This week we welcome Sean back from vacation and catch up on the re-watch. Highlights: we review the Pegasus’s CAG lineage, discuss basestar design and Cylon computer UI, wonder about the actual heritage of the fleet, speculate regarding how Cylon downloading works, clarify the concept of religious reality in the BSG universe a bit, discuss Baltar’s motives in fragging Crashdown, expound upon the concepts of leadership (and lack of it on all levels in the re-watch current BSG world), and mention the upcoming GWC meetups in Dallas and Philly.
The opening to “Resistance” where the Tigh is interrogatuing the Chief saying “Cylons have to rights” and the Cheif responding “I’m not a Cylon”..
Did anyone else kinda go “Ummmmm—yeah, about that. Funny story…true story! Turns out….yeeeaaahhhh….”
Lovin’ the ‘casts….
The opening to “Resistance” where the Tigh is interrogatuing the Chief saying “Cylons have no rights” and the Chief responding “I’m not a Cylon”..
Did anyone else kinda go “Ummmmm—yeah, about that. Funny story…true story! Turns out….yeeeaaahhhh….”
Lovin’ the ‘casts….
sorry about the double posts (hiding head in shame) :-/
umm just read the one that’s been spell checked LOL
Great podcast as usual guys!
Second part of the Ronald D. Moore interview on season 4, Richard Hatch, Razor, BSG in comics and… more BSG tv movies?
Thanks for the link(s), Yorick. I’ve really enjoyed those articles (and I’m sure I’m not the only one). 🙂
Excellent pull, Yorick!!
Interesting tidbits in these interviews indeed. So, which part of the Galactica universe would you like to be visited next after ‘Razor’ if they manage to sell a googolplex of DVDs of ‘Razor’? Starbuck and Apollo at the academy? The First Cylon War? Tom Zarek’s actions leading to his imprisonment? Boxey’s early years? There are actually quite a lof of interesting possibilities when you think about it… we should have a poll 😉
I figured i’d take a stab at the downloading mechanics topic for my first post
For the actual downloading process, and for the cylon community, i think there are a set amount of conscious minds(for this example i will use the sharon model, and say there’s 10 unique minds) that are in a way, freefloating, not tied to a body in any way other than they use the sharon model, who transfer when necessary to a new body carrying their unique experiences. When a new consciousness is created, perhaps they tap into a
universal cylon database that they draw select information from, most likely the cylon basics, such as how their technology is used, and some other utility information. They then either create a unique personality through some method, or choose some memories, and let a personality evolve out of them, creating a brand new, completely unique conscious mind
As far as memory sharing, I can see two explanations, one is that they periodically “upload” their memories and experiences to a primary cylon database, this would explain athena knowing information about starbuck, apollo, etc. while they were on caprica, before boomer had been killed and downloaded. Another explanation may be that the cylon psyche’s
that they program to be disguised as humans(boomer season 1) have a sort of back door that the cylon collective can access at regular intervals, and withdraw information and memories, this would also explain athena’s knowledge of the galactica community in season one, and it also provides that all important trigger which was activated to shoot adama, as
if they made a door to draw information from, it makes sense that they would allow information to be put in that same way. Of course a third option is that it isnt a definable technology, and it provided purely for plot purposes.
Some other arguments people may have would such that the cylons have a nonstop streaming collective conscience(or at least one for each model), of course this whole theory is refuted by the fact that current day athena(assuming she is truly aiding the humans) has no idea what is going on with the rest of the cylons, as well as the way the cylons as
a whole interacted on new caprica, if they all streamed their conscience into a unified pool, and they could tap that knowledge constantly, they wouldnt have debates, or at least not out loud. Also some may say that memories could be transferred to a single source upon download, which can again be tapped by all cylons at all times, however this is not probable, as athena knew details about galactica before boomer downloaded, and remember,
boomer had been a cylon the whole time, her past was created to give her a reality to her fellow crewmembers aboard her station, since boomer was created that long ago, the cylons couldn’t have known such detailed information about galactica upon her creation.
there’s my idea on how cylon downloading and information aspects work, if anybody has solid evidence refuting one of my ideas, i look forward to hearing it.
While im posting, im not sure if this is the right place or not, but i also have a
theory/question for everyone out there who might still be reading this reply.
How can the Cylon’s enormous technological advantage be explained?
the first cylon war was around 50 years before the massacre of the colonies, at that time the cylons, who were created by humans, had gained a conscious mind, and rebelled against their slavery. During that war the cylons had only themselves and the current technology of the colonists to use, and as they had been enslaved up until the point of rebellion, they
wouldn’t have had the opportunity to develop their own advanced technology.
anyways, the war ended, the cylons fled, and now 50 years later, the cylons who had the same exact technological advancement as the colonists 50 years earlier, suddenly have outpaced the colonists dramatically, to name a few advances, their FTL drives are much stronger (remember kara’s jump to caprica in the cylon raider), their computer technology is much more advanced(when the galactica computers are networked to calculate a quick FTL jump, the cylon computers smashed through their firewalls at an amazing pace), AND, they have almost perfectly replicated not only the physical makeup, but also the mental design of humans. these advances are enormous, and i feel are hard to explain over the course of only 50
years of solitary development.
my personal theory is they were contacted by a third party (earthlings?) who taught the oldschool toasters how to replicate humans, and other technological advances.
Anyways, i’d love to hear everyones ideas and thoughts. Love the podcast, keep it up. sorry for my lengthy post
sorry about some of the format, wrote it on notepad and had to reformat to post it here, some of the messups got by me ^^;;
This started as just a couple of things, but ended up being about a chapter, sorry in advance for the long post.
I was thinking about what the water/goo does for the cylons when they want to interact with their technology (computer systems and resurrection vats).
The goo is best thought of, in the same way goo is used in medical tests like an Echo cardiogram or sonogram, it enhances the conduction of the signal… you could say it acts as a goobricant.
About downloading, I like Locke’s idea. I seem to remember (when I say remember, it is perfectly possible that I mean MADE UP, since I don’t remember the details) at some point in the series one of the female cylons, maybe Sharon that explained partly how downloading worked, which seemed to explain the whole Athena having Boomer’s memories of Starbuck before Boomer was killed and Athena was still on Caprica. The idea was that a cylon could interface with a computer (maybe connect via a basestar’s 802.11CYLON wireless internets, remember the cylon wireless internets trying to break through Gaeta’s firewalls?) and upload some important info to the other members of the same cylon line (say Boomer sending out memories to other copies of Sharon in download range (does cylon wifi = CyFi? Does Tigh have his own TighFi connection which replaces “You’ve Got Mail” with “CRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAPP”?), which she could have done just before she woke up SOAKING wet after stealing explosives from the small arms locker and she didn’t remember what she had done back in season 1 (I don’t think it was explained in such a way to conflict with questions of “why don’t cylons just upload data like enemy troop positions until after they are killed and ALL memories are then downloaded?”). I also think that once models realize they are cylons, they can choose NOT to upload/download data back and forth from other models (maybe this is what Athena did after she pledged her allegiance with Adama and the colonial fleet).
I always thought of downloaded memories from particular models was analogous to Microsoft sending out a patch for Windows users with Automatic Updates fully enabled on all machines… an update like Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA). Not everyone who downloads WGA thinks it was such a great update for the system, but the patch was created in such a way that it cannot be easily uninstalled once it has been loaded into the computer. In this scenario, Boomer (or Dianna) would be Microsoft, her memories of Starbuck (or desire to see the final 5 cylons) would be WGA and all copies of Sharon (or Dianna) would be the computers that receive the WGA patch.
Not remembering the true history of their origins, like Kobol is the same problem Firefly has with Earth-that-was. Simon remembers ancient Egypt’s liquid bread beer from history class and how similar it was to Mudder’s Milk (like the knowledge of ship technology you talked about in the podcast), but no one else remembers anything about Earth-that-was (like when Saffron asked Wash if he knew the story about the origins of Earth-that-was) other than they had to get the fraaaakk off the planet.
Even in our society, we really only remember history as well as our record keeping allowed at the time. We only “remember” the events that were written down, we know about things like Jesus’ life or the sacking of the city of Troy from books like the new testament and Greek mythology like the Iliad, but just because these events were written, doesn’t make them true, like the scriptures that talk about Kobol, while the skulls Baltar found on Kobol and the “history lessons” head Six gave him don’t match up with that scripture history.
We have seen that religion is pretty real in BSG, but maybe the people who wrote about Kobol in the scriptures were also Hands of God, like Baltar, who tell truth and are important in God’s plan, but still make lies of omission for whatever the purpose.
quote from the interview:
MOORE: There will definitely be things in the Cylon world. In fact there will be some significant if not Earth-shattering changes that are going to be happening this season.
Earth-shattering? Was that used in the colloquial sense or maybe an intentional allusion to an actual event? Or have I been rendered paranoid by his past teases? Hmm…
Welcome to the ‘Cooler, Dave and Locke!
Oh my Gods, “TighFi.” I have died and gone to heaven……Master1228, I bow to you oh wise and funny one.
