11 July 2011

Evolution and history

Finished reading Brooke Gladstone's graphic novel (graphic essay?) The Influencing Machine. In one section, she surveys the various ideas about how our tools change us. Early humans may have begun walking upright after using tools because tools required their hands to be available. This pairs with the fact that predictions of the Internet dumbing us down or isolating us have been, so far, completely wrong. And since 2004, reading books has increased. Ultimately, BG feels that we are evolving to be more adapted to high data stimulation. (She also takes a nice dig at Apple: Any company that offers cool devices--but bans applications that might offend some users--stand in the way of evolution. Worrying about offending people drags us back to the lowest common denominator.)

Watched X-Men: First Class [ 3/5 | IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes ] on Friday (sadly missing Run Lola Run at the midnight movie, yet still staying out till 3 AM). In it, the first group of mutants--Magneto and Xavier, et al.--are integral in both causing and resolving the Cuban missile crisis. When evolution is discussed, it's presented in terms of its binary opposites replacement (H. sapiens v. Neanderthals) and modification (quadrupedal to upright) respectively. Media fear mongers are Magneto; Brooke Gladstone is Xavier.

I haven't and probably won't see the last Transformers. The second one was enough pain for one lifetime. However, I was intrigued that it and X-M:FC share a main theme of hidden history: Transformers using the moon landing as a focal point. This is an unlikely example of screenwriter cross-pollination.

[ posted by sstrader on 11 July 2011 at 7:06:33 PM in Cinema , Culture & Society ]