Why Interstellar is An Important Science Movie, and Other Matters

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Why Interstellar is An Important Science Movie, and Other Matters

The movie Interstellar was based on real "hard" science, and we need to see more films like that to spur interest in science and technology.

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I wonder if the internet culture existed as it is today in 1968, people would call others dumb for not liking Space Odssey, claiming they just don't get it.

To me, that's all what Christopher Nolan's scifi flicks are all about, it's just like the Souls fandom. :(

It's interesting that you link the decline of hard sciences' popularity to a religious revival. Looking at things like the facebook page "I love science" or just the sheer amount of technological gadgets being produced over the past few decades would make you believe that hard science couldn't have found more fertile soil. But you're right, our faith in science as a driving force for human advancement seems to have declined, faith here being the keyword.

I believe science should be viewed as a religion, not the dogmatic, bullshit-feeding kind, but the genuine, all-encompassing type. Whether or not this is what science is about -it's not- is really not important, but the fact that the global community can rally behind this itch for discovery is, to me, a beautiful thing, and Interstellar managed to scratch that itch for me, too.

Whole article is undone by the statement that scientist managed to make a particle travel faster than the speed of light, without a source to back it up. As a physicist I am convinced that this has never happened, you must have misunderstood the source, or the source must have been bullshit. If you value science, then proof it by adhering to proper scientific etiquette. Statements such as faster-than-light and infinite-energy need a dam good source backing them up, or else be considered the ramblings of a fool.

Real Hard Science? If you drive into a Black Hole you end up in "L Space", where if you give the Librarian a Banana and remember not to call him a "Monkey" he lets you mess around in the your past like some creepy peeping pervert because... love?

Sorry I'm still bitter because the film ended right before it got interesting. I mean they abandoned Anna Hathway's "least interesting character ever put on film" on the far side of the universe with the seed stock for a race of genetically engineered supermen. We all know how that goes, and it would have been GLORIOUS!

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Imre Csete:
I wonder if the internet culture existed as it is today in 1968, people would call others dumb for not liking Space Odssey, claiming they just don't get it.
To me, that's all what Christopher Nolan's scifi flicks are all about, it's just like the Souls fandom. :(

They are all about what? Not being understood? Alot of people does, thats why we still remember 2001: Space Odyssey... In the years to come people will still remember Interstellar, even Dark Souls.
They are not hard to understand, i find a lot of people just dont want to understand them for whatever reason.

On the lightspeed thingy, i too want to know, the lightspeed barrier is full of weird stuff that is quite interesting.

Good question regarding the light barrier. I believe the phenomenon is called "quantum tunneling," although there is some discussion as to whether or not it is so much making the particular particle move faster than light, or taking the particle's identity and "stamping" it onto another in such a way that the identity of the particle has moved faster than light.

Still, there is a call for sources, so I did some searching, and here are some links about quantum tunneling:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/scientists-claim-to-break-light-speed-barrier/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/articles/q/quantum_tunnelling.htm

The initial experiments in 2000 that I read about were making light particles and waves travel faster than the speed of light, and you can read about them here:

http://physics.aps.org/story/v5/st23

The really cool takeaway of all of this is that we CAN make certain things travel faster than the light barrier. We just can't do it outside of the subatomic level.

Disclaimer: my academic training is as a historian, not a physicist, so any errors are my own.

Ylla:
They are all about what? Not being understood? Alot of people does, thats why we still remember 2001: Space Odyssey... In the years to come people will still remember Interstellar, even Dark Souls.
They are not hard to understand, i find a lot of people just dont want to understand them for whatever reason.

More like about people saying "you didn't like it because you are dumb and you just can't understand it". I grew up on scifi, I watched/read a lot of stuff, and while everyone was riding the Inception high horse, I was just like, oh cool, but I think Cronenberg's eXistenZ did the multiple artifical realities thing better, and being flamed online for it because I was dumb and scifi is not for me.

Fun times.

This will probably be misunderstood, but at the end of the day I think the problem with scientific advancement has less to do with religion in a general sense, at least not in the first world, and far more to do with politics, culture, and human nature. As a general rule religion and science can get along quite well, the foundations for a lot of modern scientists actually came from some rather ingenious monks who over the years fathered fields of study like genetics. There have of course been exceptions, but as a general rule evolution is one of the few places where science and religion conflict that heavily, there are others, but usually they work themselves out.

The big problem with scientific advancement is less that religion stands in the way so much as human nature and the desire for immediate, tangible, gratification. Things like space travel exist in too much of an abstract for the average person who simply sees something that will use a ton of resources and will not benefit him right here and now. The big picture is beyond him and the problems that could be averted by space travel as "something for later generations to worry about". As a result technology tends to advanced based on immediate lifestyle and competitive improvements and less based on long term benefit. The most advanced nations on earth all have cultures based heavily around individual liberty and everyone having a say in society, which of course means people inevitably represent for their own immediate interests, and of course politics become based around what politicians can deliver here and now which is why things like the Space Program get put on the back burner compared to social welfare programs and the like. Simply put it's a good example of the weakness of this kind of societal philosophy and the benefits of competing philosophies with having a strong, central, leadership that is far less beholden to the immediate desires of the people. An actual empire with an emperor, or a totalitarian government akin to what the Nazis wanted might not be as good for the masses of humanity in the short term, but would be far more able to advance society and get us into space.

