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Old July 18 2009, 03:50 PM   #16
The Evil Dead
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

I didn't like the movie there wasn't enough space fighting!
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Old July 18 2009, 04:00 PM   #17
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

Level 2 Diagnostic wrote: View Post

We have no way of knowing how much it would cost to clone a person, especially not in a hypothetical future of cheap, limitless energy. But articles I see online peg the cost in the millions of dollars. And supposedly the Company in this film cloned a person dozens of times over. I really don't see how that could possibly be cheaper than simply hiring one extra person.

Plus, no company in real life would ever do this. Companies could make a lot of money abducting people from third world countries and using them for slave labor, but the risk of criminal prosecution, lawsuits, bad PR, etc. would definitely not justify whatever money is saved. The only way you can accept the actions of the corporation in Moon is if you accept that all corporations are inherently evil.
I don't think you have to accept that all corporations are inherently evil, just that this one is willing to do something very morally questionable. Which is born out by the actions of many modern day corporations who are more than happy to use sweat shop labor in third world countries, which everyone is aware of. So long as the consumers don't care what poor conditions workers are in so that they can get cheap clothes and cheap products (and 99% of them don't care), bad PR is minimal and the companies aren't doing anything illegal in those countries so there's no threat of lawsuit. Who knows what the laws are governing what happens on the far side of the moon?

Don't get me wrong, if you had trouble suspending your disbelief over these issues - you know, a story works for a person or it doesn't and I respect that. But, personally I'd be more likely to get tripped up on the idea that you could get a viable human clone with all the memories of a real person, "born" adult - all mammal clones currently made are cloned in embryo form and undergo a natural lifecycle from infant to adult. Like all SF, it took some liberties with science to tell a poignant human story.

JA - don't take it personally. When I respond to people, it's generally to argue with them, and I have no arguments with your thoughts.
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Old July 18 2009, 06:56 PM   #18
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

Lapis Exilis wrote: View Post
I don't think you have to accept that all corporations are inherently evil, just that this one is willing to do something very morally questionable. Which is born out by the actions of many modern day corporations who are more than happy to use sweat shop labor in third world countries, which everyone is aware of.
We're talking about creating a person specifically to provide cheap labor, implanting that person with false memories, cutting them off from the rest of humanity, and letting that person believe they have a nice, full life ahead of them with a family that doesn't exist. That's not morally questionable, that's morally abhorrent. I just can't equate that with sweat shop labor.


Don't get me wrong, if you had trouble suspending your disbelief over these issues - you know, a story works for a person or it doesn't and I respect that.
I think you missed where I said "I still enjoyed the film, but it has a few flaws, and the central premise is one of them." And yes, the idea of being able to create adult clones with implanted memories is something of a stretch, too.
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Old July 18 2009, 07:32 PM   #19
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

JacksonArcher wrote: View Post
Which leads me to my one complaint of the film: the "Sam's" were so persist in returning home, yet neither of them for a second realized the consequences of this action.
I think it was more that whatever the consequences were (including possibly dying on the trip) it had to be better than staying.
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Old July 18 2009, 08:33 PM   #20
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

right I just saw the movie, at first I wondered if Earth was even still populated, and if the whole thing was not just the same system gone over & over hundreds of time, the energy going no where (im going to need to look up on the moon rock generates energy)

we seemed to have dubbed the Sam I was going to talk about Sam4 (so ill go with that) I did wonder if putting Sam3 in the crashed lunar transport was his plan all along, becasue there was no way Sam3 was going to survive the trip to Earth as was first suggested, but at least he knocked one of the towers down before he left, giving new sam and the company a chance to put things right.

its questioned in the movie, and I have to wonder why the robot (who appeared to have a coffee cup on it completely at random) told Sam the truth, like said in the movie, im amazed it was not programmed better.

I dont think the cloning & false memory's are any more a stretch than any other sci-fi movies about cloning, or even the Doctor Who episode "The Doctors Daughter"

As for was it cheaper to make the clones, well lets assume for a moment this was a major long term investment (only way it could be really) is it cheaper in the long run to clone someone 1,000 times or to fly a new person up their everytime their 3 year shift comes to an end?

I think the question of the companys action is, will anybody care? people of Earth get free & clean energy to live their lives, they are fed a story about 1 man doing a 3 year shift, its something they can swallow and no one is looking to punch a hole in the story.

