Sony turns to science fiction for new ideas

What would you think of a mask that allows you to enjoy the synthesized smells of fine dining? How about a houseboat for people displaced by rising sea levels due to climate change?

These are among the ideas that Sony Group Corp. has imagined, all based on stories created through a collaboration between science fiction writers and young in-house designers at Sony.

Such stories offer a glimpse into the future envisioned by an author’s daring imagination, with details of imagined futures used to develop potential products and services. This method is called science fiction prototyping.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has featured scenes like those from a sci-fi movie, such as cities strangely empty due to lockdowns, Japanese companies such as Sony are starting to explore unconventional ways to find solutions. new ideas.

Sony has shaped products and services that appear in stories developed in workshops between writers and designers, with words like “2050”, “Tokyo” and “romance” designated as keywords for the overall theme.

Models of products and services designed using sci-fi prototyping were on display this summer in Tokyo’s Ginza district.

In the past, Sony had mainly relied on practical methods to seek the perspective of consumers in general for great ideas for new designs.

Yet in collaborating with science fiction writers, in-house designers have had unique moments of insight. They often found that writers and designers look at things totally different, according to Shigeki Ono, a senior official at Sony’s Creative Center.

“In the beginning, there were times when our communication wasn’t smooth,” Ono said.

Designers are good at drawing pictures, but they’re not used to writing stories with characters.

One designer who participated said, “I realized how interesting it is to pay close attention to every detail, including a setting for the story and the relationships between the characters,” according to Ono.

Sci-fi prototyping spread among tech companies on the West Coast of the United States in the 2010s.

Many famous entrepreneurs have been influenced by works of science fiction. Among them is Elon Musk, who founded Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX. It aims to take humans to Mars.

Sony’s Sci-Fi Prototyping Project was supported by Wired Sci-Fi Prototyping Lab.

He worked with online advertising company CyberAgent Inc. to envision the possible future of the media industry.

The laboratory is also developing a concept for a new city using cutting-edge technologies in collaboration with a local administration.

“We hope that many people will learn the ways of thinking from science fiction writers and use them for business,” said lab director Tomonari Kotani.

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Five Sci-Fi Movies To Stream Now

October 22, 2021: a date that for many science fiction fans cannot come soon enough. It is then that those of us who will not attend film festivals will finally be able to watch Denis Villeneuve’s long awaited “Dune”, either at the cinema or on HBO Max. Amusingly, a few enterprising independents are betting that some impatient viewers don’t pay much attention and are drawn to the UK micro-budget production “Dune Drifter”, with its deliberately archaic aesthetic, or the “Dune World” , insanely inept, which involves “worm-like beasts” on a “hostile and barren planet.” Better check out this month’s pick of overlooked sci-fi nuggets, none of which attempt to rub shoulders with the universe by Frank Herbert.

Rent or buy on most major platforms.

Henriksen plays an Arizona quack whose ill-gotten powers end up making bullied teenager Kelly (Elijah Nelson) nearly invincible. This, in turn, allows Kelly to take bloody revenge on the football players who ruined her life.

It’s disappointing to see Henriksen come out so quickly, but Martin Guigui’s film maintains tremendous cheap and nasty momentum. It’s as close as we’re getting close to the classic 1970s or 80s B fare today, with endearing off-brand actors taking that entertaining twist on overpowered high school kids.

Rent it or buy it on most major platforms.

Many of the greatest sci-fi movies camouflage allegorical messages with action-oriented storylines – looking at you, “Planet of the Apes.” And then there are movies like “Mnemophrenia,” where what you see is what you get: a thoughtful discussion about the nature of memory and what makes us human. It may sound like a lecture throughout a feature film, especially since director Eirini Konstantinidou teaches film studies at the University of Essex. But “Mnemophrenia” strikes a delicate balance between ideas and relationships, and has genuine warmth. The film is set in an all too relatable near future where virtual reality has become so mainstream that it has re-energized people’s sense of identity – the title refers to a condition (invented but credible) “characterized by the coexistence of artificial realities and memories.

For some characters, mnemophrenia is not a problem but “a new way of being”, another step in the long game of human evolution. Others are less taken with the inability to tell right from wrong, the real experience of VR travel. They don’t find life in a particularly desirable perpetual holodeck, let alone the possible neurological effects of the new “total cinema”, which reproduces touch, taste and smell. At the heart of the film is a difficult question: does it matter if something is wrong while it feels real?

Stream it on Shudder.

That this South African film of alien possession is airing on the Shudder horror platform is a good indication that it is not for the faint of heart. Just be aware that the alien presence is entering Barry (Gary Green) ‘s body through what looks like every possible hole, as well as some newly sculpted holes. And that’s just the beginning.

Barry wasn’t the healthiest vehicle for exploring Earth: a heroin addict, this hapless alien doesn’t even have a break at home, where he constantly bickers with his wife, Suz (Chanelle de Jager), in a hysterical mix of English and Afrikaans. So maybe hosting a horrible tourist isn’t the worst thing that can happen to them. The film is essentially a series of encounters as the newly empowered Barry, eyes bulging out suggesting that everything is worse than usual, falters in the city.

