Is there a Four Cultures take on that movie everyone except me seems to have seen? If so, please let me know your thoughts by commenting on this post. For inspiration you could look at what the anthropology website Savage Minds had to say about it, or you could read about the four cultures of … Continue reading Avatar and Cultural Theory
Dan Kahan of the Cultural Cognition Project has been thinking about the possible ways of reacting to robots that kill. It's a relatively new set of technologies, but what happens when AI merges with weaponry to produce robots that want to kill you? He thinks the arguments could go in several ways and I tend … Continue reading Beware – Dangerous Robots!
As I write this on the train home, my neighbour is watching Star Wars: A New Hope on his portable DVD player. The bleeps and moans of R2D2 and Chewbacca come through clearly on his earphones. Thirty two years after its release, the movie and its myth-making are evidently still going strong. But what is … Continue reading The Four Cultures of Star Wars
As a genre, sci-fi is par excellence concerned with culture. What would it be like to visit an alien world? How would its inhabitants operate, and how would they differ from us? In a way it's a kind of theoretical anthropology. Think of Ursula Le Guin's inquiry into a culture of hermaphrodites in The Left … Continue reading The Four Cultures of Science Fiction
Crooked Timber has been running a 'book event' on the economic ideas of science fiction writer Charlie Stross. In case you haven't come across him, Stross is a prolific (300,000 words a year) writer of extravagant ideas who lives in Scotland. His approach to pulp sci-fi is reminiscent of Philip K Dick's. Sure it's commercial, … Continue reading Economics of the Singularity