Science also works on cold, hard, logic and facts which a lot of people are deeply uncomfortable with, everyone wanting to believe certain things akin to magic such as the inherent unquantifiable differences of humanity and the individual, and of course want to believe in the reality behind morality like all men being equal. In the most advanced societies on earth as much as religion might hold things back, so do so called "liberals" albeit for reasons of their own non-religious dogma where anything science tells them they don't want to hear needs to be suppressed or re-defined in some way. Liberals have a constant desire to humanize science, something that cannot be humanized, and of course are among the first to jump out with the "Fraknenstein" references whenever something appears to challenge the status quo that they want. and argue that because science can do something or prove something does not mean that it should.

An example of the above would be DNA, the fathers of DNA research Wilson and Crick were both racists, of them I think Crick was more vocal. Both argued more or less in favor of eugenics and the inherent superiority of certain lines, and were believers in white supremacy and the inferiority of blacks and Asians in particular. If you dig you can find references do this, but as time goes on it's largely being erased from the records. This becomes an issue because their research on DNA is pretty much the definitive work for an entire science and we use their stuff every day when we practice genetics or do something as "simple" as DNA evidence. It raises a touchy subject for those making "all men are created equal" moral arguments when the most qualified sources have said that is not true. Of course to be fair they also made comments about how they would never hire a fat person no matter how qualified they seemed because that itself is a weakness that likely goes back to genetics (influencing the personality if nothing else), and seemed to be proponents of the good of the human race being served by breeding the most successful, beautiful, smartest, etc... people together over generations and effectively pruning the rest, or acknowledging that any uncontrolled gene pool is going to be a genetic septic tank, once in a while something might surface from it when enough what will be recessive genes fire in someone, but that will be an increasingly rare occurrence every generation as mediocrity breeds mediocrity.... of course finding reference to these points are increasingly hard to do, but one interesting thing you will notice is that as time goes on there have been increasing crusades to keep humanity away from genetics, which despite all other reasons seems to be as much about being afraid of what we'll find if anything else. This can also link itself to evolutionary arguments in a way and provide ammunition for anti-evolutionary arguments, as by definition evolution happens slowly, over a period of time, as a species breeds and passes along the most desirable traits, sometimes leading to the gradual creation of entirely new species or sub species. The odd thing is that both religion and scientific liberals seem to fundamentally agree that evolution does not truly apply to humanity. Both sides pretty much agree that all humans are fundamentally the same, despite separate, oftentimes long separated breeding pools, none of which are believed to have created any kind of differences except for the extremely cosmetic. Something which on a lot of levels both contradicts both evolution and genetics.

People here of all places will probably read more into the above statement than intended and project all kinds of things onto me, which is sort of the point. I'm not entirely comfortable with a lot of that myself, and the sheer amount of denial, much of which will be rationalized or "proven" to the satisfaction of the speaker sort of illustrates the point. We'll continue to use DNA, continue to argue evolution with animals, but we'll define or redefine the statements of the people who discovered these things, or try and deny they ever said things we found inconvenient or disturbing.

As I've said a few times before I think current first world society has oddly become too enlightened and too moral to do what needs to be done for the good of humanity. I have my doubts as to whether societies like the US or the ones in Europe can actually get us into space. China or Russia might actually be able to do it because of their more totalitarian governments, but I sort of fear for the future if they were to succeed because I do not see much in the way of any kind of truly progressive seeds there. China in particular makes me think we'd inevitably see race based global genocide, or at least the massive institution of a racial caste system if they ever took control. As brutal as it is I've in the past commented on the need for a single world government, one with a grain of American principles within it to blossom later, in order to spur humanity forward into space. Otherwise I think we'll kill ourselves from resource depletion. That's one of the reasons I tend to be such a dismal, brutal, piece of work in a lot of things that I say. It's hard for me to place a high intrinsic value on human life when making large scale arguments for example when I believe we're overpopulated and our greatest threat as a species right now is literally stripping our planet and consuming ourselves to death.

That said I'm also a huge believe in human genetic engineering on a large scale. My basic attitude is that what Wilson and Crick think is irrelevant (true or not) if we gain the ability to engineer ourselves to a high level and choose what traits we're going to have. This will also kill racism when ethnic features simply become a style choice. Genetic engineering also renders eugenic theory irrelevant. Of course the whole problem with such a thing is to ensure that you simply don't create a master race of supermen who can afford the best enhancements, one of the big reasons why while I believe in a core of American principles I believe a single world government is needed to be able to regulate things. Even worse than genetic engineering by the rich to gain an advantage in a genetic free market is of course going to be a theoretic genetics war if we remain divided into countries, think racism is bad now, imagine what happens when major world powers start competing to create the most enhanced citizens to the highest level and the top of the line supermen. That's going to start a world crushing war. Of course at the same time a world government is going to be needed here to ensure everyone is enhanced (kicking and screaming if needed) which is the easiest way to deal with the whole Star Trek "Khan" problem or what seems to be the seed of conflict in like 90% of the Gundam Animes out there of having norms alongside the enhanced. Basically science is part of evolution, and the philosophy of general genetic equality is something that we should strive to make a reality, whether it is or not at the moment. Basically to me arguments of racial inferiority have always been irrelevant in a big picture sense, because when I follow my own long term ideals (which go beyond my likely lifetime) it fundamentally does not matter who may or may not have an advantage right now.

