Tag Archive: Politics


Adopting Medieval Tactics to Promote Modern Science

This is one of those ideas that came out of the blue while thinking about current events. It’s no secret to anyone reading this in 2018 that there is an alarming reduction in fact-based thinking and discussion. Some of this is due to the highly-charged emotional times we live in. Some of it is also a long, slow decline in emotional connection to science.

I remember reading old 50s magazines and comics years ago. The nuclear age had just begun and the Space Race would soon be on its way. There was this idea that the future would be all space ships and laser guns. In short the future was an adventure and science would pave the way. Today is much different, of course. People use computers, cars and airplanes, but routinely deny the existence of climate change as well. In the past science was magical, but still understood as a human invention to make life better. Today, it seems to have simply drifted into background noise.

I think a lot of this has to do with a lack of proper communication of scientific concepts to the average citizen. As I mentioned earlier, a lack of emotional connection. People seem to understand that science exists, but not that it is a man-made phenomenon that is accessible to the average person. As result, interest has waned, competing ideas are coming into the foreground and America finds itself fighting to get students interested in science so that we can compete with the rest of the world.

A Proposal on Communicating Science to Citizens

Although not entirely the same situation, we do see an ongoing lack of interest in art education. Art is seen as something kids do in school, but no real effort is made to bring artists in line with small business owners on the scale of social respect. In fact, a life of art tends to come across as a sure-fire way to basically be broke all the time. This is bizarre because artists, be they painters, actors or musicians, are basically skilled in emotional communication. They provide emotive experiences that are designed to move audiences towards an idea or state of being.

This ability has been exploited in the past very effectively in the Medieval period in Europe. On the secular side of history, bards were also employed to create poems and songs highlighting important people and events. This was important because while the elites were well educated, the masses were largely illiterate. Written texts would have done very little for spreading information. Religious organizations went even further. First, they spread by identifying the holidays for other religions and presenting their own competing holidays. This is why Easter is a Christian holiday despite originally being a pagan holiday. It’s also why Christmas is celebrated during the winter solstice despite Christ himself having been born in the summer.

Re-purposing the holidays was only part of the equation. Once the people had been assembled, indoctrination had to begin. This began with chants and hymns, which were easy to remember, but expanded over time to plays and pageants. The plays fell into three basic groups: morality plays, mystery plays, and passion play. Mystery plays covered the history as presented by the Bible. That is, the birth of the universe, its death and the intervening events. Morality plays were as their name implies and were generally diverse, as seen by the play Everyman and the medieval plays of Saint Nicholas. The Passion plays were focused on Jesus Christ in particular. These plays were short, easy to understand and, at least in the case of Everyman, highly metaphorical. They were meant for an audience that had not yet been prepared for complex ideas or discussions.

Adapting Ideas to Science

It seems both science and art complement each other well. Scientists are more interested in uncovering facts and expanding knowledge, and artists are more interested in moving the hearts and minds of people. It seems both could adapt the tactics developed in the Medieval age to promote each other in a symbiotic manner in the modern age.

The first step is to identify holidays that draw major public interest, such as Christmas or the 4th of July. Scientific organizations can then organize and promote pre-holiday festival and celebrations. These events would offer free music and theatre presentations. Taking a cue from Medieval plays, they would be short and easy to understand. Comedy is effective, as well. Both the music and the plays would focus on science in some manner. Think Jonathan Coulton’s Mandelbrot Set, as an example for music. In addition, the celebrations should be replete with demonstrations of science. These demonstrations would displays meant to “wow” the attendees. The goal isn’t so much to educate, but amaze. The music and plays themselves are the educational aspect in that they would present easy-to-digest introductions to ideas, people and so forth (again, think Mandelbrot Set, or 88 Lines About 44 Mathematicians.)

Scientific organizations could expand on this by creating in-house positions for theatre groups and individuals. These individuals would act as resident “bards”. Their job would be to create music, poetry and writings that introduce important figures or events, illustrate important ideas and methods and so on. This would be a kind of expansion of general PR duties into the field of edutainment. In essence, someone from within the greater scientific organization would give some information on scientific advances, people or ideas and the bards and playwrights would compose something to present to masses. Imagine Friday nights at a college campus where there is a free concert by the Science building, or an ongoing tradition of lunchtime plays, all free watch.

