The Revolution pilot is online now...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Gotham Central, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Rhaven

    Rhaven Captain Captain

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    When I was in Washington a few years back, there were old steam trains there in the Smithsonian. Wouldn't other states have one lying about as well? As to muskets, there are caches of these in civil war museums. The militia of Revolution couldn't have gotten them all.

    Also, never underestimate the ingenuity of a desperate populous. Things usually find their way to being.
     
  2. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    I just picked three books at random after a ten second search. Pick a topic. Any topic. I guarantee you can find multiple books on how to do it. From smelting iron to forging tools and machinery.

    Believe it or not, the world managed to thrive for thousands of years prior to the last 50 years of dependency electronics. They also didn't have the things like endless roads or cross-continental railways pre-built to take advantage of their inventions. And you know what else? Much of that knowledge still exists, even if only in books

    Should this stupid scenario ever come about, people will have the same -- if not more -- motivation to redevelop those old technologies. Especially if they're a maniacal dictator with nearly unlimited resources and a strong desire to gain a tactical advantage over their enemies.

    Despite what you may think, not all people aren't stupid, helpless, or lazy. You're almost as bad as those loons on Ancient Aliens who are convinced that aliens built the pyramids because lifting and carrying a stone is hard work. And God forbid someone spend more time doing actual work than fritzing up their hair and sitting in front of a television camera.
     
  3. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    not enough to make a difference. And even if there ARE a few laying around and in ready-to-fire condition, got a stash of bullets, gunpowder, and assorted materials around to arm it with?

    In the Revolution universe, yeah, they should be looting museums for train parts and the like. Could probably get enough people together to make that work.

    In closer to what I'd imagine real life would go like, things would have fallen a bit farther than they did. And if the desperate populus was working together as one, maybe they could pull off a few things, if it was a small enough group. Having a hard time imagining that happy utopia, though. Feels like something on NBC ;)

    The reality that keeps getting glossed over is that in a scenario like this, 80-90% of the world's population dies. Of violence, disease, starvation, or chewing on the leg bone of some of the other 90%. Pretty much anyone within a week's walk of a city, to be sure. Those people will eventually be forced to leave, and they're going to strip clean anything within reach before they all die. Where those areas overlap, like the entire east coast, or California, will just be dead zones, stripped pretty clear of much of value. At least until much later, when you can go try for those books, or raw materials. First couple years would be pretty much get away as soon as possible, hide somewhere with water and a food source (grown or salvaged), and keep your head down, wait for the death throes of the old world first. Not a world you want to participate in.

    This sort of scenario wouldn't lend itself to a nice family-centered drama...
     
  4. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Ok, why not? If your scenario, do you prefer to imagine you starved to death trying to figure it out, or that you were killed so that someone else can have the book?

    Either way, smelting iron into swords seems reasonable. You've got a great how-to book that you somehow got out of the city and carried at the expense of extra food/water/clothes/weapons. Got easy steps and pictures, even.

    You got another book on the forge? where ARE you getting the material and expertise to build that? Assume you've got a team feeding and protecting you while you experiment? Are we assuming you've got a large chunk of iron hanging around as well, just found it?

    Not saying any of this is impossible with time, but that that's not a resource you're going to have available for a while. And that while you may get lucky and find the perfect book, there's a million things underlying it that you ALSO don't have.

    Know what else they had? Experience having DONE those things. Up until about 100 years ago, you had a couple thousand years of blacksmithing experience, in most cases traceable directly from master to apprentice. And available equipment handy that you could use, learn on, and improve. Without google, where's the nearest foundry to you? People were more self-reliant back then. They HAD to do more themselves (farming, sewing their own clothes, woodworking, fighting, depends on location and era, but good general topics). For the most part, people just don't know how to do much of that themselves anymore. Not really sure how you argue that...

    Eventually, with time, yes. Not on a small scale, and not in the short term. Although think the premise you're working on there is silly in that regard.

    Fun strawman, but not what I'm arguing. I DO think people have become dependent on technology, and not nearly as many people know how it works, or how to recreate it themselves anymore. And the infastructure to loot to recreate it has moved past what's useful. If you wanted to loot the wagon shop, could probably get it going again with a little effort. The robotic factory that builds cars is a lost cause without electricity and computers. And the foundry isn't the smith down the road, it's some Terminator 2 monstrosity.

    Not even trying to hide the strawman on that one, huh? Pyramids were built because they had a massive amount of disposable slave labor, and didn't much care how many died in the process. And they weren't expecting the WalMart to go up in 3 months, it was expected that it take 20-30 years. Given almost unlimited people, funding, and time (and motivation), and voila', pyramid.

