Conception

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Re: Inception

Postby Belial » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:44 pm UTC

Nath wrote:There's plenty of evidence that it was all a dream; there's just no proof. Important distinction.


Yeah. And the "what if" statement isn't even subtext for this movie. It's text.
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Re: Inception

Postby ArgonV » Wed Aug 18, 2010 9:10 pm UTC

You know, for me the final scene - where Cobb left the top to go to his kids - meant that he didn't care any-more if it was a dream or not; he had what he wanted, his kids back. Dream or no dream. Might be too simple, but that's the explanation for me...

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Re: Inception

Postby infernovia » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:58 am UTC

We would know nothing about reality (with complete certainty), but that doesn't mean we have no information at all. This movie communicates in hints and suggestions, not just outright statements. There's plenty of evidence that it was all a dream; there's just no proof. Important distinction.

News to me. It is true that I have seen this movie only twice so far, which seems to be not enough because you guys certainly are sure that there were many suggestions about reality within the movie. I only managed to catch only a few, and those were completely subverted in moments (especially the ones with Mal).

Also, we don't have any information about reality, (at least I did not notice any). If we assume that even the first step of Mal & Cobb was a dream, then their whole marriage could be dreamed up. Maybe it was dreamed because the dreamer was married, but maybe not. Maybe he dreamed it because his wife died, maybe not. Maybe he is Cobb, maybe not. After all, Nolan certainly dreamed up the whole story without a wife loss, and DiCaprio acted without ever losing his wife, and I have dreamt about such stories as well, without ever being married. And we certainly watched through the whole story without any problems, finding it enjoyable, regardless of our marital status or existence of children. So what could the n-1 level look like?

Btw, apparently the kids at the end were wearing different shoes and there is a hint at the end of the credits (I did not notice either of these, so can't speak of the validity for it). Take that for what it is worth, although the latter seems to be referenced by Nolan and the actors.

The arguments many have made here about Inception have the same problems. We have to assume some portion of the movie was reality. If the entire movie was a dream, we would know NOTHING about "reality" and would have no basis to assess it as a dream and no basis to guess what reality looked like. Maybe they'll be a Men in Black type ending (aliens playing marbles with galaxies) as a deleted scene on the DVD. Who knows? Until then, there is zero evidence to support the idea that the movie we watched in the theater doesn't contain at least a scene or two of reality.

Yes. Imo, it really does not matter if there really was a n-1 level or not. I think the analysis would be the same anyway.

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Re: Inception

Postby Chuff » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:07 am UTC

K guys new theory.

The scene at the end is the top level. It is reality. Not only is it the reality of the movie though, it is the reality of real life. It happened to some fellow, presumably named Cobb, in the real world. He, in turn, dreamed this world that we're in, and the movie we see called Inception is a memory of his, being produced inside his dream by Christopher Nolan. That's right, you're one level down.
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Re: Inception

Postby DizzyDixon » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:18 pm UTC

I saw this movie twice. It was amazing!

My first view I didn't completely understand the purpose of the totem. At the second view I figured out that even though I understood what it was meant to be fore(and originally Mal's idea) the last frame doesn't actually answer any questions despite knowing the correct meaning of the totem. It simply supported the "this was all a dream" more as an ending.

Remember, it's purpose is to tell you that you're not in someone ELSE'S dream. So whether it fell or not Cobb could still be dreaming.

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Re: Inception

Postby GhostWolfe » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:22 am UTC

infernovia wrote:It is implied that Cobb and Mal made these totems before going into limbo (this is why Mal hides the totem in the first place).
I didn't interpret the top in the safe as Mal's literal totem, but rather a visual metaphor for a secret never revealed to the audience.

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Re: Inception

Postby Magnanimous » Fri Aug 20, 2010 6:25 am UTC

Chuff wrote:K guys new theory.

The scene at the end is the top level. It is reality. Not only is it the reality of the movie though, it is the reality of real life. It happened to some fellow, presumably named Cobb, in the real world. He, in turn, dreamed this world that we're in, and the movie we see called Inception is a memory of his, being produced inside his dream by Christopher Nolan. That's right, you're one level down.
Wait, then who's Leonardo DiCaprio? Is he Cobb's consciousness, or just part of the dream?

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Re: Inception

Postby Chuff » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:50 pm UTC

Magnanimous wrote:Wait, then who's Leonardo DiCaprio? Is he Cobb's consciousness, or just part of the dream?

