tclaytor

tclaytor

I'm an historical England enthusiast who would gladly step back into that past, but only for a day and only as a rich person. My specialities are literature and film.

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Latest Topics

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Artificial Intelligence--when are they considered alive?

As soon as technology introduced the idea, movies have been wrestling with what to do with artificial intelligence. Once they are thinking on their own, do they have rights as a sentient being? This is seen very clearly with Data in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Series. It is also seen in animated films such as Astro Boy when the audience comes to see the robot more as a real child. The list goes on: AI, even Terminator 2 as the audience mourns the first Terminator’s demise, iRobot, Dark Matter (a Netflix series) etc. Since this is a very real part of our future, the varying views on this would be interesting to consider.

  • I think this topic could dip into real life exams such as with AI and even the creation of Sophia -- a real life AI who was even granted Saudian Arabian citizenship – Pamela Maria 1 week ago
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  • Wow--I didn't even know about that! I find that most responses, at least in the film industry, have been fearful about this topic. There's so much to discuss here! – tclaytor 1 week ago
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  • An additional suggestion. Look in to Ray Kurzweil and his Frankenstein like 'Transhumanist' agenda. It may not be a case of 'Once they are thinking on their own', but once we have been forcibly fused with AI (as Kurzweil wants), will we still be sentient humans in our own right? Now, where's my sabot? – Amyus 6 days ago
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  • The films Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, are focused on the concept of what it means to alive or "human". It is the one of core theme of both films. – Sean Gadus 5 days ago
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Movies that Shape our Childhood

I think it would be interesting to consider the movies of different decades and how they define the different generations. As a child of the 80s, I grew up watching Goonies, Space Camp, and Red Dawn which all impacted the way I viewed life. They presented a picture of adventure (with danger), enemies to fight, and things to hope for. What about the movies of the 90s or the early 2000’s?

  • This would be a great tie-in to the history of cinema through the decades (a topic I very much enjoyed in my Film Analysis class back in college). It would also be interesting to discuss the ways those films from those decades emulate the culture at the time, as films tend to do. – Sara L. 2 months ago
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  • Sara--Film Analysis sounds like a fascinating class! I agree too that films emulate culture as well as create it. – tclaytor 2 months ago
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The Art of Having a Sufficiently Bad Ending

I love the scene in The Matrix when Agent Smith is interrogating Morpheus, and he explains why the world they created was so unpleasant. He said initially that they created a good world but that people rejected it. In fact, they lost whole crops of humans who couldn’t accept the utopia. People rejected what wasn’t believable to them.

This is true of good stories also, particularly in how they end. If the ending is too happy, the story loses its impact. On the flip side, many modern stories end without a real conclusion or with the protagonist still struggling. I’m curious about how to find that perfect balance of satisfying resolution and believable pain that reflects the real difficulties of this world and a hope of redemption.

  • In essence you have quite an interesting topic suggestion here with the potential for deeper study. Why do we find a Utopian dream to be unrealistic, when that is supposedly the end goal that we all desire? Is this perhaps something that has become so ingrained into our collective psyche that only a wicked world is believable? A few more examples (other than a stereotypical Hollywood movie) would be useful, perhaps expanding into the realm of literature. Off the top of my head, I'd suggest Butler's 'Erewhon'. I'd also be careful not to be too religiously orientated in your suggestion. After all, not all of us are Christians and there are other equally valid, non-religious views to consider. One size doesn't fit all. – Amyus 2 months ago
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  • Thanks! I did reword my topic to reflect an overall hope of redemption (or meaning). : ) – tclaytor 2 months ago
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  • Noted. Nicely done :) If this hadn't already been approved then you would have got my vote. – Amyus 2 months ago
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  • This is quite the heavy subject, wow. You could really approach this from different angles. Exploring what constitutes a 'bad ending' would be a good start. Is it when the protagonist doesn't achieve their goal? A phyrric victory? Martyr's victory? No victory at all? Interested to see how this topic plays out. – Starfire 2 months ago
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  • Very cool topic! – Stephanie M. 1 month ago
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Latest Comments

tclaytor

That was my first thought too! I thought that extra scene shows more consequences from Thanos’s actions that moves the audience to grieve and to hope for a resolution that will also help Antman!

Infinity War: Consequences and The Times In Between
tclaytor

There has to be some element of adaptation though, even for an historical event. For one, our understand of history is always subjective, gleaned mostly through the observations of participants who are subjective themselves. Then, in the making of any medium, the director must fit the story into a narrative arc, deciding what elements to emphasize and which to ignore. There will never be s completely accurate rendering of an historical event unless we could somehow gain the perspective of everyone involved.

The Art of Adaption
tclaytor

A very thorough discussion on audiobooks! As a teacher myself, I have always encouraged students to listen to books if that works for them. I love them personally though I’ve discovered non-fiction works best for me. I listen to them when I’m working out or on long drives. It is awesome! I don’t like listening to fiction books because I tend to get really intense when I’m reading something I love and I can’t put it down and speed up my reading. I can’t listen to books that long (I do have to talk to people eventually) so I prefer non-fiction which is enjoyable but easier to put down!

Audiobooks: Do they Enhance or Diminish the Enjoyment of a Story?
tclaytor

Thanks for the timely article! I don’t allow my kids on social media, and I try to be careful with my usage of it. I catch myself on it just wasting time, and I hate that I do that. It has been helpful in keeping in touch with friends from college that I do not live near, but I can see how it can negatively affect relationships nearby if you aren’t intentional in investing in people face to face.

The Power of Social Media; Does It Enhance or Swallow Up Relationships?
tclaytor

I’ve always loved the Back to the Future series. I enjoyed it as a kid and then I have enjoyed sharing it with my kids. I think your statement, “If we want to change something, we change it in the present” is so truthful. Just like in the movies, the future is created by decisions made today. That makes today extremely powerful!

Back to the Future: A Credit to the Science Fiction Genre
tclaytor

I think there is a difference between adapting a story and adapting a real historical event. I think if it is based on a real event, it is important to capture it realistically as possible or not even relate it to that event. As a teacher, I see students assimilate these incorrect views of history, rather than the facts as we know it.
Concerning story, however, I think most stories build upon the foundations of other stories. Think of the influence of Greek mythology which is referenced in thousands of stories. Fairy tales themselves are always adaptations of the stories that traveled and were changed according to their own culture. For example, the original Cinderella story can be traced back to China, hence the small feet reference.
Story is always reflective of what culture values and should be understood in that light. Story, like language, is always changing. It is because of this that we should read books from many different time periods as it helps us to have a broader view of the world.

The Art of Adaption
tclaytor

This is a great topic! I hope some creative writers out there will take up the challenge to explore female protagonists who are celibate but not masculine in a modern setting. Older works had no problem with celibate characters of both genders as being perfectly normal and acceptable. Our overly sexualized culture cannot imagine a purposeful celibate lifestyle as possible or desirable. However, for a Christian not called to marriage, this is a reality. We need heroes and heroines who embrace this and aren’t tragic figures.

Representation of female celibacy in Television and Film
tclaytor

As a girl who was raised by her father, I found this article extremely interesting. Your lines here capture my relationship with my father perfectly: “She might well miss her mother, but Belle recognizes Papa doing his best to fill that void. She rewards him with unconditional love, loyalty, and intuitive understanding of what he needs.” My father did everything he could to encourage me and show me love. We were very close, more like friends than parent and child, most of my life. He passed away six years ago now, and I’m seeing more and more how much of an influence he was on me. I wish I could tell him.

Missing Moms and the Fairytale Characters Living Without Them