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Marc Williams

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Thanks Marc.

Sociologists should write a paper on the change of tone in those tech films from the 60s to the present. "Conquest of Light" is not the kind of title we'd see these post-modern days. I need to give this more thought myself but it seems that back in mid twentieth-century, the default perspective was mankind standing in awe of nature and carefully glimpsing her secrets by peering into humongous glowing machines in darkened labs, like wizards around a candle. Technicians were robot-like, and spoke woodenly and reverently.

Now, irreverence is the norm and scientists look more comfortable in front of a camera. So do the robots!

IBM's media campaign with Watson is a good data point for a modern example of tech film. IBM managed to finagle their digital Jeopardy-contestant into both a PBS NOVA episode and CBS Sunday Morning that I am aware of. And all video segments looked as though they were produced by IBM! The camera angles, lighting, production values in general, interview subjects... and the clothes they wore!... were identical.

Both science and audience have sophisticated in 50 years, and so have I! I often wonder how objective I can be as I age. I know for a fact though that the word "green" used to refer to a color of about 530 nms, not a way of life that I need to be lectured on every time I turn around.

Watson is specifically hyped as aiding the bureaucratic aspect of life, not conquering the field of lasers, so maybe it does call for a different interpretive approach. Administration is not sexy. But even with pure science like particle accelerators the media emphasis seems to be on cost overruns, politics and suspicion of motives, not wide-eyed, trusting awe. Or maybe as a jaded home owner that's how I see the world.

NASA seems to have taken over the wonderment niche. Hubble photographs certainly inspire retro-respect. Maybe we've pushed back the unknown, the frontier where science and religion scuffle, off the earth and billions of years into the past. There's nothing left ineffable in a world of iPhones.

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Hey, that was great, thank you for posting it. It's rare that we get a new 15-minute Fair video to watch!

Happy to do it. If we find anything else Fair-related, it'll go on our schedule. We've got a ton of video to go through :)

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