Going Broad with Terminator Salvation: Can McG Teach Us Something about Artificial Intelligence or Cyborgs?

So I scanned the reviews for director McG's Terminator Salvation at the Washington Post, New York Times, and New York Magazine, and it turns out not unexpectedly that in the words of my hometown Buffalo News' critic Jeff Simon that the film "is a remarkable looking piece of work. And you'll find gobs and gobs of action in it at least half of the time. Bullets fly, so do people. Things blow up and, yes the people do, too."

But reading the reviews left me thinking: There's so much visual, so much wider audience engagement with a film like Terminator Salvation, that the underlying themes of artificial intelligence and cyborgs stand as a terrific hook to reach wider audiences on the science and ethics related to these topics.

Commissioning "science of _____" film reviews might be one way to accomplish this. The linked mainstream reviews above touch on these dimensions of the film, in fact they invite reader curiosity, but they understandably don't provide much popular science context.

So here's an idea I am throwing out there for the amazing new Science & Entertainment Exchange initiative launched by the National Academies:

With major films that include themes of science and technology, why not produce online and even syndicate, 1,000-2,000 word accessible and interesting "science reviews" of the film. In these reviews, there would be some countering or debunking (but not too much) of possible errors in the science, but far more importantly, the review would be a platform and launching pad for sparking interest among readers in the featured scientific field.

Consider the movie reviews a trusted "science information valet," providing context but then hyperlinking to a wealth of other multi-media and science content rich information available online.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

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Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
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26 ultra-rich people own as much as the world's 3.8 billion poorest

The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."

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Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
  • In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
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Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
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  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.