He is another dream version of the real dude, I would think. Maybe not, though.
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Re: Inception

Postby guyy » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:37 am UTC

I don't know if this has been mentioned already in this giant thread, but it sounds like this bit is still an issue, so I'm gonna say it:

Spoiler:
At the very end, after the credits, after the big "WB" logo thingy, just as the screen goes black...there's a quiet-ish clattering sound, like that of a tiny object toppling over.


Make of that what you will.

Metaphysical puzzles aside, it's a great movie, and made a lot more sense than I expected. That is, unless I was thinking too narrowly.

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Re: Inception

Postby KrazyerKate » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:15 am UTC

oh, I hate coming into discussions without being able to read all previous posts. Sorry if I'm retreading old ground.


ArgonV wrote:You know, for me the final scene - where Cobb left the top to go to his kids - meant that he didn't care any-more if it was a dream or not; he had what he wanted, his kids back. Dream or no dream. Might be too simple, but that's the explanation for me...


I'm with you here. I think Nolan leaves it ambiguous not because we're supposed to figure it out for ourselves, but because it isn't important. Cobb spends the entire movie fighting to distinguish between 'real' and 'dream', and it really takes its toll on him. Now he's happy, and wants nothing to do with totems and the dream/reality conflict that comes with them.


guyy wrote:
Spoiler:
At the very end, after the credits, after the big "WB" logo thingy, just as the screen goes black...there's a quiet-ish clattering sound, like that of a tiny object toppling over.

Goddammit, I had to rewatch the movie once already just to keep an eye on Leonardo's wedding ring. Now you're saying I have to watch it again for another tiny but plot-altering detail?

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Re: Inception

Postby Sprocket » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:13 pm UTC

the spoiler for Inception is
Spoiler:
"and the kids are wearing the same clothes!"


Inception was....uh..
I spent the first third of the movie unwilling to accept the premise and being annoyed with how hard edged everything was. I spent a lot of the movie annoyed with the way LeoDi delivered his lines. I spent some of the movie annoyed with the cliche lines and premises. I spent a good deal of the movie feeling like they were trying to create drama and use violence in ways that were useless due to the premise, some of the movie annoyed with either how smart they thought they were being, or how smart they wanted to audience to feel, and the rest of it going "oh solving puzzles within these game mechanics is fun."
Spoiler:
I felt as though they needed to envelop me in all those layers of the mechanics in order to force me to ignore their ridiculous premise and just deal with their rules. I just spent too much of it going "dreams duz not wark that waeeeey!" it also bothers me when a movie tries to make something you know their going to say seem less that obvious, of course the word the kid heard his dying father say was "dissaponted" it equally bothers me when a movie decides certain things are obvious and inherently true like "THE way to get into someones psyche is through their relationship with their father." Yeah cuz every last one of us is riddled with pain over not living up to our fathers expectations....I mean sure, I am to a point, sure a lot of people may be, but seriously? It's "THE WAY?"
I feel like I may need to see it again in a theater with better sound, I did miss a lot of lines, but at the same time I don't think I could deal. Plus JGL should always have more hair than that.
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Re: Inception

Postby GhostWolfe » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:47 am UTC

Sprocket wrote:"dreams duz not wark that waeeeey!"
Dreams don't work in what way? I mean, they're dreams, I'm pretty sure they work in lots of different ways for lots of different people. Or are you questioning the idea that people can share a dreamstate?

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Re: Inception

Postby Magnanimous » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:59 am UTC

It... seems remotely possible, given enough advances in technology. The only thing I had a problem with was the fact that everyone who entered someone else's dream did so by actually falling asleep. It sounds more logical to have a device capture the dreamer's dream and feed it to the consciousnesses of everyone who will be joining, then stream their "actions" back to the dreamer. (Sort of like the Enterprise's holodeck, if that makes sense.)

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Re: Inception

Postby broken_escalator » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:34 pm UTC

Sprocket wrote: it also bothers me when a movie tries to make something you know their going to say seem less that obvious, of course the word the kid heard his dying father say was "dissaponted" it equally bothers me when a movie decides certain things are obvious and inherently true like "THE way to get into someones psyche is through their relationship with their father." Yeah cuz every last one of us is riddled with pain over not living up to our fathers expectations....I mean sure, I am to a point, sure a lot of people may be, but seriously? It's "THE WAY?"