Ryan Kruger’s feature debut has a relentless gonzo vibe – get ready for drugs, sex, and a quick, revolting pregnancy – that sits somewhere between the cinema of 1980s transgression and the outrageous world of the music duo. South African Die Antwoord. He’s so determined to be cult that he cries out to be watched on VHS.

Ray (Dean Imperial) is so desperate to earn the money to pay for his sick brother’s care that he signs up to work for CBLR, one of the big players in the exciting new world of “quantum wiring” – he there is even an industry expo, where employees can purchase accessories.

Quantum wiring and CBLR are terrifying in a familiar way: a new monopoly industry that spews “disruptive” platitudes (its slogan is “challenge your status quo”) while preventing those who do not adhere to it from fully functioning. It is even worse for employees, who have to pay the honor of working by buying a medallion, and then are subjected to constant surveillance.

All of this makes Noah Hutton’s film terribly dark and menacing, but “Lapsis” is a sweet, often awkward satire directed by an endearing doofus that ends up finding resistance in the person of fellow bee Anna (Madeline Wise). Make no mistake, though: Observations about the ever-growing power of technology and the sequence of exploitation of the concert economy land with uncomfortable familiarity.

Surely you might wonder if British director Ben Wheatley’s eco-mystical mind’s journey qualifies as science fiction. Written during the lockdown and shot under Covid-19 restrictions, the film is set during a pandemic and references isolation and successive waves of the disease. The premise is a bit on the nose – we’re still going through this and may not be ready for the docu-fiction version just yet – but Wheatley is quickly taking off in unexpected and completely bizarre directions. That his goal is to create some sort of freak-folk fairy tale is obvious from the start: Alma (Ellora Torchia) guides Martin (Joel Fry), a scientist, through a mysterious forest straight out of the Grimm Brothers. He doesn’t seem worried when she tells him about a woodland spirit called Parnag Fegg. Soon, however, they realize that the animals seem to have disappeared: “they smell something”, and in turn, we feel that something is not good.

Wheatley adds to this setting with abandon, scenes of body horror that would make a podiatrist cover their eyes with many directors’ favorite trope of “I can’t think of anything else to do” – hallucinations. The film overplays the cryptic card but remains absorbing for a simple reason: you never know what will follow.


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Science-Fiction, Science Future opens at MOSH

The Museum of Science and History’s latest exhibit caters to both children and adults, using highly interactive demo stations highlighting technology just beyond the horizon, drawing inspiration from real science and science fiction.

All around the exhibit you will find images from various science fiction films and franchises. You might not recognize them all, but Doctor Who fans will immediately spot the Cyberman on the lobby screen, and there are images in the main upstairs exhibit of Star Wars and Star Trek scattered around. of the main exhibition.

Make sure you access the lobby display before heading to the main event, because designing a cyborg is a lot of fun! The teleportation screen in the main area has pads that bear a striking resemblance to those used in Star Trek, and for older kids and adults, there’s technical information on the principles behind it. Harry Potter fans will appreciate the invisibility display.

Don’t expect real experiences here. Instead, they’re fun simulations of what’s possible, now and in the future. The bracelets allow you to get a “medical exam”, which of course is not a real medical exam, but what it might look like. The same groups also let you find out what your future occupation might be (mine is a robot mechanic!) It’s the kind of thing that will spark the imaginations of young people and help propel future scientists. But digitization technology, using visual encoding to determine content, is a technology that exists today and is used in museums around the world to personalize the experiences of people interested in art and culture. story. Some apps on your phone today can use these codes to activate information when you scan them next to a specific exhibit.

Where I had the most fun was the beta brain wave competition. At this convenient station, you will need two players. Each puts a band around their head that measures the person’s relaxation, tracking things like beta brain waves. Between the two players is a table with a ball in the center. The ball follows a magnetic track between the players. The more relaxed you are, the more the ball is supposed to be pushed towards the other player. If you get them all the way, you win. It is possible, in laboratories with very specialized equipment, to use the feedback of brain waves to move objects or operate a computer. In 20 years, if the application is practical, it may be less specialized and more widespread. Instruments that pick up this type of brain activity are notoriously sensitive, so anything can disturb them. But that doesn’t really matter, because it gets players thinking about how this tech works, and it’s also fun.

MOSH curator Paul Bourcier believes that the interactive nature of “STEM-based practical and bodily stations engages both children and adults,” which leads to learning and innovative thinking. According to Bourcier, “the science fiction exhibition arouses curiosity” and he hopes that “visitors will learn from this exhibition about the advances we have made in the field of technology, as well as the opportunities for the future”.

The toughest science-tech demonstration in the room is the eye-track computer mouse. This is the current technology that actually exists, used for paraplegics or those who cannot use their hands. It takes a minute to acclimatize, but it’s quite rewarding. Of all the demo stations, this is the one that does something real and tangible. With many others, it’s hard to have a tech demo that doesn’t exist yet, so simulations of what teleportation looks like, or what invisibility would look like make it fun and accessible.

Another station called “Future Past” that you might find interesting is more historical than any of the others, retracing what we thought the future might be over decades and centuries. Each age has had a vision of what future technology might look like, and it’s fascinating to look back on those. You control what appears on the big screen, choosing the time period you want to see.

