Decipher SciFi explores the how and why in science fiction with conversations about technology, humanity, and the future. This is not a review show, nor will you see much criticism or snark. It is a rationally optimistic look, through film, at where society and technology are and where they are headed. Also, butts.
Stank waffles, VR development, and Venusian cloud datacenters
Clouds in episode image from “Storm Clouds” by Albert Bierstadt/The White House Historical Association CC-O @ Wikipedia
Belgian Waffle formula
Tasty waffles! Stank waffles! With lots of syrup! Solving food problems with casseroles. Gravy!
Marveling at the Oculus Quest two 25% price drop from the last generation. Hating Facebook. Realizing the separateness of AR and VR development, even within companies working on both at the same time (Facebook). Can/will AR and VR converge and become ubiquitous?
Working from home. Surprisingly long hikes and arachnid attacks. Tiny child legs and tiny child wills.
Life on venus? The dense, deep, permanent nature of the Venusian cloud layer. The possible effect on drake equation. Looking forward to balloon probes in the Venusian atmosphere.
Ocean-floor data centers. The cost of infrastructure and cooling vs the cost of real estate. The value of removing humans from the environment because we’re so loud and clumsy and moist.
Review: We do not recommend the $299 Oculus Quest 2 as your next VR system: Ars Technica
Oculus Quest 2: Oculus.com
Phosphine gas in the cloud decks of Venus: Nature Astronomy
Chemical that shouldn’t be there spotted in Venus’ atmosphere: Ars Technica
Microsoft declares its underwater data center test was a success: Ars Technica
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Raised by Wolves: exoplanets, eating rats, and fake-karate floaty physics
Happy 5-year anniversary whoooooo
Subluminal interstellar travel
Accelerating for half of the ride, and braking for the other half. The advantage of avoiding squishy human cargo for high acceleration. The difference between the Alucard and the Alcubierre drive technologies (hint: a miserable pile of secrets). Special floaty physics, magnets on your feet, and fake karate.
Exploring the growing options for Earth-like life in the solar-system. Kepler 22b. Where did the megafauna go? Exogestation - growing babies on alien soil.
Sourcing and preparing rat meat. Snails. Face/Off and changing your identity.
Exoplanet Exploration - Planets Beyond our Solar System: NASA
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Isolated BS: nuclear bananas, unreal simulations, and buttplug archaeology w/ Josh
“Banana” image used in featured image with our brains by nicubunu CC-0
Made a strong showing on the recent Saving Private Ryan episode over at LSG Media. Real human stuff in between the dick and fart jokes.
Tales of coupled internet-connected sex toys are way up! Hooray for free and open source teledildonics at buttplug.io.
Making long-lived diamond nuclear batteries from spent nuclear fuel. The banana equivalent dose of radiation. The trouble with battery-tech press releases. Eating enough grapes to give you superpowers. Buttplug archaeology. Tongue twisters. Forever-vibrating mummies and the Silurian hypothesis.
The major leap in tech in the new MS Flight Simulator. Taking the fun out of games by making them rigorous simulations. The value of process simulations when the real thing is expensive or dangerous. Going all Ender’s Game on actual military simulations with Close Combat. Buying military might with lots of money.
Missing the humans-at-a-table element during the pandemic. Appreciating how much fun we had with Liam in our Mirror RPG playthrough (parts I, II, and III). And catching Josh 100% on the hook to GM for the podcast again in the future! Hooray!
Saving Private Ryan w/ Josh: LSG Media
The X-Files Podcast /w Josh: LSG Media
Buttplug: an open-source standards and software project for controlling intimate hardware: Buttplug.io
Strapped Into A Sinking Helicopter (with U.S. Marines) by Smarter Every Day: YouTube
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On Decipher History - Titanic! rich people, bad luck, and ever-increasing hugeness w/ Joe
Costly! The costs of vising the wreck twelve times for research and footage, not to mention the cost of the film production overall. The extreme profitability of this film and James Cameron in general.
First, second, and third class on the same ship. Titans of industry. Runaway capitalism. The class divide and point of view before The Great War. The modern “royalty” by virtue of their wealth.
The pace of technological development in industries, especially intercontinental travel by steamship. Comparing the early 1900s to other periods of technological progress like the 1980s and 1990. Noting the nature of the automobiles in the film: literally the design of a “horseless carriage.” The cutting-edge wireless technology aboard the ship.