    We picture it as hard because we can't figure out to build a big enough crane system. They built a ramp, had 10,000 people push, and then if the 10,000 got crushed, tried with 20,000 next time. No aliens required.

    Will just ignore your last comment about whether this scenario (honest, god-fearing work) is better or worse than what we're doing today, as I can't see how killing 90% or more of the world's population is a positive, even if the survivors learn to knit.
     
  5. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We do have a real life example of the DE-evolution of society. When Rome fell and the world went into the "dark ages," I'm sure that many folks had a sense that things at one point were better as they looked at the abandoned cities and the amazing achievement. Also science went backwards.
     
  6. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    This week's episode was the first that made me think the set production people weren't really trying. The diner, the back hallways, etc. of the amusement park didn't at all look like they'd been unmaintained for fifteen years. Scattering around random debris and not smashing any windows does not make it look abandoned. Ditto for any bodies of water - this is a northern state, no? ANY pool left unmaintained for a couple winters would have cracked and drained long since.

    Last week, my wife was noticing how they also seemed happy with wrapping vines around stuff to disguise the fact it hasn't aged or rusted. I recognize that there's only so much you can do on any TV budget, but I think there should be better care given to their location dressing.

    Mark
     
  7. Mister Fandango

    Mister Fandango Fleet Captain

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    Yes, and they had easy and convenient access to all that knowledge from... where exactly?

    Have you even been watching the same show I have? Have you not seen the cushy little livese these people are living, especially the Monroe Republic government itself? The only hardship people have in this insipid world comes from dealing with the bullies in the government and the occasional gang-like groups that have been kinda-sorta implied to exist.

    So yeah, it's very easy to imagine an environment where really smart people with access to lots of books, manuals, and tools can begin building and repairing older technology. For Christ's sake, we saw them dragging a full-sized helicopter around and that is based solely on an empty hope that Monroe can get a magic talisman.

    But oh God, they couldn't possibly be arsed to build/repair a relatively simple boiler or diesel engine, could they? I made a simple steam engine in junior high for Christ's sake, and that was with a few bucks worth of material, a book, and a little trial and error... and all so I could get a meaningless grade for the project. But who cares? Well-educated adults are too stupid and lazy to do anything even remotely like that, especially if it means making their actual lives better.

    Hell, we haven't even seen a damn windmill for grinding grain on the show either. But I guess even that is too advanced for our stupid, primitive brains to comprehend. Hopefully some aliens will show up and build them for these dunderheads on the show soon.

    (Nevermind that people can build a makeshift PC even though there's thousands upon thousands of perfectly functional ones laying all over the place, as evident by the British chick's iPhone still working perfectly fine. Shouldn't they all be stupid, lazy twits, too? Or is it only okay to have the knowledge, skill, and willpower to do things if it involves electronics?)
     
  8. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well somehow human beings forgot how to build aqueducts [for exmaple] because after Rome fell - people stopped transporting water over llarge distances.



    I think you're being overly critical. While each example you point out is valid they are using some of the non-existent tech as a plot device.

    And if Revolution deserves the use of these plot devices to carry a story then Star Trek deserves the same criticism ten fold for the magical engineering solution of the week that is forgotten by the very same engineers who devised it in the first place 3 episodes later that would have solved a like problem.
     
  9. Tom

    Tom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Maybe we have yet to see that Monroe has a group of engineers somewhere trying to find ways to help give him non-electric tech so he would have an advantage. We see a steam train in the next episode, so i would guess he has his own group of engineers. He probably keeps some former electricians around just in case he can get the power back.
     
  10. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, and I think that part is stupid. Which is why I've been arguing from what I THINK would have happened based on the scenario presented, not what the show told us did happen here. But since the show's version is some nice sanitized thing, and doesn't really make sense, I've mostly ignored it. Been pretty obvious about it...

    Yep, stupid. Like you said, based on magic.

    you keep skipping the part between Day One and when we've got this cooperative society looking to rebuild. And the damage that would create. Eventually, you could get back to it, and some of it would still work, or be fixable, yes. Of course, you keep saying you can just build a new one from scratch, or forge your own ninja sword because you saw a picture in a book.

    With stuff you found on the ground, or parts that had been manufactured and collected for you? How much power did your toy engine produce that helped you perform tasks around the house?

    Again, skipping the little period of time where society collapses, and most of them die. That, and priorities, where playing with steam engines don't rank higher than food, clothing, shelter, defense, medicine, etc. Pretty high percentage of those well-educated adults live near large population centers and are probably gonners anyway.