This material would, ideally, be in the public domain. Since different organizations in different locations would each have their own set of theatre groups and bards, a great wealth of material would develop to share and adapt. These would be composed of plays, poems, stories, parables and so forth. Collections could be made and offered for free or a small price to add funds to the productions. One might also argue for a scientific “bible” which would contain various parables, lessons and stories of meant to draw the reader in. Theoretically, if this was done on a large enough scale, a large enough population of people would associate science with some positive emotion. The emotional connection would build and, hopefully, foster an ongoing interest and trust in science.

Appealing to the Non-Masses

There’s another idea that is somewhat complementary, if also somewhat cynical. During the Medieval and Renaissance periods, Masques were all the rage. These were a specific form of theatre that merged together spoken theatre, song and dance. They were specifically made for a particular party event and even included attendees in their performance. Often, they glorified the host of the event and the attendees. Masque’s were the must-go events of their day and were exclusively the domain of those in favor with the court.

Much has been made, both publically and among the tech community, of the incredible position of the scions of Silicon Valley. Jeff Bezos, as of this writing, is the wealthiest man in the world and has aspirations of being the first man on Mars. That is to say, achieving a goal that involves spending billions of dollars with no guarantee of return. Silicon Valley CEOs are phenomenally wealthy and, possibly, very self-satisfied with their success. They are also very interested in continuing their dominance in technology, which itself is a product of scientific research. Interested science and technology organizations could expand on the celebrations mentioned earlier to create exclusive name-only events for these privileged few. After all, who wouldn’t want to enjoy the benefits of wealth?

Like the masques of old, these events would involve productions that glorify the attendees and hosts before transforming into a larger party. In addition, there would be more of the aforementioned scientific spectacles. Something to amaze, but also a possible venue for inspiring some form of argument for funding. Think of it overall as a celebration of successful people. The production feeds into the collective ego of those attending and in turn makes them amenable to arguments for funding this project or that supporting that legislative proposal. Parties are a great way to network and fundraise.

Summary

The current distrust of science and lack of scientific interest can be attributed, at least in part, to the lack of ability to emotionally connect to science, or at least associate science with some positive state. By looking to the past we can observe that there were problems with drawing people to a particular message or idea. Using the tactics of art, in the form of bards, plays and masques, we can see how secular and religious organizations promoted themselves to the masses and the elites. This allowed them to spread messages, secure support and otherwise fulfill their goals. These same tactics can be used to promote modern science and, one hopes, bring scientific literarcy and trust back into the public sphere where it belongs.

A Late Review of Black Panther

Mea Culpa

Black Panther has been out for weeks now, so all the worthwhile reviews have already been posted and read. I can’t imagine I’m adding anything new to the mix, but I’m going to do it anyway, just because. In my defense, I was busy with a lot of stuff outside of movie-going. I do admit I was a bit worried going into the theatre about how I’d feel about the film. I had heard it was good, but the hype was building so fast I was worried I’d be let down. Sometimes I’ll just skip watching a film based on hype. Either I’ll have too high an expectation going in, or, as was the case with the Ghostbusters remake, the level of polarization on the film will be enough to drive me off. In the case of Black Panther, though, I was very pleasantly surprised. I really do think it’s one of the best movies Marvel has put out.

Overall Impressions

The cinematography is beautiful. I never once got the impression I was viewing a green screen backdrop. The film was incredibly colorful and I felt like I really had stepped into a world that was simultaneously urban and rural, technological and traditional. It was clear a lot of careful thought had been put into the world of the film.

Set designs were likewise impressive. I especially liked Shuri’s lab. One of the interesting things about portraying a technologically advanced lab is the use of a visually sterile set (as if tech mean medical-grade cleanliness). Another stereotypical portrayal is the messy lab with lots of tubes and pipes and gadgets lying around in a general mess. What was great about Shuri’s lab was that it went with fashionable look. It was clear immediately that this was her domain because of all the painted walls. It was kind of hip and cool and artsy. Kind of like how a lot of Silicon Valley startups like to portray themselves. I liked this because it showed how the filmmakers didn’t want to rely on convention, even in the smaller details.

The acting was top notch. There were some great talents brought to the film and it showed. Just one example is the relationship between T’Challa and Shuri. It’s established as soon as Shuri appears onscreen and felt very authentic and unforced. I enjoyed watching them interact with each other and I feel it’s a good representation of all the acting in the film. These were pros who knew how to pull the authenticity out of the text in the script.