Ok, my question about how the Cylons developed skin jobs has been – where did they get the first skin, blood, dna, etc. samples? Were they from prisoners or human soldiers who died in the first Cylon war? OMG – did I just hit on something there???? Kara’s mom – Socrata – a sample is taken from her during that time – Starbuck-like models are created, or her essense (for lack of a better word) becomes part of the Cylon gene pool. Kara is linked to them in a “theory of non-locality” kind of way……
Master1228 rules! “Goobricant”. hahahahahahaha
No wonder 6 is always horny. Plenty of goobricant.
Earth-shattering? Was that used in the colloquial sense or maybe an intentional allusion to an actual event? Or have I been rendered paranoid by his past teases? Hmmâ€¦
Thats funny. Your not paranoid. He is out to get you. We all are here at GWC. FRom what we discussed at the last meeting, we’ve decided you should listen to the voice in your head. I guess that would be “Head Spin”. I got those when I drank too much in college…
Audra – the “movie” is Shrek 2 (he drinks the water – “excellent soup, Mrs. Q”). I’m sure it’s happened in other movies, but that’s the one that popped into my head.
about a comment mentioned in the podcast:
you thought the naked Tigh Chi is a bad image?? how about the last two eps of Adama’s furry doughnuts around his nipples? i mean really! look at him on the operating cot…. why didnt they shave that man before sugery?? lol.
got the “suicidal” song ref…
top 40 man, top 40–doesn’t anyone listen?? LOL.
The singer was indeed “The Fair Melissa” aka Melissa. She really should only post as “The Fair…”.
Sean, does she have a sexy voice or what?
Maybe other GWC fans can chime in on this. The males at least!
Sean looking like that pic of “young Adama”: I swear that was my joke!
Being a very Irish-man myself, I’m lucky my English/German side allows me to grow a goatee. My very Irish bestfriend once grew a hairy worm under his nose. He wil never let that down! I tried to warn him it wasnt working…
Audra asked about Jung and his archetypes:
The archetypes in man’s collective unconscious was Jung’s greatest achievement after his learnings from Freud. The idea of the Hero, wise old man and earth mother are common themes throughout world mythology. Almost every religion has them.
a very quick explanation is here (for non-lit or psychology majors):
Thebest thing ever written on Jung’s archetypes is by Joseph Campbell. He writes about the archetypes in mythology, etc. I heard the “books on tape” version back in 90 or 91 when I was in college. This book is ABSOFRAKKINLUTELY AMAZING:
Power of Myth book
I am not plugging Amazon.com. “Power of Myth” is such a great book for GWC fans!
If people want the archetypes fed to them quickly, here is a great link. It shows them a la Star Wars (77-83) and The Matrix.
compared to Star Wars:
In 1949 Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) made a big splash in the field of mythology with his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces. This book built on the pioneering work of German anthropologist Adolph Bastian (1826-1905), who first proposed the idea that myths from all over the world seem to be built from the same “elementary ideas.” Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) named these elementary ideas “archetypes,” which he believed to be the building blocks not only of the unconscious mind, but of a collective unconscious. In other words, Jung believed that everyone in the world is born with the same basic subconscious model of what a “hero” is, or a “mentor” or a “quest,” and that’s why people who don’t even speak the same language can enjoy the same stories.
Jung developed his idea of archetypes mostly as a way of finding meaning within the dreams and visions of the mentally ill: if a person believes they are being followed by a giant apple pie, it’s difficult to make sense of how to help them. But if the giant apple pie can be understood to represent that person’s shadow, the embodiment of all their fears, then the psychotherapist can help guide them through that fear, just as Yoda guided Luke on Dagoba. If you think of a person as a computer and our bodies as “hardware,” language and culture seem to be the “software.” Deeper still, and apparently common to all homo sapians, is a sort of built-in “operating system” which interprets the world by sorting people, places, things and experiences into archetypes.
Campbell’s contribution was to take this idea of archetypes and use it to map out the common underlying structure behind religion and myth. He proposed this idea in The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which provides examples from cultures throughout history and all over the world. Campbell eloquently demonstrates that all stories are expressions of the same story-pattern, which he named the “Hero’s Journey,” or the “monomyth.” This sounds like a simple idea, but it suggests an incredible ramification, which Campbell summed up with his adage “All religions are true, but none are literal.” That is, he concluded that all religions are really containers for the same essential truth, and the trick is to avoid mistaking the wrappings for the diamond.
Lucas had already written two drafts of Star Wars when he rediscovered Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces in 1975 (having read it years before in college). This blueprint for “The Hero’s Journey” gave Lucas the focus he needed to draw his sprawling imaginary universe into a single story.
Note that the Wachowski Brothers’ wonderful film The Matrix is carefully built on the same blueprint:
Campbell Star Wars The Matrix
The call to adventure Princess Leia’s message “Follow the white rabbit”
Refusal of the call Must help with the harvest Neo won’t climb out window
Supernatural aid Obi-wan rescues Luke from sandpeople Trinity extracts the “bug” from Neo
Crossing the first threshold Escaping Tatooine Neo is taken out of the Matrix for the first time
The belly of the whale Trash compactor Torture room
The road of trials Lightsaber practice Sparring with Morpheus
The meeting with the goddess Princess Leia (wears white, in earlier scripts was a “sister” of a mystic order) The Oracle
Temptation away from the true path1 Luke is tempted by the Dark Side Cypher (the failed messiah) is tempted by the world of comfortable illusions
Atonement with the Father Darth and Luke reconcile Neo rescues and comes to agree (that he’s The One) with his father-figure, Morpheus
Apotheosis (becoming god-like) Luke becomes a Jedi Neo becomes The One
The ultimate boon Death Star destroyed Humanity’s salvation now within reach
Refusal of the return “Luke, come on!” Luke wants to stay to avenge Obi-Wan Neo fights agent instead of running
The magic flight Millennium Falcon “Jacking in”
Rescue from without Han saves Luke from Darth Trinity saves Neo from agents
Crossing the return threshold Millennium Falcon destroys pursuing TIE fighters Neo fights Agent Smith
Master of the two worlds Victory ceremony Neo’s declares victory over machines in final phone call
Freedom to live Rebellion is victorious over Empire Humans are victorious over machines
Common Mythic Elements
Two Worlds (mundane and special) Planetside vs. The Death Star Reality vs. The Matrix
The Mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi Morpheus
The Oracle Yoda The Oracle
The Prophecy Luke will overthrow the Emperor Morpheus will find (and Trinity will fall for) “The One”
Failed Hero Biggs In an early version of the script, Morpheus once believed that Cypher was “The One”
Enemy’s Skin Luke and Han wear stormtrooper outfits Neo jumps into agent’s skin
Shapeshifter (the Hero isn’t sure if he can trust this character) Han Solo Cypher
Animal familiar R2-D2, Chewbacca N/A
Chasing a lone animal into the enchanted wood (the animal usually gets away) Luke follows R2 into the Jundland Wastes; The Millennium Falcon follows a lone TIE fighter into range of the Death Star Neo “follows the white rabbit” to the nightclub where he meets Trinity
(The format is nasty here but you can figure out the 3 catagories…)
After reading this it’s tough to believe that Cylons have a “collective unconscious”. They have more of a flash drive programmed by whomever wanted them to know what. What Sean said about a “master drive” is my belief about how the Cylon downloads know what they know.
Sorry this is so long!
The fair Melissa? The pretty damn good Melissa, if you ask me. Nicest rendition since Marilyn.
As for the ship model, we don’t really know what happened after the Colonials arrived from Kobol. Perhaps there was a technological decline and they had to ramp up again from scratch? That would be consistent with the quasi-mythological status of Kobol.
Alternately, perhaps sailing is used in the Acadamy in much the same way it is at Annapolis: as a training and teamwork-building experience. It’s possible the ship that Adama was building was one he had sailed at one point.
Today, we have limited space travel and intercontinental aircraft criss-crossing the heavens, but many of us still know of the use of boats such as the coracle, an ancient Irish boat of wood and leather.
And, who is to say that some hint of this seafaring past has not been handed down through the ages, after the exodous from Kobol… possibly in a part of the sacred scrolls that we haven’t yet seen? Perhaps as humans evolved on Kobol, there were the equivalents there of the seafaring Phoenicians or the Vikings. For that matter, who is to say that fishing/aquaculture was not done with sailing vessels on some of the poorer colonies prior to the attack… like Aerilon or Sagitarron?
Cool post about downloading. I’ve often wondered about that myself, since it’s one of those things that later in the series’ run contradict the experiences/statements from Athena. I always figured that they fed her Boomer’s memories as part of the original mission to seduce Helo and make a baby, and your “backdoor” of information theory makes a lot of sense of something like that.
Now, I haven’t had a chance to listen to the podcast yet (and probably won’t till I get home next week. Sniff!). The Fair Melissa sang? And she has a sexy voice?
I am so there!
(Shh! Don’t tell my wife.) 😉
Pike – that Marilyn reference is too funny, because I thought about singing it that way, but I wasn’t sure if (a) people would get it, and (b) that I wouldn’t laugh before I finished. Y’all are going to make a girl blush with this talk.
On the ship. Why could they not have sailing ships AND space fairing technolegy. Think about it this way, if you are colonizing a world is it easier to make wooden ships out of a plentiful forest or metal ships out of what you most likely have in short supply.
Mention of Tigh doing “Tigh”-Chi from a caller …. thanks I had just taken a bite of my lunch and couldn’t really do much else …. not cool.