As for the newSam what his life, I assume he wakes up, the robot guides his memory's to the conclusion the company wants, and lives the lie, only with live communication, to earth, until the robot can find a way to change thats, its possible it was all for nothing.
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Old July 18 2009, 09:08 PM   #21
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

GERTY's desire to protect Sam was one of the more refreshing aspects of the film for me.

The equivalent in 2001, HAL, is driven insane by the conflict between its design (to process information accurately without distortion or concealment) and its orders to keep the discovery of the Monolith secret from the crew he was supposed to protect. The resulting errors forced HAL to attempt to eliminate the crew so that it would not have to lie any longer and would thus be able to reconcile both parts of its programming.

Here, GERTY also has two conflicting sets of programming. One says that it must keep (the current) Sam happy, healthy and safe. The other says that it must keep the mining operation going and must also keep the nature of Sam's existence a secret from Sam. When the younger Sam brings back the older Sam, GERTY now has two charges to protect. My guess is that having two Sams disrupts the balance between the two contradictory sets of programming and shifts it towards protecting them.
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Old July 19 2009, 01:23 AM   #22
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

Just saw this, and agree the corporation's plan makes no sense.

But other than a handwave about how a corporation is a slave to its shareholders, there's never so much as a hint about why the corporation actually does this. It seems utterly inexplicable to me. They would surely have no trouble recruiting people for the job-- in real life, people work in oil tankers and wells on facilities far less luxurious and are separated from their families for years at a time. If you factor in how nice the accommodations are, that they're capable of real time video communication with Earth (and this presumably would mean TV as well), the coolness factor in being able to work on the moon, and the high number of people who would give just about anything to go into space, they would have no trouble recruiting good people at a reasonable salary. Does Sam Bell have some skill that's absolutely vital and nobody else has? If so, the movie didn't deign to tell us what it is. How can this enterprise-- which, if the end is to be believed, carries high risk of criminal and civil liability and requires the silence of at least half a dozen people-- possibly be worth it? I wanted to enjoy the movie, but I was waiting for answers that never came. The free labor they get is surely not worth the number of man-hours needed to create and sustain the deception, plus the costs of the cloning et. al. itself, plus the risk of getting caught. The 'visions' were also unexplained and, I guess, just meant to be attributed to general clone breakdown.

EDIT: And I disagree that they get away with it because they're on the far side of the moon. Are you really suggesting the media would have zero interest in the one man who was a linchpin in solving one of our most intractable social problems? They wouldn't notice that the original Sam came back, but nobody else ever did? Nobody would find it at all odd that the station was completely incommunicado? The more I think about this, the less sense it makes.
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Old July 19 2009, 07:36 AM   #23
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

I agree the reason for using clones isn't well developed. I think it was ultimately a suspension of disbelief issue; I just accepted that for whatever reason it was cheaper for the corporation to use a single, disposable person than a paid crew. Who nows, maybe Sam wasn't even dying because he was a clone. Maybe it's a side effect of long-term habitation on the moon (solar flares?) or the helium-3 mining.

How can this enterprise-- which, if the end is to be believed, carries high risk of criminal and civil liability and requires the silence of at least half a dozen people-- possibly be worth it?
The legal status of what happens on the moon is probably a murky issue at best. The movie even delves into it a bit with the hilarious line at the end about Sam being an "illegal immigrant".

Are you really suggesting the media would have zero interest in the one man who was a linchpin in solving one of our most intractable social problems?
I imagine there's more than one base. But even if there's just one I still believe it. We're happy to ignore the shady things the energy industry does here and now. Just look at Shell in Nigeria.
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Old July 19 2009, 05:25 PM   #24
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

Level 2 Diagnostic wrote: View Post

We're talking about creating a person specifically to provide cheap labor, implanting that person with false memories, cutting them off from the rest of humanity, and letting that person believe they have a nice, full life ahead of them with a family that doesn't exist. That's not morally questionable, that's morally abhorrent. I just can't equate that with sweat shop labor.
Really? Those sweat shops often do things like employ 11 year old kids in 14 hour a day shifts. That's pretty morally abhorrent. Perhaps even more so than cloning, which at least has a little wiggle room on the issue of whether or not the clone is actually a person, especially if it only has a three-year life span.