Completely agree with this article. Honestly, I found this movie more scary than most simply because of the mostly real concepts being dealt with. The idea of spending a couple hours on a planet while everyone else you know has just aged by decades is terrifying. To be honest, it surprises me that this movie did so well with audiences. There was no big monster to battle, no constant stream of explosions, no scantily clad women. Not saying it's perfect or that people who didn't like it don't have valid opinions. But it honestly does make me hopeful for the future of big budget sci-fi movies.

What amazing things has science not merely invented but put into actual usage in the last 20 years that people can see?

Sure the Internet, Mobile phones and computers are all much more powerful but they are evolutionary advancements of 80's tech nothing revolutionary and world changing has happened in decades.

Yet you look at how the world changed from 1900 - 1950's and it's amazing

1903 the airplane was invented and in the 1950's mach 2 was possible for multiple military aircraft.

Cars went from Mercedes being the largest in the world producing a few hundred a year in the 19th century to millions of just the Ford Model T being built by the early 1920's.

Space travel happened going from the V-2 going to the fringes of space in 1944 to landing on the moon in 1969 a period of only 25 years since then what have we done? we made man to LEO a routine but routine does not get people excited.

Imre Csete:
I wonder if the internet culture existed as it is today in 1968, people would call others dumb for not liking Space Odssey, claiming they just don't get it.

To me, that's all what Christopher Nolan's scifi flicks are all about, it's just like the Souls fandom. :(

For me its the opposite. I like it for the spectacle and that its based a bit more in science then the average science fiction but all any else I discuss the movie with only want to talk about the human drama stuff

Yeah, it definitely could have been better but just judging it on that seems daft to me, like they are deliberately ignoring content.

Its not that they 'don't get it' its more just enjoy the ride.

RedDeadFred:
Completely agree with this article. Honestly, I found this movie more scary than most simply because of the mostly real concepts being dealt with. The idea of spending a couple hours on a planet while everyone else you know has just aged by decades is terrifying. To be honest, it surprises me that this movie did so well with audiences. There was no big monster to battle, no constant stream of explosions, no scantily clad women. Not saying it's perfect or that people who didn't like it don't have valid opinions. But it honestly does make me hopeful for the future of big budget sci-fi movies.

Agreed. Though, one could argue that Gargantua was the films "monster".

I was floored when I first saw it in IMAX. Having revisited it twice on Blu-Ray my admiration and appreciation of the film and those behind it has only increased - notably for Kip Thorne's involvement. I think, much like 2001, it's the sort of film that either resonates with you and becomes an awe-inspiring spectacle of hard sci-fi, or it doesn't and becomes just another 'boring' blockbuster.

That said, I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't think T.A.R.S. and C.A.S.E. are some of the coolest robots ever.

Robert B. Marks:
snip

Great article. And, sad to say, far too accurate in regards to the trend of anti-intellectualism seen today.

As to the film, I find it especially fascinating that it lead to two scientific papers being written. When do you ever see that happen with studio film making?

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/astrophysics-interstellar-black-hole

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/32733/20150213/interstellar-team-publishes-scientific-paper-on-black-holes.htm.

http://nerdist.com/interstellar-produces-its-first-scientific-paper/

Robert B. Marks:

Disclaimer: my academic training is as a historian, not a physicist, so any errors are my own.

Here is a review of Interstellar from an astrophysicist.

http://scientificgamer.com/interstellar-a-rant/#more-4402

Imre Csete:
I wonder if the internet culture existed as it is today in 1968, people would call others dumb for not liking Space Odssey, claiming they just don't get it.

To me, that's all what Christopher Nolan's scifi flicks are all about, it's just like the Souls fandom. :(

Trust me, there's people around now that claim that anyone who dislikes Space Odyssey "just doesn't get it" anyway. :(

Unfortunately, Interstellar is in the same camp. I've already explained at length why I consider Interstellar to be a poor movie, and it all comes down to its focus on style over substance, the terrible dialogue, and the plot holes. But hey, I guess I "just don't get it."

Golan Trevize:

Robert B. Marks:

Disclaimer: my academic training is as a historian, not a physicist, so any errors are my own.

Here is a review of Interstellar from an astrophysicist.

http://scientificgamer.com/interstellar-a-rant/#more-4402

Bit hard to take him seriously when he claims that The Fast and the Furious was "fun". :P

I find the fixation on religion being the problem when the American education system is being ruined by Progressives, but you are open in stating your bias in your article by describing how much you love being a skeptic, just be aware of it and a potential anti-religious prejudice you may have that could be blinding you to non-religious causes for people to be anti-intellectual and apathetic towards science.

