Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Ancient Mariner, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Dumbing down Cosmos does no one any favors. If Tyson and his gang wanted to remake Cosmos, they could have gone to PBS (you know like Carl Sagan). Of course no eye candy and no expensive perks for it's star.


    So why bring up Bruno up in the first place. Why not bring up the story of the invention of the telescope and Galileo. Oh no we can't because we would have to mention Arabs and their work in optics and that would make us un-American. It's better to bash Catholics because they would complain less.

    Whatever. This show is crap and Tyson owes me one hour I lost watching it.
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    How many episodes does this new version have?
     
  3. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    This episode is a primer. It's meant to get people drawn in. Show some beautiful shots, slip in a few details about the planets, and then really give some perspective about just how small we are. To say it's being "dumbed down" is disingenuous, as the whole purpose of Cosmos is to bring real science to the masses, and to make it appealing.

    If you're going to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.
     
  4. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

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    I thought the first show was merely OK. I hope it gets better. Nothing new was presented except nice special effects. I think How the Universe Works is a much better science show on this topic.
     
  5. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Then it's doomed to fail. As soon as you replace the CGI with real science, people will get bored and change the channel.

    After 30 years of bringing "science to the masses", guess what we've accomplished. NOTHING according to the latest studies. Americans are more ignorant now than in the time of Carl Sagan even though the public had access to more and better quality science shows.
     
  6. Shaka Zulu

    Shaka Zulu Commodore Commodore

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    They'd also have to mention the Incas and the work of King Mongkut as well, and I doubt that they would do that.
     
  7. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In what way was the episode "dumb"? Because they chose to use dazzling special effects to visualize the science? All of the show's creators - from Tyson, to MacFarlane, to Druyan herself - they all explicitly say that showmanship is part of their intent with this series just as it was Sagan's intent with the original Cosmos. For its time, especially considering it was on PBS, Sagan's Cosmos was a very visual documentary because Sagan new that visuals were an excellent way to connect the audience to the science. That the new incarnation takes that philosophy and translates it into 21st century visuals, on a major broadcast network, doesn't mean the science has been dumbed down and, in fact, means that this incarnation is keeping with Sagan's own intent and approach for the series to begin with: to make science as engaging and accessible as possible.


    Well, no one's forcing you to watch the rest. I guess that means we'll be without your insight for the remainder of the series then.
     
  8. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    ZOMG! DOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMED!



    There's no point in arguing with you. You became offended, and now you're on a tear to pull down the show when it's brand new. Have fun, but don't pretend you're either rational or objective about the whole thing.
     
  9. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The CGI was just the fishhook. Some of the best quality space animation I have seen--and no anti-Braga jokes... so far, so good.

    Now in Solar System depictions, we show the planets all in a line, close together to fit on the page...same deal here. No biggie.

    COSMOS was actually meant by Ann to be something of a new spirituality.

    This new COSMOS recaptured the majesty of the old. I've seen a lot of documentaries in my life that didn't have the sense of wonder I look for, and this new version re-captures that.

    It expects that you've seen some of this before, and respects your intelligence.

    So instead of showing the dino-killing asteroid strike directly for the umpteenth time, you just see Neil plug his ears and get a brief blast for humor.

    Frankly, when his refit ship of the imagination reached Pluto--I was fully expecting him to wink at the audience.

    Humanizing the science, ennobling it, and giving us a sweeping feeling a lot of documentaries lack--that is what COSMOS is known for. And both the old and the new gave me a greater feeling than I ever had in any church service in my youth--especially at the last, when it showed how Carl took time to write to Neil.

    Neil was very adept at how he deals with certain issues. Zubrin, for example, would get in trouble talking about Columbus on the West Coast

    If you want to talk about exploration, don't say one thing about Columbus (as he does too often)--you mention Zheng He, as did Niall Ferguson did in the PBS adaptation of his book Civilization.

    You also noticed Neil showed the New World discovery all of one brief time.