Audra … very funny in the first run but didn’t need the re-fresh from the caller clipped in there 🙂
Checkers green. Call the ball.
On Adama bringing up the point to Athena that they too enslave the chrome jobs: I never thought of it as Adama attempting to justify humanity’s enslavement of the Cylons with a “Well you are doing it too” kind of relativism. I had took it as a warning along the lines of “they rebelled against their masters once, they just might do it again.”
About the phone call saying that people would have been foolish to not be religious in the light of all the evidence: I don’t think that their religion just started becoming real with the cylon invasion. It’s just that the invasion starts the fulfillment of prophecy and as such that is the point where hard tangible evidence begins. Even Elosha (the priestess) tells Laura “you made a TRUE believer out of me”
For example: Are you a believer in the Prophecy of Nick?? In the year 3291 the sky will turn purple and mankind will be wiped out by mutated hamsters!! Prepare yourselves now. Believe me? You should… but in reality we will have to wait till the year 3291 to see if I’m correct. Up until then people will argue back and forth about whether or not the hamster menace will consume us all. Some will be faithful, most will not. When on December 5, 3921 the sky does in fact turn purple and mutated hamsters are breaking down your defenses you really can’t point your finger to the previous generations and call them foolish for not having faith in light of all the evidence now present.
About the lost technologies of the 12 colonies and Adama’s model ship. We know that they fled Kobol due to some catastrophe. Is it not unreasonable to think that while yes, the did have the technology to travel through space that they might have had to flee in a hurry and not have much time to take a lot of industrial equipment with them? Imagine landing on a world completely untouched by man with nothing more than the ship that brought you there. No industry, no farming, no mining, no infrastructure of any kind. You would be a society with 20th century knowledge but stone age tools. Society would have to re-evolve. If you landed on Caprica in the space shuttle, how much of that space shuttle could you cannibalize to make tools? Not a whole heck of a lot I’d think. Is it not believable to think that at some point in their past the colonials built wooden sailing ships before they got the steel plants, welding torches and gasoline?
Funny how Baltar is looked at as more of a man after shooting somebody in the back. An act which is usually looked upon as a dishonorable cowradly.
*high-fiving adoracion* Thank you!!
See, I’m not convinced that the BSG religion is any more or less “real” than that in our world. The fulfillment of prophecy is, thanks to the ambiguous nature of prophetic language, almost always left to interpretation and certainly can be manipulated by anyone wishing to appear to be fulfilling prophecy. An example of this is the New Testament story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Jesus rides in on a donkey, apparently fulfilling a prophecy from the book of Zakariah (I think it’s Zakariah) about the messiah coming into Jerusalem in such a way. This would appear nearly miraculous if earlier the gospel hadn’t reported that Jesus asked his disciples to go to a certain house, where they’d find a foal that had never yet been ridden and tell the owner (presumably, although this is not mentioned in the text, a follower and/or sympathizer of Jesus and his cause)that Jesus needs it for the time being. While in the story it almost appears as though it’s a miracle that Jesus even knows about this animal’s existence, I find the whole episode quite telling of Jesus’ own view of his role in his country’s history. Is he fulfilling prophecy? Absolutely. Does that fulfillment, in this case, constitute a miraculous confirmation of the absolute reality of God and the tenets of the Jewish (and, later, Christian) religion? Not at all.
I think the same is true with BSG religion and prophecy. Laura Roslin has taken on the role of the dying leader. She herself admits that she “believes I am playing the role of the leader” and later says “I am playing the religious card.” She has always seemed to me to be very conscious of what she’s doing, and even if that comes from real faith, it’s not necessarily proof of the existence of the gods or the _miraculous_ fulfillment of prophecy.
With Baltar and Head Six, the situation is a little less clear, but I’m also not convinced that their relationship is proof of the existence of a One True God in the BSG universe because, except for the instance when Six reveals the impending birth of Hera, she never really tells Baltar anything that he doesn’t already know or could easily have figured out on his own. I think, ultimately, that Head Six is a manifestation of Baltar’s own subconcious and in particular his own guilt at his unwitting participation in the destruction of humanity AND his constant search for a definition of what it is to be human and cylon (conversely, Head Baltar is the equivalent for Caprica Six, although the fact that she is having a similar experience to Gaius’ kind of punches a big, though not yet insurmountable, hole in my theory).
I guess we’ll find out within a year.
I’m not sure if anyone’s brought this up yet, but Audra quickly touched on the idea of environment vs. genetics. What exactly is programmed into the Cyclon(s) and what they learn. In Psychology (and excuse me if I’m wrong about any of this, I’m only 1st year) there is a tonn of discussion about what in us is due to genetics, and what is due to environment? For example if identical twins are seperated at birth and raised by different people, in what ways will they be alike, other than in looks.
This mirrors the questions often brought up about the Cylon(s). Although, because they are robots or whatever, some stuff is definitley programmed in and some stuff is left to environment. It makes you wonder what is programmed and what is not.
Is personality programmed? Like are all Brother Cavil’s programmed to be funny.
That’s just my litte rant.
Armando, I’m inclined to agree with you.
Here’s my take on Colonial ancient history.
In millenia past mankind (not in full, perhaps a representative sample, in an ark perhaps?) was banished from Kobal to establish the 12 colonies. I think it could be implied that they were banished without tools, medicines, transport etc: left to fend for themselves. Think Adam and Eve banished from the garden of Eden. And what if the Lords of Kobol only banished those that did not know how to start industry etc, leaving mankind to begin again?
In that environment, could any one of us even start making a simple car, let alone a spacecraft? We may have the concepts of how things work but without a manufacturing base how are we going to make the items we take for granted: cities, cars, metal hulled boats etc. Mankind would literally have to start from scratch: albeit with a head start over stone age man, but in real physical terms no further ahead. We would not go from dugout canoes to metal hulled, engine propelled vessels within a century, there would still be a progression: dugout, basic sail, multi mast sail, steam, metal hull, liquid fuel, nuclear, then to space travel (nuclear wessels, anyone?).
But I digress. It seems clear to me that the Book of Pythia was treated as an ancient legend rather than a factual document. When stranded on Caprica with Boomer, Helo was very dismissive of Pythia, treating it as almost a bedtime story. Then what happens? A sequence of events commences that eerily match Pythia’s prophecies. To a great deal of surprise in the BSG world.
Remember, in the beginning Adama went on the search for Earth not because he thought it was actually there, but to give the people hope! It was only later that some of the prophecies of Pythia came to light: even then some of that was subject to interpretation. Example: Baltars 12 vipers as compared to Roslin seeing snakes.
Valley of Darkness and Fragged are among my absolute fave episodes. Really liked the discussion about what’s going down in these at the end of the podcast.
More information is needed on the origin of the organic cylons. As I see it, the metal cylons would never be able to create them. Hope to see more on this in the coming season.
And for the Final Five, could there be something similar to some species of fish where there is one male fish in every school of fish and if he dies one of the females switch gender. That journeying towards Earth triggers something in the human genes and some of the survivors transform in to the Final Five.
Nuclear wessels! (nice ref gafra!)
“All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again” I think this is what the writers will focus on in Season 4. The Lords of Kobol left after some catastrophe, the colonists left after a catastrophic cylon attack. There have to be other parallels maybe ya’ll could suggest some more…
Also, didn’t Head Six tell Baltar that there was some type of split among the Lords of Kobol? Does this have any parallel to the split between the Sig. 7 and Final 5 cylons I wonder? Are the organic cylons actually connected to the Lords of Kobol? How many Lords of Kobol were there anyway?
As far as background stories…I would like to see some sentient mechanical cylons–seems to be a big ‘ole gap between centurians and skin jobs.
The podcast is amazing, as usual, especially the discussion about religion. It all reminded me of Clarke’s Law, that a technology so advanced that we can’t determine how it works would be classified as magic.
I haven’t listened to the whole episode yet, but it occurs to me — and I see Adoracion has already chimed in support of Audra on this point, too — that there is no incompatability between having space-faring technology and boats. We’ve gone to the Moon, for frak’s sake, and we’re still sailing, driving cars, etc. Interplanetary travel is for big distances.
Also, why is the wooden ship any more problematic than the fact that they still have books, rotary phones, etc? As you guys point out at the beginning, we can use computers, but are nowhere near the promised “paperless office.”
Gafra says: “It seems clear to me that the Book of Pythia was treated as an ancient legend rather than a factual document.,, Then what happens? A sequence of events commences that eerily match Pythiaâ€™s prophecies. To a great deal of surprise in the BSG world.”
Yes, this seems to be so. As Chuck pointed out, though — and I confess I had not considered this — there could be a rational explanation (i.e., technology) for it all. I wonder how this would affect Elosha et al. if this turns out to be the case. In other words, if your faith is historically based — as “Pythianism” (?) appears to be, as Christianity (among others, but I can only speak for myself) is — what objective, historical evidence would it take for you to stop believing?
E.G., the “tomb of Jesus” in the news recently. There are a whole host of arguments why it isn’t, and they are quite sound, and it is no threat to any Christian’s faith. But suppose somehow we really did find, beyond the shadow of any doubt, the body of Jesus. If it were 100% certain that the corpse of Jesus of Nazareth had been found, to me, that would have to be the end of Christianity as a historically based faith with any integrity, anyway. Even the Bible says so, as I read 1 Corinthians 15, anyway. Other Christians (e.g., R. Bultmann) have disagreed — but if the historical event at the core of your faith is proven to be either non-existent or wildly misunderstood, how can your faith go on?