A counter case I can make anecdotally is the fact that the majority of the Americans I know are from an engineering (and military) background and the majority of them are Christians and absolutely despise the decline in education quality since most of them got into the profession (most being Baby Boomers that loved their youth for the same reason you described in the article as well as loathing how much a lack of a scientific knowledge also effects popular perceptions of the military as well; the others being 20somethines still studying and wishing more their age would stop being apathetic about pretty much everything).

Also you compare your perceived apathy towards the wonder of science with the turn of the 20th Century and the mid century, both times that had their own strong revivals in religion (Say what you will about the 50s, but there's pretty much no other time when people had a love of science and religion without a conflict happening, look at a lot of the dialogue in Forbidden Planet for instance invoking the deity and commenting on evolution all int he same breath).

IMO, the danger you are worrying about comes not for the religious, ether people steeped in 40s to 60s or their children raised with animation and praise of the era, but those that are fostered in the postmodern mentality where objective reality is looked on as a lie and any belief or opinion is not only valid but possibly as real as reality in their sad, twisted minds - something you'll find yourself fighting against alongside most Christians.

One must also keep in mind the reasons why those eras of Scientific glory ended and that was the perceived overstepping over science and it producing monstrosities, something that the 50s is also known for, but also something that arose after the Great War with Western Civilizations honeymoon with Positivism ending and it and the rest of the world increasingly becoming disillusioned with it over its mistakes and its inability to still solve problems of the human condition such as poverty in the West being now more a case of poverty of a meaningful, satisfying life now that even the most poor of people enjoy material wealth unimagined even half a century ago.

Imre Csete:
I wonder if the internet culture existed as it is today in 1968, people would call others dumb for not liking Space Odssey, claiming they just don't get it.

To me, that's all what Christopher Nolan's scifi flicks are all about, it's just like the Souls fandom. :(

Oh they're out there and refuse to accept how lopsided and meandering the movie is. The movies legacy is built on being hard sci-fi and the scenes presenting that, not the story or its themes.

TBH I'm not impressed by Interstellar and especially it's dour view that people, especially Americans, when faced with a massive existential crisis wouldn't throw their whole weight behind scientific endeavour (as well as religious) just as they did generations ago when American might was grounded in the scientific achievements that made WWII and the Cold War as a whole a victory.

While I won't object to the claim that the movie contains hard science, I think it's a bit of a stretch to claim it as any sort of foundation.

More of case of applying hard science wherever it could fit in without compromising whatever other nonsense they felt like going with.

On an unrelated point, the embedded video. Wtf is with the obsession on 'getting the data'? Exactly what data would be worth risking giant fucking wave to collect? I think said giant fucking wave makes it pretty clear the viability is rather low. Which raises the more general point of why they are bothering to land on some of these planets when they can quite clearly be seen to be bullshit options from orbit.

Does this movie have a lot of scenes like the one linked in the OP? Where the people make dumb ass decisions/actions? "Must get this data" *studiously ignoring the 20,000 foot tall wave*. I'd like to watch this movie, but so many movies rely on those sorts of scenes to create tension and it pisses me off.

Here's the thing I always point out to those who say science is boring: remember when the idea of a hoverboard in Back to the Future II was considered extremely cool? No scientific research getting funded, no hoverboards.

I loved Interstellar too. I hope we see more hard Science Fiction films in the near future.

The thing I find interesting about interstellar is that Nolan somehow took all of the amazingness of hard science and made it boring with overly expositional dialog. Like he was afraid the audience was too stupid to let a scene speak for itself. I don't care about how accurate the science is if it's being presented in a boring way. You can be as scientifically accurate as you want to be with your movie, that doesn't make it good if it isn't presented in an engaging way. The idea and concepts (except for the "love transcends time/space" schlock) are worth discussion and exploring more in depth, but not in the way it's been presented in Interstellar. Nolan is no Stanley Kubrick and interstellar is no Space Odyssey.

Shinkicker444:
Does this movie have a lot of scenes like the one linked in the OP? Where the people make dumb ass decisions/actions? "Must get this data" *studiously ignoring the 20,000 foot tall wave*. I'd like to watch this movie, but so many movies rely on those sorts of scenes to create tension and it pisses me off.

The decision she makes is not so monumentally stupid as it appears in isolation once viewed within the context of the film.

P-89 Scorpion:
What amazing things has science not merely invented but put into actual usage in the last 20 years that people can see?

Sure the Internet, Mobile phones and computers are all much more powerful but they are evolutionary advancements of 80's tech nothing revolutionary and world changing has happened in decades.

Yet you look at how the world changed from 1900 - 1950's and it's amazing

1903 the airplane was invented and in the 1950's mach 2 was possible for multiple military aircraft.

Cars went from Mercedes being the largest in the world producing a few hundred a year in the 19th century to millions of just the Ford Model T being built by the early 1920's.

