Author Topic: Horizon last night.  (Read 1381 times)

Horizon last night.
« on: February 06, 2004, 02:48:38 PM »
Did anybody see Horizon last night, about the 'nano-machines'?

Apparently, in the future computers will be made of tiny little organic circuits instead of the silicon based ones we use now.  This means we can have tiny computers put into, for example, our shirts, which, for instance, if we were in a car crash would be able to work out what injuries we had sustained, and even contact an ambulance for us.

It was even speculated that these tiny machines could become self replicating and intelligent and eventually wipe out human life.

Fair enough, except in the last five minutes of the program it was revealed that the scientist responsible for these discoveries was a liar and had invented all of the results of his experiments.

So the question is, what exactly was the point of the previous forty  five fucking minutes, when we find out at the end it was all based on lies?  I could have spent that time doing something more productive, like sharpening a knife.

These are the two things I hate about science programs at the minute.  Firstly, why does everything have to turn into a doomsday scenario.   Every single program of this sort seems to contain at least ten minutes of blatent end of the world scaremongering.

Secondly, why does every science program have to 'tell a story'.  What's wrong with just giving us the facts?  Do they think we're so stupid that we can't take in stuff like this without a 'human interest' tag to hang it on?

Bastards.

Horizon last night.
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2004, 02:52:00 PM »
Exactly what I thought. They gave us all this info about organic transistors, how it would revolutionise the world and that it has already been proved that it does work, and it's only a matter of time before we can buy these 'organic computers'.

and then we get told...

Actually it's all bollocks. One scientist made it all up, but we have gone and made a documentary about it anyway.

Grey goo my arse.

Horizon last night.
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2004, 02:54:49 PM »
It was a pretty crap programme. Trying to stretch 30 mins of material to fit 50.

Anyway, the thing that annoyed me most was that there was no mention of  Richard Feynman, who first developed the theory behind nanotechnology back in the fifties.

Alberon

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Horizon last night.
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2004, 03:07:26 PM »
As one of the sunday paper's TV review said, this was a programme of two halves. One half was how a top scientist was revealed as a fraud and the other half was a general rundown of what post-silicon computers will probably be capable of. Neither was strong enough to carry the programme on their own and the two didn't actually relate that closely to each other. Frankly it was a mess.

Even though the scientist was discredited, nanotechnology is coming (just not as soon as was expected). Personally, I don't think it's up to granting immortality (or even emortality) as a lot of science fiction says, but it will be a fantastic medical tool when developed as well, of course, a lethal weapon.

The Grey Goo scenario is a remote one, but it would be so deverstating that it has to be taken seriously.

Horizon last night.
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2004, 03:08:51 PM »
Richard Feynman rocks my world.

There was a great Horizon 2 parter about him a few years ago.

I could listen to him all day and my science knowledge only reaches to fiddly colouring in.

His autobiographies are very funny and touching.

Feynman diagrams are pretty funky looking as well (he had them painted on his van, so he could do that cool thing of when a Verb Whore tried to show off by telling him that he had Feynman Diagrams on his van he could reply that he knew that because he had invented them and was Feynman)

Nice hair as well.

Horizon last night.
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2004, 03:09:33 PM »
Thank god it wasn't only me shouting at the TV (um, perhaps it was).

what a crap programme - we're all going to be eaten by tiny machines, but thinking about it, no we're not.  I used to like that programme too, the boring twat that I am.

Horizon last night.
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2004, 03:17:07 PM »
Quote from: "elderford"
Richard Feynman rocks my world.

Here's his original paper, in all its grey goo-iness. Much more interesting than last night's programme.

http://www.zyvex.com/nanotech/feynman.html

Re: Horizon last night.
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2004, 03:33:01 PM »
Quote from: "Lord Spong"


Secondly, why does every science program have to 'tell a story'.  What's wrong with just giving us the facts?  Do they think we're so stupid that we can't take in stuff like this without a 'human interest' tag to hang it on?

Bastards.


I too HATE these frigging human interest bits.  Especially bloody medi-docu-soaps, which take guinea pig sick people and go with them through the ordeal of diagnosis, pre-operation anxiety, operation, and finally "six months later".   I want facts, not a soap opera.

Even BBC / ITV news bulletins last night reporting the new 4% rate rise had to have their dumb-arsed "human interest" bit  -- they just HAD to fucking go out on the high street to get such useful public feedback as "I'll have to spend more carefully now" and "it's gonna be harder to make ends meet".  You don't say?  I hope you get frigging repossessed madam, but not as much as the chief editors of these programmes.