    On an interview on types of space travel (C-SPAN), Neil was asked a question about space elevators, and he simply replied that he was agnostic on the types of transport. The closest he ever got to the firestorm of spaceflight topics was that he wants a strong NASA and a suite of vehicles. That is as close as he ever got to advocacy, choosing not to get into the dirt. It gets hotter in Space Exploration here than it ever did in ATM--so no controversy as to the means of spaceflight.

    That is the sign of Neil's emotional IQ--to avoid such controversies in order to get everyone interested in and accepting of the scientific method.

    The play is the thing.

    Ironically, Zubrin trashed the original COSMOS.. http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=23794
     
  10. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wasn't bringing up the geological record because of the creationism thing. But because it shows pretty clearly that the planet has gotten along perfectly fine without us for 99% of it's life. And has developed, evolved, and operated over those billions of years according to completely natural processes. As has the Universe before it.

    So to suddenly leap to an otherworldly, supernatural explanation at the very start just defies everything else we've discovered. And ignores 13.8 billions years of evidence to the contrary. I just don't know how any scientist could make a leap like that.

    As Tyon says, "There is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought fills the vacuum left by ignorance.”

    And yeah I realize there are different interpretations of God out there, but generally it tends to be more than just an abstract concept to people. When people talk about "believing in God," it's usually because they're looking for something bigger than themselves that can somehow give their lives meaning. Which... might as well make it the traditional God of the Bible, as far as I'm concerned. It's still the same mindframe.
     
  11. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The ones I have talked to just see the science as so complex and not following our basic understanding of the universe so they believe that something greater than us has started everything.

    Begs the question where did this thing go for the last X years.
     
  12. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So what, they should just not bother at all?? Simply preaching to the converted, or the kind of people who watch PBS, would have been the REAL waste here.
     
  13. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well yeah clearly something started the process, but for all we knew it could have been simply another universe or some other natural phenomena. The need to ascribe some deeper meaning or intent to the process is where the problem comes in.

    Might as well find meaning in the physical universe we actually know about and live in, I say.
     
  14. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes because real science isn't flashy. Last Friday I spent over 2 hours in the frigid cold looking at Jupiter. It was beautiful but it pales comparison to the fancy CGI in Cosmos. What kid would want to stay in the cold and look at Jupiter when he can watch the Disney version compete with imaginary creatures living in Europa.

    Showmanship will only invite errors and myths like the asteroid field straight out of Star Wars.

    History has shown that Sagan wasted his time.

    This show is as empty as Braga's head. No further comments are necessary.
     
  15. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If you tried something for 30 years and keeping getting poor results. Continuing doing so would be defined as being insane.

    No it wouldn't. We would be entertained (and since I donated to PBS I would gain some value from my donation).
     
  16. Yminale

    Yminale Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When has criticism ever required rationalism or objectivity. Besides it's scientifically proven that anything Brannon Braga or Seth McFarlane does sucks.
     
  17. Ancient Mariner

    Ancient Mariner Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Congratulations. You win last Friday's Hard Science Award™ here at TrekBBS. We'd send you a medal but, being true to science, the knowledge and joy of your experience are all the award you need. :)

    As a point of fact, YOU (nor I, really) are not the primarily intended audience (the whole interview is good, but skip to 5:50 for the relevant exchange) for this series. Putting it on FOX means it has a greater potential to reach its intended audience.

    Actually, Sagan's Cosmos had many visual conceits of its own. Most science documentaries do. TV shows are, necessarily, about showmanship. And heck, Tyson even acknowledges that the depictions aren't to scale (such as the distance between worlds in the Oort Cloud). So ... I'm not seeing this as a problem in and of itself.

    [​IMG]

    Alrighty.

    I'll see you elsewhere around the boards, then. :techman:
     
  18. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    Crazy fools and their attempts to reach out to the layperson and get them interested in science. A fool's errand! A fool's errand I say! The people who emailed me asking me if I had seen the new Cosmos show, and whether that stuff was true or not, because it was awesome? The fools! The fools! Why even bother telling them it was true, they'll just watch it for the pretty colors! DOOMED, I SAY! WE'RE ALL DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMED!
     
  19. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree, would you like a Scotch and a chair to watch it all go down?
     
  20. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The font they used was pandering and manipulative.

    1/10 empty-headed dumb bimbo waste of time tv show.