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Danny Bednar dbednar@uwo.ca Office: SSC 2410 Office hours: Thursdays after class or by appointment PowerPoint Presentation
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Danny Bednar dbednar@uwo.ca Office: SSC 2410 Office hours: Thursdays after class or by appointment

Danny Bednar dbednar@uwo.ca Office: SSC 2410 Office hours: Thursdays after class or by appointment

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Danny Bednar dbednar@uwo.ca Office: SSC 2410 Office hours: Thursdays after class or by appointment

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  1. Danny Bednar • dbednar@uwo.ca • Office: SSC 2410 • Office hours: Thursdays after class or by appointment

  2. What will be on Test 3? • Lectures 8,9 and 10 • Anything written on the course website or said by a lecturer in class • Videos are SUPPLEMENTARY to help understand, but will not be directly referenced in questions • Some links are testable, especially if they are looked through during class on the projector. • Test format will be short answer

  3. Tuesday November 1st, 2012 Space in Popular Culture

  4. This Presentation is complimentary to the GEOG 2090 lecture 9b “space in culture, science fiction” • http://instruct.uwo.ca/geog/136a/lec9b.htm

  5. Space Culture in the 18th and early 19th century • Hard to imagine in some ways, but understanding of space before the 1960’s was very limited • The ideas that there could be advanced life on Mars or even Earth’s Moon were presented in very different contexts than they are today • http://www.lit4lib.sky7.us/luciansa.html • http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/archive/permalink/the_great_moon_hoax • http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/06/0617_050617_warworlds.html

  6. Space as Frontier • Numerous authors in both popular culture and academia have discussed the notion of space as a continuing frontier in place of new areas on Earth to discover; • The idea of the frontier was especially prominent in United States history and continued into the Space Age • http://archive.spacefrontier.org/Policies/frontieragenda.html

  7. Space, the Frontier and Star Trek • The quotes “Space…the final frontier” and “where no man [sic] has gone before” from the famous opening monologue during the credits of Star Trek have become culturally significant quotations in North American and European Culture • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2gPUabIqQQ • A large portion of the world’s familiarity with space exploration’s concepts and its challenges likely come from popular culture properties like Star Trek. • Star Trek interacts with real science through things like the X-prize’s “tricorder challenge” • http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/quirks-quarks-blog/2012/01/star-trek-tricorder-challenge.html

  8. Evolution of Space as ‘Frontier’ • In the 1970’s images of the whole Earth taken from space become symbols of environmental movements and new cultural understandings of human history and the frailty of Earth • http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/wallpaper/photography/photos/milestones-space-photography/earth-full-view/ • Within this movement, exploring the new frontier of space allowed us to reevaluate our place in the Universe (see Carl Sagan’s Cosmos) • The idea ofspace as a frontier began to grow in the business and scientific community as the finite nature of Earth’s resources gained popular discussion • Current business approaches to space rely heavily on the discourse of space as a new frontier • http://www.ctvnews.ca/billionaires-want-to-open-new-mining-frontier-asteroids-1.800490

  9. Space as Unknown • Culturally, space has commonly represented the unknown and the strange; much as the open Seas and deep ocean once did (still do) • Super market tabloids have traditionally relied on space to present some of the most outlandish and strange fictional tales which grab readers’ attention. • http://weeklyworldnews.com/

  10. Space Literature • Space has been most prominent in literature in ‘Science-Fiction’ • Landmark science fiction writers include Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Phillip K. Dyke, Frank Herbert, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlien, and Isaac Asimov • Before much was known abut Earth's neighborhood, space provided early 20th Century writers good settings for strange and provocative stories. • This early period of space culture was commonly used to make social commentaries on things such as religion, race and war

  11. Space Music • Musicians have used space to illicit existential messages, environmental messages and themes related to either the advancement or downfall of human kind. • Daivd Bowie’s “Space Oddity” is one of the most famous space themed singles in music history. It uses space travel as a means to discuss various themes including the desolate nature of space, loneliness and technology. • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D67kmFzSh_o

  12. The First ‘Sci-Fi’ Film • The first science-fiction film was space themed • 1902- Voyage Dans La Lune: considered by many to be the first science-fiction movie. Inspired by earlier literary work by Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. • http://www.filmsite.org/voya.html

  13. Space and Film • Numerous themes have been explored in films where space exploration is the mainsetting. • http://www.hobbyspace.com/Movies/index.html#SpaceMovies • Because of the visual spectacle which space provides, films have played a large role in fostering some of the more prominent discourses and imagery that surround space exploration in our society. • Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey has specifically been often discussed for its application to various political-philosophical themes • http://www.palantir.net/2001/meanings.html

  14. Space in Film: Ominous Visitors

  15. Space in Film: Isolation/Terror

  16. Space in Film: True Stories

  17. Space in Film: Doom, Gloom and Human Nature (and Metaphors)

  18. Space in Film: Bad Science

  19. Distinguishing Science and SCI-FI • Some movies (like the Carl Sagan written ‘Contact’) work to portray science and scientists in a somewhat accurate manner, despite relying on story-necessary leaps in technology or plausibility (hence science-FICTION). • Others do not • http://listverse.com/2007/11/23/top-10-errors-in-science-fiction-movies/ • http://www.everythingaction.com/2011/01/07/nasas-most-scientifically-accurate-and-inaccurate-movies/

