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Comment Re:8 hours a week (Score 1) 239

Ahh, but who says the acqusition of Writely, Keyhole, etc. wasn't fueled by someone's personal time project at the Googleplex? I can imagine some python coder using Writely on some of their personal time, and going, "This is sweet! We should totally acquire this company and make it Google Docs!" And then they start that ball rolling and help with the coding to convert the app. Or if not some lowly code monkey, maybe someone in high level management/acquisitions. They get their 8 hours a week too, right?

Comment Re:Bede bede bede (Score 1) 342

Sorry... also... why don't you think a species seeded with 40,000 people would survive to the Stone Age? Remember, their reproductive parts are intact, and they can mate with the natives as well. They have advanced knowledge about biology and thus food science, and, barring something like a meteor impact, I don't see why the long-term death rate would surpass the birth rate.

Comment Re:Bede bede bede (Score 2, Insightful) 342

Sure we caught that. And for all we know Baltar made a wonderful little farm with Caprica Six and they had a few babies together, but obviously that didn't start the agricultural revolution.

Sorry, I was admittedly not totally clear. So I said even Gaius was going to start farming, i.e. as an extreme example (even Gaius, a scientist who abhors the "farming" part of his past, is going to start farming). They wisely didn't tell us how many people were going to begin farming, but uh... what else are they going to do? Assuming these colonists are from a civilization even more advanced than ours, there would be a negligible number that know how to hunt their own food. Most likely, the easiest thing for them to do would be to gather and... plant the seeds from the foods they gather. Probably almost everyone would know how to domesticate plants, and animals that would let them. They come from a different paradigm, one where they KNOW what will happen when they plant something, rather than being forced to discover it due to population pressures.

Yes, the 'agricultural revolution' does refer to the time when population pressures in an area with relatively easily domesticable plants and/or animals force that population to invent the concept of 'food storage' to survive... and not when randomly scattered people around the world mysteriously began doing it all simultaneously. So I probably should have said "an agricultural revolution" rather than "the agricultural revolution."

It's easy to just sit back and go... "well, 150,000 years is such a long time... the knowledge would just have... faded away..." But, really, is that what would have happened? Maybe I'm the only one here (though in the company of Slashdot readers, I somehow doubt it), but I simply can't forget my knowledge of the world. Let's stop thinking in broad nebulous concepts, and actually take this step by step, i.e. less in terms of Civilization and more in terms of The Sims. Let's say I was one of the colonists. I'm sick of the war, I'm sick of eating algae, I'm sick of being on a space ship. No doubt the live-with-nature lifestyle would have appealed to me. So, I take a small group and we go off in Africa somewhere to live among pre-verbal humans. I'm sorry, but I can't degenerate to that level though. Not won't, but can't. I have not been physically trained my entire life to be a hunter. I don't have those skills, and neither does my group. I might eschew all technology, but I can't forget the scientific knowledge that I have. I can't forget the language that I can use.

I, personally, (and among 40,000 people I'm sure there's at least one person who feels the same way) would start applying my knowledge to my survival. Assuming they don't kill me outright, where the natives could teach me, I would learn from them. Where I could teach them, I would do so. If some manner of communication could be established, I would teach them about the sun, the stars, the moon. I would even teach them basic biology and animal husbandry. I would even possibly do some basic Newtonian physics if they could handle that. Why wouldn't I? I have no reason to lie or to make up myths or to adopt theirs, nor do I have any reason to lie to my offspring when I know perfectly well the reason that the sun disappears for about 12 hours every day. And I can't see any reason why they would lie to theirs either, when it really is the only thing that satisfies the ever-present human questions about their world.

I don't want the whole Cylon mistake to happen again, but so then what do I do about that? Do I just somehow knock my head against a rock until the facts I know about the universe fall out? Maybe the other 39K people would just assimilate and deny the truths they not only have been taught but have experienced. But not me - you can disagree with everything I have said up to now, but at least know this: all I'm saying is what I personally would do. And though I'm not arrogant enough to assume everyone would be the same, I believe that at least a small subset would be of that mindset. I don't expect this to be fully understood on, e.g. a Myspace comment page. But, I do expect this to be understood by Slashdot readers. At least.

