Friday, June 18, 2010

How Science Fiction Failed Us

Part of the fun of geekdom is approaching silly issues with a grim sense of purpose usually reserved for undertakers. We're the people who will write essays explaining why it's possible/impossible for a character like Mr. Fantastic to exist in the real world, why there were klingons in the Neutral Zone in Star Trek II training simulator, or why a concept like midiclorians "undermines" the entire message of the Star Wars films. In other words, we can be assholes.

In that vein, here's an essay called Star Wars vs Star Trek – How Science Fiction Failed Us from the Geek Shui blog. Here's a clip:

In Star Wars power output is measured in Watts, which is something we are very familiar with. A watt is a measurement of the amount of work it takes to move an object one meter in one second against a force of one Newton (sorry for the science talk, but I had to show you why some people are just too serious about this stuff). Trek measures its power output in a unit called “dynes” which makes more sense since we are talking about a propulsion system. A dyne is the measure of how much force it takes to accelerate a mass of one gram over one centimeter per second every second.  Brain hurt yet?

Read on here.

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