Kids (and, surprisingly, babies) nowadays have their hands on smartphones, tablets, computers, and/or gaming systems with social media sharing. They’re exposed to much more information than I ever was when I was a kid! (I’m a post-millennial, by the way.)
Two years ago, my Physics I professor mentioned the movie “Gravity” when talking about torque, velocity, and other basic physics concepts… because the movie’s writers got them all wrong. He warned his students that the way Hollywood depicts physics will make it more difficult for us to understand real-world physics.
In a way, he’s right. We watch movies and TV shows “believing” (or getting used to the idea) that huge explosions can result from minor collisions, people can jump across huge gaps, people can stand up after getting hit by a heavy object… Yeah, in the back of our minds we know that cinematic effects are added to scenes to make on-screen stories seem more interesting than everyday life. But some subtle unrealistic depictions in movies and TV shows can seem realistic… so realistic that we choose to believe them without question.
On the other hand, sci-fi films and shows like “Star Trek” have inspired future STEMists. A lot of techies and “Star Trek” fans love to talk about how the show introduced the idea of the cellphone, but there are, of course, other inventive concepts that the show introduced such as the tablet.
Remember when the iPhone was revealed back in 2007? There were rumors about how Apple will compete with cellphone companies, but no one expected Apple to introduce a “button-less cellphone”.
The iPhone gained popularity SLOWLY. Today, a lot of people (especially young adults, teenagers, and pre-teens) are obsessed with using touchscreen smartphones for gaming, messaging, camera, news, shopping, and social media apps. But back then, can you believe that few people realized how valuable the iPhone’s multi-functional capabilities are, let alone how a “button-less phone” is possible?
So, should movies and TV shows be more scientifically accurate?
In some ways, yes. Movies that try to tell more believable stories like “Gravity” should get their scripts reviewed by scientists. Fun fact: Neil deGrasse Tyson (the iconic guy behind the “We got a badass over here” meme) complained about how the stars in the night skies shown in “Titanic” were inaccurate, and James Cameron updated the scenes after hearing Tyson’s complaint because he loves science.
In other ways, sci-fi should still be promoted in the entertainment industry.
One of my favorite sci-fi scenes of all time is from the movie “Blade Runner”, starring Harrison Ford. That movie’s villain, Roy Batty, is an AI robot who said one of the most emotional movie quotes of all time – his “Tears In Rain” monologue:
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
You don’t really have to understand what that movie’s about. Those two things I mentioned about the villain can make some viewers think about a future of “Astro Boys”, robot ethics, innovative things, … etc.
A lot of things that seem unrealistic in Hollywood films now may end up becoming real in the future.
What if, in the future, someone invented special listening devices to hear sounds in outer space? That’s a far-fetched thought, but I guess it’s an interesting thought.
I read Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” when I was in elementary school, and little did I know that Jules Verne is regarded as an influential man for many inventions that characterize the 20th-century. I’ve seen Leonardo da Vinci’s odd sketches of planes and tanks when I was a kid too, and little did I know that he imagined those vehicles before someone built them.
It’s pretty evident that some people come up with creative ideas and solutions that are related or inspired by unrealistic phenomena depicted in films. So, because of that, I’m against the idea of making movies “more scientifically accurate”.
Instead, I’d like to see more STEM educators teach students about biology, technology, physics, etc. through analyzing popular films that students have most likely seen. That should keep students interested in STEM, and help them better understand abstract STEM concepts.
Pontifex and Dalai Lama: *preaches about how people shouldn’t rely on wealth for happiness on Twitter*
disrespectful Twitter users: *complain about how happiness can’t be obtained without money, poor people’s sufferings, and economic problems*
Guys, I understand how some of you are either unreligious, or are religious yet hold different opinions from religious leaders. I also get that some of you guys believe that religious texts are outdated because they were written by authors who lived in societies and environments that are different from today.
But c’mon, a good chunk of you probably understand that religious leaders are trying to communicate positive life lessons and messages.
No matter what your beliefs are, and no matter whether you’re religious or not,… people (excluding psychopaths) live life being curious about life’s mysteries, try to better their lives, and/or try to better the global community.
Religions exist because, first and foremost, people throughout history are curious about life’s mysteries. Second, but more importantly, religion exists because people want to celebrate and respect life.
Religious texts aren’t outdated because people back then didn’t have today’s scientific instruments and methods to prove such and such… On the contrary, they’re timeless because no matter what scientific advancements we have today and will have in the future, there will always be mysteries unsolved. And religions certainly don’t try to give concrete answers to life’s mysteries.
Moreover, history has proven how the virtues, ethics and morals taught by religious and non-religious people have benefited individuals, families, friendships, relationships, societies, and all of humanity.
Dear disrespectful Twitter users, I hope that you guys learn to be more open-minded and understanding of other’s perspectives of the world. You don’t have to necessarily accept other’s beliefs. When you open yourselves to new perspectives and ideas, you just might surround yourselves with diverse people and maybe adopt a new belief or two.