems a very cinematic novel: big visuals, vivid emotions, a ticking clock until a monster eats the world.

Chris Mooney and Alan Sokal have a good op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

Nate said...

I hadn't read all of that Reactionary's catechism last time but went and did now, and wow. There's maybe two or three things in it that are true, then there's several things so general as to be useless, but the majority of it is just flat out wrong. It's a good illustration of why Red State is often called Bizarro World.

Sundiver would make a good CG trailer probably, most of it involves inside the ship down by the sun.

There've been some encouraging steps with evangelicals getting at least a little involved in the environment, most of what I know about that I've picked up over at Slacktivist. I'm not expecting too too much from them though, but even a little bit helps. And there's a lot of the fundamentalist evangelicals out there who simply don't care, because they figure the Rapture will be soon and Jesus'll show up to blow up the world and make a new one, so why bother keeping this one clean? (I guess they missed the lines about "stewardship" in their "literal" reading of the Bible.)

W.B. Reeves said...

"Still, I think you misread the reactionary. He is, in fact, willing to go only so far in defense of property and corporations. The EXTREME right is deeply suspicious of both."

A fair point. One of the many ironies of our social history is that reactionary and extreme Rightwing movements begin by selling themselves as defenders of the status quo, including traditional property relations, and having once achieved power showing no hesitation in trampling on and/or destroying same. This phenomenon parallels the Left extreme that calls for the liberation of humanity only to wind up constructing centralized, regimented systems that make a mockery of human freedom and agency.

The common thread being, I think, a belief that all difficulties, threats and problems may be overcome by the utilization of unlimited power and coercive force. Such belief is a natural consequence of ideologies based on idealized abstractions rather than material outcomes. If reality is too messy to conform with our elegant theories the solution is to force the square peg into the round hole.

The current alignment of a large percentage of Christian Fundamentalist and Evangelicals with the Right is a good illustration of such mulish incoherence. Social conservatism longs to turn back the clock to the halcyon days of yore when men were patriarchs, women were servants and baby machines and the closet door was firmly shut. At the same time it allies itself with the bogus corporate model of "free enterprise". One needn't be a rocket scientist to recognize that such "free enterprise", as practiced in corporate America, is a primary engine of precisely the sort of social change that they abhor. Their notion of free enterprise capitalism is one that extends no further than a Disneyfied image of a mythologized Mainstreet. Thus you have defenders of the small town, rural idyll populating the same political formation as the partisans of Wallmart.

Actual capitalism, as we know, is no defender of "traditional values." Markets are amoral and go where the money is. Along the way they destroy or transform every institution or custom they encounter. As one 19th century commentator described it "All that is solid melts into air."

Viewed in this light the remarkable thing about the current crack up of the Right wing coalition, that hodge podge of Corporatists, pseudo-Libertarians and religious fanatics, is that it was so long in coming.

Thanks for the link. I'm looking forward to reading your piece.

O. C. Pearson said...

On the CG question, I love the idea of Sundiver. However (and this may seem weird to everyone) what popped into my head first was Practice Effect. Watching onscreen as a pile of roped together junk gets practiced into a flying machine would be awesome. Also, I would think that some neat subtle things could be done as well. Now, I'm not advocating a full length film or anything, but for a CG short trailer there are some intriguing possibilies.

Stefan Jones said...

W.B. Reeves notes:
"Their notion of free enterprise capitalism is one that extends no further than a Disneyfied image of a mythologized Mainstreet."

And science is a meek little thing that 'knows its place.'

Heh. Heh-heh. Tee-hee. Of course.

The redstate reactionaries would embed science and academia with ideological gatekeepers, like the 24 year old college-dropout that Bush assigned to micromanage press releases at NASA. They'll listen, enraptured, to the pompous sophistry of scolds like Michael Crichton. They'd say it's to promote Sound Science (as in, "sounds good to us!") but really, it is intended to prevent more Efrits like global warming and evolution from getting out of the bottle.

