1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

jfriesne
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:00 am UTC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby jfriesne » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:51 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote: But if we were to make a movie today that plays up the actual differences between 1985 and 2015, and didn't revolve around characters who spend all day on the Internet, how far could we really take it?


Hot Tub Time Machine (not the sequel) did 2010 to 1986, is that close enough?

OP Tipping
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:23 am UTC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby OP Tipping » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:28 am UTC

The Time Machine line should be longer, as it was partly set in the then-present.
a) Please explain the specific MEDICAL reason for ordering this MEDICATION !
b) Please state the nature of your ailment or injury.
c) One a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain?
d) Please state the nature of the medical emergency.

iomadh
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:05 am UTC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby iomadh » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:08 am UTC

Dave Moore wrote:I loved the chart. Now all as we need is one with all the Doctor Who episodes on it.


This would be excellent, however, good luck with the UNIT dating

User avatar
Ambignostic
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:01 pm UTC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby Ambignostic » Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:41 pm UTC

I'm glad to see Dirty Dancing on the chart, because movies that feature music are a good example of modern audiences recognizing which parts are supposed to sound old. With "Hungry Eyes" and "Do You Love Me" now both falling in the catch-all "oldies" category, will a young viewer know that one song fit the period and the other didn't?

User avatar
sevenperforce
Posts: 658
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:01 am UTC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby sevenperforce » Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:11 pm UTC

Spectrum wrote:It's interesting how little speculative fiction goes into the future. Most of it is confined to the next 1,000 years or so. IIRC, Niven's "The Ethics of Madness" extends several hundred thousand years into the future. The maximum I know of is Olaf Stapledon's "Last and First Men", whose time scale goes to 5 trillion years in the future (!), and that endpoint is labeled "Apart from accidents Earth would still have been habitable".

Scifi rarely extends more than a few hundred to a thousand years in the future because most scifi is an attempt to portray an updated present rather than a completely divergent future. They want to show how our present universe will have changed, and if you go too far then that becomes impossible.

Doctor Who goes 1e14 years into the future but not in a particularly meaningful or realistic way. With the exception of time travel to Earth's (real) history, most of the Doctor's travels are basically fantasy; they could be set anywhere or anytime.

rmsgrey
Posts: 3617
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:58 pm UTC

Spectrum wrote:It's interesting how little speculative fiction goes into the future. Most of it is confined to the next 1,000 years or so. IIRC, Niven's "The Ethics of Madness" extends several hundred thousand years into the future. The maximum I know of is Olaf Stapledon's "Last and First Men", whose time scale goes to 5 trillion years in the future (!), and that endpoint is labeled "Apart from accidents Earth would still have been habitable".


Olaf Stapledon wrote a sequel, of sorts, called Star Maker, which encompasses the entire span of the cosmos, from not so long after the Big Bang until the heat death of the universe. And that's just the duration in our universe's time - there's also the entire span of meta-time, in which a whole vast sequence of universes are created (the sequence of the creation of any one universe not necessarily proceeding chronologically by that universe's internal time, if it even incorporated time).

bergholt
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:09 am UTC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby bergholt » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:28 pm UTC

This one is a nice chart, but it's really only comprehensive below the line. So much sci-fi missing from above the line. Brave New World is the obvious one, written in 1932, set in +608. Fits in neatly between Enoch Soames and 1984.

Expanding above the line would obviously require the vertical scale to be stretched, though.

User avatar
Klear
Posts: 1965
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:43 am UTC
Location: Prague

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby Klear » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:43 pm UTC

I suddenly caught myself reading the TVTropes article on Zeerust with no recollection of how I got there. I blame this comic.

commonloon
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:44 am UTC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby commonloon » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:08 am UTC

Does it mildly irritate anyone else that the accent mark in Les Misérables is in the wrong place? Don't throw around diacritics you don't know how to use, people! Except maybe metal umlauts.

elasto
Posts: 3751
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 1:53 am UTC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby elasto » Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:10 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Spectrum wrote:It's interesting how little speculative fiction goes into the future. Most of it is confined to the next 1,000 years or so. IIRC, Niven's "The Ethics of Madness" extends several hundred thousand years into the future. The maximum I know of is Olaf Stapledon's "Last and First Men", whose time scale goes to 5 trillion years in the future (!), and that endpoint is labeled "Apart from accidents Earth would still have been habitable".


Olaf Stapledon wrote a sequel, of sorts, called Star Maker, which encompasses the entire span of the cosmos, from not so long after the Big Bang until the heat death of the universe. And that's just the duration in our universe's time - there's also the entire span of meta-time, in which a whole vast sequence of universes are created (the sequence of the creation of any one universe not necessarily proceeding chronologically by that universe's internal time, if it even incorporated time).

Stephen Baxter has also done entire future histories of the universe in his Manifold trilogy - with some characters likewise experiencing the entire histories of other universes too. It's in my top ten hard sci-fi for sure.