Everything is not based on IT and audiovisual. In a refreshing analog move, given the content of the exhibit, there is a drawing station with paper where kids can draw what they think the future might be towards the end of the exhibit, and where the designs can be exhibited. I liked that they weren’t on a computer screen, that they were easy to use (no one would have to share a screen), and that they used everyday tools.

If you have a range of ages to entertain yourself, Science fiction, Science of the future engages everyone from toddlers to adults. Not all practical displays reach such a wide range, but I can safely say that if you are interested in the technological possibilities, you will be engaged. Younger kids will love some of the simpler interaction stations (like the cyborg in the lobby and the invisibility demo), but older kids and adults will dig deeper into the text and some of the more complicated ideas, on everything, from wormholes to quantum mechanics.

Science fiction, Science of the future will be on display until May 13, 2018. For tickets and more information, visit theMOSH.org or call 396-MOSH.


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Promising Trends in Health Sciences Research at U of M Reflect Vision of Improving Minnesota and Global Health

The University of Minnesota successfully competed for more than $ 1 billion in external research funding in fiscal 2021, a first in the University’s 170-year history. This achievement was motivated, in part, by widespread interest, participation and investment in health science research. At its meeting next Friday, the University of Minnesota Board of Trustees will discuss what University of Minnesota health science researchers accomplished over the past year and what the future holds. to this work at one of the leading research universities in the United States.

Dr. Jakub Tolar, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts and Vice President of Clinical Affairs, will introduce the Regents to the breadth of health science research at the university, a broad scope that almost involves all disciplines of the university and takes advantage of the greatest strengths to achieve superior results. Tolar will also outline his vision for the future to advance healthcare in partnership with state, nation, and the global community to solve health challenges. As Tolar will note in his presentation, this vision aligns with several of the University’s commitments in its system-wide strategic plan, MPact 2025.

The University engages in almost all forms of research in the health sciences, from basic research to translational research, clinical to community. Under this broad umbrella, Tolar’s presentation will note that national trends in health science research have increasingly aligned with the more specific areas of expertise and interests of the University, including: health disparities; underserved and rural populations; diversity, equity and inclusion; involve communities in their health priorities; the implementation and dissemination of basic science, and; digital health and big data, among others.

The unique intersections of these topics with academic expertise have attracted increased funding for health science research at U of M, as well as increased discoveries and high impact scholarships.

The University’s health sciences research has a long and celebrated history of heralded advancements, dating back to innovative medical devices such as the pacemaker and procedures such as open heart surgery and living organ transplants. . Discoveries and innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic, supported by strong research funding and awards, have built on this story. Funding from U of M researchers has made it possible to improve personal protective equipment, explore approaches to better predict COVID-19 outbreaks, understand the biological systems of the virus and the responses of the virus. organization, to deepen knowledge on health disparities and the impacts of the pandemic on various communities, and to conduct in-depth trials of new therapeutic and vaccine candidates.

U of M experts have also led topics relating to aging, quality of life, substance abuse, rural health, health equity, and disease prevention and treatment, ranging from new and rare diseases to cancer and heart health.

As part of its October meetings, the Council is also expected to:

  • Discuss the new cybersecurity certification requirements under the direction of the office of the vice-president, research.
  • Receive an update on the System’s Strategic Enrollment Plan.
  • Discuss key lessons learned from delivering courses during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as best practices for distance or hybrid education.
  • Visit and visit of the University Health Sciences Education Center, which officially opened in fall 2020.
  • Act on the six-year capital plan recommended by the President and 2022 demand for state capital.
  • Discuss the University’s budget model in an overview provided by Vice President and Chief Budget Officer Julie Tonneson.
  • Review the master plan of the Twin Cities campus.
  • Receive an update on the Twin Cities Campus Restoration Program, including the next steps in awarding a contract for restoration operations in the coming years.
  • Act on appointments to the Board of Trustees of the University of Minnesota Foundation.
  • Receive an overview of the Positioned for Excellence, Alignment and Knowledge implementation plan (PEAK) Initiative, a system-wide effort to identify opportunities in non-academic functions to increase efficiency or gain capacity to advance the University’s teaching, research and outreach mission.
  • Begin a series of discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion work on each of the University’s five campuses, starting with a focus on the Twin Cities.

For more information, including times of upcoming meetings, visit regents.umn.edu.


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The demons of science fiction

Science fiction is a wonderful genre. I am a huge fan of books describing possible futures for humanity. The best science fiction, like the works of Ursula Le Guin and Kim Stanley Robinson, approach the future as developing from combinations of human decisions on the one hand and the scarcity of resources and technological advances in somewhere else.

Aleksandr Gromov is one of the best-known post-Soviet science fiction writers. Although I often disagree with his worldview, I still find his books both intellectually stimulating and enjoyable to read. There are quite a few other excellent Russian writers in this genre. Evgenii Lukin, Vadim Shefner and Yulii Burkin, for example, combine science fiction and fantasy in imaginative representations of how human societies might develop.