Space travel happened going from the V-2 going to the fringes of space in 1944 to landing on the moon in 1969 a period of only 25 years since then what have we done? we made man to LEO a routine but routine does not get people excited.

This. This right here.

It's not that amazing things aren't happening, it's just that they have to be happening in obvious terms in order to make humans as a whole marvel. They have to be happening in terms that even the layman, with little to no science knowledge, can look at and go...wow... People who have little to no working knowledge of physics and/or an appreciation for science in and of itself without application (see: the majority of people) aren't going to care that a sub-atomic particle can travel faster than light. They just won't.

These are MAJOR hurdles.

In the first: without scientific understanding of the speed of light as a physical principle, the fact that something can go faster than that speed is meaningless. Most people don't really GET the speed of light as a physical principle, so they won't care.

In the second: there are plenty of people who can/do have a working knowledge of physical science, but just don't get excited about "minor" discoveries. I say "minor" because, yes, faster than light-speed is a big deal in terms of scientific implication and ramification, but that is only exciting to scientists and people who enjoy science in and of itself. Once we can have faster than light human space travel and begin living the dreams that are only possible in science fiction, people will marvel, even if they don't understand or appreciate the science that made that possible.

infohippie:

Golan Trevize:

Robert B. Marks:

Disclaimer: my academic training is as a historian, not a physicist, so any errors are my own.

Here is a review of Interstellar from an astrophysicist.

http://scientificgamer.com/interstellar-a-rant/#more-4402

Bit hard to take him seriously when he claims that The Fast and the Furious was "fun". :P

Yeah. Same way I dont take people that claim that Bioshock Infinite is a good game seriously :P

OT:
Good article.

I love movies that bring the awe of fiction into play... whilst also understanding reality :P

Therumancer:
snip

I dont want to comment on much besides the fact that...
Any anime/manga/movie/book where giant robots are presented as useful military machines... is automatically stupid.

Tanks/Planes/Helis/Power Armor >>>>>>>>>>>> Mecha. And it will ALWAYS be like that. No matter what science accomplishes.

P-89 Scorpion:
What amazing things has science not merely invented but put into actual usage in the last 20 years that people can see?

Sure the Internet, Mobile phones and computers are all much more powerful but they are evolutionary advancements of 80's tech nothing revolutionary and world changing has happened in decades.

Yet you look at how the world changed from 1900 - 1950's and it's amazing

1903 the airplane was invented and in the 1950's mach 2 was possible for multiple military aircraft.

Cars went from Mercedes being the largest in the world producing a few hundred a year in the 19th century to millions of just the Ford Model T being built by the early 1920's.

Space travel happened going from the V-2 going to the fringes of space in 1944 to landing on the moon in 1969 a period of only 25 years since then what have we done? we made man to LEO a routine but routine does not get people excited.

The current computational power is billions of times greater then what the world had even 30 years ago. Internet, games themselves, the new shit the militaries of the world have (and I admit masturbating to).
Not as "flashy" as moon landings or a plane... but no less incredible :P

Shinkicker444:
Does this movie have a lot of scenes like the one linked in the OP? Where the people make dumb ass decisions/actions? "Must get this data" *studiously ignoring the 20,000 foot tall wave*. I'd like to watch this movie, but so many movies rely on those sorts of scenes to create tension and it pisses me off.

Well, that's part of what exploration and discovery is about. To put it bluntly if we do get up into space the first thing we're going to need to do is collect very basic information as you build new bodies of knowledge from tiniest of blocks. Risking a 'wave' for example among other things let's you collect information on that wave so you can potentially build things later that allow later explorers to more easily withstand them. Landing on a "crappy" planet to collect soil samples and such can tell you a lot about that planet, and give you perspective on other ones you run into. Sure, the dirt on "dead world #2394921" might just be dirt like anything we've found on earth, but it might also have trace elements showing minerals we want to collect later, dead bacteria showing life once thrived there (or live bacteria for that matter, either of which would be huge) or whatever else. Not to mention giving us some idea of the viability of terraforming.

See if we ever get out into space one of the first things we're likely to wind up doing is looking for minerals given depletion here on earth which has lead to things like strip mining. Geologists can tell a lot from things like soil samples.

One of the very first things I'd imagine humanity is going to do in any space expansion is going to be mining the asteroid belt since we're pretty sure there are minerals there. That way we only have to worry about launching and landing from earth, which is likely to be the hard part. Our next step is going to be looking at which, if any, worlds we can terraform in the solar system, Mars being the most likely candidate.

