tanithryudo: (IDIC)
[personal profile] tanithryudo
I hate this trope. I really really do. I hate it more when it shows up in science fiction.

For a genre that was originally intended to explore the possibilities that cutting edge science and scientific fantasy could bring to the world, when did it become an automatic given that any new super-science/tech is automatically going to cause disaster?

For a typical example: The original "I Robot" by Asimov was an exploration of the boundaries of what defines sapience, and the "psychology" of the Three Laws of Robotics. The movie called "I Robot" was a pretty standard fare AI rebellion with lip service to the Three Laws/Zeroth Law tagged on.

Now, the latest show that triggered this rant, episode 3 of Agents of SHIELD, thinks it's being so different by sticking this phrase into the mouth of the scientist who studied "Gravitonium" rather than the evil business mogul or the covert government agency. It's not. It's really not any different. Just the same old thing with a new coat of paint.

It's even dumber within the context of the episode, since we already had the evil business mogul give a freaking presentation on the thing to a semi-public audience; he who also controls the mines the magical rock comes from, and who already has working prototype thingies of functional uses of the damn thing. So tell me, SHIELD, what's the point in seizing the guy's huge chunk of magical rock and locking it up on an untagged vault? Since you didn't think arresting evil-business-mogul was feasible, you're just prolonging when he'll be able to get another giant magic rock sample ready.

Also, the claim that it's too evil/destructive/blahblah to be trusted in mortal hands is just... what exactly was it shown doing that was so destructive that can't already be done with existing technologies? Blow up a convoy? Blow up/sink an installation? Really? You can do all of that for much cheaper (and probably more reliability) using a gamut of existing technology. Like, y'know, the stuff that standard 3rd world countries IRL already have access to. Super-rock not needed.

But do you know what I was thinking through the entire episode? Anti-grav. Space-lift. Space-ships with less room for rockets and more room for people. Space colonies. What freaking else should be coming to mind when you mention gravity manipulation, sci-fi fan or not? I can't believe this did not come up with anyone in-universe (I'm looking at you Skye, and you FitzSimmons). The sheer good such that a magic rock of gravity manipulation can do... Gah.

I get that the magic rock and the scientist are revamped from the canon comics. But honestly, cheese and ham aside, I would prefer the original origin story, where Hall gets freaky gravity manipulation powers via a complete accident (and maybe bad lab safeties/practices, if you want drama), rather than being recasted as an emo-closet-luddite.


One final thought. Do you know what I want to see in a modern sci-fi story? The covert SpecOps team rescuing the brilliant scientist from a luddite (super-)villan who wants to destroy the scientist's knowledge/research, so that said scientist can publish their findings to the world and improve life for everyone. Bonus points if the Snarky!Commando refutes the villain's claims that humanity "is not ready" for the horrors that said discoveries will bring, by pointing out humanity already has existing technologies that is more readily weaponized, and yet seems to be doing just fine. Is there any of that around?
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