Comment Re:Bede bede bede (Score 4, Informative) 342

I find it rare that I ever chime in with someone using all caps in their post... but I couldn't agree more. This is exactly how I felt after seeing the finale.

Really? All 40 thousand survivors + whatever Cylons there were are just going to give up their understanding about the entire universe and not teach it to their children or leave some sort of octagonal stone/metal records behind? I can understand Lee Adama (a non-scientist soldier who was just fed up with the war and all and blamed the existence of nuclear bombs on the evil SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY) deciding to go all hermit-action. I can even understand a majority of the uneducated masses doing that. But everyone? Really? I mean, after basically insinuating that Doc Cottle was the sole physician in the fleet they pulled a frakking neurosurgeon (John Hodgman you rule) out of their ass in the final season. We have to assume there are quite a few educated others in the fleet that, even if they wouldn't be super excited about building a modern city right away, would at least be able to separate the evils of the application of technology (war and such) from the advantages that come from understanding the world around them. The Adamas can drive all their technology and records and books into the sun, but they can't take away all these people's lifetime education. Even Gaius Baltar is going to start farming... did anyone catch that? That's right, the agricultural revolution actually started 140,000 years before you think it did.

I mean, where do you draw the line at where "technology" is, anyway? What, are they going to take away the hunting spears from the native humans and say "NO! TECHNOLOGY BAD!" After really liking the whole series for four seasons, like the parent post says, they pull classic hippie / not-thinking-the-concept-through / technology-and-science-is-inferior-to-"nature"-even-though-it's-a-part-of-it crap.

Comment Re:Bede bede bede (Score 2, Insightful) 342

It's not a re-imagining. It's a cashing-in on the name value of the original concept.

I don't get what is inaccurate about any series branding itself a re-imagining. Or I guess, perhaps I can't glean your definition of what you think a "re-imagining" is from your comment. I accept the definition that the production company uses just fine; it is an original series with imaginary settings and characters (i.e. fiction), based on a previous series with imaginary settings and characters. It is re-imagined because the settings, characters, and story have been tweaked/added/removed to the point where some significant actual imagination is required. The Star Wars trilogy thing was not a re-imagining, and no one ever claimed as such, it being a form of (mild) re-make. Same characters, same universe, same story, just a slightly altered storytelling medium.

You are right that it absolutely is a cashing-in on the name value of the original concept. No one is doubting that. But, they were honest about that up front anyway. They said this is a re-imagining of the original series. Therefore, they are explicitly using whatever power the brand name Battlestar Galactica had to market their product. No need to go into the importance of brand naming; I think we all understand how powerful that is. It is a gamble though. By using the name, you are inviting comparisons to the source material with every review and every viewing by anyone who has seen the original. Since the critical consensus was that the 2004 BSG was quite superior to the 1978 BSG, the gamble paid off quite nicely. For another example of this, see Star Trek (2009) (not saying that was vastly superior, but just that the gamble paid off there as well).

Part of the gamble is, of course, the "veneers" that tie it to the original work have to be obvious enough to justify using the same name. I can't just make a video of me making a turkey sandwich, upload it to YouTube and call it a re-imagining of Batman. The critical/public consensus here though was that there was enough similarities (a space ship called Galactica lead by a man named Adama guiding/accompanying the last remnants of the human race to a new homeworld while being pursued by a cyborg race called Cylons, among many other themes) to justify the name.

So you're right about the using the name value. But since that happens all the time every single day in a society with any semblance of a free market, you need to go farther and explain why that is bad. Since tropes are re-used over and over throughout all fiction, just saying "same name!" is not sufficient as a criticism.

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One can search the brain with a microscope and not find the mind, and can search the stars with a telescope and not find God. -- J. Gustav White

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