That said despite people probably ignoring my rant above while missing the point, omitting it as some kind of racism or something due to the examples I used (overlooking my own disclaimers in making an academic point), I maintain the gist of it, and I think the point made here and in the message above it illustrates part of my point. Half our problem is a desire for immediate gratification rather than thinking in the long term, and our dominant societies right now are ones based on giving the people the power to control society for immediate gratification. A nice thing morally, but not so much when it comes to long term thinking. The very attitude of "why would we take risks for minor data" or "why would we examine these boring, dead, worlds" is a sort of extension of the central problem. One would hope by the time we launched a space mission we'd sort of "get it" and realize that it's all about baby steps, and great risks for minor rewards that will add up in the future. We're not going to be setting foot on alien worlds teeming with life for a very, very, long time after we launch, and frankly the first ones we DO step on will probably only be "alien" by way of a technicality, being worlds we ourselves shape and create. I see a terraforming project being successful long before we say stumble on the equivalent of the planet from "Avatar", and even that is probably long term. The thing is people just do not think for the long term, it's all about the comfort, benefits, and returns right now, and that's something that needs to be overcome. We need to remove our own bias from science, and start thinking multi-generationally. When the logic inherent in some of these points about "Interstellar" make more sense to the common viewer, that will be a sign we're moving forward to where we need to be.

SanguineAngel:
The decision she makes is not so monumentally stupid as it appears in isolation once viewed within the context of the film.

I see, I hope it isn't. You've given me a little hope at least.

Therumancer:
*snip*

Thats... a lot of text that doesn't really answer what I was asking. You seem to have over analysed what I was asking. I'm not questioning the need to go to these worlds or anything like that, nor am I asking for instant gratification. I was asking if the movie has people making blatantly stupid ass decision purely on the directors attempt to create tension. I've seen it in so many movies it pisses me off these days. I'd rather watch this movie with them doing nothing but sitting around looking at screens in the most boring documentary fashion, than have to stomach scenes with forced tension based on dumb ass decisions. It's why I can't watch "disaster" movies anymore.

Interstellar is not hard science at all. It has some hard science elements on it and some dumb stuff and also the clichê black hole time travel thing.

It is a good lie, though. The best lies are composed with a huge part of truth.

The problem is that if your suspension of disbelief is damaged, the whole thing suddenly becomes boring and overly pretentious.

They should have tried to explain a lot less and just let the film flow. When I started doubting the explanations, the whole thing kind of crumbled onto itself.

I'm a great fan of hard-sci-fi literature, and I'd love to see more shows or movies based on, hell, anything. We almost literally got nothing these last years.
I don't think Interstellar was a great movie, but if it brings scifi back to the list of things to make movies about, hey why not.

zinho73:
Interstellar is not hard science at all. It has some hard science elements on it and some dumb stuff and also the clichê black hole time travel thing.

It is a good lie, though. The best lies are composed with a huge part of truth.

The problem is that if your suspension of disbelief is damaged, the whole thing suddenly becomes boring and overly pretentious.

They should have tried to explain a lot less and just let the film flow. When I started doubting the explanations, the whole thing kind of crumbled onto itself.

Forgive me, as perhaps I'm just not quite understanding the specifics of your grievances, but what cliche of "black hole time travel thing" and what lie? Please, elaborate, if you're willing. I'm actually quite curious.

Hawki:

Trust me, there's people around now that claim that anyone who dislikes Space Odyssey "just doesn't get it" anyway. :(

Unfortunately, Interstellar is in the same camp. I've already explained at length why I consider Interstellar to be a poor movie, and it all comes down to its focus on style over substance, the terrible dialogue, and the plot holes. But hey, I guess I "just don't get it."

Please take this as genuine curiosity and not some argument.

To which plot-holes are you referring?

Vigormortis:

Hawki:

Trust me, there's people around now that claim that anyone who dislikes Space Odyssey "just doesn't get it" anyway. :(

Unfortunately, Interstellar is in the same camp. I've already explained at length why I consider Interstellar to be a poor movie, and it all comes down to its focus on style over substance, the terrible dialogue, and the plot holes. But hey, I guess I "just don't get it."

Please take this as genuine curiosity and not some argument.

To which plot-holes are you referring?

Well it's bound to have plot-holes. It's a movie. For whatever reason, people just have a habit of getting more annoyed with ones in sci-fi movies. It just seems that people have a harder time suspending their disbelief when it comes to sci-fi. The cynical part of me says that people just like flaunting their intelligence when it comes to sci-fi. Probably too cynical though.

RedDeadFred:

Well it's bound to have plot-holes. It's a movie. For whatever reason, people just have a habit of getting more annoyed with ones in sci-fi movies. It just seems that people have a harder time suspending their disbelief when it comes to sci-fi. The cynical part of me says that people just like flaunting their intelligence when it comes to sci-fi. Probably too cynical though.

Well sure. I've yet to see a film that didn't have one plot hole or another, to some degree. (and I've see a LOT of movies) I was just wondering to which that poster was referring as I've heard a number in regards to the film, but some are literally a case of the person missing a detail within the film.

The rest, though....genuine plot holes.

Vigormortis:

RedDeadFred:

Well it's bound to have plot-holes. It's a movie. For whatever reason, people just have a habit of getting more annoyed with ones in sci-fi movies. It just seems that people have a harder time suspending their disbelief when it comes to sci-fi. The cynical part of me says that people just like flaunting their intelligence when it comes to sci-fi. Probably too cynical though.

Well sure. I've yet to see a film that didn't have one plot hole or another, to some degree. (and I've see a LOT of movies) I was just wondering to which that poster was referring as I've heard a number in regards to the film, but some are literally a case of the person missing a detail within the film.

