atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,


Mrs. Fungus and I got back from a night out, starting with a matinee of Interstellar in Imax.


Why? Because I watched the entire movie and have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. Not one thing, not so much as one detail was wrong with it. There are no bones to pick, no t's left uncrossed, no i's left undotted. THE SCIENCE IS ALL CORRECT.

There are exactly two things in that movie requiring a willing suspension of disbelief--two--and because everything else in the movie is correct they are not asking a great deal of you when they ask (and they ask ever so politely, never talking down to you!) you to believe these things.

Before seeing this movie I would have thought it silly to say this, but it is simply the best movie I have ever seen. Bar none.

Before this I have never seen an SF movie with a compelling plot that was 100% real hard science fiction. There are always caveats, always hedging, always a goof or a trick or something making the movie either science fantasy or science-ish fiction.

This movie has none of that. There are no goofs, no caveats, no tricks, no deus ex machinas, nothing that cannot be extracted from science as we understand it right now. Furthermore it doesn't dumb down so much as one single concept required to support the plot; the explanations for the physics are given in the movie--seamlessly--without treating the audience like it's got the intellect of an artichoke.

And it tells the story of the people involved--not the black hole, not a spaceship, not a robot--so well that there are some seriously moving scenes in the story. This is ultimately a story about people, which is what good science fiction is anyway.

About halfway through the movie I realized that if they had suddenly switched to Keystone Kops for the rest of the film it still would have been a really good movie. But they didn't lose it, they kept it going for the entire 165 minutes of the movie.

Bonus points for the eco-catastrophe not being man-made. It wasn't global warming or pollution or-or-or. Even more bonus points for the portrayal of political correctness in the public school system.

I came out of the movie theater unable to talk. Words failed me. Mrs. Fungus and I were miles away before I was able to say anything, and the first thing I said was that it was quite possibly the best movie I ever saw.

I'm not kidding: GO SEE IT. The only way we can encourage Hollywood to make more movies like this one is if we vote with our dollars. Make this one a blockbuster, because a movie that is half as good as this one would blow the Star Wars franchise out of the fucking water.

(John C. Wright explains it better, but there are a shitton of spoilers in that post and like him I implore you to see the movie before reading anything about it. That's how I saw it, and HOLY SHIT IS THIS GOOD GO SEE IT SEE IT SEE IT FOR THE LOVE OF--)

* * *

Feature size has stalled at 28 nm. The problem is that while we are able to make transistors smaller than 28 nm, we've reached the point of diminishing returns. The expense of building reliable circuits at a smaller size is not justified by the performance increase we get.

This may change, because it's a song that was plainly sung in the early 1990s (only then we were talking about a feature size about 2,000 times larger!) and people are going to look for ways to solve the expense problem. 1991, 1992, we were hearing "well, Moore's Law is over now," but that turned out not to be true and we got another 20+ years of advances out of deep UV (and then x-ray) photolithography.

Still, it would be nice if we were to stop concentrating on making the hardware faster and start paying attention to how we write programs. The way we generate software is seriously broken, and we wouldn't design a clothespin using the techniques we use to write software. The result is bloated, buggy code. (Easy for me to say: I'm not a software guy. I only know that what we're doing now doesn't work very well; I have no idea how to fix the problem.)

This also explains why Cephiro was useful for so long. I think seven years is a record for me; prior to that I used Jurai (P3-1000) for six, but there were...circumstances...surrounding that which kept me from upgrading. Before Jurai was Escaflowne (Celeron 333), which I had for about three years, and prior to Escaflowne were the machines that didn't need names because Al Gore hadn't invented the Internet yet and I didn't do a network in the house, but they were upgraded at an average of 18 months's age, starting in 1992.

* * *

The Thanksgiving weekend sales did not go very well. Looks like we're down 11% from last year, which sucks.

Denninger explores several reasons why this is so, but somehow misses the most obvious one: no one has any fucking money because no one has a JOB.

Consumers may or may not be sick of the rampant commercialism (I am thinking "not") but unlike the government people cannot spend money they don't have, at least not on an ongoing basis. With credit tapped out paying for the necessities, how are people supposed to justify binging on TVs and electro-gewgaws?

* * *

And raising the minimum wage isn't going to fix the problem, either. Seattle's minimum is now $15 an hour, and already people are starting to feel the pinch.

* * *

My mind is still spinning from Interstellar. This is going to be the first movie in a very long while that I saw a second time in the theater, and believe me I'm going to be waiting with bated breath for the release of the super deluxe BluRay edition....

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