This authenticity helped a great deal with events in the film. In the fight between T’Challa and his rival M’Baku, I logically knew it was too early for T’Challa to be dealt a serious blow. The film still had to establish his character. Despite this, however, I really found myself concerned about T’Challa’s fate. It did feel like he was going to lose his kingdom to M’Baku. When he did not, I felt relief. Of course, when Killmonger challenged T’Challa, that earlier victory made it clear he was going to lose, which in turn set up anticipation in the rest of the film. In addition to this, I was really invested in the scene between Killmonger and his father. This was a scene that would be easy to cut out in other films, but is so critical to showing how Killmonger has lost his way and the failure of his father. Mostly what struck me was the quiet emotion. This could easily have been a scene-chewing moment, but the script, the director and the actors correctly went for a subdued interpretation that spoke to the emotional struggle of the moment.

Quibbles

As much as I liked the film overall, there were a few minor points that broke me out of the film. For one thing, the final fight sequence was relatively hard to be invested in. The primary culprit was the fact that I could tell very easily that I was watching a CGI battle. When W’kabi runs through his opponents in a giant rhino, I could see very clearly that this was a digital effect. The smoothness of motion, the speed, the blur to hide any artifacts, it was all very clear what was happening. In addition, the battle between T’Challa and Killmonger screamed CGI, especially as they fell down into the underground subway system. Again, it was all about the motion, the smoothness and the attempts to provide a cool shot. All this did was make me think “Huh, CGI” and wait for it to be over.

Speaking of the subway, I’d like to point out a small logical error. Earlier in the film, Shuri explains that sonic generators are used to weaken or neutralize vibranium. If that’s true, then both T’Challa and Killmonger would have become permamently deaf. If the sonic generators are strong enough to visibly warp light around them (there were visible ripples whenever they turned on) the they were more than powerful enough to blow out eardrums. The fact that T’Chall and Killmonger were both enhanced by the heart-shaped herb is meaningless. At the end of the fight it’s clear that either can be harmed by bladed weapons. It stands to reason that sensitive organs like eardrums would be just a susceptible to damage. So, basically, T’Challa should be deaf right about now. Thank movie magic for that one.

One final quibble. I really didn’t believe that the CIA operative, Everett Ross, was in any trouble in the final battle. I just didn’t believe that the enemy aircraft was going to shoot through the windows in time to stop him. That meant his decision to stay in the simulator to remote-fly his aircraft felt hollow. The whole moment really just felt forced. It might have been better to just let him fly the simulator without anything attacking him as he did so.

Themes

There were a variety of themes in this movie, all of them worthy of discussion. For the sake of time, however, I would like to point out one interesting theme of inherited guilt. Just prior to watching the film I had been reading up on articles analysing H.P. Lovecraft. These articles pointed out that one of the themes of Lovecraft’s works is the concept of inherited guilt. That is, disaster coming to one through the sins of ancestors. This must have influenced how I saw the film, because I noticed similar lines of thought as the story wore on. The first notable instance was when Killmonger raided the museum, pointedly blaming the museum artifact expert for the sins of British imperialism that resulted in slavery and exploitation of natives on the African continent. Killmonger shows another aspect of inherited guilt in his battle with T’Challa at the waterfall. He points out his desire for revenge because T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka killed Killmonger’s father N’Jobu. In other words, T’Challa is receiving punishment for the sins of his father. Outside of Killmonger, we see this in Shuri as she refers to Everett Ross as “colonist”. It’s a casual reference, and not necessarily meant as a profanity, but it carries a history of guilt with it nonetheless. Finally, we see M’Baku air his grievances at T’Challa over an ancestral rivalry. This rivalry is based on the feeling of being snubbed by the ruling clans of Wakanda, which in turn caused M’Baku’s tribe be antagonistic towards T’Challa’s clan, thus creating a cycle of retribution.