    NOT too advanced, and you'd eventually expect it. You'd also expect their little cute farm to be wiped out in about an hour by anyone that notices their windmill, and then moved somewhere with at least half-assed defenses. Good example, though: Know how to make bread? Know anyone that does? Put it on the pile of books you're carrying around. You might wanna get a red wagon for them, getting heavy...

    More evidence of stupid things put in by the writers that make no sense, we agree. Not sure that helps your argument that this world is well thought-out, though.

    well, you see, those people were in on the secret government conspiracy to destroy civilization for, uh, some reason. In order to,um... profit? Can't be power, as they had enough power to pull this off, so were already doing fine. Actually, reason doesn't make much sense at all.

    If you'd like to continue this "debate", can you at least decide if we're arguing about this silly presented world, or what we think WOULD happen if the power just went off one day, for good? You keep going back and forth, and when I make progress on the 'real' front, you just change back to happy magic land, and it's difficult to argue those points, as they don't make much sense to begin with. Might as well say "a wizard did it" and call it a day... :lol:
     
  11. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    That's a myth that was largely promoted by Enlightenment age philosophers, authors, and historians. Science never went backwards, and many of the technological principles developed in the Greek and Roman empires continued to be used and improved upon; never mind the arrogance of thinking science and technology ended at the borders of the Roman Empire --The Middle East, India, China, and the empires of the Americas produced countless advancements as well.

    There were many new inventions which drastically improves the lives of people in the Middle Ages, including:

    Collars and harnesses for horses which allowed them to pull heavier loads and larger wagons without injury and with greater speed. The iron horseshoe protected their hooves and allowed greater traction. Paired harnesses allowed the horses to be arranged in groups of two in a line instead of all of them side by side, and thus allowed a greater number of horses to be used at once. The collar and harness allowed for the development of the furrow plough with adjustable plowing depth, which created an agricultural revolution.

    Wind and water power were harnessed like never before, even during the Roman Empire with their aqueducts. Water powered mills allowed for industrialized sawing, grinding of grains, clothmaking, papermaking, blacksmithing, drawing wire, etc. Waterwheels were everywhere and allowed individuals villages a degree of autonomy they had never seen before. In places without accessible rivers and streams, windmills allowed for milling, the grinding of grain, and the pumping of water.

    Eyeglasses were invented and allowed people to work longer, learn better, and have greater safety both at home and work.

    The mechanical clock was invented and allowed precise scheduling and coordination of activities across great distances for the first time.

    The Middle Ages were a time of great new universities, massive cathedrals, poetry, art, literature, and science. Yes, they had their ignorance and superstition just as any age does, but there was not a de-evolution of society as the myth suggests, and it's sad to see it still persists.
     
  12. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    This show definitely keeps improving IMO. I really liked getting to learn more about Maggie, and after this episode I am disappointed to see her go. Overall I thought this was a really good episode. I'm very curious to see what exactly is going on with Charlie's mother.
    As for the stuff you guys are debating. I honestly never really thought about any of that, and to be honest I don't really care about it. All I care about at this point is that I like Charlie, Aaron,Miles, Nora, and Capt. Neville and I am curious to see where their stories are going. At this point, they could just never explain the blackout and I really wouldn't care. The blackout was pretty much just an excuse to put these characters in the situation they are in, and I find that situation interesting. They could say that magic fairies came and sucked all of the electricity up their asses and I would just shrug my shoulders and go back to watching the current story play out.
     
  13. SG-17

    SG-17 Commodore Commodore

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    The Dark Ages never happened. No real historian uses the term anymore.

    During the Early Middle Ages Roman engineering was not lost, rather it became impractical to perform as without Pax Romana the West splintered in several kingdoms and continued to use the old (and resilient) Roman infrastructure as well as developing new technologies (like those Locutus posted above). The breakdown in trade from the loss of Pax Romana also contributed to the lack new widespread innovation, innovation tended to be more localized until trade became safer.

    However the key here is that Roman engineering and science was never lost, it never went backwards. It simply became impractical or impossible to utilize by the warring kingdoms until a wider empire/kingdom was reestablished.

    The whole idea of the Dark Ages and "life was better before" didn't occur until the Late Middle Ages and as such the Renaissance (rebirth) was an attempt to return society to a supposedly superior classic past, while in reality society had made several large leaps in the intervening thousand years.
    Recent evidence shows that the Pyramids were not actually built by slave labor. Rather by paid workers who built the Pyramids during the periods of the year when the Nile flooded making it impossible to farm.
     