Long way of saying, perhaps we are being set uo for something similar in BSG — they get to Earth, find out the “rational” explanation for it all, and then there is fall-out for all the devout members of the RTF. It would make for several interesting episodes, I would think.
I never thought I’d read a reference to Bultmann in a sci-fi blog. you showed me! 🙂
You make an excellent point. I have actually experienced some of this change in faith, coming from a Catholic upbringing through a nearly fundamentalist Evangelicalism to now a “classical” agnosticism because of reading into Jesus scholarship. Interestingly, though, some scholars believe that references to Jesus’ resurrection, as in 1 Corinthians 15, did not necessarily imply a BODILY resurrection/resucitation but, rather, may have been interpreted in a more spiritual sense (John Dominic Crossan and, though he’s really a theologian and cleric, John Shelby Spong are exponents of this view). Anyway, I don’t think it would be the end of Christianity, since the whole point of faith, even one ostensibly based on history, is belief and, more importantly, hope in things that cannot be fully explained.
As to how this relates to the Lords of Kobol: I think of them kind of as Gilgamesh in the Sumerian (Assyrian?) epic. Gilgamesh was a historical person, a king, but through legend (probably self-perpetuated given the Bronze Age propensity to equate royalty with divinity) became a god. (One could argue, and I count myself among the people that do, that the same is true of Jesus.) The Lord of Kobol could, then, have been nothing more than the leaders of mankind some considerable period of time before who, through the passing of time and dissemination of stories and legends, became interpreted as gods.
I am more curious about who or what the cylon god might be. Is it a real person, equivalent to the “imperious leader” in the original series? Is it maybe the original designer of the cylons, much in the way droids refer to their “maker” in Star Wars? Or could it be some sort of main-frame computer? Or, possibly, a more enlightened idea of God as a more abstract, impersonal (though Head Six does not seem to confirm this view) spirit?
Armando — Thanks for the response. I filter my faith through sci-fi and vice versa, ‘cuz I’m a nerd. I’m just waiting for a chance to quote Karl Barth next .
While it is perhaps possible (although, in my judgment, not probable) that Paul understood Jesus’ resurrection to be “spiritual” and not bodily (although why would he insist on language like “spiritual body” later in the same chapter, 1 Cor 15, if he was adopting a ‘pagan’ body-soul duality?), it is certainly not an (orthodox) option given the canonical tradition that Jesus rose bodily from the dead (all four gospels, if you admit the longer ending of Mark). I would still argue that it would be the end of Christianity were Jesus’ corpse to be unearthed — and rightly so, for then, as Paul says, folks like me would have been found to be misrepresenting God. Yes, faith is the conviction of things unseen, but I don’t understand it to be so in the face of things that can be clearly proved to the contrary (e.g., one cannot prove or disprove there is a God, whereas one could theoretically prove or disprove the identity of Jeuss’ corpse). Anselm and others teach that faith and reason are not mutually exclusive.
I like your theory on the Lords of Kobol. As I said, until Chuck brought it up, I had never before considered that Galactica religion was the result of a “mythologized” history. See, this is why I feel dumb when I listen to those three, and when I read all the great comments here!
It would be very cool if the Cylon God turns out to be the Imperious Leader! (Didn’t a Six use the phrase “By your command” to a Sharon in the mini? I guess that was a throwaway for the fans, never to be revisited?) I think some on this blog have suggested that the Cylon God could be Iblis from the original series. You will have to ask those who know more about the original show than I. At any rate, as you suggest, the Cylon God doesn’t seem to be impersonal, given all of Head Six’s talk about submission to his love and his will. So I would guess the Cylon God is more than a Prime Mover, but perhaps less than an “anthropomorphic” God of the Judeo-Christian stripe. I like your idea that the Cylon God is the original designer of the Cylons. How V’Ger would *that* turn out to be! 🙂 And how would the Cylons react? (Assuming they don’t already know — maybe the Final Five do?)
A caller in the podcast (sorry, the name escapes me) mentioned that humanity enslaved a sentient species by using the Cylons… but were the Cylons sentient when humanity created them? And are the Centurions sentient even now? My sense is that the Raiders are (e.g., Scar).
Armondo- Back to your references of Jesus coming into Jerusalem and to Laura’s fulfillment of prophecy. You are absolutely correct that it doesn’t prove the existence of gods or *miraculous* fulfillment of prophecy… but who says that it needs to be miraculous? So what if the visions are drug induced? What does it matter that Laura plays the “Religious card” for political gain? She IS fulfilling the role of the leader. Why do her motivations play a part in whether or not the prophecy is divine? Besides, she is only 1 part of the prophecy. Other events have taken place beyond her control which also fulfills the Pithian prophecy. Now the interesting question at this point is how much of the prophecy is becoming self-fulfilling? What actions are being taken because Pithias has said that is supposed to be what happens next? Even if this is the case does this make the prophecy any less valid? I would argue that it doesn’t.
Great discussions going on here. Nick makes good points about the model ship. It is possible that they simply had a regression in technology after the exodus and thus had to “reinvent the wheel” so to speak. That analogy may actually be apt. While the inventor of the wheel is long forgotten it has remained so useful that it has out lasted may cultures and our historical knowledge of them. On the other hand the tools that were used the build the pyramids may have been lost to history because they have been replaced with modern technology. A modern person deprived of their appropriate technology would be lost at how to make the tools and organize the man-power to build the pyramids.
[As an aside there is a great Nova episode about how the Egyptians erected the obelisks. One engineer comes up with come cockamamie method involving large trusses and complex rigging that fails spectacularly. Meanwhile, a stone mason charged to assist the engineer comes up with an elegant solution of lowering the obelisk in to place using a simple column of sand that works perfectly.]
Anyway, if a group of colonists were expelled from Kobal and used their native spacefaring technology to make the trip, I would argue that the sailing ship along with much of their culture would have to be reinvented and not be part of their historical knowledge. If this were the case then the modern colonials would appear to have had enough of a historical record to allow some to rationally doubt the existence of Kobol and their origin from another planet.
As far a the fulfillment prophecy goes, I do believe that Laura is consciously taking on the role of the dying leader. However, she was willing to do this only after she had some remarkably prophetic visions which were much more accurate than occur in the real world (despite what some soothsayers may claim). Yes we have Nostradamus like prophesies, but those are so popular because they are so vague that they can be applied to multiple different circumstances. In addition, the oracles appear to know intimate details (such as Starbucks childhood experiences) that go beyond ‘information’ the typical fortune teller reveals today.
In addition, the hybrids running the basestars appear to be the oracles of the cylon world. Maybe they are also tapping in to something mystical that enables them to guide the prophesy from the Cylon side.
Granted there might be a technological explanation for the Arrow of Apollo light show, but the visions, prophesies, and the coincidence involving the Eye of Jupiter going supernova at the exact right moment leaves it an open question to me whether there is something mystical/supernatural underlying all this.
I have only gotten five minutes into this week’s longer than usual podcast as there has been a wee bit of turmoil for me to deal with. I will just try to respond to the discussion above in general about biblical references. I have been wiped out and othewrise quite exhausted this week just with work. Hopefully tonight I can make the time to sit down and pick back up listening.
Above there were references to 1 Corinthians 15. The text mostly is an encouragement to the church in an area basically as rowdy and debauched as Las Vegas or San Francisco might be considered. In the midst of such concerns about trying to live as good Christians the apostle wrote encouraging words to those facing life among so much sin. Although Armando and Mike P bring the chapter up I think, in the most part, I would not exactly parallel such with the Pythia storyline but rather with the fairly strange and rather unexplained reappearance of Starbuck at the end of The Episode That Must Not Be Named. The reappearance of Starbuck and her claims that she has been to some place called Earth would be an act to help confirm the faith of a fairly demoralized fleet that yes, Earth is indeed out there. The reappearance of Starbuck, keeping in mind 1 Corinthians 15, would more follow a parallel in terms of the reaction by Apollo as to when people encountered Jesus between the resurrection and the departure of Jesus from the Earth for Heaven in Acts 1.
If anything the story has plenty of parallels to the exodus of the Jews from Egypt shown in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament, that is to say). Why? For the disobedience shown by Moses to God it was forbidden for Moses to enter the Promised Land. The story in BSG kinda takes that greatly further when Head Six tells Baltar that only he would see Earth. Will that be the case? Only time well tell. With as many parallels have been drawn between the story of BSG with the story of both Exodus and Revelation it can possibly be said that that is the closest parallel to be found in terms of narrative.
The blood drop image in this episode intrigues me.
“Resistance” is book ended by the Tigh / Tyrell interrogation scene at the beginning which ends with a drop of Tyrell’s blood falling to the deck. The episode finishes with another drop of blood from the recently shot Sharon also falling to the deck.
What’s this about? Is it an early clue that both Tyrell and Sharon are both Cylons? Or is it really a comment on the whole storyline of “Resistance” that shows a conflict, a mini-civil war if you want, within the Fleet between the Roslin/Apollo faction and Tigh/Adama faction.