Apart from the general “good guy/bad guy” dichotomy, it’s really this cycle of retribution that separates T’Challa from Killmonger. Killmonger is heavily tied to this cycle, mostly because he feels he can end it with enough violence and bloodshed. If he can kill enough people, he can suppress resistance and create a new world order. T’Challa goes the other way. In a critical scene M’Baku points out that for hundreds of years, no ruler of Wakanda has ever come to visit M’Baku’s tribe. T’Challa acknowleges this, but also points out that he is not his ancestors. One of the last scenes showing M’Baku among T’Challa’s circle of advisors completes the message; we all have guilt in our ancestry, but we are not our ancestors. Every generation has the chance to forge a new path. Furthermore, acknowledging the past while forging a new future leads to a more peaceful society. Killmonger’s way results in in near indiscriminate destruction. He instantly tears apart a stable political hierarchy and destroys the respository of the heart-shaped herb. This is an act that not only destroys an artifact of religious and cultural significance, but also serves the dual purpose of reinforcing Killmonger as the undefeatable leader of Wakanda and cutting off Wakandans from their heritage, thus making them easier to manipulate as a society. Killmonger isn’t interested in improving the world in any way. He just wants war and revenge, something that is destructive to all parties, not just a select few.

Wakanda as an influence on world politics

At the end of the film, T’Challa decides to unveil Wakanda to the world. Although there was a carefully constructed narrative of Wakanda as a poor country, T’Challa decides to throw this away in an attempt to lead by example. Since this is a movie, T’Challa’s decision is clearly scene as upbeat and positive. That said, and I know I’m doing more quibbling with this, I wonder just how effective T’Challa would be. I would argue that Wakanda, if anything, would become just another player in the great game of International Politics.

First of all, let’s broach the question of exactly how Wakanda would interact with the outside world. It can’t possibly be through any form of immigration. Wakanda has spent centuries as a highly insular country and would therefore not have the social, political, or logistical infrastructure to handle immigrants. There is evidence to suggest the population in general would resist this. W’Kabi, for example, early in the film states that immigrants bring their problems with them. I can’t believe he would be alone in thinking this.

So, Wakanda can’t build bridges through immigration. That part is out. The only other option is through outreach. This is in fact what happens. T’Challa, at the end of the film, points out that he’s purchased numerous buildings in order to build a Wakandan outreach center. But what effect will this have? First, let’s remember that it is stated early on that Wakanda has spies in every country. As long as Wakanda was thought of as a poor country, no politician would suspect espionage. Now that T’Challa has unveiled Wakanda as the most technologically advanced society on the planet, espionage must be at the top of everyone’s mind. The outreach centers just add to the problems. When the British landed in Africa, India, the Americas and Canada, they were the most advanced technological society of their time. We all know how that panned out for the natives. Wakanda will, in effect, be very susceptible to accusations of cultural imperialism.

Claims of cultural imperialism won’t just be used as general utterings of paranoia. These claims will be used as leverage for access to Wakandan technology. For all of Shuri’s brilliance, it’s absurd to think that Wakandan tech couldn’t be reverse engineered given enough time, enough resources and enough hardware to study. At the very least Wakanda and any representative will be the subject of hacking attempts, theft attempts, or other methods to obtain Wakandan technology, knowledge and resources. A couple things are inevitable from this. First, Wakandan representatives would demand a halt to the activities and, when it is clear nothing will stop, would probably start demanding concessions in the form of trade, treaties and so forth to offset the loss of Wakandan property. Second, the Wakandan tech would inevitably be used to harm others. This would give other countries the leveage they need to demand international regulations on Wakanda and possibly an opening of Wakandan society to outsiders.

This kind of behavior would put incredible pressure on the Wakandan leadership due to both internal and external pressures. On top of that, T’Challa is a superhero and is spending significant time saving the world. T’Challa might bow to pressure to close off Wakanda from the world again, but this would be a mistake. China already witnessed first-hand the results of being exposed to the outside world. In centuries past, the British wanted to trade with the Chinese who in turn just wanted the British to go away. Because of this, the British engaged in something called “Gunboat Diplomacy”. That is, “trade with us or we’ll attack you”. Wakanda would engage in devastating damage on its attackers, but no one country can stand against all the others forever. This means that Wakanda’s only option is to stay open and play the game of International Politics. Wakanda doesn’t become a leader of the world so much as one of the crowd. There isn’t enough vibranium in the universe to solve that problem.

Summary

Keep in mind, of course, that all this is pure conjecture. It’s just something fun to do after watching a good movie. In all, Black Panther really was a good movie. It was well-acted, had excellent visuals and it was clear that a lot of thought and care went into the story and the world the story inhabited. As I mentioned earlier, one of the top level Marvel films. For the Marvel films that focus on individual characters, I hope they keep it up. Infinity War is coming out this weekend, but that might be a different type of creature what with all the characters that have been crammed into it. We’ll see!

