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Old November 24 2012, 02:09 PM   #30
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Re: Is The Science Channel after our hearts?

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
I've never met a single person in my life who said they expected to learn science from sci fi on TV or in movies.
As long as you harp on that, you're missing the point. You're approaching it from the wrong direction. The point is not about what people "expect," because expectations are often self-limiting. The point is that the reason people have that expectation is that few SFTV producers have tried to make their work educational. And so people haven't seen what's achievable.

Science fiction can be a powerful educational tool. I know that from firsthand experience. And there are, in fact, people who are working to promote greater scientific literacy in film and TV -- scientists, educators, and filmmakers cooperating to make it happen. It's called The Science & Entertainment Exchange. Follow the link, read the site, learn the facts instead of being trapped by what you "expect."

People may assume that TV and movies reflect reality rather than being a lot of BS created for the purpose of entertainment, but let's face it, those people are probably hopeless and their idiocy shouldn't impact how shows and movies are created.
You're making a false and arrogant assumption. Every human being is equally susceptible to this. As I explained, it's just a function of how our brains evolved. I'm sure there are quite a few things you believe to be true that you've unconsciously osmosed from film and TV, that you've never questioned because film & TV are your only exposure to them. It's not "idiocy," it's just an unavoidable consequence of a lifestyle where so much of our perception of the world is shaped by what we see on TV rather than what we directly experience.

In my experience, people do understand that just because Ross on Friends has a huge apartment, that doesn't mean every person with a moderate salary in Manhattan has a huge apartment. And just because the Enterprise flies faster than light, that doesn't mean it will ever be possible in reality.
I'm not talking about the obvious breaks from life experience. I'm talking about the things that people have no other basis of comparison for and thus don't realize are implausible. As I said, countless people really do believe that crashed cars are time bombs waiting to go off, and they really do injure people trying to rush them away from their car crashes as a result. Countless people have similar misconceptions about police procedure and courtroom procedure because they've never experienced the reality, only the pervasive fictional misrepresentations. They don't question their assumptions because they've never been told anything else.

And there are tons of Americans out there who don't even know that the Earth revolves around the Sun, or can't tell the difference between a star system and a galaxy. They're not going to know that what they see on TV is wrong. But that's exactly why it's such a missed opportunity. Teach real science on TV and in movies, and it'll help make up for that gross deficiency of science education in our schools.

I thought that was the reason behind the silly name change, to signal that they're not "just" sci fi (and also have something copyrightable). I currently don't watch anything on SyFy, because nothing appeals to me, although I'm not positive that would change if they had more sci fi content.
JD wrote: View Post
^I'd heard that about Syfy when they first changed it, but since then I've heard that the only reason they changed it was so they had a name they could trademark or copyright. I can never remember which you do with something like that.
It's a little of both, but mostly what you said, JD. In fact, as I said, the reason they called themselves The SciFi Channel rather than The Science Fiction Channel to begin with was because they didn't want to limit themselves by claiming they only broadcast science fiction. So there was nothing new about that. The main reason for the change to Syfy was for trademarking purposes.

Kegg wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, "sci-fi" has generally been a much looser term than "science fiction" or "SF," since it's more of a pop-culture and mass-media label, and the lines have long been far more blurred there.
Not particularly. The use of the label in media is not really any different from how it's used in literature.
There are many people in literary SF who'd disagree with you passionately. For decades, people in the prose SF community considered "sci-fi" a derogatory term, and many would protest as vehemently as if it were an ethnic slur. I think that attitude has faded somewhat, but I'm sure it's still present. In the prose SF community, the preferred terms are science fiction, SF, or sf. "Sci-fi" is often seen as a term for mass-media content that has the trappings of SF but isn't the "pure" stuff.
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