Don't get me wrong, if you had trouble suspending your disbelief over these issues - you know, a story works for a person or it doesn't and I respect that.
I think you missed where I said "I still enjoyed the film, but it has a few flaws, and the central premise is one of them."
No, I didn't miss it. That's why I said I respect your reasons. They made me think a little harder about the central premise, which I appreciate.

Ryan wrote: View Post
I agree the reason for using clones isn't well developed. I think it was ultimately a suspension of disbelief issue; I just accepted that for whatever reason it was cheaper for the corporation to use a single, disposable person than a paid crew. Who nows, maybe Sam wasn't even dying because he was a clone. Maybe it's a side effect of long-term habitation on the moon (solar flares?) or the helium-3 mining.
That's an interesting thought. From what we know of mammalian clones, they do tend to have shorter lifespans, but they don't go through the kind of physical breakdown we see the Sams experiencing, which look a little more like radiation poisoning - losing his hair, extreme fatigue, vomiting blood.
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Old July 19 2009, 07:38 PM   #25
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

Did anyone notice that the gravity throughout the movie was pretty much the same as earth's? The only times there were any signs of the moon's lesser gravity was when Sam went outside.
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Old July 19 2009, 08:16 PM   #26
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

Are you really suggesting the media would have zero interest in the one man who was a linchpin in solving one of our most intractable social problems?
I think the media would have some interest in the first Sam who did a shift at the moon, but after that it would be old news, does the media care about the people who work on oil rigs?
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Old July 20 2009, 04:44 AM   #27
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

Wouldn't the Sam from the begging of the film be Sam4, and the second Sam we see be Sam5? I'm assuming that the messages from his wife were sent in the same order that they were to the original Sam. Thus, he went into space soon after his daughter was born, as she is about three in the message we see at the beginning. If she is actually 15, then the first Sam we see is the fourth Sam (though the third clone)
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Old July 20 2009, 08:39 PM   #28
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

Saw it this weekend. I really enjoyed it, though it did strain credulity a bit.

One of my lingering questions is whether or not GERTY was sentient? I mean clearly it was programmed as a caregiving machine and was mostly just responding to input but at what point does one make the distinction? Confronted with the human cost of it's past actions, GERTY seemed to make a decision to take whatever actions necessary to prevent it happening again. In this respect the character seems human. But it could also be explained away as a malfunction introduced by the presence of two Sams.
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Old July 21 2009, 07:34 AM   #29
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

^GERTY was programmed to help Sam in any way Sam needed help. Itss only concern was Sam's safety and contentment. Thus, it followed the orders that Sam gave it even if they conflicted with what the company would have wanted.
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Old July 21 2009, 08:11 AM   #30
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Re: Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

LitmusDragon wrote: View Post
Saw it this weekend. I really enjoyed it, though it did strain credulity a bit.

One of my lingering questions is whether or not GERTY was sentient? I mean clearly it was programmed as a caregiving machine and was mostly just responding to input but at what point does one make the distinction? Confronted with the human cost of it's past actions, GERTY seemed to make a decision to take whatever actions necessary to prevent it happening again. In this respect the character seems human. But it could also be explained away as a malfunction introduced by the presence of two Sams.
As I said upthread, my view is that GERTY had two sets of programming. One to ensure Sam's health, safety and mental well-being. The other to ensure the continuous production of Helium-3.

GERTY is able to reconcile the two sets of programming because Sam's mental well-being would be jeopardised if he knew he was a clone, so from a purely logical point of view GERTY is protecting Sam.

Sam #1 (I am not going to speculate on how many Sams there actually were, Sam #1 is the first Sam we saw in the movie, the one who burned his hand) then apparently dies in an accident due to his worsening mental state. GERTY follows standard procedure and activates the next Sam. However, Sam #2, out of his sense of duty, attempts to repair the faulty equipment outside and finds Sam #1, still alive.

GERTY then has two Sams to look after and thus, through almost basic computer science, the first set of programming is simply scheduled to run more often than the second. GERTY's programming to protect Sam(s) becomes overriding. Nothing GERTY does is illogical from that point forward.

I appreciate this spin on the common computer gone insane, following its programming too literally idea.
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