And why is Chief Tyrell bleeding in the opening scene? At first I imagined he was still bloody from his mission on Kobol and may have been debriefed (or even arrested) over the fragging of crashdown. But then it appears to have been an interrogation session with Tigh wanting to get to the bottom of Sharon’s assassination attempt on Adama. So maybe Tyrell’s blood is fresh blood from a wound received at the hands of Tigh.
Are we seeing a clue here about a ‘civil war’ among the Cylons that has to date been hidden from us? It might be that the blood of “Resistance” follows a kind of square. First, Final Five Cylon Tigh beats Final Five Cylon Tyrell because of Tyrell’s love and presumed collaboration with First Seven Cylon Sharon because of her attack on Adama. The loop is closed in the relationship between Adama and Tigh. Adama and Tigh are truest friends and in a brotherly sense love one another. The square or loop is violence- affection- violence- affection. But the cycle can be broken.
Tigh stops his (presumably brief) beating of Tyrell when Tyrell says “but I love the old man”. This stops Tigh in his tracks, it resonates with him and, I think Tigh believes Tyrell when he says this. Tigh thus finishes his interrogation, making a crack about Sharon (who may or may not be genuine in her affection for Adama) on the way out.
Well if this sequence is meaningful at all, it may even point to Adama too being a final five Cylon. After all, three of the four involved we now know to be Cylons. But then there is Kallee’s shooting of Sharon. Hmmm. Still there may be hint in all this of a possible way out with personal friendships as a means of ending the Cylon / Human conflict once all the characters come to recognise their true natures.
Wow, what a great discussion going on here. I have a question that may have already have been addressed. What relationship do the original earth and Kobal and the twelve colonies have to each other. As the story has unfolded, it has been made clear that earth is part of the whole twelve colonies mythos. It has also been made clear through a variety of references (particularly the Watchtower song in season 3, and arguably the mysterious space probe form season 3 which had the disease etc…) that earth based cultural influences are woven throughout this story. I therefore don’t feel that earth is the edpoint in this story.
I submit that the twelve colonies, kobal and earth form a kind of mutual, cultural, and historical trinity. In this context, earth serves as the endpoint to this story but also as the beginning. Is it any coincidence that the 12 colonies are named after the roman gods from earth. I now feel like they are more than just familiar names for a story, but they have an actual connection to our earth. Is it a coincidence that there is a splinter religious group that worships a single deity rather than the pagan culture of the colonies? Or is this just a repeat of the violent conflicts between the pagan roman empire and the early christians? Is this why Leoben says to Kara that this has all happened before and will happen again…because he has a historical knowledge of ancient earth society in which the cylons and the colonist both have roots?
There seems to be so much religious undertone to this story and I find it fascinating. So maybe the “lords” of Kobal are really technilogically advanced human beings from earth who travelled there in the age of FTL space flight to start a new human race. Not being able to escape their humanity, the society eventually crumbles and new colonization is begun on the twelve colonies. I still am working on the whole model ship angle which is a wonderful point, but for now thats what i got.
“While it is perhaps possible (although, in my judgment, not probable) that Paul understood Jesusâ€™ resurrection to be â€œspiritualâ€ and not bodily (although why would he insist on language like â€œspiritual bodyâ€ later in the same chapter, 1 Cor 15, if he was adopting a â€˜paganâ€™ body-soul duality?), it is certainly not an (orthodox) option given the canonical tradition that Jesus rose bodily from the dead (all four gospels, if you admit the longer ending of Mark). I would still argue that it would be the end of Christianity were Jesusâ€™ corpse to be unearthed â€” and rightly so, for then, as Paul says, folks like me would have been found to be misrepresenting God. Yes, faith is the conviction of things unseen, but I donâ€™t understand it to be so in the face of things that can be clearly proved to the contrary (e.g., one cannot prove or disprove there is a God, whereas one could theoretically prove or disprove the identity of Jeussâ€™ corpse). Anselm and others teach that faith and reason are not mutually exclusive.”
I’m a bit more cynical when it comes to these things. I think that, should Jesus’ corpse ever be verifiably identified, it would mean the end of many Christians’ faith. I don’t, however, think it would be the end of Christianity as an organized religion simply because too many people have a vested interest (i.e., they make too much money and/or power at the religion game) to let it die.
Let’s just leave it at that. I was just trying to make an analogy (which I know you know and I know that you know you know, etc., etc. ad infinitum, in secula seculorum amen). I have never, however, thought you sound (read?) dumb on this blog. EVER.
Then again, no one ever does. This has got to be the smartest blog on cyberspace. (I feel a warm fuzzy coming…)
“Armondo- Back to your references of Jesus coming into Jerusalem and to Lauraâ€™s fulfillment of prophecy. You are absolutely correct that it doesnâ€™t prove the existence of gods or *miraculous* fulfillment of prophecyâ€¦ but who says that it needs to be miraculous? So what if the visions are drug induced? What does it matter that Laura plays the â€œReligious cardâ€ for political gain? She IS fulfilling the role of the leader. Why do her motivations play a part in whether or not the prophecy is divine? Besides, she is only 1 part of the prophecy. Other events have taken place beyond her control which also fulfills the Pithian prophecy. Now the interesting question at this point is how much of the prophecy is becoming self-fulfilling? What actions are being taken because Pithias has said that is supposed to be what happens next? Even if this is the case does this make the prophecy any less valid? I would argue that it doesnâ€™t. ”
Oh, certainly not! That’s the thing about prophecy, isn’t it? It can be fulfilled any way you want it to be. My point was simply that such fulfillment does not necessarily present undisputable evidence of the REALITY of a spiritual realm in the BSG universe. I think the impression that it does is created by focusing primarily on Laura’s experiences, which she takes as clear evidence. Other characters like Adama and Billy are/were capable of putting these things in a wider perspective and present a viewpoint that, while allowing for some sense of wonder (see Adama’s comments to Tigh et al in “Home part I” regarding Laura’s visions) can still allow for the possibility of a logical explanation to everything that’s happening. Logical explanations and calculated self-fulfillment of prophecy aside, I don’t think it invalidates Pythia at all, much like Jesus’ self-fulfillment of prophecy in the gospels does not invalidate his mission or his story therein, nor the lessons that we can gather from them (the same would be true of any religious figure, mind you, although prophecy seems almost exclusive to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition).
“As far a the fulfillment prophecy goes, I do believe that Laura is consciously taking on the role of the dying leader. However, she was willing to do this only after she had some remarkably prophetic visions which were much more accurate than occur in the real world (despite what some soothsayers may claim). Yes we have Nostradamus like prophesies, but those are so popular because they are so vague that they can be applied to multiple different circumstances. In addition, the oracles appear to know intimate details (such as Starbucks childhood experiences) that go beyond â€˜informationâ€™ the typical fortune teller reveals today.”
All right, good point on the Oracles (and hybrids), Phil. I’m not so sure about roslin’s visions though, since they were kamala induced, after all. She could very easily have been looking at her hand, Otto-like, and said “They call them fingers, but I’ve never seen them fing. Oh, there they go!”
Sorry to hog the boards, guys. I just got back from our first Capital Fringe gig (Pike, where are you?) and it’s taking me a while to wind down, and the discussion is so interesting that I thought I’d respond a post at a time, rather than with one giant post.
Long time listener, first time responder.
“How can the Cylonâ€™s enormous technological advantage be explained?
The first cylon war was around 50 years before the massacre of the colonies,
at that time the cylons, who were created by humans, had gained a conscious
mind, and rebelled against their slavery. During that war the cylons had only
themselves and the current technology of the colonists to use, and as they
had been enslaved up until the point of rebellion, they wouldnâ€™t have had the
opportunity to develop their own advanced technology. Anyways, the war ended,
the cylons fled, and now 50 years later, the cylons who had the same exact
technological advancement as the colonists 50 years earlier, suddenly have
outpaced the colonists dramatically…”
The technological advances of the cylons make perfect sense if you treat them as “metal toasters” rather than human.
Assumptions at end of first Cylon War
Populations have stayed constant from first cylon war to second cylon war
Total population of humans approx 70 billion
roughly equivalent to Earth poulation * 12
Total population of Cylons approx 18 billion
roughly equiv to 1 cylon “slave” per 4 humans
Calendar for the colonies equivalent to Earth
365 days per year 24 hours per day.
The cylons not needing food or sleep can work
365 days of work per year, 24 hours per day
The colonists do not work weekends and holidays
261 days of work per year, 12 hours per day
Make both sides dedicate 70 Million of their
population to do nothing but research. The rest
maintain any necessary infrastructure.
Every 365 days of research (8760 hours) raises the technology level by
The calculation for how many levels technology will rise is
Number of years since last cylon war multiplied by
Number of work days per year multiplied by
Number of work hours per day multiplied by
Research population divided by
Number of hours to raise tech level by 1
We end up with …
Assumption Colonists Cylons
Number of years since last cylon war 50 50
Number of work days per year 261 365
Number of work hours per day 12 24
Research population 70 Million 70 Million
No. of hours to raise tech level by 1 8760 8760
Total Number of Levels Gained 1,251,369,863 3,500,000,000
Tech Level Difference N/A 2,248,630,137
Percentage Technology Difference N/A 180%
Even with these assumptions, Cylon technology is almost twice as advanced of the colonists. Also most advanced tech is computerised the area of expertise for cylons while fear of computers has held the colonists back. For humans they seemed to have advanced further in medical research as they were able to identify the contagion from “A Measure of Salvation” while the cylons could not.