Still, some late Soviet and post-Soviet fantasy or science fiction works make me uncomfortable. By tackling the resurgence of nationalism that accompanied the ideological and political collapse of the Soviet Union, they are falling back on anti-Semitic stereotypes. For example, in the works of Yuri Nikitin, Vadim Panov, and Vasilii Golovachev, the protagonists are portrayed as honest, hardworking, albeit somewhat naive Slavs, while the wicked are portrayed as devious individuals obsessed with money and determined to destroy society.

As Viktor Shnirelman, historian and ethnologist specializing in far-right myths and ideologies, noted in his 2018 study Three Myths of a Conspiracy: Antisemitic Propaganda in Contemporary Russia, this association of wickedness with Judaism at the late Soviet and post-Soviet years Sci-fi fantasy represents a disturbing trend: the use of non-traditional platforms to convey anti-Semitic ideas to a new generation of Russians.

According to Shinlerman, fiction, especially the sci-fi and fantasy genres, has become a practical way to circumvent Russian laws against public expressions of racist views. After all, the idea of ​​suing someone for creating a make-believe world populated by a greedy, hook-nosed humanoid species or for using racial epitaphs to describe the long-extinct Khazars seems excessive, if not absurd.

The popularity of these genres, especially among young Slavs, is disturbing. This suggests that pervasive stereotypes about Jews are being communicated in disguised forms to the rulers of tomorrow.

Shnilerman pays particular attention to the archetypal character of the Outsiders in Russian science fiction; they are portrayed either as well-known enemies of the ancient Slavic community, like the Khazars, or as dishonest people from a future society who intend to cause destruction.

These representations, he argues, derive from deeply rooted anti-Semitic perceptions that are based on three interrelated myths about the relationship between Slavs and foreigners.

First, there is the myth of the Antichrist which threatens the existence of mankind. He is assisted by those who do not belong to the Slavic Orthodox spiritual community. These foreigners, who include all Jews, hate Christians and want to destroy them. The second myth portrays the Slavs as a superior race engaged in an eternal struggle of life and death against the inferior Jewish race. The third myth concerns the Khazars, a Turkish people, whose ruling elite in the 8th century converted to rabbinical Judaism and who were conquered by the Rus of Kiev around 965-969 CE. This suggests that the Khazars were not defeated; they pretend to be ordinary Russians and their goal is to get revenge on the Russian people.

Science fiction and fantasy based on these myths portray contemporary Russians as noble warriors engaged in an ancient and continuing battle for the salvation of the human race against an evil ethnic alien. Shnirelman notes that the war between the Slavs and certain spiritually dark and racially alien forces is a common theme in the works of Yuri Nikitin (e.g., The Holy Grail and One of Hyperborea), Alexander Baygushev (Lament for the Reckless Khazars) and other Russians. fantastic writers.

Although the ethnic villain in current Russian science fiction is almost never explicitly identified as Jewish, the portrayal either matches anti-Semitic stereotypes or Jewish surnames to make the connection. Sometimes the association is made more explicit. For example, in his 2009 novel The Non-Russians are Coming, or The Bringers of Death, Vasilii Glovachev indicates the Jewish identity of the villains by making their names, read from right to left, sound recognizable.

To be sure, not all Russian fantasy science fiction writers use anti-Semitic tropes, and implicit or explicit anti-Semitism is not unique to Russian science fiction. As Paul Sturtevant noted in a 2018 Washington Post article, goblins in Harry Potter, dwarves in The Hobbit, and Watto in the Star Wars series, also perpetuate anti-Semitic stereotypes. Sturtevant has shown how these villains are inspired by the stereotype of the “greedy Jew”.

However, unlike Russian fantasy science fiction, this association of greed with evil does not come with a parallel emphasis in Western science fiction on evil as an alien force invading a homogeneous homeland. It is the combination of anti-Semitic stereotypes and the altering of foreigners in the Russian sci-fi fantasy that Shnirelman finds disturbing, as it highlights the ever-present danger of a Russian nationalism that turns to racism and xenophobia.

Nearly a fifth of Russian Jews are expressing concern over a growing threat of anti-Semitism, as a poll conducted three years ago by Russian think tank The Levada Center indicates. A close examination of Russian science fiction suggests that they don’t necessarily fantasize.

Inna Stakser is a researcher at the Kantor Center.

Eight times a year, the Kantor Center publishes commentaries and analyzes on Jewish identity and culture written by members of its team. Please feel free to share your thoughts on our Outlook with us: kantorce@tauex.tau.ac.il.


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Venom: Let There Be Carnage Review – Mediocre Monster Porridge | Science fiction and fantasy films

TThe oversized world of superheroes on the big screen recently expanded even further than previously thought with a desperate lurch into the multiverse realm, allowing the rules to be rewritten, characters resurrected, and pulling back. public pockets. It was introduced in 2018’s Unusually Clever Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse before being teased in December’s Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer and it will likely be in the genre for years to come, appetite or not. The Venom franchise, which started in 2018 and continues with Let There Be Carnage, exists in an unofficial multiverse of its own: one that eradicates the high and overly serious worlds of Marvel and DC and continues straight from the flip flashiness. From the ’90s Batman movies and the clever simplicity of the 2000s Spider-Man franchise.

