I watched the complete original Battlestar Galactica...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by tstone, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. tstone

    tstone Level 0 Character

    BTW, I hope I made it clear that I wasn't trying to bring a BSG flame war here, too. I'm way past tired of that bullshit. But I didn't bring my post just to set up some "anti fans" for yet more cheap shots at RDM, which have been taken ad nauseum to date as well.

    I'm also way past tired of that, too.

    I'll admit to taking my own shots at Glen Larson. I'll apologize for those here. And if anyone were to make them, I'd have something to say about it as well.

    On RDM's behalf, I think it's telling that you have several well recognized storytellers recognizing him and his version of BSG, such as Stephen King, Kevin Smith, JM Straczinsky and Joss Whedon. It may not be your thing, but it's theirs. And they know something of the subject matter.

    As do all of us who put ourselves in the fan column.

    I as a fan, am really tired of the jackassery. Across the board. Period.
  2. kveldulf

    kveldulf Chevalier

    As far as I've ever read, the smallest gene pool that would create a viable human population would be about 500 people. Below that, and too much inbreeding would eventually doom the population due to buildup of negative mutations and such (stuff like sickle cell anemia, not Hills Have Eyes mutants <g>). Of course, the more the merrier (and healthier). There's been some discussion of this in paleoanthropology in terms of how big a population needed to be in order to survive when separated from other communities for long periods.

    Side note on BSG TOS - something a lot of folks forget these days is that at the time it was released some folks considered it just a blatant money grab taking advantage of the popularity of the first Star Wars movie..

  3. JasonZavoda

    JasonZavoda Level 0 Character

    500 seems to be a fairly large population for a minimum. I wonder at what point mutation would make reproduction nonviable. It makes me wonder as well about the size of the orginal group of mutations that became the first homonids. Was it a widespread mutation or an isloated group that interbred? Did it occur in more than one location and the genepool mix when they encountered each other? Could a very small group reproduce and mutate beyond the original limitation of the gentic mix? If not then how did the genetic diversity take place originally?
  4. kveldulf

    kveldulf Chevalier

    Well, its been a long time since I took my courses in paleoanthropology and there's been plenty of new researches and discoveries since then - especially in paleogenetics. Without getting too wordy here, Wikipedia is a decent summary source for human evolutionary development: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hominids (scroll down for individual article links on Australopithecus, Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus).

    As far as size goes, the 500 person gene pool only assumes a connected group of that size. In practice, that could consist of 500 modern humans in a single refugee ship fleeing invading robots (a BSG type scenario) or a web of 20 hunter-gatherer bands each numbering around 25 members spread over a range of several hundred or thousand square miles depending on climate, vegetation and available animal prey (a more historical scenario).

    There are very few communities these days that are close to being completely isolated from others, and I'm not sure any such have been studied by geneticists. Pitcairn Island might be a good subject for such a study given its small size (highest was a little over 200, current around 50), descent from a single group (HMS Bounty mutineers and Tahitians) and known settlement age (since late 1700's). My guess is most of the relevant reaerch is statistics-based..

  5. Melf

    Melf Administrator Staff Member

    Wow, I am totally oblivious to this whole controversy. I remember a little of the old BSG as a kid. And I went on the Universal Studios tour when they had a cylon attack the tram, but that's it. I watched the first 2 seasons od the new BSG on DVD and it was a little dull towards the end- so I stopped. I never thought about the role of sci-fi in society when I watched it. Guess I am not that high brow. :)
  6. Emperor Xan

    Emperor Xan Troubadour

    That, or you don't write/study it. Most people are unaware of the relationship of sci-fi, fantasy, and westerns. They're all genres about power and basically break down like this:

    Western: Struggle for control in which morality is often at stake

    Sci-fi: Questions regarding whether an individual/society has the moral right to wield/deserve power

    Fantasy: Relationships in the face of an overwhelming force attempting to exert control over those bonds.
  7. JasonZavoda

    JasonZavoda Level 0 Character

    When you break stories down to their base components there are somethinglike 42 unique plots (kind of like parent functions in mathmatics).

    All writing reflects the writers influences, but good writing is normally not directed ( writing that is trying to express a viewpoint rather than trying to tell a story.)

    When my niece was little and watching sesame street they did a cookie monster story. It was suppossed to be about sharing. The cookie monster needed help getting in the cookie tree. Some character helps the cookie monster up and he is suppossed to share the cookies but he can't help himself and eats all the cookies. The message my niece took from this was "cookie monster no share. I no share." which I don't believe was the intended message, but it made a better story (and fit the character better) than having the cookie monster share the cookies.
  8. Emperor Xan

    Emperor Xan Troubadour

    Depending on who you ask, there are thousands of unique plots, 20, 87, 10, and any other number in between 2 and infinity. In essence, there are two types of plots: plots of the mind and plots of the body. Stories are either centered on a physical or mental quality. Archetypically speaking, there are 54 known and researched situations in the storytelling of Western cultures. The writers of Plots Unlimited have a matrix that has 13,950 master plots. Then again, one of those plots is "Any person, becoming involved in any kind of complication, arrives at any fate, positive or negative." This generic enough to be any story. I have another book called 20 Master Plots (And How to Build Them), I think you can figure out how many it claims to exist.
  9. JasonZavoda

    JasonZavoda Level 0 Character

    54 sounds like a good number and the difference ends up being people who don't know how to break down plots into their basic components (13,950) and people who do (54).

    As far as cultural contamination, all writers are guilty of it, it is unavoidable. The only important thing is to tell a good story.
  10. Emperor Xan

    Emperor Xan Troubadour

    The thing is that your observation overlooks the most salient point: nobody knows how many plots there are. One story's plot is another's incident or even a subplot.
  11. Yeah, some magazine at the time, I don't remember if it was Newsweek or Time, but they called it the "Son of Star Wars".

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