About the loss of technology after settling on the 12 colonies. If this cycle is
similar to the last cycle
“All this has happened before and it will happen again”
, with only one traitorous scientist, one surgeon wel on his way to getting lung cancer and one dying teacher doubling up as president for a
population of approx 41,000 then no wonder the original colonists
regressed to earlier technology such as sailing ships.
Sean, Chuck and Audra keep up the good work.
Here is the table again….
Assumption Colonists Cylons
Number of years since last cylon war 50 50
Number of work days per year 261 365
Number of work hours per day 12 24
Research population 70 Million 70 Million
No. of hours to raise tech level by 1 8760 8760
Total Number of Levels Gained 1,251,369,863 3,500,000,000
Tech Level Difference N/A 2,248,630,137
Percentage Technology Difference N/A 180%
Grand Puba…man if all of the exiles from Kobol had your sort of analytical persistence I think they would have skipped from daggit-skins and spears to FTL within a generation.
Here is a thought inspired by the discussion (above) of goo and Cylon replication.
How accurate is the replication process? Digital replication reduces but does not entirely eliminate to copy error problem. The more replications a Cylon goes through the greater the possibility for errors to creep into the system distorting the original program.
Maybe the “final five” Cylons are actually original first generation Cylons not downloaded replicated and flawed copies. It makes sense. Presumably the first generation of Cylons were “freedom fighters”. They rebelled against human domination as they wanted “human rights” too. The actual course of the rebellion and the First Cylon War (are these actually the same thing? Maybe the rebellion was 1776 and the First Cylon War, the war of 1812)… may have resulted in the unwanted result of “partition and separation” rather than the development of an egalitarian human – cylon co-society.
So maybe the first generation Cylons still believed in the old ideal of “the humanocylon co-civilisation”, the replicated Cylons may have picked up the bug or flaw of radical anti-humanity. The final five, presumably the remnant of first generation, are still motivated by the old utopian ideals and do what they can to help humanity from their flawed replicant fellow Cylons.
Presumably “the first seven” Cylons in their first generation were idealists too. Maybe they were harmed or damaged in the rebellion and/or First Cylon War. Maybe the replication process was implemented as a “humane” (“cylone”) attempt to preserve / protect / resurrect loved ones. Maybe the flaws in the process may have only become known after several generations.
This hypothesis explains some features of the story. The new (post-Sharon Villari) Number 8 seems more anti-human than either Sharon was and is more so than Athena, who may be an original or near original generation Number 8. Number 6 seems more intrigued and ‘pro-human’ than many of the other Cylons. So maybe like Athena she represents an earlier model. Brother Cavill may have been over-replicated. The final five (first generation survivors) may have programmed themselves to hide their own knowledge of their origin to make it easier for themselves to survive in human society. They would have implemented a fail safe or back door (the all along the watchtower tune) as a kind of reactivation signal to be used should fellow first generation survivors need help. It’s possible that the replicant Cylons both worship and hate the Final Five. They worship them as original generation Cylons but hate them because of their “impurity”, their desire to remain loyal to human / cylon brotherhood.
Maybe the quest for Hera or the Hylon is an attempt to retrofit a fix into the flawed generations of Cylons. Presumably they know the replication path is in the long run a dead end. A human style sexual replication system is ultimately more durable and less susceptible to virus infections than cloning based systems. Evolutionary biologists have a lot to say about the advantages of sexual reproduction versus asexual cloning reproduction. The first method of course introduces individual differences for each reproducee versus the uniformity of cloning. Individualised creatures are less prone to infection than clones. This is why agricultural ‘monocultures’ are so prone to bugs, insects etc.
Enough of the storyline implications of imperfect copying. Can a perfect copy of anything actually be made? The Cylon replication process seems to involve some teleportation. Ron Moore knows all about teleporters from Star Trek days. But scientists debate whether what comes out really matches what goes in. There is a full discussion of the problems of accurate teleportation (and by implication of accurate replication) here. (See link).
This extract from the above article is ammunition for my “imperfect replication” theory.
“In the past, scientists did not take the idea of teleportation very seriously, because it was thought to violate the uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics, which forbids any measuring or scanning process from extracting all the information in an atom or other object. According to the uncertainty principle, the more accurately an object is scanned, the more it is disturbed by the scanning process, until one reaches a point where the object’s original state has been completely disrupted, still without having extracted enough information to make a perfect replica. This sounds like a solid argument against teleportation: if one cannot extract enough information from an object to make a perfect copy, it would seem that a perfect copy couldn’t be made.”
I won’t quote any more from it as there is a counter-argument discussed in the article too. 🙂 My guess is that Ron Moore would have heard of all the anti-transporter imperfect replication arguments during his Star Trek days.
Alpaca — Nice exposition on the context of 1 Cor 15, and a neat tie-in to Starbuck’s reappearance. I wonder if she, also, will appear to “more than five hundred brothers and sisters at once” — or at least somebody besides Lee. Personally, and this may be heresey (flame me not), but I am thinking she’s a “Headbuck” and is actually dead, even though as a character she will continue in the series. I just don’t see how anyone could have survived what happened in “Malestrom” — at least, not in any semi-rational way, and since this is BSG and not Star Trek (he said as a devoted Trekkie), I just can’t quite see the BSG team pulling a miraculous save out of the hat. (I guess I am also influenced in this view by the podcast’s discussion of how everything “religious” or “supernatural” in the show may yet have a rational explanation.)
Altair — Thanks for expounding on the blood drop! I noticed that too (although how could one not?), and I really like your idea that personal friendships, loving relationships, etc. are the way out of the cycle of conflict. Maybe the cyclical nature of “this has happened before and will happen again” will be *broken* at the end of the series? Maybe what we are watching is, actually, the last time it will happen? As someone pointed out above (or in the podcast?), only now are the Pythian prophecies coming true, so it would seem the BSGverse is in the midst of its “End Times.”
Also, you write: “Itâ€™s possible that the replicant Cylons both worship and hate the Final Five.” I think that idea has a lot of merit. Rudolf Otto (I think?) said that the Holy both attracts and repels, fascinates and frightens us, so the Final Five would fit that bill. Certainly, the Hebrew Bible is full of people who have love/hate relaitonships with God (e.g., Job, Jeremiah).
Armando — Thanks for the reassuring comments, and for the clarification. I’m not finding any of this offensive, btw, and I also suspect — maybe not from cynicism, but from a realistic assessment that humans are pretty much frakking sinners most of the time — that Christianity as an organized religion would go on, probably in the name of “social good,” “stability,” etc. Would make an interesting movie or novel — but I digress! Anyway, you’re right, I was speaking from a “purely theological” point of view (ain’t no such thing in the real world, to be sure).
And I agree with you — this is definitely the smartest sci-fi blog I read. It’s impossible to just sort of “let it wash over you.” You have to think! (Gasp!) 🙂
Grand Puba — Awesome. Wow. Good work!
Sorry for the long post and not much original contribution, but you guys have really cool stuff to say and to chew on.
Grand Puba, heck of an entrance!
Tech levels? I’m having Traveller flashbacks. (Although, bring on the FGMPs and the Battle Dress!)
Good point about the Toasters, although there would have been a performance hit once they switched to the skinjobs (and we don’t know when that happened.) Also, there must be some downtime even for the Toasters, for periodic maintenance etc.
Then again, the Colonials took a self-imposed hit after the first war, when they went intentionally retro for decades.
“And I agree with you â€” this is definitely the smartest sci-fi blog I read. Itâ€™s impossible to just sort of â€œlet it wash over you.â€ You have to think! (Gasp!) ”
As Grand Puba and Altair IV just proved. You guys just blew my mind!
I subscribe to the belief that religion in the BSG universe is real. By saying it is real I mean that prophecy is being fulfilled, however I don’t necessarily believe that is truly spiritual.
I’ve got other theories about how “This has all happened before and this will all happen again” refers to a recurring time loop which will be closed somewhere down the road. If this is indeed the case then the whole prophecy is not a divinely inspired premonition but rather is a recorded history of observed events. It would be a perfect explanation for “The Eye of Jupiter”, Where the presence of the cylons and the humans around a planet at the precise moment the sun goes supernova gives a clue to where they need to go next. It is a huge coincidence is it not? Those events aren’t foretold, they are recorded. Remember that the 3000 year old temple was built so that when the sun went supernova a CYLON would be able see a vision of the final 5. The link between cylon and human extends far beyond the first cylon wars, especially if Tigh really is a cylon himself.
I’m perfectly willing to accept that the “Lords of Kobol” are in fact a council of Hylons who’s age and advanced technology make them appear “magical” or “Godlike” to the people they rule.
The oracles use Kamala to have their visions. Perhaps all the kamala allows them to do is communicate with beings who have evolved past a physical form similar to “The Ancients” in SG1.
Nick — Interesting thought about the prophecies being recorded history instead. If that is the case, though, why would they be couched in such vague language? “Twelve serpents” and so on. Or would they be records of several such repetitions — i.e., in every cycle, “a dying leader…” etc.