Iron Man, Gimmickry and Code Words

Wherein I ponder the a strange intersection of prejudicial code words and reasonable criticism. View full article »

Facebook and Google Own You

The future is now.

In Blade Runner, the dystopian future was heavily influenced by the Tyrell Corporation, which provided artificial humans for almost any purpose.

In Robocop the Omni Consumer Products megacorporation planned on buying the entire city of Detroit and make all the citizens shareholders and employees.

In Elysium, the future was ruled by a wealthy social elite that existed above Earth in a technological Eden.

The problem is that these are not just stories. These are issues that we’re facing today. While the world watches Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump battle for the American throne, Google, Facebook and the tech community in general are in the trenches affecting our lives right now. Read on for more. View full article »

Doctor Strange and International Politics

Recently, Comic Book Resources broke a story about how Chinese concerns are what led to Tilda Swinton being cast as The Ancient One. The Ancient One, for those not familiar with Doctor Strange mythology, was a male Tibetan monk of ancient knowledge and power who teach Stephen Strange to be come the Sorcerer Supreme (the magical guardian of Earth). For the film, however, a white female (Swinton) was cast. Why? Read on for more View full article »

#AppleVsFBI Talking Points

By this point, most people in the tech world know about Apple’s fight against the FBI on hacking an iPhone used in a terrorist attack. Most in the tech world are siding with Apple, while many outside the tech world side with the FBI. Because of the controversy, we though it would be useful to present a summary of what is going on. View full article »

Late in the film, one character declares that the nice thing about dystopia is that no one has to work for it. This, almost accidentally, bookends with a repeated analogy about two wolves. One represents light, the other dark and both are fighting each other. The one that wins is the one you feed the most. It’s a serviceable piece of trite fast-food enlightenment.

Now that Tomorrowland has been released to the world, there seem to be no end to the critics who enjoyed the film, but shredded the ideas behind it. Many felt that this was director Brad Bird’s least accomplished work, while others pointed out that the dream of “tomorrow” in Tomorrowland is more dystopian than it first appears.

The Deconstruction of Tomorrowland

Adam Rogers of Wired is quick to point out that virtually everything promised to us at the last great World’s Fair has been accomplished. We have jetpacks, albeit not for the general consumer. We have flying cars, but no one wants to see what happens when a drunk driver gets behind the wheel. We have robots to clean for us and transnational corporations to make it all at an affordable price. In order to get that, he points out, we also have to put up with things like pollution and heavily implied fascism. Not to mention the fact that we must exploit Third World workers to achieve the cheap prices that make all of this possible.

Steve Rose of The Guardian continues on the theme of fascism by pointing out that Walt Disney’s vision for the future came at a cost of enforced transience and dictatorship. Disney’s original vision for Tomorrowland included renters who could only stay for one year. Further, there were no voting rights. It was Disney’s way, all the way. In an sense, Disney was the Steve Jobs of his time. He pulled together many successful ideas and packaged them into something that seemed new and exciting. Once the vision was realized, however, it was “perfect” and he wanted no deviation from his masterpiece.

These discussions, I think, miss a bigger issue. The bookends I alluded to earlier are important to remember. The reason for this is that they are both inaccurate views of the problem. There isn’t a light and dark side fighting for the future, and no one is sitting back and letting it happen. Further, the critics have so focused on the failed illusion of the film, that they haven’t noticed the important issue that is accidentally brought to light. Everyone is fighting for a Tomorrowland. Everyone. The problem is, everyone’s Tomorrowland is exclusive to the others.

Tomorrowland as a Battle Royale

When Adam Rogers ended his article with “To get the future you want, you’re going to fight the one you already have”, he missed the fact that our world exists precisely because of this sentiment. Boko Haram and ISIS are not trying to create a terrible future. They have a utopian vision and they’re fighting for it. It’s just a utopia that no one else wants, so they’re going to subjugate as many as possible to get it.

When Neil deGrasse Tyson or Bill Nye discuss the importance of science in general, or climate change and evolution in particular, they are fighting for a future of science. Those who oppose them, the creationists, climate change deniers and so on, fight for a future where they are allowed to continue as they please without scientists telling them how to live their lives.

The Koch Brothers fight for a future where government is all but non-existent while others fight for  a future where government regulates businesses to keep them from getting out of control. Anti-vaxxers fight for a future where vaccinations are akin to child abuse while doctors fight for a future where people actually listen to the medical advice that they are given.

