Author Topic: Interstellar (the movie), from a modern survival POV  (Read 6106 times)

Offline Alan Georges

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Interstellar (the movie), from a modern survival POV
« on: November 08, 2014, 01:02:27 PM »
I'll keep this spoiler free, so read on without worries.

No, it's not really a survival/prep movie, but it does have some interesting elements in it.  The overall situation is the middle of America, farming country, about 50 years from now.  It's more-or-less post-U.S., there's some reference to "old Federal propaganda" in one scene, there's a reference to some wars in the distant past, but it's kind of a time of peace, in a slowly declining ecological and economic setting.

On one hand, a TON of stuff is automated.  It's like Arduino on steroids for all of the farming machinery, brought down to a practical level.  On the other, the overall tech level is pretty mundane.  Cell phones are gone, not even a mention.  Two-way radios, probably CBs but maybe some kind of low-band VHF, are the no-fuss comms method of choice.  A few laptop computers are seen, but there's no internet or other-net evident.  When some old solar panels unexpectedly come available, to the characters in the movie it's like finding a small cache of gold.  In some ways it reminded me of the first few post-Katrina months here where the storm came ashore.

After that, the food is all corn monoculture, for a variety of reasons.  GMO/herbicide gone wild?  Hard to say what's up here.  Part of it figures into the plot, part of it is just scenery for the characters to drive around in.

It was an OK movie, but not as great as I'd hoped.  It looked like it was going to be some serious sci-fi, but by half-way through it blurred off into laughably bad orbital mechanics and sci-fantasy magic.  Still, it had some good themes about not giving up, making do, surviving no matter what.  Also, the characters and their interactions were good, I really enjoyed that part.  I'll give it 3 out of 4 stars.  Parts definitely touched on survivalism (including of the human species as a whole), but it was in no way a "survivalist" movie.

Anybody else seen it?  Any impressions?
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 01:28:41 PM by Alan Georges »

Offline Theswerd

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Re: Interstellar (the movie), from a modern survival POV
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 09:23:54 AM »
Just now seeing this post.


I liked the movie. The scene where he is viewing the backlog of messages after come up from the first landing was... Well, there were manly tears. Very manly.
Who am I joking, I bawled.


But yeah. More of a emotional journey than a sciency journey.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Interstellar (the movie), from a modern survival POV
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 10:37:44 AM »
We just watched "Interstellar" last night.

The 'tv footage interviews' look very similar to Dust Bowl interviews with elders I saw awhile back. I actually liked that part more than others might due to me watching that documentary. The Dust Bowl was the largest manmade disaster. This is not that particular documentary, but this is one similar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3ycxASr8Qg
http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/dustbowl/bios/ This is the good one to watch.

On the crops.. if you see me on my tangents about famine, wheat, corn and potatoes, you have seen me mention 'rust' and other blights. In the movie they were talking about blights is what killed the crops. Even as recent as 1970, Southern corn leaf blight did major damage to the corn in the US.

"Farming practices and optimal environmental conditions for the propagation of B. maydis in the United States led to an epidemic in the year of 1970. In the early 1960s, seed corn companies began to use male sterile cytoplasm so that they could eliminate the previous need for hand detassling to save both money and time. This seed was eventually bred into hybrid crops until there was an estimated 90% prevalence of Texas male sterile cytoplasm (Tcms) maize, vulnerable to the newly generated Race T. The disease, which first appeared in the United States in 1968, reached epidemic status in 1970 and destroyed about 15% of the corn belt's crop production that year. In 1970 the disease began in the southern United States and by mid-August had spread north to Minnesota and Maine. It is estimated that Illinois alone suffered a loss of 250 million bushels of corn to SCLB. The monetary value of the lost corn crop is estimated at one billion US dollars. In 1971 SCLB losses had basically disappeared. This was due to the return usage of normal cytoplasm (not man-made hybrid) corn, not as conducive weather, residues being buried, and planting early. The SCLB epidemic highlighted the issue of genetic uniformity in monoculture crops, which allows for a greater likelihood of new pathogen races and host vulnerability."

You know of my spiels of the "Lumper" potato causing the famine in Ireland..

Currently the scare is Wheat Leaf Rust. "Due to the formation of new virulent races and their wind-borne spread, wheat rust diseases threaten wheat production around the world particularly in Africa, Near East and Asia. -- this is what my AG teacher was concerned about in the 1980's. He said the elimination to blight of any one of the 5 major wheat varieties worldwide would cause famine. "The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 31 countries in East and North Africa, the Near East, Central and South Asia, accounting for more than 37 percent of global wheat production area and 30% of production, are at risk of wheat rust diseases including the Ug99 race of stem rust and Yr27 strain of yellow rust."

Incurable citrus disease
http://www.livescience.com/30050-citrus-greening-destroy-orange-crop.html

Rice, corn, wheat, hazelnuts, potatoes, walnuts, butternuts, blueberries and so forth.
http://www.apsnet.org/EDCENTER/K-12/TEACHERSGUIDE/PLANTBIOTECHNOLOGY/Pages/History.aspx

http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/filbertblight.htm

This is what I do what I do with my seed saving and ancient apples. Keeping biodiversity alive. Most of the ones I grow do not ship well, but they may very well have a trait against drought, poor weather and disease.

Cedar


Offline cajun68

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Re: Interstellar (the movie), from a modern survival POV
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2015, 05:08:08 PM »
This year will be a very bad wheat rust year.

Offline IronTeaCup

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Re: Interstellar (the movie), from a modern survival POV
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2015, 12:40:29 PM »
I thought the movie was cool but I could not help but to think of how annoying it was for them to only use mono-cropping methods.

Offline 12th man

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Re: Interstellar (the movie), from a modern survival POV
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2015, 01:47:24 PM »
Good movie. Maybe more realistic than we know.

I'll never watch it again. that constant backround music is absolutely horrible.

Offline artephius

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Re: Interstellar (the movie), from a modern survival POV
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2015, 06:09:14 PM »
I watched it a few weeks ago with a friend and it gave me a great excuse to start a conversation about why bringing an end to gmos and the evil ****ers that would love nothing more than to kill all plant life on earth that they can't modify and control is probably one of the most important things we need to do in our time... lest we end up in a scenario like that movie... Also got to bring up storing seeds and growing your own food! I guess that made the boring movie worth it!


Offline Gamer

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Re: Interstellar (the movie), from a modern survival POV
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2016, 08:38:54 PM »
I'm a sci-fi fan and I'd rate 'Interstellar' as one of the best of all time because it operates on various levels and you have to watch it at least twice to begin to appreciate it.
The emotional level is especially powerfully because it includes the time dilation effect (skipped over in most other sci-fi flicks), for example one crew member says "An hour down on that planet will be 7 years back on earth".
So the crew are separated from their families on earth not just by vast distances, but also by time, and that's where the tear-jerking kicks in (sniffle).
PS- we're told in the film that the earth is dying (cue duststorms), and it also mentions that the oxygen in the atmosphere is running out too, which is a new one on me.
They didn't elaborate, but what mechanics could cause the earth's oxygen to slowly disappear?

Offline Carl

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Re: Interstellar (the movie), from a modern survival POV
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2016, 05:42:23 AM »

They didn't elaborate, but what mechanics could cause the earth's oxygen to slowly disappear?

Lack of plant growth is likely a cause.

Kind of like THEM telling us that the earth is running out of potable water...Rain is natures water filter.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Interstellar (the movie), from a modern survival POV
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2016, 06:33:07 AM »
There is a spaceship set piece nearer the end that is stunning.

I really enjoyed the film. It is a little unseemly because it tries to be utterly epic and it was merely a really good one.