  20. Conclusion: Space Culture as Important • Space exploration exists as a concept of one form or another to practically everyone • Before taking this class you may have had your own assumptions about what space exploration was • Often what drives geographers, engineers, physicists or geologists among others to study space is their connection to it through popular-culture • There are interesting connections between space as it is studied by scientists and academics and the space that is presented in television, literature and film

  21. Conclusion: Space Culture as Important • Space discourse reflects some of humanities biggest challenges and hopes for the future (environmental, economic, scientific, philosophical, and political,) • http://fwb.home.xs4all.nl/rgbmars.html • Some of the biggest questions facing humanity look towards space exploration for answers (Are we alone? How did it all start?) • Space culture is used to honor and maintain our history (Roman and Greek names for planets, craters named after scientists and authors etc…) • Space influences art http://iaaa.org/ • Defining moments of human history have been related to space exploration: Galileo and Copernicus’ ideas of Heliocentrism, the launch of Sputnik and the televised broad cast of the Apollo 11 landing • http://history.nasa.gov/sp4801-chapter4.pdf • http://www.worldpicturejournal.com/WP_7/PDFs/Engell.pdf

  22. Space and Conspiracies

  23. Space and Conspiracies • One of the more prominent ways space exploration is discussed in popular culture is through conspiracies related to it • This is commonly related to the ‘unknown’ and ‘mysterious’ discourses of space mentioned earlier

  24. Apollo Moon Conspiracy • Assumes that the Apollo 11 and subsequent missions to land on the Moon were filmed in a studio; commonly ‘Area 51’ • Suggests that the incentive to fake the landing existed, implies Nixon Administration was head of conspiracy efforts • Often claim that technology did not, and even still does not, exist that could successfully land humans on the Moon • Points to apparent inconsistencies with moon landing evidence • Photographs • Footage • Lack of continued travel

  25. Apollo Moon Conspiracy • Numerous sources exist to both be exposed to these claims as well as to refute and de-bunk them • http://www.ufos-aliens.co.uk/cosmicapollo.html • Scientists, Social Scientists, independent researchers and various government agencies have all provided material which debunks these hoax ideas • http://www.badastronomy.com/index.html • http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/4279691 • http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/truth-behind-moon-landings/ • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5MUv7QkMmA&feature=related • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz7cUP4o-ZQ • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWZ_LCnkE7A

  26. Moon Conspiracy De-Bunking • “Ask the Russians” – Buzz Aldrin • During the Cold War both the US and USSR were aware that there were enemy spies throughout their governments • Information about the progress of the Apollo mission, as well as other classified material constantly found its way to the USSR • This would likely have compromised any attempt to fake a Moon landing

  27. Moon Conspiracy De-Bunking • “it would have been harder than actually going to the Moon” – James Longuski, Department of Aeronautics, Purdue University • The conspiracy implies that thousands of involved individuals were either fooled or complaisant with the hoax • This is generally a reverse understanding of Government competence. Communication vs. Technical Skill and Resources

  28. Moon Conspiracy De-Bunking • Not a necessarily difficult task to go back, but an expensive and unsupported one • Once the SIX Apollo missions were finished the political incentive fund more missions tothe Moon dwindled as ratings fell dramatically for missions 3-6 and the Cold War cooled down • http://www.hq.nasa.gov/pao/History/SP-4204/ch22-8.html • To revisit the Moon in the 1980s, 1990s or beyond would have required billions of dollars to restart the program and create new infrastructure up to par with advances intechnology • NASA has received continuous cuts. • The Apollo program cost approximately $25 billion in 1969, over $100 billion in 2012 Dollars • http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/cost-of-apollo-program • The Cold War and Space Race were very unique situations in American political discourse and economic circumstance

  29. Moon Conspiracy De-Bunking • Either Humans have been on the Moon, or it is made out of mirrors • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmVxSFnjYCA

  30. Conspiracies • Why do people still believe? • Psychologists and other academics have provided many explanations for peoples propensity to accept conspiracies • 2011 Darwin et al. - Belief in Conspiracy Theories, the Role of Paranoid Belief, Paranoid Ideation and Schizotopy • 2011 Newhieser et al. - The Functional Nature of Conspiracy Beliefs – Examining the Underpinnings of Belief in the Da Vinci Code conspiracy • 2011 Kay - Show me the Birth Certificate – Conspiracism in the Age of Obama • 2012 Swami et al. – Lunar Lies – The Impact of Informational Framing and Individual Differences in Shaping Conspiracy Beliefs about the Moon Landings • 2012 Wood et al. – Dead or Alive – Belief in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories • THESE ARTICLES WILL NOT BE DIRECTLY REFRENCED IN A TEST QUESTION!!!!!!

  31. Conspiracies • Some reasons the research indicates Moon conspiracies (and others) continue to fester • Impossible burdens of proof • Confirmation bias (self-fulfilling information) • Helplessness • Over-Saturation of Information and Lie Resonance • Hyper-Criticism • Assumption of Hyper-Competence • Need for answers within existing concepts and lack of necessary understanding towards new concepts (Van Allen Belts) • False Cause and Effect • The Assumption of Major Events having ‘major causes’ • Framing oneself as ‘the wise contrarian’, ‘crusader of truth’ • Lack of understanding of ‘reality’ and ‘proof’, (paranoia) • Inconsequential nature of “theories”

  32. Finally…

  33. The ‘Face on Mars’ • http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast24may_1/ • Pareidolia