Gweek 097: Ramez Naam and Jason Snell

In this episode of Gweek, I talked to Ramez Naam and Jason Snell.

Ramez Naam is a computer scientist and the H.G. Wells Award-winning author of three books, including the sci-fi thriller Nexus.

Jason Snell is editorial director at IDG, the publishers of magazines and web sites about technology such as Macworld, PCWorld, and TechHive. He was the editor of Macworld for eight years. He's also the host of The Incomparable, an award-winning podcast about geeky cultural topics including movies, TV, books, and comics.

Here's what we talked about:

Real-life cyborg tech Ramez: "In the last couple years we’ve seen the approval of the first bionic eye, trials on implants that let paralyzed people move robot arms via their thoughts, and brain implants that make rats and monkeys smarter. What’s going on here? Are we headed towards The Matrix?"

Star Trek Into Darkness Jason: "A lot of complaints I see about this movie (which I really liked) seem to involve fans who are offended by divergences from continuity, or because the movie dares to tread over (and rewrite or subvert) old ground." Ramez: "How much do we expect our sci-fi to be scientifically accurate? Or even self-consistent? I enjoyed Avengers despite it being very silly and at times illogical. But much more minor flaws in logic ruined Prometheus for me."

Feedly Mark: "A replacement for Google reader, which is going away."

Morning Glories Jason: "Just started reading this comic, which just began its second "season." As a big fan of Lost, I'm intrigued by this time-bending combination of Lost and Buffy or Runaways."

Mark: "I'm buying a $100 Samsung Galaxy Pocket and a local SIM card when traveling to Japan instead of buying AT&T's expensive international data plan."

And a whole lot more!

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  1. I am tired of hearing the old “you don’t like the new star trek because its just not the old trek.” based arguments.  Star Trek Into Darkness is cold, calculated money making  shite.  It drips with crass moviemaking.  I applaud anybody who “Loves” this movie…but you love a doll.  What all the people you chide for complaining about the movie feel is the uncomfortability with it’s articifice.   It is the filmic version of the the uncanny valley.  It looks like it’s alive…it looks like it cares…but it doesn’t.  I went into the theater wanting to love the hell out of it…I have a history with Trek…this movie is a sad part of that history.

    1. After seeing it, my first thought was that it had been created by algorithm. An algorithm designed to maximize predictability.

  2. My major problem with Star Trek is that it needs to pick a tone and stick with it.  There is obviously a humorous undertone to these new Star Trek Movies that wasn’t there in the past movies.  I enjoyed the film (I wasn’t expecting much) up to the point that the big bad was revealed to be Khan, I mean, give me a break, this is just plane sloppy script writing.  I don’t mind a wink and a nod to the original series, but to lift an entire part from one of the original movies, it is horrible.

    All of the characters are cartoon characters just aping the tropes of the original show.  Somebody need to write an actual script that has some life in it.  Take a humorous slant on  Star Trek.  I love Hyperdrive, this type of SciFi can work, this film is just is not cutting it.

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