Saturday, February 13, 2010

Setting Up For a Letdown

I like the movie, Pulp Fiction, but there's one thing I can think of that would improve it. For the two or three of you who haven't seen it, one of the MacGuffins is a briefcase that contains something unrevealed, and shines orange light onto the people who look inside. The improvement I have in mind: They should have left the lightbulb out of the briefcase.

Without the lightbulb, we could interpret the briefcase's contents as "anything." With the lightbulb, our choices narrow down quite rapidly to little more than "something most people would call supernatural." One of the resulting dominant theories I've heard seems a little too obvious: Marcellus Wallace's soul, thus the 'miracle' that saved Travolta and Jackson's characters was God intervening to make sure they save his soul.

It feels too restrictive to me. And I think that feeling carries over to real life science mysteries: Woos so often seem to love restricting the answer to what our limited imaginations can come up with. Science is liberating because reality isn't restricted to our imaginations. How does consciousness operate? The answer of "the soul" is restrictive and unsatisfying. Many soul hypotheses are little more than the process of ad hocking away the evidence, instead of making predictions and daring to risk being wrong. Being wrong is not something to be ashamed of in science. Every experiment scientists conduct is an act of bravery and humility: The results may not be to your liking because the universe does not exist to conform to your desires. Every scientifically-minded person knows that, and welcomes the opportunity to be surprised.

3 comments:

Tom Foss said...

I don't know, I think the more entertaining theory is that it's the Oscar Tarantino wanted to win.

Gabriel said...

Your blog seems quite dead without me challenging your pre-concieved views, very interesting indeed.

Regarding the movie Pulp Fiction, I find it rather good, it would have been better if that nigger actor was changed to some better, but I uess it could be because Tarantino want a black audiance as well as it gives more money. The negro community is extremely racist as you probably are not aware of, black woman are seen as whores and most of their friends (black) distance themselves from a negro woman having sex with a white man, this white man racism is bullshit spread by the jews, they are as racist as anyone else, MORE SO if you look at the negros in America.

Anyway, I think he put that negro guy (he was in the starwars movie as well dont know his name) and the negro boss guy to get some positive publicity for not being a soley "white movie".

The suitcase has been said to be alot of things, everything from the negro guys soul (which he wouldn-t have as he is a negro) to an Oscar, I do not really care, it was a good movie other then the obvious bad negro actors.

Bronze Dog said...

Gabe: Your blog seems quite dead without me challenging your pre-concieved views, very interesting indeed.

Yeah, because we all know that there's no such thing as college, other hobbies, or anything beyond this blog that I could be spending time on. Gabriel knows this because he's memorized his television stereotypes. Praise the boob tube!

Re: Samuel L. Jackson. The movie's pretty well into the pulp category. It's in the title. It's dipping its toe into the "blacksploitation" category, which I think is perfectly fine if it's aware of it. This was a movie for fun, not serious drama.

Black souls: Why wouldn't they have them? Of course, I'm rather confident souls don't exist as anything other than poetic metaphors for a person's mind, but I'm curious as to how you know this.

This superstitious thinking does seem to fit with your implicit view that race is a magical, metaphysical thing instead of a real, genetic thing.