Sunday, December 04, 2016

The movie, Arrival.

The movie, Arrival:  The premise of the movie (the visit of space ships from outer space to earth) is interesting but was typically ruined by Hollywood. But you only expect from Hollywood to ruin a good premise. The cast is excellent: I like Forest Whitaker and Amy Adams, but I don't like that actor who Michele keeps telling me proudly that he was born and grew up in Modesto (Jeremy Renner?).  Now without giving away the ending (Amy kills everyone at the end), here are my comments.  1) Why do space visitors always show more interest in US and Americans than other residents of earth?  2) Look.  The notion that only an American linguist would be able to communicate with them is silly, and she did not even devise a mechanism. She would write her name on a board in English and she kept repeating her name, Louise, to them. Why would they understand?  So if she wrote Louise in Arabic they also would get it? If people travel from one planet to another it is more likely that the travelers have a superior civilization than the residents of the destination planet.  Once they make that journey, they would not rely on hand gestures from Amy Adams to communicate with them (although the ships landed in other countries, but only Amy Adams was worthy of their attention).  3) space travel between people of different planets is quite difficult. Distances are quite prohibitive. Which means that you need to figure a way of traveling millions of light years without having to carry cumbersome gigantic tanks of highly inflammable fuels.  4) this is not to rule out life on other planets. Not at all.  But we need to think about life on other planets differently from the stupid Hollywood presentations.  At least the movie portrayed the visiting creatures differently.  And we need to think about different life forms.  The conventional view has been that for life to occur on a planet, we need to apply the standards of earth to humans: that you need plenty of water, and being not too close to the sun but not too far from the sun. But the discovery of Tardigrades (which can adjust to extremes in temperature) changed all that. It is most likely that there are forms of life on other planet: there is a trillion planet in this galaxy alone, and there are 2 trillion (not 200 billion as previously thought) galaxies out there.  And if you apply the Drake’s equation, there are many factors which enter into the calculations of number of civilizations in the Milky Way which could be communicating by radio signals.  5) the discussion of UFOs as in US popular culture, should be ruled out as too stupid.  It is not a coincidence as one astronomer once observed that all those who report UFO sightings are people who are extremely uneducated about science, and thus can be easily deluded and deceived.  Also, why do they always report that the visiting creatures of outer space interacted with earthy humans though anal probing? Is that the limit of their understanding of scientific research? Anal probing? The movie begins with a good premise and then got interested more in linguistics but not with too many interesting elements.  It failed, I think.