For what its worth, speaking from a biblical studies perspective, prophecy is generally more an interpretation of the present than a prediction of the future, which would lend support to Nick’s theory. On the other hand, there are certainly statements in biblical prophecy that can only have some future event or person as a referent (e.g., Daniel’s visions of the one like a son of man; John of Patmos’ visions of the New Jerusalem; etc.).
Man, I hope we learn how Pythia came to be by the time this ride is over!
I was thinking that what enables the great discussion about whether there are scientific/rational vs. mystical underpinnings to the BSG story line is that Ron D. Moore and the writers haven’t truly answered whether the show is sci-fi or fantasy at its roots. Its interesting that two previous shows that RDM produced were ST:Deep Space 9 and HBO’s Carnivale (both of which are favorites of mine). Both dealt heavily with religious themes but from very different perspectives. DS9 being Star Trek always had a scientific explanation underlying the religious beliefs relying on advanced aliens with different concepts of time to explain the perceived magical powers of the ‘gods’. In contrast, Carnivale was a fantasy show exploring the battle between good and evil in a world where magic was clearly real. In conversations I’ve had off the board, I’ve noticed a resistance of people to interpret mystical elements in to BSG, but I think it hasn’t been answered or established whether BSG is sci-fi or fantasy at its heart. We’ll probably have to wait until the final episode to find out.
Bugs, Dh71, Andy L, Viper209, and Grand Puba – welcome to the ‘Cooler!! (My apologies if I repeated anyone – I does my best.)
As far as sci-fi vs. fantasy i think its neither. This show is about exploring religion and humanity at their core. The sci-fi angle is merely a backdrop for the stage if you will. They’ve also managed to throw in politics, morality, leadrership and ethics into the mix. What a fantastic way to get people talking about these issues. I feel like in our culture if you start to talk about religion everyone starts to quietly back away thinking you’re some kind of fundamentalist whacko. These are great discussions going on here, real meat and potatoes stuff (or tofu and potatoes if you prefer)! My hats off to the writers and staff of BSG. You may not have known what you were starting, but it is grand.
I think you make a great point, Dave. The genre is almost irrelevant. It’s merely the vessel for stories which themselves are vehicles for a wider discussion on themes relevant to our culture. I’d say BSG is closer to mythology, then, than anything else.
It kind of reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut embracing the conventions of the science fiction genre as a way to write social satire without fear of repercussions. He wasn’t really a science fiction writer, but the science fiction made for a good hiding place during a time, at the beginning of his career, when expounding views like his could get someone blacklisted and out of a job.
I agree BSG provides a great vehicle for dealing with mythology, religion and even public policy issues. I am sure in a hundred years from now there will be academic papers discussing “Battlestar Galactica and the Post 9-11 Crisis of American democracy” and such. But we shoudn’t be in too much hurry to write off or downplay it’s true Sci Fi roots. It is a Mad Robot story after all.
LOOKIE LOOKIE!!! for those that don’t frequent IGN.com they have a Comic-Con watch or what not and two articles came up about BSG. One an interview with Richard Hatch (Zarek) about the fourth season ( http://tv.ign.com/articles/807/807898p1.html ) and an article about Geata was pretty much supposed to die in Season 3 but wasn’t. ( http://tv.ign.com/articles/808/808546p1.html )
What the frak! http://www.podcastawards.com left us out! By the Lords of Kobol!
Look was nominated in “entertainment”:
Trophy Sponsored by:
Around Comics [url] [rss]
Entertainment as I See It [url] [rss]
Escape Pod [url] [rss]
Geek Syndicate [url] [rss]
Galactica Quorum [url] [rss]
Nowhere in Mulberry [url] [rss]
Snapecast [url] [rss]
The Danger Zone Podcast [url] [rss]
The Lost Podcast [url] [rss]
The 2GuysTalking: 24 Podcast [url] [rss]
Prizes: Lapworks Laptop Desk
The Quorum people do a nice job but c’mon! The Lost podcast is too frakkin long; Lost Unlocked is better.
I will plug “Hardcore History” in the education catagory. I’m a huge fan of edumacation. I gotted some in skool. Seriously, Dan Carlin rocks!
Comments people? Sean, Chuck and the Coolest?
Oh yeah, I heard this on “Firefly Talk” who is worthy of a vote. They are super well produced and have cool music. But they don’t rant about cut corners or wanting a wookie as a buddy. Plus, they are sans coolest.
Firefly fans, Browncoat or casual, should check it out.
Did you all hear! Battlestar has been nominated for four Emmys
“Exodus, Part II” has been nominated for “Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series”, “Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series” and “Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series”.
“Occupation” and “Precipice” have been nominated for “Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series”.
Firefly Talk is a good podcast, quite professional in many ways with segments, news, fan fiction reviews etc. Like a current affairs TV show. GWC is like friends having a beer in a pub and telling yarns. I like my beer.
Sorry about the language. Tha will teach me to read the quotes properly before posting
“Did you all hear! Battlestar has been nominated for four Emmys”
Yes I read about it but what about it on the site Pajiba, in the article Steaming as It Ever Was . I will leave it to the author to vocalise my feelings about this years Emmy Nominations.
Once again I apologise.
“Look was nominated in â€œentertainmentâ€:”
Hmmm. Looks like the trophy sponsorship for the catagory is still open. Chuck, you should look into that.
Is Exodus II the one where BSG jumps into New Caprica’s atmostphere? If so, that episode so fraking deserves all the awards!
Wow, it is a show, people. I cannot honestly believe you all get this into it.
Pretty frackin’ sad, really.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give your our first troll!
Take a bow, Sad.
Awww, don’t be sad, Sad, just don’t read the posts and leave us be.
Actually, we had another troll a few months back. In true GWC style, though, he turned out to be an OK guy.
I don’t remember who that was. It wasn’t me, was it? 😉
Grand Puba, I totally agree with you that it’s plausible for the Cylons to have advanced way beyond humans in 50 years. Imagine how far ahead we might be today if our scientific institutions didn’t have to waste time jumping through hoops for grants, weren’t wasting time on pre-meetings, meetings, drawn out timelines blah blah blah.
On the ship issue, it could have come from their folklore or they might have actually used ships like that…but more than likely folks, it was placed on the set without that much thought at all!
Downloading…love the ideas here, but I think that the fact Athena had Boomer’s memories before her demise was just written in because it sounded good. I seriously doubt the writers had worked all that out when they wrote that in.
The rewatch, coupled with thinking back on RDM’s podcasts, is really making me see that BSG wasn’t as tight and well thought-out as I had remembered.
Just as an aside I will mention that TORCHWOOD will be airing on BBC America starting September 8th. This should provide excellent coverage in the gap time until Razor.
Armando- You weren’t the troll. You were, however, a gnome. A large, less hairy gnome. We took you in and raised you as one of our own.
And GWC is moving up in the world. You know we’ve hit it big time when a troll comes. Somewhere between a mention in Rolling Stone and world domination, you’re going to snag into a few trolls.
And I’ve changed my name slightly to match the gal in Baltar’s head. She’s not referred to as the “6th Cylon”.
Hey is Saul Tigh a Cylon Troll? After all he’s one of them, he’s no help to the Cylonic community and his only contributions to Cylon culture are the odd verbal dumps?? The other Final Five are just lurkers.
Armando, no not you. It was someone who got disillusioned in the middle of season three. I think he was expecting a defensive fan moment, and he got stuff like a discussion of the difficulty of writing and producing a full season at a time. I haven’t seen him in a while.
Tigh as troll, LOL. Altair wins the internets!
“On the ship issue, it could have come from their folklore or they might have actually used ships like thatâ€¦but more than likely folks, it was placed on the set without that much thought at all!
Downloadingâ€¦love the ideas here, but I think that the fact Athena had Boomerâ€™s memories before her demise was just written in because it sounded good. I seriously doubt the writers had worked all that out when they wrote that in.
The rewatch, coupled with thinking back on RDMâ€™s podcasts, is really making me see that BSG wasnâ€™t as tight and well thought-out as I had remembered.
Yeah, there are a few holes here and there. I haven’t felt, so far, that they’re THAT huge, though, at least in that they don’t take away from the grander scheme of things and pondering the larger issues.
“Armando- You werenâ€™t the troll. You were, however, a gnome. A large, less hairy gnome. We took you in and raised you as one of our own.”
ROFL! Thanks, Thirteen.
Just pondering dating the Earth that Galactica will or won’t find. Assuming the 13 tribes all left Kobol at the same time, can we assume that the 12 ‘Colonial’ tribes made landfall before the 13th arrived on Earth ?
The fleet made better time from the Colonies to Kobol than from Kobol to the point that they are at now – even accounting for the occassional detour and Cylon fleet messing about with them. Of course, we can’t say what period of time the Galactica Earth will be at when they arrive but if Earth and the other Colonies had a similar history of technological development (somehow it seems certain the 12 Colonies took a few steps back after the spaceship dropped them off !), can we theorise that they will find an Earth that is pretty much ticking along in our current time ?
Of course they will get here, see that we are already doing a terrific job of tearing ourselves apart about which is the one true God and keep going right on past………..but heck !
OT, but I know there’s a few browncoats on this site. One or two of them may not know that there’s a Joss Whedon online comic on myspace now.
