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There are no enemies in science, only phenomena to be studied
February 28, 2012 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Peter Weyland's 2023 TED talk on how expanding the boundaries of science will change the world
posted by Artw (66 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I saw this just a moment ago and expected something grand and got - disappointed (nothing happens, does it?). Also: loving the retro-futurism of the Wayland logo.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:45 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was hoping he would reveal his circuitry at the end.
posted by Chekhovian at 1:48 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


(and TED as something that still matters in the future made me vomit a little)
posted by Chekhovian at 1:50 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I fairly recently found out (or re-remembered) Weyland came from Leyland... I totally hope Peter drives a vintage Austin Allegro a car so futurist that it had a square steering wheel.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:50 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anybody else detecting a bit of a Caprica vibe?
posted by AugieAugustus at 1:51 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


nothing happens, does it?

Asides from the construction of a gigantic hubris magnet.

He plays god! Goes too far! Etc...
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The "viral" website: https://www.weylandindustries.com/ was a little disappointing. But then again, maybe I'm don't have the right browser to see the whole thing since I only have 2012 technology.

(and TED as something that still matters in the future made me vomit a little)

I could see a TED conference in 2023 but in that giant stadium? If anything, I'd think they'd be smaller with more people interacting remotely.
posted by birdherder at 1:54 PM on February 28, 2012


Nothing Could Possibly Go Wrong!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:54 PM on February 28, 2012


A previous speech from Dr. Eric Vornoff.
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have existed from the morning of the world and I will exist until the last star FALLS from the night. Although I have taken the form of Guyus Caligula, I am all men as I am no man and therefore I am…a God.

I will await the unanimous decision of the council, Claudius.

[Beat]

(sits down, falls off chair, rolls down steps.)
posted by Jofus at 1:59 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


As long as Weyland hasn't merged with Yutani we still have a chance.
One of the things I enjoyed most about Alien was its subtle satirical content. Science fiction films offer golden opportunities to throw in little scraps of information that suggest enormous changes in the world. There's a certain potency in those kinds of remarks. Weylan Yutani for instance is almost a joke, but not quite. I wanted to imply that poor old England is back on its feet and has united with the Japanese, who have taken over the building of spaceships the same way they have now with cars and supertankers. In coming up with a strange company name I thought of British Leyland and Toyota, but we couldn't use "Leyland-Toyota" in the film. Changing one letter gave me "Weylan," and "Yutani" was a Japanese neighbor of mine. ”
—Ron Cobb, "The Authorized Portfolio of Crew Insignias from The United States Commercial Spaceship Nostromo Designs and Realizations" by John Mollo and Ron Cobb.*
posted by birdherder at 2:00 PM on February 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Still no frikkin jet pack?
posted by Redhush at 2:01 PM on February 28, 2012


This is kind of an odd post without any context. For those who are confused, this is a viral ad for the movie Prometheus, a prequel to the Alien movies.
posted by The Bellman at 2:02 PM on February 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


Dr. Carington makes the case for the superiority of non-fauna based intelligent lifeforms.
posted by Artw at 2:02 PM on February 28, 2012


I'd think they'd be smaller with more people interacting remotely.

How do you know they weren't?
posted by yoink at 2:13 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


For those who are confused, this is a viral ad for the movie Prometheus , a prequel to the Alien movies.

Thanks. I was really confused.
posted by Jon_Evil at 2:19 PM on February 28, 2012


Jesus Christ. If someone gave a talk like that at an actual conference they'd be laughed at. And abused mercilessly on Twitter.
posted by chasing at 2:19 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I could see a TED conference in 2023 but in that giant stadium? If anything, I'd think they'd be smaller with more people interacting remotely.

Due to overpopulation, that's actually where they live.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 2:20 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you want to see if you read between the lines...

* The speech takes place in 2023. Alien was set in 2122 and Aliens was set in 2179.
* The site indicates that in the timeline of the film Prometheus, the speech has taken place at some point in the past (they talk about it in the past tense).
* The speech is apparently the return of Weyland to public life after a few years of quiet.
* On the screen behind him, one of the (apparently Internet) commentators says, "Where is Weyland going with this? Thought fire was for all mankind? He's probably franchised using it now."
* That same comment has a URL -- bit.ly/tgwOvj that resolves to the movie trailer site.
* His list of 21st century technology is biotech, nanotech, fusion and fission and M-theory, "and that was just the first decade." So, these things have been around for nearly 20 years by the time of the speech.
* He mentions that cybernetic individuals will be indistinguishable from humans "in a few short years." Michael Fassbender apparently plays one of these individuals in the film.
* He says he will seek greatness or die trying.
* He's also referencing Lawrence of Arabia, famous for bridging the gap between different cultures in service of war.

Prediction: Weyland is announcing new initiatives in space travel because he's seeking the next technological edge, similar to the impact of gunpowder, which he notably calls out as a game-changer. When the movie starts, he's decades older, and now he's seeking immortality.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:23 PM on February 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Due to overpopulation, that's actually where they live.