I complained to ITN last year that their reporters don't NEED to be outside 10 Downing Street or Buckingham Palace at 10.15pm when nothing newsworthy's happened since 3pm that day.   My e-mail was forwarded by ITN's Home Affairs reporter Shiuli Ghosh to one of the top editors, as part of her campaign to get reduced hours for reporters sick to death of standing in the street at 10pm when they'd rather be with their families.  His reply was "TV is a visual medium, and it's more impactful with live outdoors commentary than having reporters pre-recorded talking face-to-face in the studio."    Yeah, right.

Horizon last night.
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2004, 03:37:36 PM »
MM Excellent linkage.

``If I could only train an ant to do this!'' What I would like to suggest is the possibility of training an ant to train a mite to do this. What are the possibilities of small but movable machines? They may or may not be useful, but they surely would be fun to make.

That's the gem with Feynman, the enthusiasm for his subject and the realisation that it is fun.

Horizon last night.
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2004, 03:38:49 PM »
Quote from: "elderford"
MM Excellent linkage.

``If I could only train an ant to do this!'' What I would like to suggest is the possibility of training an ant to train a mite to do this. What are the possibilities of small but movable machines? They may or may not be useful, but they surely would be fun to make.

That's the gem with Feynman, the enthusiasm for his subject and the realisation that it is fun.

I love you, man. And not just because your cat died.

Horizon last night.
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2004, 06:43:55 PM »
Bloody BBC liars ;-)

monkhouse terror

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Horizon last night.
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2004, 07:00:19 PM »
Horizon - Pure Drama, Sheer Shite.

Horizon last night.
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2004, 07:16:28 PM »
The one about the Bible codes a few weeks back followed a similar path.  35 minutes about how it was all backed up with serious scentific study, and then a final 15 basically saying 'well actually....'

The program is going down the tube.  Having said that the recent time-travel one was interesting, and also quite disturbing if you believe the conclusion.

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Horizon last night.
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2004, 10:29:44 PM »
Quote from: "the hum"
The one about the Bible codes a few weeks back followed a similar path.  35 minutes about how it was all backed up with serious scentific study, and then a final 15 basically saying 'well actually....'

The program is going down the tube.  Having said that the recent time-travel one was interesting, and also quite disturbing if you believe the conclusion.


Now the one on the Bible Code was a good one. It shouldn't do it every week, but every now and then Horizon should pick on one bit of New Age nonsense and give it a damn good thrashing. Just like it did with Homeopathy a series or two ago.

Re: Horizon last night.
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2004, 11:10:34 PM »
Quote from: "Lord Spong"
These are the two things I hate about science programs at the minute.  Firstly, why does everything have to turn into a doomsday scenario.   Every single program of this sort seems to contain at least ten minutes of blatent end of the world scaremongering.

Bastards.


Ahhhggg. All the threads I look at seem to be colliding.

The reason they go doomsday, is the same reason papers run with the 'you're all going to die tomorrow' stories - it gets people watching. Of course people are going to watch if they think their lives are at stake.

Horizon last night.
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2004, 11:16:37 PM »
grey goo?

As in the wank that was splashed all over Horizon as an excuse for 45 minutes for programme?

I tell you, my goo is lethal - you ask those women i keep in a storage building after i went to one to many naughty websites... I blame the websites.

Well, i don't but someone will.

Sam

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Horizon last night.
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2004, 11:30:09 PM »
Quote from: "elderford"
Richard Feynman rocks my world.

There was a great Horizon 2 parter about him a few years ago.

I could listen to him all day and my science knowledge only reaches to fiddly colouring in.

His autobiographies are very funny and touching.

Feynman diagrams are pretty funky looking as well (he had them painted on his van, so he could do that cool thing of when a Verb Whore tried to show off by telling him that he had Feynman Diagrams on his van he could reply that he knew that because he had invented them and was Feynman)

Nice hair as well.


Ah yes, Feynman was a marvellous bloke, wasn't he? "Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman" should be required reading in schools.

The Plaque Goblin

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Horizon last night.
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2004, 06:10:48 PM »
What was that about the economy going tits up for good when we finally reach the limits of silicon?

Horizon last night.
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2004, 06:53:51 PM »
Quote from: "The Plaque Goblin"
What was that about the economy going tits up for good when we finally reach the limits of silicon?


Then we move onto using diamond, which will soon to be dirt cheap thanks to industrial diamond manufacture. One of the main benefits of diamond is it can run an awful lot hotter (and therefore faster) then silicon.

The Plaque Goblin

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Horizon last night.
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2004, 11:45:50 AM »
Cool. Well that's alright then.