The first film was a surprisingly fun, but unsurprisingly throwaway comeback adventure that embraced its blatant Happy Meal madness and didn’t care about the overly complicated world-building and menacing tone of newer comic book fare. It was big and silly and anchored by a wall-to-wall performance by Tom Hardy as a reporter who has to live in the same body as a brain-eating alien, with room for thoughtful actors like Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate and Melora Walters alongside. After it became a bigger-than-expected success, engulfing more than $ 850 million worldwide, a sequel inevitably made its way to the screen, with original director Ruben Fleischer replaced by Someone Who Knows. all about duality: Andy Serkis. But while Serkis and returning screenwriter Kelly Marcel have maintained the lightness of the first film (there’s none of that darker sequel nonsense here) and a dated idea of ​​cool (Howlin ‘For You by The Black Keys is an almost Xavier Dolan-level musical choice in one scene), they lost almost everything else, a bunch of monster porridge that should have been left in the lab.

Hardy, to his credit, is once again working hard for this big paycheck, not having to show as much manic physicality as before, but engaging in the stupidity of it all with all vigor. This time around, his reporter Eddie Brock (who in one scene also appears to be designing the front page of his diary, which is impressive) is inadvertently transferring his alien infused blood to a serial killer, Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) , which escapes execution using its newly acquired tentacles. Calling himself Carnage, he vows to find Brock and Venom as well as his long lost love, Frances, AKA Shriek (Naomie Harris), whose scream is capable of killing those who are unlucky to hear him.

It’s way more awkward than it looks, but as Marcel tries to raise the bar for the latest film in so many ways, the chaos subsides far too soon. There is a more pronounced bent in the humor of the Venom / Eddie dynamic, but the film remains aggressively little funny throughout, save for a few decent view gags, and so despite Venom’s alleged villainy (which desperately looking to eat brains but has to settle for M & Ms), it often sounds like a movie for kids who might find something stupid to laugh about among the cartilage. There was a homoerotic undertone (unintentionally?) To the first movie, amplified in a 2019 comic in which Spider-Man and Venom were involved in a pleasant scene of sexual flirtation, and Serkis hinted at just how great there is. a strangeness pronounced in the sequel. Venom gets a “coming out” scene at a party that’s “kind of an LGBTQIA festival” in his words, but onscreen everything is predictably blurry and ultimately one of the many scenes that make it up. hint at a more interesting, but denied, take the material. The PG-13 Venom movies take inspiration from R-rated body horror, but back off before things get really gnarly, a frustrating sort of tease of something as cowardly and savage as these movies seem to already think.

As Hardy comes out unscathed, he’s surrounded by actors who don’t get much out of the movie other than money for a down payment on a new beach house. Harrelson tries to conjure up some of his malice Natural Born Killers but feels misinterpreted for the role, acting younger to look like he’s in a reform school at the same time as his childhood sweetheart, played by Harris, 15 years younger, who can barely see. Williams naturally sleepwalks through the few scenes she has, much to the envy of us in the audience who are still awake, barely, for a finale that is all noise and fury but not exactly fun.

It’s at least a short, lasting about 90 minutes, Serkis cuts off any extraneous fat, but it floats and floats without ever forcing us to sit down and pay attention. Let there be no more.


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‘To Boldly Go’ Book Examines Leadership Through the Prism of Science Fiction

LAWRENCE – “To go boldly …”

This line from Captain Kirk’s opening monologue in the original “Star Trek” series lasts for more than 55 years since it first aired. It’s also the title of a new book that examines leadership through the lens of science fiction.

“Everyone recognizes those three words,” said Steven Leonard, retired senior US military strategist and program director in organizational leadership at the University of Kansas.

“If you are going to lead, you are going boldly. Not only is this the impetus behind this book, but it’s also my personal philosophy of leadership in general that you need to be willing to take risks to create opportunities for yourself.

Leonard is co-editor of “To Boldly Go: Leadership, Strategy, and Conflict in the 21st Century and Beyond”. Its collection recruits 30 writers – strategy experts, senior policy advisers, professional educators, experienced storytellers and military field commanders – to produce essays exploring this topic. It is published by Casemate.

“Captain Kirk was the prototype leader that I grew up with that embodies the idea of ​​’there is your ship captain’,” said Leonard, senior researcher at the Modern War Institute at West Point. “He is daring, he is daring, he always leads from the front and always by intuition.”

The retired Colonel wanted to put together something that met this level of leadership, but had more appeal than a simple project aimed at “Star Wars” aficionados or business management enthusiasts. Here you will find topics that can be enjoyed by the readers of Isaac Asimov and Peter Drucker.

Leonard himself writes three of the 35 chapters, including one in partnership with co-editor Jonathan Klug who dissects the Battle of the Mutara Nebula.

“This is the centerpiece of the conflict between intelligence and experience,” he said of the climactic clash found in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”. “Intelligence without experience is wonderful, but it is experience that wins these fights, and that plays out with Kirk and Khan.”

Another of its chapters focuses on the 1968 film “Planet of the Apes”.

“I was just going to write about how it was a contemplation of that late ’60s era. But it turned into a reflection of class society instead of how screenwriter Rod Serling incorporated his own personal life experiences in the film’s script while growing up in the face of anti-Semitism, ”he said.