The way to get into someones psyche about dissolving their fathers business is probably through their relationship wtih their father. I'm not sure why that seems far fetched. Had the inception topic been about adopting a cat, they probably wouldn't have had the dad dying whispering, "adopt... caaaat-*dead*". Plus I don't think they meant to convey the idea that everyone has guilt with not living up to their father's expectations. But the son of an obviously mega-powerful corporate head could be seen as having problems with it.

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Re: Inception

Postby Felstaff » Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:57 pm UTC

Sprocket wrote:being annoyed with how hard edged everything was.
I completely agree with this point. It's a Nolan trademark. I think he does something with the contrast, or uses a certain type of film/hard lighting technique to get that very angular, accentuated, strong-lined Hi-Def look. It's the complete opposite to how dreams are usually portrayed on-screen (soft-focus to the point of ridickulousnessosity), and as that's what I've been spoonfed all my life, I kind of associate dreams with most of the mise en scène being 'out of focus', rather than intensely-focused, hard-lit, and übersharp that was so apparent in The Dark Kinigget & Inception. It's mechanical and industrial, and I regard dreaming as primal, naturalistic, elemental. Unless it's a cool steampunk dream (I relived the film Franklyn in a dream once).

But amazingly, it worked for me. I saw the dreams as drug-induced hallucinations (hence why the chemist is the first dreamer), rather than natural, illogically, airy-fairy REM dreams, and anyone who's ever hallucinated will now just how in-focus everything seems to be.
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Re: Inception

Postby Sprocket » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:19 pm UTC

GhostWolfe wrote:
Sprocket wrote:"dreams duz not wark that waeeeey!"
Dreams don't work in what way? I mean, they're dreams, I'm pretty sure they work in lots of different ways for lots of different people. Or are you questioning the idea that people can share a dreamstate?

/angell
ha ha ha. Dreams are not extant plains where rooms exist when the dreamer isn't there. When you wake up from one dream into another, that dream has not been going on somewhere in your subconscious in the meantime....I could go on but there really isn't any point. It's not about what is and what isn't possible, obviously movies are comprised of fantastical ideas frequently, it's more about the hard lines, sharp focus, and the annoying way lines about facts of the movie were delivered. But basically I have no problem with the fantastic idea that someone can be in your head and experience your dreams, but that they can run around in parts of your dream that you don't even know are there, much less that you are not experiencing...If they had done it all a little less firmly I would have not spent the first third of the movie unable to to accept it.

broken_escalator wrote:
Sprocket wrote: it also bothers me when a movie tries to make something you know they're going to say seem less than obvious, of course the word the kid heard his dying father say was "dissaponted" it equally bothers me when a movie decides certain things are obvious and inherently true like "THE way to get into someones psyche is through their relationship with their father." Yeah cuz every last one of us is riddled with pain over not living up to our fathers expectations....I mean sure, I am to a point, sure a lot of people may be, but seriously? It's "THE WAY?"

The way to get into someones psyche about dissolving their fathers business is probably through their relationship wtih their father. I'm not sure why that seems far fetched. Had the inception topic been about adopting a cat, they probably wouldn't have had the dad dying whispering, "adopt... caaaat-*dead*". Plus I don't think they meant to convey the idea that everyone has guilt with not living up to their father's expectations. But the son of an obviously mega-powerful corporate head could be seen as having problems with it.
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Re: Inception

Postby GhostWolfe » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:10 pm UTC

Sprocket wrote:Dreams are not extant plains where rooms exist when the dreamer isn't there. When you wake up from one dream into another, that dream has not been going on somewhere in your subconscious in the meantime....I could go on but there really isn't any point.
I know you said it's beside your point; but I don't see why, just because you're dreaming, your mind can't be running multiple trains of thought at once.

Sprocket wrote:It's not about what is and what isn't possible, obviously movies are comprised of fantastical ideas frequently, it's more about the hard lines, sharp focus, and the annoying way lines about facts of the movie were delivered. But basically I have no problem with the fantastic idea that someone can be in your head and experience your dreams, but that they can run around in parts of your dream that you don't even know are there, much less that you are not experiencing...If they had done it all a little less firmly I would have not spent the first third of the movie unable to to accept it.
I'm sorry... I'm feeling really really dumb; but based on what Felstaff said, are we talking about the visual presentation of the movie? You're saying this stuff and I can't seem to quite grasp it.