It's the Soylent Green processing plant. It looks like a stadium, but when it starts spinning you realize it's just a big meat grinder.
posted by yoink at 2:24 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ. If someone gave a talk like that at an actual conference they'd be laughed at. And abused mercilessly on Twitter.

Today, perhaps, but not after the New Pomposity movement gets started in 2020.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 2:25 PM on February 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


It's the Soylent Green processing plant. It looks like a stadium, but when it starts spinning you realize it's just a big meat grinder.

Technology Entertainment Dinner!
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 2:27 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Doctor Walter Bishop proposes an innovative method of product research.
posted by Artw at 2:30 PM on February 28, 2012


Look, there's no way around this - and maybe it's just because I remember him principally from the low-rent soap Neighbours in the 80's/90's - but Guy Pearce's accent in that short makes me feel like John Hurt just as his noodles started to repeat on him.

I am looking forward to literally everything else about this film.
posted by Jofus at 2:31 PM on February 28, 2012


This just makes me hate TED even more
posted by Dia Nomou Nomo Apethanon at 2:41 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


wait i thought TED was supposed to be cool

what happened
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 2:49 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste...
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:53 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


TED pays a bunch of cash for product placement in Scott's upcoming film. Does this mean TED senses its growing irrelevance? Will any of us be paying attention to TED after the next 2 years, let alone the next 21?
posted by mistersquid at 3:02 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I couldn't get over how much he looked like Brass Eye era Chris Morris.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:07 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This, of course, alludes to you: "wait i thought TED was supposed to be cool"

Seconded. I haven't really paid much attention, but I was under the impression that they were well thought of.
posted by brundlefly at 3:08 PM on February 28, 2012


TED pays a bunch of cash for product placement in Scott's upcoming film. Does this mean TED senses its growing irrelevance?

Are you sure TED paid them? I assumed TED was using whatever remaining internet clout they had to make some money. Without the TED angle this is a really lame teaser trailer.
posted by Gary at 3:13 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Prometheus Blue.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:22 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


... we can create cybernetic individuals, who, in a few short years, will be indistinguishable from us.

So I'm only going to say this once. DON'T GIVE THEM FIRE
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:27 PM on February 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Wait, you thought TED *paid* for this? Surely the other way around?
posted by danhon at 3:50 PM on February 28, 2012


Pepsi TED?
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:56 PM on February 28, 2012


I'm willing to bet that no money changed hands -- TED licensed its name for free for the exposure to a mainstream audience. It's likely that billions of people will see this movie over time, and most of them will have never, ever heard of TED before doing so. TED is still pretty damn niche.

The film production could have easily "branded" this differently, but it has more impact among geeks to use the TED name. So, unlike most product placement, it's a win-win.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:11 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Makes me want to watch Priscilla again, and to not watch Prometheus.
posted by jiawen at 4:13 PM on February 28, 2012


Really looking forward to Prometheus. But then, I was really looking forward to Transformers 2. I'm not...not a smart man, I guess you could say.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:17 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


(The sequel to Prometheus is apparently already in the works, it's by Jim Cameron and is called Prometheus'.)
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:17 PM on February 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


According to Damon Lindelof, "The Weyland talk is NOT in the movie. Made just for TED. And y'all, of course."
posted by incessant at 4:18 PM on February 28, 2012


In the context in which this occurs, this would have been a remarkably stupid talk, reminiscent of the blowhards on those Wired Network sites that proliferated during the dawn of Eternal September. Remember netizen.com, and sites like that, whose entire stock in trade was newly minted infopundits huffing "go us, we're in the FUTURE now!" Neither do I.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:23 PM on February 28, 2012


TED is still pretty damn niche.

[groan]

TED was niche back in the late 80s, when it was a little get-together of Harry Marks' friends in programming and broadcast video graphics. There were no celebrities. I actually turned down Harry's invite to go to TED 1, I couldn't afford the hotel room.

Now TED is a brand name, everyone who goes is a fucking celebrity and they give them fucking gift bags with iPods, cruelty free chocolate, green cosmetics, child labor-free teddy bears, and a copy of Microsoft fucking Windows.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:38 PM on February 28, 2012


wait i thought TED was supposed to be cool
This is Metafilter. We just liked their early stuff, before the fans ruined the scene.
posted by roystgnr at 4:44 PM on February 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


Am I the only person who watched this and loved it BECAUSE it's so silly and over-the-top?! Yeeee.
posted by sc114 at 4:46 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Writing a TEDTalk from the future: Q&A with Damon Lindelof
posted by Artw at 4:59 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


TED (and conferences of the same sort) are examined with something of a gimlet eye in New York Magazine article by Benjamin Wallace (via aldaily).
posted by jquinby at 5:10 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now TED is a brand name, everyone who goes is a fucking celebrity

Go down to the mall and ask 20 random people if they know what TED is.