The book has contributors who represent some of the best writers in the genre.

Best-selling author Max Brooks (“World War Z”) composes “Romulans and Remans,” a futuristic examination of desegregation that uses the Romulan War as a metaphor for the return of the Tuskegee airmen to their homes.

Leonard also cites the chapter “Space Battleship Yamato and the Burden of Command” by August Cole (“Ghost Fleet”) as an example of a more obscure sci-fi property that generates provocative material.

“August has a beautifully written chapter that deals with what happens when you’re on an impossible mission, you have the unlikely crew, and things are against you. How do you put it all together to find success? ” he said.

Craig and Steve Whiteside tap into the cultural zeitgeist with a chapter about “The Stand” by Stephen King.

“It is examining the emergence of a pandemic, which could not be more timely,” Leonard said. “There was no intention to produce an article on how to get through COVID-19 because we started this project before the pandemic. But it becomes a perfect chapter which is especially relevant now that the Delta variant is gaining a foothold. “

Leonard is not the only contributor to KU. Kelsey Cipolla, Communications Coordinator at the School of Business, provides insight into the challenges facing women in positions of power by analyzing the divergent views of Vice Admiral Holdo and Poe Dameron from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi “.

Now in his seventh year at KU, Leonard has provided chapters to the books “Strategy Strikes Back: How ‘Star Wars’ Explains Modern Military Conflict” (Potomac Books, 2018) and “Winning Westeros: How ‘Game of Thrones’ Explains Modern Military Conflit “(Potomac Books, 2019). He is co-editor of” Why We Write: Craft Essays on Writing War “(Middle West Press, 2019). He is also the creative force behind the subversive web comic” Doctrine Man !! “and its four collected volumes.

“’To Boldly Go’ sums up things I had worked on in previous anthologies. We had more science fiction to draw from, not just “Star Wars” or “Game of Thrones”. We could open wide, then bring in more people from more diverse backgrounds for a better and more complete perspective, ”he said.

As Australian Army Major General Mick Ryan describes in the book’s foreword, “science fiction provides a telescope into the future, a mechanism for thinking about future challenges.”

Leonard said, “There’s a series of posts here that allow us to use science fiction in a way that we talk about really important and topical topics. We see the role of leadership in times of crisis – and it is a time of crisis. “


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“To Boldly Go” Book Examines Leadership Through the Prism of Science Fiction

LAWRENCE – “Go boldly …”

This line from Captain Kirk’s opening monologue in the original “Star Trek” series lasts for more than 55 years since it first aired. It’s also the title of a new book that examines leadership through the lens of science fiction.

“Everyone recognizes those three words,” said Steven Leonard, retired senior US military strategist and program director in organizational leadership at the University of Kansas.

“If you are going to lead, you are going boldly. Not only is this the impetus behind this book, but it is also my personal philosophy of leadership in general that you must be willing to take risks to create opportunities for yourself.

Leonard is co-editor of “To Boldly Go: Leadership, Strategy, and Conflict in the 21st Century and Beyond”. Its collection recruits 30 writers – strategy experts, senior policy advisers, professional educators, experienced storytellers and military field commanders – to produce essays exploring this topic. It is published by Casemate.

“Captain Kirk was the prototype leader that I grew up with that embodies the idea of ​​’there is your ship captain’,” said Leonard, senior researcher at the Modern War Institute at West Point. “He is daring, he is daring, he always leads from the front and always by intuition.”

The retired colonel wanted to put together something that met this level of leadership, but had a broader appeal than a simple project aimed at “Star Wars” aficionados or business management enthusiasts. Here you will find topics that can be enjoyed by the readers of Isaac Asimov and Peter Drucker.

Leonard himself writes three of the 35 chapters, including one in partnership with co-editor Jonathan Klug who dissects the Battle of the Mutara Nebula.

“This is the centerpiece of the conflict between intelligence and experience,” he said of the climactic clash found in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan”. “Intelligence without experience is wonderful, but it is experience that wins these fights, and that plays out with Kirk and Khan.”

Another of its chapters focuses on the 1968 film “Planet of the Apes”.

“I was just going to write about how it was a contemplation of that late ’60s era. But it turned into a reflection of class society instead of how screenwriter Rod Serling incorporated his own personal life experiences in the film’s script while growing up in the face of anti-Semitism, ”he said.

The book has contributors who represent some of the best writers in the genre.

Best-selling author Max Brooks (“World War Z”) composes “Romulans and Remans,” a futuristic examination of desegregation that uses the Romulan War as a metaphor for the return of the Tuskegee airmen to their homes.

Leonard also cites the chapter “Space Battleship Yamato and the Burden of Command” by August Cole (“Ghost Fleet”) as an example of a more obscure sci-fi property that generates provocative material.

“August has a beautifully written chapter that deals with what happens when you’re on an impossible mission, you’ve got the unlikely crew, and things are against you. How do you put it all together to find success? ” he said.

Craig and Steve Whiteside tap into the cultural zeitgeist with a chapter about “The Stand” by Stephen King.