The rest, though....genuine plot holes.

I looked up an old post I did on the issue. A lot of the gripes I have with the film are with the dialogue, so this may come off as nitpicking, but here goes:

-What's up with the blight? Is it super blight or just one blight after another? Has it affected the whole world? If so, how? How would fungus affect the nitrogen/oxygen balance of the atmosphere so much to make Earth uninhabitable? Has this blight/series of blights gone on for 30+ years? Heck, even the Irish Potato Famine only lasted 7 years, and there are plenty of areas on Earth that don't grow these staple crops (e.g. rice).

-On that note, why are engineers suddenly demonized? A lack of resources is never presented as an issue per se, only the food supply. Ideally you'd want more engineers to make better machines, to work the land more efficiently, or develop new farming methods (e.g. hydroponics, greenhouses) or scientists for GMCs. I'm not sure how anyone in this world thought that becoming Luddites was a good idea.

-Why cover up the moon landing? If the entire idea is that this is a "caretaker generation," then surely a time is meant to come (in theory) where space exploration can resume. I know an explanation is given, but it feels so contrived and so academic to the plot I'm left to wonder why it's even in here. It doesn't help that the US government seems to be shooting itself in the foot, its plan being to "make people hate science, so more people will become farmers, but now that they hate science, we can't let them know about our secret NASA project, but we could let them know if they didn't hate science, and...gah!"

Maybe nitpicking, but to quote College Humor, "you're making this much harder than this needs to be."

-I suppose it's not worth asking what happened to every other space agency in the world...right?

-Why hijack/chase down the drone, cutting through valuable foodstuffs along the way. Cooper's a machine guy...and the drone thing never comes up again. I know from the original script that this was originally part of the "find NASA" plot, but here, it happens, and...it's never brought up again. It establishes some characterization for Cooper, but the plot literally takes a detour for it to happen.

-Why not send robots through the wormhole? Yes, Mann "explains" this (survival instinct), but again, it's a contrivance. Robots last longer, cost fewer resources to sustain (no food, no air, etc.), and there's a clear precedent for using resources in current space exploration. Clearly AI technology is sophisticated enough for robots to do this thing (e.g. TAARS).

-Why doesn't anyone question Cooper about how he found NASA? I mean, yes they do, but the line of questioning is dropped as soon as "gravity" is mentioned. It's kind of meta really, how gravity is a buzzword in this film. 0_0

-On that note, I'm not sure it's a good idea to keep a boardroom right next to the launch bay, the sliding wall notwithstanding.

-Why not try to find Cooper? Or heck, anyone to fly the ship? I'm not exactly sure what NASA's plan was if Cooper hadn't shown up. I mean, okay, I can understand the lack of pilots in the setting. What is far harder to swallow is the idea that NASA either could not, or would not find Cooper when he's living within driving distance, when he has children going to school, and by all accounts, is your average joe. But no, "gravity" had to lead him to NASA. And if that didn't happen...

-So, the Ranger spacecraft can acheive escape velocity. But we need a conventional rocket to take up upwards to the centrifuge. We know from later in the film that humans can build more Rangers. I'm willing to concede that the Rangers might be more resource intensive than a conventional rocket, but the film makes no mention of it. We need a rocket to get us into space, and won't need a rocket on any other planet we visit because...well, god damn it, rockets are kewl!

-Plan B is actually Plan A...though I'm left to question Plan B in itself, because human babies popping out on a planet doesn't sound like a viable survival plan for the human species. How many of those babies will actually survive? Even with an astronaut, or with accelerated growth, I don't think humans are that qualified to work as a population bomb.

-Doctor Mann tricks them into coming to the ice-bucket...see why robots are better qualified and...wait...a robot's already onboard the ship...

-On that note, I think it might have been better to have more than one transmission button. As if to say, "yeah, this planet sucks, but I'm still alive..."

-This is more a characterization/writing gump than a plothole per se, and if I was focusing on them, that would be a post of its own. But still, I'm including it here because it's based off worldbuilding:

Murf gets with "nameless guy." I shall call him "nameless guy" because his name is never mentioned, we never see any real development of the relationship, and if this film can't be bothered to give him a name, why should I? But point is, in their jeep, Murph and "nameless guy" see people going somewhere in the midst of the dust storm, Murph commenting on how pointless it is to go anywhere at all.

10 minutes later:

"Brother, who has suddenly become redneck character, you have to go! Go somewhere! Just ignore the fact that 10 minutes ago in the script I was saying how pointless it was to do what I'm telling you to do now!"

(Yes, toxic air on farm, etc., but seriously? Did no-one see how much this clashed tonally?)

The alien beings plan'...oh boy...let's break this down.

Stage 1: Open a wormhole. At Saturn. Could it have been closer? Meh, I can roll with it.

Stage 2: Travel through wormhole.

Stage 3: Commence the stupid.

