Cultural Crossovers: Iron Man

So here’s a question I was asked recently:

In the vein of questions about media, let’s throw at the Eldrae the 70mm IMAX versions of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (note, entirely cinematic, nothing from TV) with enough cultural footnotes to understand the context. Assuming all movies are available up to the end of Phase Three, what would the Eldrae opinions be on each of the movies and if they wouldn’t work in the Eldrae market, what sort of revisions/alterations would make them work?

…this may take some time to answer as a whole, ’cause I’m going to have to rewatch the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe to really give it a fair shot, so I guess I’m turning it into a post series. You see the terrible, terrible burdens I’m prepared to undertake for you, gentle readers?

Anyway. Starting with the first – well, with Iron Man, we have a really easy one to do, because there’s very little you would have to do to make this fit perfectly into their extremely popular “Awesome People Being Awesome” genre.

The only things you might want to tweak a little would involve cover minor cultural fluency issues, like explaining to the audience why people disapprove of the size of Tony Stark’s ego, rather than that being somewhere between normal and appropriate; explaining some banter in terms compatible with the local sense of humor; and explaining why anyone might want to cover up the existence/identity/activities of Iron Man in the first place. But those are relatively small deals and optional tweaks: the fundamentals of the movie would work perfectly in the Imperial market.

 

 

In Which Reality Is Exactly As Strange As Fiction

In today’s news, it turns out MSNBC’s legal correspondent, Ari Melber, has proposed treating “fake news”, or more technically “disprovable media claims” as a species of fraud along the same lines as fraudulent advertising – and therefore something the FTC can protect the public from.

Long-time readers may notice a certain similarity to the Empire’s  long-standing principle that “the freedom of speech is not the freedom to deceive” that establishes lies on matters of fact as criminal fraud, only aggravated by the number of people you’re lying to.

It’s just a more limited (concentrating only on “deceptive businesses” and keeping the government away from “actual journalists” and “citizens exercising their right to lie” – O tempora! O mores!) and government-centered (rather than creating a cause of action for anyone lied to) version of it. Which differences probably make it worthless anyway, but just in case anyone’s getting ideas from my fictional politics…

…it works there because of a millennia-old tradition of intellectual integrity (“right to lie, indeed!”) and of principled valxíjir and of not being a bunch of malevolent means-justifying sons-of-bitches. Both I and my fourth-wall-breaking characters strongly anti-endorse the notion for use here, where approximately none of those conditions hold true.

 

Apposite Quotation

Today’s this-very-much-belongs-in-my-universe, courtesy of Borderlands 2 and a New-U station:

“If any idiot ever tells you that life would be meaningless without death, Hyperion recommends killing them.”

Bloom

Today’s relevant shout-out goes to Destiny: Rise of Iron for its depiction of a nanotech bloom as something other than the traditional (boring) homogeneous gray goo:

Meet SIVA:

siva_feature

So many of the probable phases, all on display: the hard-shelled geoms (which I conceive of as processing nodes) and bundles of organic-looking transport/processing motile cables, both growing together and through other objects; hazes of foglets, both being excreted by other constructions and moving independently; and (not pictured), streams of liquid nanite soup glowing lava-like with the radiant heat of active [dis]assembly.

If you’re looking for a visual reference for what I envision rampant nanite blooms to look like in the ‘verse, you could do a lot worse.

 

Gay marriage: the database engineering perspective

Y’know, I don’t believe I’ve mentioned this article on here before, and I really should have.

Because – as a simple matter of contract law – marriage in the Empire and other Societies of Consent does, in fact, permit all the difficult concepts mentioned here and a few more besides, including all of reflexive self-marriage (mostly pointless as it is), really complicated notions of “sex” and “gender”, polygamy, people being simultaneously involved in multiple distinct marriages, the marriage of non-natural persons which can potentially include marriages marrying each other as a distinct concept from multiple marriages merging, intransitive marriages, double-marriages, and asymmetric marriage. Welcome to the bleeding-edge postsophont universe, although for the good of everyone’s sanity, most people stick to the simple options and don’t try and make use of all of these at the same time…

But it gives you an idea of just how eye-wateringly difficult the job of the DBAs over at the Central Office of Records and Archives can be, sometimes.

Ethereum

I’ve been taking a moment or two today to futz with Ethereum, which is – as the site puts it – “a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts”.

I mention this as something that might be of interest to Eldraeverse readers, since if you squint very, very hard when you look at it, you can see the beginnings of the fancy automatic-resource-management-and-smart-contract infrastructure I describe the Worlds as having – I mean, back in its equivalent of the technological paleolithic, but then, it’s a lot easier to write about these things than actually sit down and develop them, y’know?

Anyway. Even if you’re not quite so determined a poker of new technologies as I am, you might still want to take a browse through the project site and some of the examples and possibilities therein described. This piece of the future might not be here quite yet, but you can smell it from there!