“It is examining the emergence of a pandemic, which could not be more timely,” Leonard said. “There was no intention to produce an article on how to get through COVID-19 because we started this project before the pandemic. But it becomes a perfect chapter which is especially relevant now that the Delta variant is gaining a foothold. “

Leonard is not the only contributor to KU. Kelsey Cipolla, Communications Coordinator at the School of Business, provides insight into the challenges facing women in positions of power by analyzing the divergent views of Vice Admiral Holdo and Poe Dameron from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi “.

Now in his seventh year at KU, Leonard has provided chapters to the books “Strategy Strikes Back: How ‘Star Wars’ Explains Modern Military Conflict” (Potomac Books, 2018) and “Winning Westeros: How ‘Game of Thrones’ Explains Modern Military Conflit “(Potomac Books, 2019). He is co-editor of” Why We Write: Craft Essays on Writing War “(Middle West Press, 2019). He is also the creative force behind the subversive web comic” Doctrine Man !! “and its four collected volumes.

“’To Boldly Go’ sums up things I had worked on in previous anthologies. We had more science fiction to draw from, not just “Star Wars” or “Game of Thrones”. We could open wide, then bring in more people from more diverse backgrounds for a better and more complete perspective, ”he said.

As Australian Army Major General Mick Ryan describes in the book’s foreword, “science fiction provides a telescope into the future, a mechanism for thinking about future challenges.”

Leonard said, “There’s a series of posts here that allow us to use science fiction in a way that we talk about really important and topical topics. We see the role of leadership in times of crisis – and it is a time of crisis. “


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Science-Fiction – Daily Times

Frank Herbert was a prolific science fiction writer who wrote “Dune” in 1965, a genre classic that sold a record number of copies.

Science fiction is an American strong point. Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon in 1964 and said it was “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

NASA had attempted the impossible and succeeded. Intoxicated with the rush, the American nation was ready for the next stage in mankind’s existence. Science fiction was a natural consequence of this euphoric action spirit that literally aimed for the stars. Dune had the perfect timing.

This month, the latest film version of Dune came out with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Almost six decades after being written, Dune remains relevant today as science fiction is currently the most popular genre in Hollywood. Science fiction is a genre where movies serve as a platform to raise philosophical questions about the future of the human race. Movies like Dune, Avatar, and others reflect on the long-term survival of the human species, ecology, social ecology, the intersection of religion, politics, economics and power, etc. These questions arise in a future where humanity has long developed interstellars. travel and encounter other life forms, including smarter ones.

A wise woman in the Dune universe makes a profound statement.

The old woman said, “The world is supported by four things: learning from the wise; the justice of the great; the prayers of the righteous; and the value of the brave. But all this is nothing without a leader who knows the art of government. “

I could not help but apply these words to our country, Pakistan.

Pakistan is a nation of the wise, the righteous and the courageous. The missing link is justice.

Learning from the wise confirmed our sovereignty when scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer, diplomat Agha Shahi, bureaucrat IH Hussaini and many others came together to make Pakistan a nuclear power. Being part of the nuclear club gave us a distinct status on the Committee of Nations and signaled our preparation for a coup for a hostile country.

Learning from the wise ensured our survival during the current Covid-19 pandemic when we were able to flatten the curve of the first wave and subsequent waves. Our neighbor to the east is tragically faced with an uncontrollable situation, where the number of deaths is alarming.

The prayers of the righteous may very well be our saving grace. There is no shortage of people in Pakistan who live in difficult conditions but act nobly, honorably and chivalrously. We even hear of the noble character of famous people in show business – an area otherwise known for vanity – whose righteousness is revealed by others after they pass away. Moin Akhtar, Tariq Aziz and Sultan Rahi are some of the names that come to mind. Then there are the obvious names such as Dr Adeeb Rizvi and the late Abdus Sattar Edhi to name a few.

Hardly any nation on earth can match the worth of Pakistani Bravehearts in the military. We have been waging an unconventional and very dangerous war since 2001, where the enemy was well equipped, pathologically motivated and well established. A tribute to our armed forces, whose heroism, perseverance and immense sacrifice defeated an enemy who threatened our very existence.

The justice of the great has been our Achilles heel. We are an unjust nation. There is no delivery of justice, thanks to the colonial relic that is our legal system. This lack of justice is the straitjacket that weighs on us and keeps us stuck in a sorry state. To give an example, Pakistani law does not contain any provision that directly addresses medical malpractice, the only remedy is Tort law.

There is nothing more demoralizing than not having recourse to justice in the event of harm.

Pakistan is a nation of the wise, the righteous and the courageous. The missing link is justice.

Justice can only be obtained by the ruler who possesses sight beyond the sight promised to the true believer, when Allah (mighty and sublime) has said: “. When I love him (my servant), I am his. hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. [something] of Me, I would surely give it to him ”.

(Hadith Qudsi 25)

Hadith Qudsi is not the words of the Prophet (pbuh). These are the word for word words of Allah, spoken by Muhammad (pbuh). Allah (SWT) tells us how right action intuitively comes right. Such a person can internalize the attributes of which Allah SWT is the source. This is how a truly righteous man can be wise because Allah the Al-Hakeem is the source of wisdom; be just as Allah al-Adl is the source of justice, be generous as Allah al-Kareem is the source of generosity; and be benevolent for Allah the Ar-Raheem is the source of benevolence.