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Re: Inception

Postby Flightless_bird » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:27 pm UTC

This movie had a huge effect on me but I have still only seen it once.
I thought it was great and I didn't feel confused throughout it. I am impressed by how such a complicated subject is simplified while still leaving so many places where you can find a deeper meaning if you look. This is a movie I have to watch again and I believe that you experience it differently every time.
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Re: Inception

Postby Magnanimous » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:49 am UTC

The PASIV is really annoying. I still can't see how a simple IV drip of anything could link together a bunch of consciousnesses.

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Re: Inception

Postby Jesse » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:49 pm UTC

Magnanimous wrote:The PASIV is really annoying. I still can't see how a simple IV drip of anything could link together a bunch of consciousnesses.


Because it doesn't, its a physical metaphor given to us by the dream because everything ever is a dream.

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Re: Inception

Postby michaelyw » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:59 pm UTC

Magnanimous wrote:The PASIV is really annoying. I still can't see how a simple IV drip of anything could link together a bunch of consciousnesses.

The IV drip is how the drugs are administered. You can keep a dosage at a constant level over a long period.

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Re: Inception

Postby mosc » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:00 pm UTC

Magnanimous wrote:The PASIV is really annoying. I still can't see how a simple IV drip of anything could link together a bunch of consciousnesses.

I just assumed they were giving each other spinal taps and the fluid was a neurotransmitter effectively networking their brains.
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Re: Inception

Postby the_phoenix612 » Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:34 am UTC

mosc wrote:
Magnanimous wrote:The PASIV is really annoying. I still can't see how a simple IV drip of anything could link together a bunch of consciousnesses.

I just assumed they were giving each other spinal taps and the fluid was a neurotransmitter effectively networking their brains.

Yes, because your spinal cord runs through a vein in your arm.
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Re: Inception

Postby Magnanimous » Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:53 am UTC

I mean, feeding them Somnacin or whatever makes sense, since it could help regulate your brain chemistry while you're mind-melding. But there has to be some kind of neural interface... I would've liked to see them use the holoband thing from Caprica.

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Re: Inception

Postby icanus » Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:49 am UTC

I got the impression that it was supposed to be an innate ability and that the IV was just to administer drugs to obtain the right mental state and keep the process stable for long enough to do what you want.

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Re: Inception

Postby cephalopod9 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:45 pm UTC

the_phoenix612 wrote:
mosc wrote:
Magnanimous wrote:The PASIV is really annoying. I still can't see how a simple IV drip of anything could link together a bunch of consciousnesses.

I just assumed they were giving each other spinal taps and the fluid was a neurotransmitter effectively networking their brains.

Yes, because your spinal cord runs through a vein in your arm.

The connector machine also didn't seem to puncture the skin, just tape on top. That part didn't really make sense.
At a stretch, I could say there are nerves in your arm, and probably not too far in, so maybe the device can set up some connection through there, radioactive nanobots, unobtanium, there was something of a metaphysical component over all.
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Re: Inception

Postby KrazyerKate » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:58 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:
the_phoenix612 wrote:
mosc wrote:
Magnanimous wrote:The PASIV is really annoying. I still can't see how a simple IV drip of anything could link together a bunch of consciousnesses.

I just assumed they were giving each other spinal taps and the fluid was a neurotransmitter effectively networking their brains.

Yes, because your spinal cord runs through a vein in your arm.

The connector machine also didn't seem to puncture the skin, just tape on top. That part didn't really make sense.
At a stretch, I could say there are nerves in your arm, and probably not too far in, so maybe the device can set up some connection through there, radioactive nanobots, unobtanium, there was something of a metaphysical component over all.


You'll note that this was one of the only plot mechanics that is not explained at all. Everything else has very specific rules about how things work. I don't think Nolan left the machine vague on purpose. I like to think he's saying "look, I don't have time to explain this part", because the movie was so crammed full of explanations of how the dream world works that I wouldn't want him to devote any screentime to laying out the mechanics and inner workings of the machines. You plug in, and you dream. That's all I need to know to get the plot of the movie.
However, I suppose the idea of the machines being a dream-world symbol makes sense as well. I'm not a big fan of the "it's all a dream" theory though, because it'd make the movie a whole lot less interesting if the events never actually happened.