The list goes on. Everyone fights for a future that is, more or less, exclusive to the other. That’s why the world is the way it is today. The importance of a film like Tomorrowland is the hope that we can create a better tomorrow. No one seems to realize, however, that the game is not to actually create a better tomorrow, but a question of who can defeat each other’s vision first. The king of the hill, so to speak, is the one that dictates the rules of the future. That’s a problem.

Building Tomorrowland

There are two ways to build a future, a new Tomorrowland, so to speak. One is to destroy what exists now. The other is to build what will exist then. Both require a certain flexibility. When we look at extremists causing acts of terrorism or social justice warriors harrassing people off the Internet, we see attempts to create a better tomorrow by destroying today. When we see chatterbots like Siri, or robots to take care of the elderly, we see attempts to build a better tomorrow by improving today. The missing element is adaptation. In all cases there needs to be the understanding that this perfect envisioned utopia is not going to solve all the problems the world has. Further there is always the possibility of making certain things worse. This is why any utopia is an unattainable goal. The problems are constantly shifting and changing with time. If this understanding can be baked into the vision of a better tomorrow then perhaps there would be more overall coordination to realize it.

At the end of the film, recruiters are sent out into the world to bring in people from all walks of life. People who are dreamers and will work together to create that better future. It’s a good start. If we could arrange something like that in the real world, perhaps we could have that hope for a better future come back to us. Until then, however, it’s basically a battle royale deathmatch. It will be for quite some time.

A device can tell if you’re liberal or conservative

Liberal, Conservative, or just damn good looking?

Liberal, Conservative, or just damn good looking?

This is one of those things where you probably don’t need tech to let you know what’s up, but it’s just so darned fascinating!

John Hibbing is a political scientist who has been doing research on the physiological differences one may have by being liberal or conservative. It turns out it’s not just a matter of what a person has been exposed to. There are deep-seated neurological patterns that determine which end of the spectrum a person leans towards.

For example, Hibbing’s machine tracks a person’s eyes when exposed to various imagery. Conservative eyes tended to focus more on things that were disgusting or repulsive while liberal eyes tended towards images that were more pleasant to look at. He also noted that conservatives have a greater physical response to fear. When shown threatening images, conservatives showed a greater tendency towards a fight-or-flight response. This means being liberal or conservative has an actual physiological effect on a given person’s body.

Signs showing liberals and conservatives

It turns out there are physical differences between a liberal and conservative, not just philosophical ones

In the end, Hibbing thinks that being liberal or conservative isn’t just a matter of being led to a conclusion by data, friends or family. There is an intrinsic world view that forms the foundation of all other thought in each end of the spectrum. In the case of a conservative, there is a greater tuning to negativity. This difference may even have a basis in genetics, hormones and brain structures.

What this means for politics and democracy is, unfortunately, anyone’s guess.

Fascinating work. You can read more about it here.

 

The Internet turns 25 years old today

As many of you know, today is the Internet’s 25th birthday. There’s a lot of reminiscing on the early days of the Internet and discussion of its impact on humanity. Personally I want to focus on Michio Kaku’s interpretation of the Internet; that of an interplanetary communication system. An solar system-wide phone network, if you will. I like this idea. I don’t think it’s ultimately going to happen that way, but I like it.

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The new Robocop film is getting more interesting

A few days ago, I made a quick post on the new upcoming Robocop film. I felt then, and still do that enough time has passed that we can allow for a re-imagining of the original. I mentioned, however, that I also thought it would probably be a bad film. Lately when remakes or re-imaginings occur it’s a money grab and as a result the quality of the product suffers. Some new information has come to light to give me a little hope, though.

Hero Complex, a section of latimes.com, recently ran an article on the Jose Padilha, the director of the new Robocop. He’s an up and coming action director, who has done some notable work outside the US. While talking with the execs on the next film to make, he spotted the Robocop poster and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Here’s a quote:

“I remember that every single film they presented to me, I instantly knew I didn’t want to make it,” Padilha said. “I’m listening, and I’m [thinking] ‘RoboCop,’ that’s what I’m going to do. I have an idea for that.’ So at the end of the meeting … I pitched the idea. Two days later, I got a call from my agent, saying, ‘I don’t know what you did, but they want to do “RoboCop” with you.’ It was a good thing that it came into being this way instead of it being a studio already having an idea about what they want to make from the get-go. It was the filmmaker saying, ‘Let’s make this, and here’s my idea for it.’”

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