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Comment: Re:Wrong way to end (Score 1) 138

Sounds like you haven't read the book, which is not at all one of "those" stories. It is not a "what-if," or at all historically motivated, that's not the point at all. It's about something much deeper, the nature of reality as both objective and external, and as a collective, disjoint hallucination of multiple subjects.

Comment: Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (Score 1) 138

I can also say that, having read "Man in High Castle", that's not an easy book to put to film. It's a huge, complicated story that's not easy to follow. I just hope that they put the work into making the story work, and not gloss over it just to work in explosions and effects.

I think it's my favorite work by Dick, and one of my favorite books period. I would love to see a good film adaptation (and the miniseries format is probably well suited to it). The complicated story (with all of its bizarre, but essential, elements) does pose a challenge. I'm also worried about how Imperial Japan will be handled. Contrary to some other comments here, the Nazis are basically a non-presence in the book, and the relations between the Californian characters and Japanese occupiers are racially fraught. I think there's a risk they might swap Nazi Germany for Imperial Japan, which to my mind would be a huge mistake.

I believe it was [Scott's] call that the world be dystopian rather than utopian.

The book seems pretty dystopian to me, but in retrospect Dick probably wished for things like the emotion controlling device. The Wikipedia article makes it sound even more dystopian than I remember. Does your comment only apply to the movie script?

I had heard that Ridley was interested in Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War" -- [now] *that's* a movie I want to see. That book blew my mind, and I really, really, really want a good movie of that.

Yeah, me too. The message has only become more relevant in the decades since the war in Vietnam, and the interlude on crime-ridden future Earth and commentary on human sexuality could resonate with mainstream audiences now. Plus there are plenty of opportunities for explosions and effects in the original story (unlike "High Castle").

Comment: Re:Considering his history... (Score 1) 138

Which version of Blade Runner?

There is the original version, without the noir-style internal monologue, and the director's cut, which has it. It makes a big difference I think. Harrison Ford supposedly was against the monologue, and performed it poorly on purpose. Then Scott / the studio cut the bad monologue from the theatrical release.


World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Goes Into Production In China 85

Posted by timothy
from the spruce-goose-has-it-beat-for-size dept.
stephendavion (2872091) writes "Chinese aircraft manufacturer China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) has started trial production of its TA600 amphibious aircraft, claimed to be the world's largest of its kind. With an expected maiden flight late next year, the Chinese plane would replace Japan's ShinMaywa US-2 short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft as the largest of its kind globally." Take a look at a side profile illustration of the CA-600, on this Korean language page. The TA600 has a huge maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tons, but looks a bit puny compared to Howard Hughes' H-4 Hercules.

Newly Discovered Virus Widespread in Human Gut 99

Posted by timothy
from the right-under-their-noses-and-stomachs dept.
A newly discovered virus has been found by a San Diego State University team to live inside more than half of all human gut cells sampled. Exploring genetic material found in intestinal samples, the international team uncovered the CrAssphage virus. They say the virus could influence the behaviour of some of the most common bacteria in our gut. Researchers say the virus has the genetic fingerprint of a bacteriophage - a type of virus known to infect bacteria. Phages may work to control the behaviour of bacteria they infect - some make it easier for bacteria to inhabit in their environments while others allow bacteria to become more potent. [Study lead Dr. Robert] Edwards said: "In some way phages are like wolves in the wild, surrounded by hares and deer. "They are critical components of our gut ecosystems, helping control the growth of bacterial populations and allowing a diversity of species." According to the team, CrAssphage infects one of the most common types of bacteria in our guts. National Geographic gives some idea why a virus so common in our gut should have evaded discovery for so long, but at least CrAssphage finally has a Wikipedia page of its own.

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1) 614

Your statements seem calculated to dismiss to the reality of food insecurity in the United States without including any relevant factual information. Here you - or any earnest reader - can find the USDA's 2012 report on domestic food security, which is (in contrast) an excellent source of such information.

An estimated 14.5 percent of American households were food insecure at least some time during the year in 2012, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The change from 14.9 percent in 2011 is not considered statistically significant. The prevalence of very low food security was unchanged at 5.7 percent.

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 1, Insightful) 614

I think we're just potentially post-scarcity. That we could feed and clothe the needy, at least domestically, doesn't mean much when we don't want to do that. (We can tell that we don't want to, since more food is wasted than is needed to eliminate domestic food insecurity. About 20 million Americans suffer from some level of food insecurity, but Americans in aggregate waste about 40% of their food).
The Almighty Buck

States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth 778

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Department of Labor has released data that some proponents of raising minimum wage are touting as evidence that higher minimum wage promotes job growth. While the data doesn't actually establish cause and effect, it does "run counter to a Congressional Budget Office report in February that said raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as the White House supports, would cost 500,000 jobs." The data shows that the 13 states that raised their minimum wages in January added jobs at a faster rate than those that didn't. Other factors likely contributed to this outcome, but some economists are simply relieved that the higher wage factor didn't have a dramatically negative effect in general.

UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights 261

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the silly-human-rights-are-for-robots dept.
An anonymous reader writes A top United Nations human rights official released a report Wednesday that blasts the United States' mass surveillance programs for potentially violating human rights on a worldwide scale. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also praised whistleblower Edward Snowden and condemned U.S. efforts to prosecute him. "Those who disclose human rights violations should be protected," she said. "We need them." In particular, the surveillance programs violate Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs? 509

Posted by Soulskill
from the robot-overlord-exterminator dept.
An anonymous reader writes: My niece, who is graduating from high school, has asked me for some career advice. Since I work in data processing, my first thought was to recommend a degree course in computer science or computer engineering. However, after reading books by Jeremy Rifkin (The Third Industrial Revolution) and Ray Kurzweil (How to Create a Mind), I now wonder whether a career in information technology is actually better than, say, becoming a lawyer or a construction worker. While the two authors differ in their political persuasions (Rifkin is a Green leftist and Kurzweil is a Libertarian transhumanist), both foresee an increasingly automated future where most of humanity would become either jobless or underemployed by the middle of the century. While robots take over the production of consumer hardware, Big Data algorithms like the ones used by Google and IBM appear to be displacing even white collar tech workers. How long before the only ones left on the payroll are the few "rockstar" programmers and administrators needed to maintain the system? Besides politics and drug dealing, what jobs are really future-proof? Would it be better if my niece took a course in the Arts, since creativity is looking to be one of humanity's final frontiers against the inevitable Rise of the Machines?

Often statistics are used as a drunken man uses lampposts -- for support rather than illumination.