Why? Because the aliens' entire plan is based on Cooper entering the black hole, something that no-one would do under any sane circumstances, and only occurs at all because of a series of events that no-one could have foreseen. I mean, I get it. They're aliens. There's all kinds of circumstances for their alien behaviour - if they existed in 5 dimensions, there's a precedent for them not being able to interact with humanity through conventional means, and...oh...they're not aliens...they're future humans...

...WHAT?

Okay, this has been pointed out before, that it's a pre-destination paradox. And yeah, it is, but that's just the tip of the iceburg as to how moronic this is. Yes, the pre-destination paradox is an issue, and while PDPs can work based on "just accept it," this is providing a plot twist for the sole sake of a PDP. And since they're actually humans, it makes their actions even more baffling - get someone into the black hole (slim chance), hope that someone has someone to send a message to (slim chance), send that message through mechanical means (not so bad a chance as far as probes go, but it's already explained that they can't probe Gargantua bar observation - event horizon and all that), and hope that person knows what to make of it (VERY slim chance). If these are human beings, beings that can open wormholes, how is it that their plan relies on such a long set of contrivances to actually function? How is it that humans who created things like TAARS in the first place can no longer create things like TAARS to send messages to their ancestors in something clearer then morse code? And how, when Cooper is shot out of the wormhole, was this wormhole not able to get him into the tesseract in the first place? Why rely on a black hole which, as stated, no-one has a reason to fly into? And on that note, why not send it to Caine's character? "Gravity" is a buzzword, he's already working on the equation, and we've already been shown that NASA is "in on it," so to speak, given how Cooper's answer is "gravity" led me here, so hey, we'll just stop questioning you. But no, Murph has to be the character to generate false tension (the burning scene...oh God...) and to thematically apply the film's theme. A theme I can get behind, but it's been handled much better in this film already (where Cooper see's his son's logs).

I called them aliens at first. And it's mind blowing as to why this was changed/revealed to be humans.

-Humans build space station that goes to Saturn. Humans build high-tech spaceships. Humans become fine with technology again.

-Not really a plothole, but I can't help but wonder about the rest of the human race that was likely left to starve/suffocate. I don't think it's the film's intent, but I've seen others see it as it is, the message being "screw the Earth, as long as we're okay." And...yeah. Can definately see where they're coming from...

-Murph gets a goodbye bed scene. No idea where brother is. Cooper never asks. And yes, I'm calling that a plot hole - this isn't characterization issues. This is literally a character disappearing from sight and mind.

-Murph knows where Brant is. No-one's sent a ship to find her.

-Cooper takes a ship to find Brant, proving that humans no longer believe in security.

-Brant resides on habitable planet. Humans are content to not go there yet because...reasons.

So yeah. Plotholes, nitpicks, whatever. And I'm willing to accept that yes, some of these might be able to be explained. Yes, perhaps I'm being too cynical. However, it becomes hard to overlook plotholes when there's nothing to cover them up, when the dialogue, and characterization is so awful.

Vigormortis:

Hawki:

Trust me, there's people around now that claim that anyone who dislikes Space Odyssey "just doesn't get it" anyway. :(

Unfortunately, Interstellar is in the same camp. I've already explained at length why I consider Interstellar to be a poor movie, and it all comes down to its focus on style over substance, the terrible dialogue, and the plot holes. But hey, I guess I "just don't get it."

Please take this as genuine curiosity and not some argument.

To which plot-holes are you referring?

Vigormortis:

zinho73:
Interstellar is not hard science at all. It has some hard science elements on it and some dumb stuff and also the clichê black hole time travel thing.

It is a good lie, though. The best lies are composed with a huge part of truth.

The problem is that if your suspension of disbelief is damaged, the whole thing suddenly becomes boring and overly pretentious.

They should have tried to explain a lot less and just let the film flow. When I started doubting the explanations, the whole thing kind of crumbled onto itself.

Forgive me, as perhaps I'm just not quite understanding the specifics of your grievances, but what cliche of "black hole time travel thing" and what lie? Please, elaborate, if you're willing. I'm actually quite curious.

zinho73:

Vigormortis:

Hawki:

Trust me, there's people around now that claim that anyone who dislikes Space Odyssey "just doesn't get it" anyway. :(

Unfortunately, Interstellar is in the same camp. I've already explained at length why I consider Interstellar to be a poor movie, and it all comes down to its focus on style over substance, the terrible dialogue, and the plot holes. But hey, I guess I "just don't get it."

Please take this as genuine curiosity and not some argument.

To which plot-holes are you referring?

Vigormortis:

zinho73:
Interstellar is not hard science at all. It has some hard science elements on it and some dumb stuff and also the clichê black hole time travel thing.

It is a good lie, though. The best lies are composed with a huge part of truth.

The problem is that if your suspension of disbelief is damaged, the whole thing suddenly becomes boring and overly pretentious.

They should have tried to explain a lot less and just let the film flow. When I started doubting the explanations, the whole thing kind of crumbled onto itself.

Forgive me, as perhaps I'm just not quite understanding the specifics of your grievances, but what cliche of "black hole time travel thing" and what lie? Please, elaborate, if you're willing. I'm actually quite curious.

Um, what? You've only quoted my posts. Did you have a point or....?

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