The reactionaries, they know. They know . . .

". . . that science is a conspiracy of brains against ignorance, that science is a revenge of victims against oppressors, that science is a territory of freedom and friendship in the midst of tyranny and hatred."
--Freeman Dyson

Tetrachloride said...

Off topic: could we have a change of background color please ?

David Brin said...

Freeman captures the essence that the romantics of left and right want desperately for us to forget. That the Enlightenment became a highly militant and rebellious worldview.

Modernism is part of a general uprising against the lords and shamans and bards and clerics who not only suppressed us, but took our women so that we would all be descended from them and share their nasty inclinations... and then chanted and bullied us into repeating incantations about how GOOD it all was.

We need that prediction and statement registry more than ever. As they retreat, they will suddenly proclaim: "We NEVER said there was no climate change!" and "Anyone who mentions income disparity is practicing the politics of envy and class war!

Now, as cracks appear about to shatter the neocon alliance, and even fundamentalists talk about "creation tending" to address global warming... and after Bush has spoken of disparity and CEO cheating in a speech at Wall Street... you WILL hear these proclamations, from the same folks who cy out that they were "with Martin Luther King, all the way."

They must not be allowed.

Blake, thanks for the link to that marvelous Mooney/Sokal editorial! Zowee! I will post about that at top-level very soon.

I do believe that Sokal is one of the most level-headed and clear-thinking spokesmen for modernity around. Everything he writes seems to have a marvelous efficiency of prose that I envy. He disarms the predictable charges than frantic-romantics will hurl, before they can even prepare to hurl them.

OdinsEye2k said...

Looks like today, *I* get to make the amazing and heart-stopping find.

Viola:

http://www.bureaucrash.com/

At first, it looks like it could be a DailyKos project or some group of anti-war hippies. But take a closer look. This must be the most masterful judo use of the Suspicion of Authority I have ever seen!

They sell pithy Big Brother T-Shirts and like to YouTube. But, notice how quickly commenters veer into free-market worship and the oppression of the state through (gasp!) Progressive Taxation! And a breathless discusison of Hilliary Clinton as a Communist (funny, I thought of her as a corporatist, myself).

Now, for my punchline. The above website is a project of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, known especially well-known for their attempts to squash climate science under a thick pile of fertilizer.

Yes! Suspicion of Authority preached by shills for authority. Kids - the Borg are adapting. Someone is figuring out this Internet thing.

TwinBeam said...

OdinsEye2k: "Yes! Suspicion of Authority preached by shills for authority"

Yeah, because no one could really be for smaller, less stupid, less intrusive government, and also question global warming.

Obviously they're only in it for the corporate payoff.

W.B. Reeves said...

"Yeah, because no one could really be for smaller, less stupid, less intrusive government, and also question global warming.

Obviously they're only in it for the corporate payoff."


Begging your pardon twinbeam but you evidently neglected to read the following portion of the referenced comment:

"Now, for my punchline. The above website is a project of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, known especially well-known for their attempts to squash climate science under a thick pile of fertilizer."

Now it's clear from this that Odinseye2k isn't making the sweeping generalization that you imply. He is talking about a group of paid propagandists who are pursuing a dual course of attacking government while simultaneously attacking climate science, apparently in the interest of "competitive enterprise." It is hardly out of line to recognize these facts. Neither is it out of line to ponder the influence that a regular paycheck might exercise over the views expressed.

Contra your jibe, this is a highly specific instance of bought and paid for opinion, not grounds for a generalized indictment of everyone who holds such opinions. You do yourself and the debate a disservice by pretending otherwise.

Anonymous said...

I cast a second vote for The Practice Effect. The Sahara Tech bot would look good. I say this as someone who plans to enter.

There's also a lot of potential in the Fractal World.

Adam said...

My vote would be for 'The Uplift War'.

Darrell said...