Three engines! Of two varieties. Steam-driven piston engines and steam-driven a turbine. Note: you cannot reverse a turbine. Peak power: 46,000 horsepower. 600 tons of coal daily. An anecdote about Mr. Diesel.
A collection of small problems
The nature of many disasters, probably including Titanic: a series of small problems, adding up to a catastrophic failure under the rigt (wrong) circumstances. Rich people hogging the Marconi wireless. Out of date lifeboat regulations. Loading lifeboats (badly). The reality of “women and children first.” Avoiding chaos until it’s too late.
The inquiries from shortly after the event, and the great surprise you may experience when realizing that the company men consistently pushed blame back up the chain of command. Modern evidence changing our conception over time. Actually ultimately coming to the consensus that this particular ship on this particular voyage was mostly operated in a way that was totally normal in almost all respects and simply got very unlucky.
All told, it does seem that Titanic was really really well-engineered and did remarkably well under the circumstances.
[4K,60Fps,Colorized] Titanic, First and Last Voyage, April 1912 AI Recovery, added sound: YouTube
RMS Titanic Survivors True Accounts of The Sinking: YouTube
RMS Titanic: Fascinating Engineering Facts by the Engingeering Guy: YouTube
Titanic - Alternate Ending: YouTube
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Proactive prostheses, facial recognition, and correlating diarrhea
Fawkes mask in post image Multipainkiller Studio CC-BY
Proactive prostheses in our future? Recognizing that we routinely do this with major joints, and with for a full cyberpunk limb-improvement future.
Big brother etc
Machine learning facial recognition. Fawkes machine learning facial image “cloaking.” The possible value of poisoned data sets. Placing individual bricks in the wall that is our ability be private and protect our data. Google correlating diarrhea.
Finding a use for an old PlayStation Portable. RetroArch. The difficulty of old games and the power of limiting your options.
Our first outside code contribution! And just thanks to Elad Avron and Hugh Fisher 😄!
Fawkes Image 'Cloaking' for Personal Privacy: Chicago.edu
Fawkes: Protecting Personal Privacy against Unauthorized Deep Learning Models (USENIX Security 2020): YouTube
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X-Men First Class: nuclear panic, destructive resonance, and woolly mammoth piñatas
Fear of mutation
Our recent X-Men. Irl post-war nuclear anxieties. More mutant panic and more mutant supremacy bad guys.
Not enough to make superpowers, but we sure did irradiate a lot. The clear mark of human civilization in the geological record. Past discussions of the Silurian Hypothesis.
2010 Neanderthal DNA news and the possibility of this informing the film. Extincting things more by accident than on purpose in pre-agricultural times. Consistent neanderthal pronunciation consistency issues.
Causing global nuclear war so you can… rule over the ashes? At least the Magneto version of the plan didn’t destroy infrastructure.
The energy levels required for useful destructive resonance as a superpower. Brown-noting your enemies in combat. Once more determining that functional immortality is the best power that w actually want.
Fitting nuclear submarines in your megayacht. Ice floes vs icebergs vs glaciers. Where to get the best ice for your drinks.
How I Boarded a US NAVY NUCLEAR SUBMARINE in the Arctic (ICEX 2020) by Smarter Every Day: YouTube
Boarding a US NAVY NUCLEAR SUBMARINE in the Arctic by Smarter Every Day: YouTube
What if We Nuke a City? by Kurtzgesagt: YouTube
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Customer ReviewsSee All
Butt stuff 😝
Informative, hilarious , and just plain awesome keep up the good work !!
I’ve guested on a few episodes on theirs, so my review may be biased, but if you love hard science fiction and exploring the questions and big ideas behind scifi films, then it’s a must listen. The hosts are funny, intelligent, have great chemistry, and I’m honored to call them friends. Never stop!
-Daniel James Barker
Learn, laugh and guaranteed be entertained.
I am a podcaster myself and I have listened to literally hundreds of different podcasts and currently subscribe to nearly 50 and these guys are hands down in my top three. Their approach is compeletely unique and fresh, they are smart as hell, and have an awesome rapport and witty exchange. Every time you tune in you're going to learn something new, you're gonna catch yourself laughing out loud and you will guaranteed be entertained and looking forward to the next one. Subscribe and thank me later.