"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

21 March 2013

Gary Oldman b. 1958  

Mr. Oldman has appeared in many quality films over the years, and is known best to genre fans for his work in Harry Potter and the Batman series. Many happy returns.

Prediction: 1980s: Minsky and Good demonstrate neural networks could be generated automatically in accordance with an arbitrary learning process, producing “artificial brains”.

Predictor: Arthur C. Clarke in 2001: A Space Odyssey, published in 1968

Reality:  Clarke realizes HAL is not just a simple evolution of small improvements over three decades from when he wrote the screenplay and it novelization to the end of the century, so he throws in a little expository jargon and gives it a date (yay!). In reality, very little that goes into a computer is "generated automatically". Programming is still time intensive and the programmers and designers still have to dot every j and cross every x by hand.

Still, Clarke is one of the few people in SF who had any idea of how much computers would improve and how quickly they would become part of everyday life. The big leap forward was in the 1970s when microprocessors can put "a computer on a chip", and since then, the hardware has gotten smaller and faster and cheaper, and because of all three improvements, computer chips can be found in a remarkable number of products today.

Still, the difference between HAL and a computer that can win at Jeopardy! is a huge chasm and I have no idea how it's going to be crossed.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE! 

Fridays is Antique Postcard Day and it's the turn for the French. This often means people from the future acting like jerks and tomorrow is no exception.
Join me then... IN THE FUTURE!


  1. You left out the film version of Lost in Space???

    Good on ya.

  2. Hi, Ken. I haven't done all the research I should into the opening dates of genre films and I should get on it pronto, because late March is now the beginning of the summer blockbuster season.

    That said, my threshold number for films since 1990 is $100 mil, and Lost In Space does not meet that criterion, so you will see it ignored the next time 21 March comes along as well.

    Happy to be of service.

  3. I would also bring up Fifth Element re: Mr. Oldman, regardless of the howls of laughter.

  4. Of course, my favorite Oldman movie is not even close to genre: Sid and Nancy.


Traveler! Have you news... FROM THE FUTURE?