The purer the nafs (soul), the more noble thoughts and actions.

Umar bin Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) was all because he had purified her soul and firmly rejected what was base in her. He rejected the trappings of this material and ephemeral world, living ascetically. His proclaimed aspiration was to heed before Allah realizes it. He won the pleasure of Allah SWT by always paying attention to Him.

Umar bin Khattab has shown the way. The art of government is to follow in your footsteps.

The writer is an independent researcher, author and columnist. She can be reached at aliya1924@gmail.com



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The bionic man was science fiction; the bionic hand is not

Many people associate bionics with a 1970s sci-fi television series The Six Million Dollar Man. serves as an intelligence agent ”). This is no longer science fiction:

According to the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago, about 100,000 Americans – and 10 million people worldwide – are missing a hand.

The award-winning Ability hand shown in the video, produced by Psyonic, a startup based in Champaign, Ill., Is a helpful illustration of how far prosthetics have come with electronic and internet technology.

Representative of a new generation of prostheses, it is both electronic and compatible with the Internet: it charges in about an hour and the charge lasts all day. It is Bluetooth compatible in order to download new software to refine the grip and the functionality of the fingers. It can even charge a cell phone.

Adel Akhtar

The face behind Psyonic Ability’s hand is American neuroscientist and computer engineer Adeel Akhtar, whose motivation is, in part, personal:

The idea for PSYONIC began at the age of seven. It was during this time that I was visiting Pakistan, where my parents are from, and this is the first time I meet someone or the difference in members. She was my age, she was missing her right leg and used a tree branch as a crutch. This is what made me want to get into this field.

Then we realized that we had similar problems back home in the United States. When I was a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I met a retired U.S. Army sergeant from the area who lost his hand in Iraq in 2005 due to a roadside bomb, Sergeant Garrett Anderson. He uses a hook daily so we wanted to upgrade him to the 21st century. Since then, we have been building the competence hand. We tested it in Ecuador, we have a patient there with whom we are working. It has been quite a journey.

Fourth Revolution Prize, “Psyonic wins accolades as its bionic hand prepares for national launch” at MHUB Chicago (December 2, 2020)

Elsewhere, Akhtar shared, regarding the girl in Pakistan,

At the time, he wondered how they could share the same ethnic heritage but have such different qualities of life. As he grew older, he realized that this was due to a lack of resources. For this reason, he founded and is the CEO of PSYONIC, a company whose mission is to develop advanced prosthetics that are affordable for all.

His ability hand can move all five fingers quickly and provides sensory feedback (a sense of touch), which is a significant advance in terms of utility. But, for high-tech prosthetics to truly improve the lives of most amputees, affordability is key:

In order to reduce costs but improve durability, Psyonic chose to 3D print the molds but use low cost rubbers and silicones to create the fingers and joints.

The result was a resilient hand at a price low enough that Medicare had it covered, which was a priority. By getting the Ability Hand covered by Medicare, Psyonic has expanded access to 75% of people with upper limb differences in the United States, Akhtar said.

Alexia Elejalde Ruiz, “Psyonic wins accolades as its bionic hand prepares for national launch” at Polsky Center (August 20, 2021)

It also requires a lot of commitment from the patient. Akhtar speaks of a patient, a former soldier in Ecuador who had lost his hand years earlier due to machine gun fire:

The team outfitted the man with a first iteration of his prosthesis, a clunky device three times the size of a human hand, and retrained his brain to perform basic tasks like pinching. The cheerful man “felt like he had come back,” Akhtar said.

“If we just stay in academia, it ends up in a journal,” Akhtar recalls. “We want everyone to feel what he did.”

Alexia Elejalde Ruiz, “Psyonic wins accolades as its bionic hand prepares for national launch” at Polsky Center (August 20, 2021)

But the costs must then fall further and subsidies will no doubt be necessary. As Elejalde-Ruiz notes in the Polsky Center article, “80% of limb amputations occur in developing countries, but only 3% of people have access to affordable prostheses.”

It’s not just the device itself; surgery is usually required to shape the stump and the user should work with a qualified prosthetist over the long term to ensure that the device performs well on a daily basis. These are challenges that Akhtar and others are eager to try to overcome.

To note: Here are some other bionic hands and how they work. The general information site warns, of course, that “bionic hands are impressive feats of engineering, but they are much simpler than natural hands. In some respect, it doesn’t really matter as they can still perform a wide variety of tasks as shown in this video. “However, don’t expect them to match natural hand dexterity. A better way to assess a bionic hand is its usefulness, which is primarily determined by its user control system.


You can also read:

Prosthetic hand controlled by thoughts alone? It’s here. Decades ago, no one could control a prosthesis just by thinking. There is plenty of room for the field to grow further. (2020)

The new mind-controlled robotic arm doesn’t need a brain implant. The thought-controlled device could help people with movement disorders control the devices without the costs and risks of surgery. (2019)

High technology can help blind people see and amputees feel. It is not a miracle; the human nervous system can function with electronic information. (2019)


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