I also vote for "The Uplift War." So many possible stunning visuals, the mind boggles.

Hawker Hurricane said...

We have votes for Sundiver and The Uplift War...
I'll vote for Startide Rising. A spaceship full of dolphins...
OR
a trilogy of Sundiver, Startide Rising and The Uplift War...

Lenny Zimmermann said...

First thing that came to mind for me was "Startide Rising." Go figure. Then again water effects are pretty tough in CGI, but it also provide several environments to work from that can be, effectively, enclosed environments. Such as the interiors of ships (with many species to work with for visuals), space (enclosed by that sphere of space... i.e. not much to deal with in terms of perspective or much in the way of background filler), and underwater scenes (water surface can be tough to work with effectively, but underwater it's easy to limit perspective with general haze.) Not to mention plenty of action sequences of quite a few varieties to fill a trailer with.

Then again I haven't had a good look at the EON trailers yet, so maybe the current work is looking a lot better than I'm expecting and those concerns aren't nearly as relevant.

darrell said...

After reviewing the Eon Challenge still images, I've chosen the following as my favorites.

1 Marek Okon (page 4)
2 or 3 Arseniy Chebynkin (page 1)
2 or 3 Mark Goldsworthy (page 4)
4 Bjorn Norberg (page 1)
5 William Craig (page 7)

Haven't had time to review many of the trailers yet, but I liked the one that didn't make the dead line, that DB linked to, better than the other few that I have watched so far.

TwinBeam said...

WB Reeves:

Nope - I read that.

Is GreenPeace a shill for the people who give them money? Or are they expressing their honest opinions, with which some people agree and so decide to contribute?

If an idea gains the financial support of "big oil" - and I'd agree that "big oil" is financially biased - does that automatically mean that the purveyors of an idea are dishonest propagandists?

It is possible to be honestly wrong - or dishonestly correct.

If the Competitive Enterprise Institute was set up by Exxon or others of that sort, yes, they deserve the title "shills", even if the individuals involved are sincere.

If the individuals formed CEI in order to get big oil's money, yes they're dishonest shills.

But 'Odin' didn't show either of those to be the case - he merely argued that they must be corrupt, by association.

W.B. Reeves said...

Is GreenPeace a shill for the people who give them money? Or are they expressing their honest opinions, with which some people agree and so decide to contribute?

A perfectly reasonable question if one is ignorant of the sources of Greenpeace's funding. As I suggested above, any instance where someone makes a living off of advocacy is an occaision for inquiring into how their sources of funding might effect their arguments/positions. In the case of Greenpeace, if it can be demonstrated that they receive significant funding from some entity with a financial stake in attacking the whaling industry, that would certainly be worthy of scrutiny.

However, I think you're misconstruing the point of the post in question. I think it fairly clear that the issue raised was more of an ideological critique than one of presumed malfeasance. The crux being that certain self styled "Libertarians" who attack the concentration of power in government in the name of freedom have absolutely no concern about the similar concentration of power in the hands of non-governmental collectives such as corporations.

Now, whatever else may be said about the dangers of government power and authority, it's clear that entities that are subject to public accountability via the franchise pose a different level of danger than those which are not. Attacking centers of democraticly accountable power while turning a blind eye to, or actively enabling, private, autonomous and essentially unaccountable concentrations of power is a position which automatically raises questions about the actual agenda being pursued.

I rather think that this was Odinseye2k's point. In which case your criticism was tangential and not particularly germain to the issue raised.

len said...

Problem with Sundiver is that any trailer made for it will be confused with this:

http://www.sunshinedna.com/

I was so excited when I heard about this movie, and so disappointed when I found out it wasn't based on Brin's book.

I find this contest personally amusing. As a teenager I choreographed a long space battle in my head based on Startide Rising and a techno rendition of O Fortuna. I haven't worked with computer graphics in a decade, but damn, I might just have to get into this.

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