Bit hard to place those on this chart :)

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 3059
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby orthogon » Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:43 pm UTC

commonloon wrote:Does it mildly irritate anyone else that the accent mark in Les Misérables is in the wrong place? Don't throw around diacritics you don't know how to use, people! Except maybe metal umlauts.

It does now. The acute accent isn't even compatible with the letter ("a") it adorns. So did Randall know the book's dates by heart, or did he look it up and then copy the accent incorrectly? Or is/was it wrong on Wikipedia? Oh well, nobody's perfect. And accents in French are quite tricky.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

brenok
Needs Directions
Posts: 507
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:35 pm UTC
Location: Brazil

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby brenok » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:45 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
commonloon wrote:Does it mildly irritate anyone else that the accent mark in Les Misérables is in the wrong place? Don't throw around diacritics you don't know how to use, people! Except maybe metal umlauts.

It does now. The acute accent isn't even compatible with the letter ("a") it adorns. So did Randall know the book's dates by heart, or did he look it up and then copy the accent incorrectly? Or is/was it wrong on Wikipedia? Oh well, nobody's perfect. And accents in French are quite tricky.

I don't know if he knows it, but that's how the book is called in Portuguese, "Os Miseráveis". Here the acute accent has the opposite sound it has in French.

User avatar
mathmannix
Posts: 1445
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:12 pm UTC
Location: Washington, DC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby mathmannix » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:57 pm UTC

Boilerplate wrote:1882: Second transcontinental railroad (Kansas to New Mexico)

Oh, that sounds impressive... the two states are about 50 miles (or one county) apart.
I hear velociraptor tastes like chicken.

User avatar
sevenperforce
Posts: 658
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:01 am UTC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby sevenperforce » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:40 pm UTC

Even as we observe that "retro" becomes more and more recent, I wonder if the opposite phenomenon also applies: that our depictions of the future are growing less and less distant. IIRC, the remake of I, Robot coming out this weekend is "set" as starting in 2016, just a single year from now. Our "retro" and our "future" are coming closer and closer together.

I believe I've even seen some science fiction set as "starting" several years in the past and continuing into the near future, sort of an alternate universe approach.

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2426
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:10 pm UTC

Ghost in the Shell did that in 1989. It's a subtle kind of futureproofing, since a sci-fi can't become "obsolete" in the sense used in the comic if it's an alternate future with an alternate past anyway. But I think we're becoming conscious of how unpredictable distant futures are as a result of the information age and its effect on things like Star Trek (how even TNG seems quaintly innocent of information technology, that you have people hand-delivering reports, on data pads, instead of e-mailing them....)
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6827
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby ucim » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:45 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:(how even TNG seems quaintly innocent of information technology, that you have people hand-delivering reports, on data pads, instead of e-mailing them....)
I suspect that's more story telling than imagination fail. The audience needs to see something interesting, and stories are about people. Even sci-fi stories. They're not really about tech.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Heartfelt thanks from addams and from me - you really made a difference.

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2426
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:04 am UTC

And even in real life, you awkwardly drop by someone's office to ask "if they got that e-mail" when you know damn well there wasn't a server miracle, just to maintain the human interaction of hand-delivering something. So I get it in that sense. It just seems forced now.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
PinkShinyRose
Posts: 834
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:54 pm UTC
Location: the Netherlands

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:36 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:And even in real life, you awkwardly drop by someone's office to ask "if they got that e-mail" when you know damn well there wasn't a server miracle, just to maintain the human interaction of hand-delivering something. So I get it in that sense. It just seems forced now.

Will there ever be a day where you can click away and forget someones live presence as easily without coming over as rude as you can with someones e-mails? Besides, I also tend to do the look at what I have open on my laptop/phone instead if sending it to their computer.

User avatar
King Author
Posts: 736
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:30 pm UTC
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby King Author » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:17 pm UTC

Sorry to resurrect, going through an archive crawl -- why are things like Ice Age and King Lear in the "still possible" portion of the past section of the chart? Surely, neither are possible.
I have signitures disabled. If you do, too...you can't read this, so nevermind >_>

ijuin
Posts: 1080
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

Re: 1491: "Stories of the Past and Future"

Postby ijuin » Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:29 am UTC

It is only the future part of the chart that is classified by "still possible" vs "no longer possible". The past section of the chart is classified by whether the times/culture of the date of writing is closer to the subject being written about than to us--e.g. a 19th century writing about the 16th century is closer to us and therefore we are viewing it through a modern-ish lens, whereas a 17th century writing about the 16th century requires us to think consciously about how 17th-century people saw the world. Thus, the gray zone is roughly "the past through almost-as-far-past eyes" while the white zone is more "the past through modern eyes".


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: GlassHouses, hamjudo and 42 guests