Tuesday, May 13, 2014

And Then There Was That Time That Cyclops Played Captain Kirk!!

You know, in the 1960s, folks sure didn't understand how computers work.

Or, at least, creators of pop fiction didn't.

If you believe Captain Kirk (several times), or the Logan's Run film, or any number of other stories, merely telling a computer an illogical thing, or presenting it with a contradiction, would cause the device to crash, and usually to physically explode.

I mean, that's would be pretty cool, right? Heaven knows there's any number of recalcitrant machines in my lifetime that I would have wanted to destroy just by saying, "Computer, this statement is a lie."

Of course, aside from ignorance, such fictions were a reaction to a fear of computers surpassing us, and humans becoming irrelevant. We had to convince ourselves that there were feats of reasons that computers couldn't adapt to, and that our love of illogic was a strength, not a weakness.

(Of course, by the 80s and 90s that shifted, and we realized that we couldn't actually out-think or out-logic a computer, so all our fiction shifted to A.I.s immediately trying to destroy us, and the only way to beat them was blowing the frak out of them.)

Even Cyclops gets into the act. Here, dressed in a Quicksilver uniform just because, he tries to keeps the Sentinels from destroying all of mutantkind:

Well, by gum, it works:

Normally I would give a "Well played, Scott Summers" here, congratulating him on getting the Sentinels to join the likes of Landru, Nomad, M5, Norman and all the androids, the Logan's Run computer, and gosh knows how many other machines.

But unfortunately...

Cyclops admits he was just winging it.

Of course, so was Kirk, usually.

Unfortunately, in this case, Scott merely inspired the Sentinels to mutate and come back to Earth with a plan to sterilize everyone--no more births, no more mutants!! D'oh!!

From now on, Scott, leave the "wrangle the computer with logic" gig to James Tiberius Kirk, OK?

From X-Men #59 (1969)

1 comment:

Smurfswacker said...

It's unfair to stick the logic thing only on Captain Kirk. How many times did Spock say, "flawlessly...logical!" about something that made no sense at all?