As a race we are compulsive toolmakers, we come across something that is difficult to do with our bare hands so we manufacture a tool that can make the task easier. Because it is something we do collectively as a species we incorporate it into our visual entertainments. Our on screen heroes have tools of their own with which they conquer space, fight the forces of evil or save the world. Though we may know that the actual technology that created or powered that tool may not actually exist it doesn’t stop us believing in it, and hoping too that one day they will really come to be. Things fall down a bit though when we realise that the science that these gadgets are based on is flawed so that the technology could never possibly exist. Sometimes Hollywood science just doesn’t make any sense.
Computers with Sentience
It all started with 2001 A Space Odyssey, and the HAL 9000. It was apparently, as computers go, this one was the utmost in reliability, never having miscalculated anything or given false information of any kind. The key words being ‘foolproof’ and ‘could not possibly go wrong’. It’s funny how all of the major mishaps in the movies come when nothing could possibly go wrong. Not only did HAL cheat at chess, he was also messed up emotionally. He informs the crew of the ship that there is a malfunction yet the crew cannot find one. HAL’s reliability is called into question and the decision is made to turn him off. HAL is a closet eavesdropper, clearly unstable and decides to eliminate the crew. If you are going to give a computer a personality, why give it a flawed one? The same thing happened with KITT in Knightrider, all the features that would make James Bond drool, but with a personality of an old man with an axe to grind, if left to run KITT could quite possibly have gone the same way as HAL.
The Batwing is the ultimate in stealth fighters, it has guns, rocket launchers and just about every gadget and knick-knack that a crime fighter could need. Although Batman will not fire a handgun at anyone he seems to have no problem with launching missiles in their direction, or having guns attached to any of his vehicles. If you watched the first Batman film with Val Kilmer pitting wits against a wonderfully mad Jack Nicholson, you will notice a couple of flaws in the design of this crime fighting vehicle. Firstly the targeting system seems to be wholly inaccurate if not useless, with the Joker clearly in his sights he still manages to miss in what has to be a perfect targeting scenario. Something seems to be flawed with the it’s armour plating too, for as hard and indestructible as it looks it was taken out by a single shot from what can only be described as the Joker’s joke style gun, which probably would be totally implausible in a real world scenario.
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