Then show them a picture of the Xenomorph and ask if they recognize it. Bonus points if they can add plot details, such as "it's that alien from that movie with the thing that explodes out of your chest."

Then you'll know what "niche" means.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:34 PM on February 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is Metafilter. We just liked their early stuff, before the fans ruined the scene.

Fucking latecomer hipsters. I snubbed TED before it ever started. They were trying to get ME to come and BE the scene. And they didn't offer gift bags, they wore an onion on their belt, as was the fashion in the time.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:48 PM on February 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of course all his favorite talks are BS with no data.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:49 PM on February 28, 2012


Look, everyone knows that shitheel Weyland got all his IP after the fiasco in LA that shuttered Tryell Corp. This little gem of self-celebration is disingenuous at best, and utterly overlooks the contributions that Yutani will bring to the table when Weyland turns to them in desperation.

(full disclosure: I have written boilerplate for Weyland-Yutani in the distant futur-passé.)
posted by mwhybark at 6:05 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Artw, for the interview with Damon Lindelof.

Lindelof identifies a few TED talks and, 36 minutes later with one left to go, I'm ready to revise my opinion we won’t be paying attention to TED in 21 years.
posted by mistersquid at 6:13 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow, that Yutani site is futuristic!
posted by sfts2 at 6:18 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


TED : a real conference :: Caesar's palace Las Vegas : ancient Rome
posted by Pyry at 6:51 PM on February 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


And TED's dilution into commercial crapdom continues
posted by sid at 6:59 PM on February 28, 2012


Wait. This was equally smart and lame.

Brilliant!
posted by Mike Mongo at 7:34 PM on February 28, 2012


I'm ready to revise my opinion we won’t be paying attention to TED in 21 years.

All the Hans Rosling talks are amazing. He has real data and presents it in a fantastic way.

There's definitely some great stuff in TED. But the site itself is not for everyone. Two of their last three grand prize winners were a TV chef and The City 2.0. If that makes you roll your eyes like me, then it's best to avoid the site all together and just wait for the best talks to get linked to somewhere else.
posted by Gary at 9:14 PM on February 28, 2012


Ridley Scott:
"When the first 'Alien' movie and 'Blade Runner' were made, I thought that in the near future the world will be owned by large companies. This is why we have the Tyrell Corporation in 'Blade Runner', and Weyland-Yutani in 'Alien'. They sent the Nostromo spaceship.

The Prometheus is owned by an entrepreneur called Peter Weyland, and is played by Guy Pearce. That's the connection between the two films, and nothing more. Prometheus is a new film, a new world, and is full of new ideas. And of course new monsters as well.
posted by homunculus at 1:34 AM on February 29, 2012


Smart talk has never been such a valuable commodity. It’s spawned conferences like TED, Davos, and now a slew of upstart competitors. It has made the eighteen‑minute TED lecture a viral online phenomenon. But are we running out of things to say?
posted by homunculus at 1:35 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Excerpt from the Father TED talk:

"I want to talk to you today about a horse. Not just any horse, but a lovely horse....."
posted by panboi at 3:21 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ahoy MeFi Britons --

I know (the wonderful and unbelievably handsome) Pearce is putting on an accent here -- John Hurt's, maybe? -- but there's something about it that rubs me the wrong way. Word-ending inconsistencies? Small infelicities of cadence or diction? But something seems fucked up. On the other hand, the overall effect is nice (too much eye work for me but I like the pacing and the voice overall).

So I'm wondering -- would this be considered by a Briton a good job at aping the accent Pearce is after? Who is he 'doing,' exactly?
posted by waxbanks at 7:25 AM on February 29, 2012


waxbanks: "Ahoy MeFi Britons --

I know (the wonderful and unbelievably handsome) Pearce is putting on an accent here -- John Hurt's, maybe? -- but there's something about it that rubs me the wrong way. Word-ending inconsistencies? Small infelicities of cadence or diction? But something seems fucked up. On the other hand, the overall effect is nice (too much eye work for me but I like the pacing and the voice overall).

So I'm wondering -- would this be considered by a Briton a good job at aping the accent Pearce is after? Who is he 'doing,' exactly?
"

It's a fair crack at privately educated Home Counties, but there is the odd-over emphasis that makes him sound just the faintest bit Aussie. Which he is, of course.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:35 AM on February 29, 2012


To the average American, anything even vaguely British (with the exception of Cockney) sounds educated and elite.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:42 AM on February 29, 2012


He sounds a bit of a pretentious weirdo, to be honest. Which fits TED quite nicely.
posted by Artw at 9:43 AM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought it was a bit Peter O'Toolish... certainly old skool Grand British Actor, RP by way of RADA
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:21 PM on February 29, 2012


a copy of Microsoft fucking Windows

Windows 69
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:38 PM on February 29, 2012


Stunning High Res Star Map 'Prometheus' Image Found on Viral Site
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:04 PM on March 7, 2012


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