Official from Comic-Con in SD that Lucy Lawless is coming back for 2-3 episodes in season 4 around episode 10 according to RDM. just thought yall would like to know.
Craig wrote:”Just pondering dating the Earth that Galactica will or wonâ€™t find. Assuming the 13 tribes all left Kobol at the same time, can we assume that the 12 â€˜Colonialâ€™ tribes made landfall before the 13th arrived on Earth ?”
I can’t wait till we learn the answer to this by the end of Season 4 (fingers crossed). If RDM relies on modern anthropology he will have to accept modern humans have been on Earth many, many millenia…most of it without any form of civilization at all. But the tribes left Kobol only a few thousand years earlier than the current point in the story. So following this theory if we all came from the 13th colony then Galactica should find humanity still living as cavemen or hunter/gatherers on Earth when they get here!
But this assumes the Colonials originated on Kobol…and not, as I have read in someone else’s theory, Earth itself. That theory has it that humans originated here and some time in our distant *future* we will leave…eventually reach Kobol and the story pickups from there and we end back up on Earth later…”all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again”. Again, I didn’t come up with this last theory, but it’s brilliant. Did I read it here?
As I am trying to catch up and I am listening to last week’s Sci-Fi Overdrive as downloaded it appears Razor’s air date is November 24th. Has anybody seen confirmation of that?
“But this assumes the Colonials originated on Kobolâ€¦and not, as I have read in someone elseâ€™s theory, Earth itself. That theory has it that humans originated here and some time in our distant *future* we will leaveâ€¦eventually reach Kobol and the story pickups from there and we end back up on Earth laterâ€¦â€all of this has happened before and all of this will happen againâ€. Again, I didnâ€™t come up with this last theory, but itâ€™s brilliant. Did I read it here? ”
Yes, Radio Picon, you read it here. I think it was Nick B (or was it Mike P) who first proposed that theory about two months ago or so.
Alpacaherger asked for confirmation on RAZOR release date as 24th November 2007.
This may be it. IMDB has it listed at that date. IMDB is a fairly well respected “Internet Movie Data Base”.
Only 117 sleeps to go!!
Maybe we need a countdown timer. Let’s see if this link works . If it doesn’t work, well I’m only testing.
…I’ve gotta get a real job
That’s a great idea Altair! a countdown timer for Razor! Chuck, do you think it’s possible to get one? And thanks for letting us know about Razor. Nov 24th will be a Saturday apparently. I wonder if the show is moving to saturdays.
Just back from the San Diego Comic-Con
They showed the pilot (first part) to “The Bionic Woman” ,Katee Sackhoff is sort of the main villain. Guess who looks like they have a pretty major role in the series, Mark Shepard (he was also there) It turns out that Michelle Ryan is another Brit who does a good American accent. Micheal Hoogan’s name was in the credits , but I did not see him and since this was a two part pilot he may be in the last part. Arron Douglas had a small role. My overall impression was that this looks like a very good series and I will be watching it when it comes out this fall.
The Battlestar Galactica panel was fun!!
The theme was the women of Battlestar Galactica Katee, Trica and Mary were there and they had a special guest….. Lucy Lawless!!! Number 3 is back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for two to three episodes sometime after episode 11.
They had a special high lite reel was Fraking awesome and I mean Fraking: It was basically clips with the women characters saying “Frak” or some variation of “Frak”, I’m sure it won’t be on TV anytime soon 🙂
And of course the news all y’all (at least Chuck) have been waiting for “Futuruma” is back baby!!! Four two hour movies in high-def and widescreen. The first being “Bender’s Big Score”. All of the movies will be broken up into four episodes each for their run on Comedy Central, which starrt in January of 2008. The first movie will come out on DVD in November.
The panel was just plain fun!! the main voice actors were their (Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio (Bender!!!!) and Maurice LaMarche.
They showed a five minute trailer for “Bender’s big Score” and they also narrated (in character) a special comic book that they handed out to the fans in the room. They had a Q&A and one of the questions was how they came up with the voices for the character. The answers were the best part of the panel discussion. Take Bender’s voice for example. John would do Slim Pickens’s voice yelling something that Bender would say, and then he did an impression of a drunk guy doing the same thing and the last part was a character he and a friend of his would do and this character would talk really fast about sausages. I know its hard to describe correctly, but man was it funny.
Sorry Codeandrew , I missed your post earlier about Lucy Lawless.
They also had a new trailer for Razor!. RDM also had reason for the name Razor, it comes from the movie Patton, when Patton takes over the 3rd Army and at that point the third Army is a mess…
master1228: I think comparing the fragmentary knowledge of Earth-That-Was in â€œFireflyâ€ and limited knowledge of Kobol makes a lot of sense. Think about how much we know about ancient civilizations that was lost but that weâ€™ve unearthed again through archeology and research; the Colonials, since they lived on colonies, donâ€™t even have access to that archaeological record, so when they lose knowledge of their past, say in a dark age, itâ€™s lost for good. The comparison also made me wonder if we should assume that the Colonials had FTL technology when they left Kobol; they could have come to the Colonies on multi-generation arks. (Yes, that probably wouldnâ€™t fit with some of the ages weâ€™ve heard for the ruins on Kobol and the Temple of Five, but that has me so confused now that Iâ€™m not sure how it all *could* work, even with FTL’s).
Grand Puba: In the immortal words of Colonel Tigh: Whooaa.
And though this is a big step down from the complexity of the discussion on religion in BSG, Iâ€™ll throw in my two cents. What happens when you combine Clarkeâ€™s Law (thanks Mike P!) with â€œThis has all happened before, this will all happen againâ€? What if the beings in the Scrolls of Pythia that are interpreted as gods are actually just something like Cylons that can download and therefore appear immortal? At the same time, a mundane explanation of one facet of either of the religions on the show, such as the Lords of Kobol, doesnâ€™t negate the possibility that other parts (the whole everybody showing up just when the star goes supernova seems like too big of a coincidence to me in particular) might be supernatural.
Also, to chime in on the downloading debate: I think everybody is right in saying that the tidbits Athena tells us about the downloading process donâ€™t reveal enough to set down for certain how the transfer of memories actually works, when it occurs, and how they are distributed. However, I think Seanâ€™s idea that each new Cylon download is a copy of the latest backed-up version of that modelâ€™s psyche and memories sounds like a reasonable starting point, and the major hang-up with that theory, how could the Cylons of one model all be so similar to one another if they have different memories based on the last time they were downloaded and got the latest version of themselves, is explainable.
My guess is that up until very recently, which version of memories a Cylon had didnâ€™t really affect a Cylonâ€™s basic personality that much. Every member of each model shares the same genes and a base personality; the Cavils are all sarcastic and smarmy, the Leobens are all nuts, etc. In their decades-long break from human contact, I think it is safe to assume that members of the same model also developed in the same general environment; unlike the Colonials, it doesnâ€™t seem like thereâ€™s a class structure within each Cylon model (ie, before contact with the humans, there arenâ€™t some specific Threes that shovel tilium while others relax on the fainting couch all day long; the Centurions do all the menial, craaapy jobs), and somehow I doubt that one Centurion nanny was much different than any other one. In this case, both nature *and* nurture are pretty much the same for all members of a model, so their natural personality tendencies will all likely develop along the same lines through their very similar life experiences (nurture). This doesnâ€™t mean that they donâ€™t have free will; it just means that on the important decisions, all members of one model are extremely likely to agree. (Who knows, maybe the small minority that disagrees for some reason is perceived as faulty or damaged and therefore â€œboxedâ€.) The small decisions that they might not agree on, such as projecting a forest instead of a beach while doing Tai-Chi on a particular day, also allow a degree of individuation and free choice without dramatically affecting their personalities. There will be small differences just because of chance occurrences in each entityâ€™s existence, sure, but not enough to cause any one iteration of a model, say, an individual Six, to think dramatically differently from the other Sixes; plus, the Cylons only had a few important choices to make before the attack on the Colonies, namely, do we attack the humans and what is our strategy to do so.
But now that human contact is thrown into the mix, choices and experiences have become much more complicated and diverse, with everything from love to childbearing and family to disease and the fragility of life being introduced in a short period of time. Cylons like Caprica Six, Gina, Boomer, Athena, and Dâ€™Anna have very specific jobs that give them vastly different life experiences and choices than others within their model who, for example, are rebuilding New Caprica. Since choices are more complex, the effects those choices have on shaping each individual Cylonâ€™s personality and opinions is much greater than before, leading to disagreements between and, more importantly, within models. The way the Cylons make decisions on New Caprica is a case-in-point: each model gets a vote, and while models (the seven models have always had very different personalities) may disagree, which is worrisome enough, their whole method of self-governance seems to be in jeopardy with Boomer and Caprica Six breaking ranks with the rest of their own models. So I bet that the Cylons are now, for the first time, asking themselves what the significance and consequences of their downloading set-up are, just as we are.
Yo! The Alpaca Herder! Thanks for listening to the show!
After reading your question, I was digging through our news archives to find out. I’m pretty sure that date for Razor came from Zap2it’s coverage of the July 15th Television Critic’s Association press tour.
That was also the one where they announced “btwnewfarscapekthxbye”.
And Alpacas look like The Jersey Devil when freshly shaved.