  14. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I think I have two problems with this show and it will bug me until they are either addressed or rectified:

    Problem One

    The backdrop on this show is that it's set 15 years into the future after the blackout. To me, this is almost as if the writers said we don't want to go to a deeper level and actually show what life is like right after the lights went out and how Humanity de-evolves into what we've seen. It's the writers saying, let's set the show 15 years into the future where society is somewhat stable, we have this menacing force called the militia, but the sets and everything have to do with aging is left for naught. Why can't this series be set 3 years after the blackout, or 5 years. Why do we have this 15 year set number but it looks like nothing much as changed in terms of how old people are or what things look like? I mean I'm watching this show and I forget this is 15 years into the future. I really wish this was something the writers focused on in an episode because if you're going to set that as a backdrop, give us an explaination as to why and then set your story.

    Problem 2

    This kind of ties into problem one, but it was something that irked me last night and that was how clean everything looked. I'm talking of course not just the environment, but people too. Take Maggie for instance. You mean to tell me she walked across the country from Seattle to Buffalo and it looked like she had just walked around the block? Wouldn't a walk like that change someone. I mean give them a scratch or something, or show that they just walked for the last few months and the effects something like that has had on the person. I know it's a conceit that networks want attractive people on the show (CSI or NCIS anyone?) but it bothers me that things are looking too peachy clean.

    Other than these two problems, I did enjoy the show last night. I still love the relationship growth between Miles and Charlie and I thought it was an interesting risk to
    kill off Maggie already even though I saw it coming considering her story
    .

    I think there are interesting concepts going on in this show and I appreciate that the story keeps moving a good structured pace every week. It's just these are two big issues I have with the show and it's serving a bit of a distraction. Maybe they don't have to address the cleanliness issue, but if they were to tackle the whole 15 years thing and why now are they suddenly wondering why the power went out, I would appreciate it.
     
  15. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Piggybacking on your and SG17's points, this myth also implicitly depends on ignoring the fact that the Roman Empire continued for another 1000 years.

    :techman: Pretty much my feelings. I'm really not all that interested in explaining why the power went out or the technical details on how they might turn it back on. It's the characters and the setting we have now that got me interested in the first place.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  16. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Commander Red Shirt

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    Before I get into the quoted posts, I want to add that the Dark Ages never happened, especially not as some sort of Dung Age where every smelled, everything went backwards, and horses were replaced by coconuts to save money.

    The Roman Empire didn't actually fall till about 1453, if you want to be technical. In Western Europe, many people didn't even truly notice that the empire went away--they knew that they paid their taxes to some guy named Heinrich or Henri instead of Pacifius Decimus Imperator Caesar, but life went on quite well.

    At best a few cities became smaller in size.

    While I wouldn't mind seeing more of the meat of the collapse, I don't mind that they set the series after things had settled down a bit. I think their plan is not so much a story about the collapse of civilization but a story about rebuilding it. Having the first season or three be about people starving to death and eating each other would probably mean they'd never get to tell a story about the reconstruction.

    Yeah, things are well too preserved. Big cities should have burned without fire departments after everyone left to find food. A lot of the small towns they pass through seem to have suffered a hurricane rather than 15 years of neglect, but I can chalk that down to suspension of disbelief (I'll just ignore what they can't do on a TV budget) and think that maybe some of the small towns survived longer than the cities.

    But I can understand things being clean and well maintained--though they still look too pretty. The heart of this show isn't that people became 18th century types again, they just lost their technology. Knowing what we know about disease, as long as people have access to clean enough water I can see them taking the time to keep themselves clean--even if that means washing their clothes in a lake and taking a swim while they dry. People were dirty in the past (when they were dirty) because they didn't know any better, not because they were unconcerned with cleanliness. Cultures that cared about keeping clean, kept clean. If nothing else, think of the Roman baths.
     
  17. Bob Morton

    Bob Morton Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm generally liking the show but I can't get past how little the adults have changed in 15 years. If you want to see what 15 years does to a person look at Richard Dean Anderson in the SG-1 premier and compare that to his final appearance in SGU.
     
  18. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    BTW, in case you missed it next week's preview has the protagnoists attacking a steam engine.. ;)

    Revoultion Preview, episode 5, Soul Train
     
  19. wissaboo

    wissaboo Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    :lol: awesome. Been wondering why people were so absolutely sure no one was using steam. We havn't exactly seen a lot of instances where steam would have been used anyway.
     
  20. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    15 years make sense in order to make the children old enough to be adults and create the drama obviously to come with the mother why she's in collorbation with the militia.

    Her long ass walk was kind of far fetched. Regarding being cleaned up after such a long walk that shit doesn't necessarily bother me.