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Re: Inception

Postby the_phoenix612 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:10 pm UTC

cephalopod9 wrote:
the_phoenix612 wrote:
mosc wrote:
Magnanimous wrote:The PASIV is really annoying. I still can't see how a simple IV drip of anything could link together a bunch of consciousnesses.

I just assumed they were giving each other spinal taps and the fluid was a neurotransmitter effectively networking their brains.

Yes, because your spinal cord runs through a vein in your arm.

The connector machine also didn't seem to puncture the skin, just tape on top. That part didn't really make sense.
At a stretch, I could say there are nerves in your arm, and probably not too far in, so maybe the device can set up some connection through there, radioactive nanobots, unobtanium, there was something of a metaphysical component over all.

Yes it did. Saito checked his arm and a puncture mark over his vein was visible on the train and that is how he knew they were in his dreams.
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Re: Inception

Postby broken_escalator » Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:09 pm UTC

I don't think you're supposed to give much thought to the how of the dream machine. The movie doesn't try to pass it off as some psuedo-science, they just claim the military originally developed it so they could train and stuff. You know that crazy military budget has to be able to buy some macguffin machine blueprints.

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Re: Inception

Postby Belial » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:17 pm UTC

KrazyerKate wrote:I'm not a big fan of the "it's all a dream" theory though, because it'd make the movie a whole lot less interesting if the events never actually happened.


Psst. Guys, no one tell her that it was a movie.
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Re: Inception

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:51 pm UTC

Hm. So that train speech occurs at least twice, and I think thrice.

After Cobb washes up and is brought to Saito, the movie's plot actually starts. On a train. And the events on that train lead step by step back to Cobb's kids.
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Re: Inception

Postby tastelikecoke » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:03 am UTC

broken_escalator wrote:I don't think you're supposed to give much thought to the how of the dream machine. The movie doesn't try to pass it off as some psuedo-science, they just claim the military originally developed it so they could train and stuff. You know that crazy military budget has to be able to buy some macguffin machine blueprints.

Why is it that science fiction always use the "military technology" excuse when they have cool gadgets?!

One thing, the
Spoiler:
scene where Cobb is followed by a bunch of people in Bombasa then rescued by Saito, I thought that means the scene in Bombasa was a dream. I was shocked it was supposedly real. The person behind Cobb during the conversation (which later chased him) looks more like a projection. The tight alley feels like it was an architect's work. And Saito appeared out of nowhere, with a car.

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Re: Inception

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:31 am UTC

I thought that was a dream too. Especially given that
Spoiler:
Cobol and Cobb are similar enough names that I don't think it's coincidence, and Cobol could easily be Cobb's own subconscious security trying to stop his conscious mind from deciding not to wake up.
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Nath
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Re: Inception

Postby Nath » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:54 am UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:One thing, the
Spoiler:
scene where Cobb is followed by a bunch of people in Bombasa then rescued by Saito, I thought that means the scene in Bombasa was a dream. I was shocked it was supposedly real. The person behind Cobb during the conversation (which later chased him) looks more like a projection. The tight alley feels like it was an architect's work. And Saito appeared out of nowhere, with a car.

Spoiler:
Yep; that's one of the major things that leads me to believe that the whole thing is supposed to be a dream. That was the most dreamlike scene in the movie.

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Re: Inception

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:29 am UTC

tastelikecoke wrote:Why is it that science fiction always use the "military technology" excuse when they have cool gadgets?!
Dude. The military? They have some cool gadgets.
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Re: Inception

Postby Jesse » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:38 am UTC

Also, the military has a huge bundle of money they can spend on making awesome stuff. It's far more believable for the military to invent something like that than just some bloke in his backyard.

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Re: Inception

Postby Belial » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:20 pm UTC

Yeah, there's a big history of the military (or the space program, which was basically a military venture) driving technological advancement that then gets adapted to civilian use.
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Re: Inception

Postby Felstaff » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:07 am UTC

Like Velcro®!

The military were planning on using that to ensnare enemy troops. But only the ones that were wearing corresponding full-body Velcro® suits. Unsurprisingly, the material was unsuccessful in capturing any troops, but the military's cache of lint and small bits of thread was quadrupled within a week.
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Re: Inception

Postby tastelikecoke » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:42 am UTC

So it's an unavoidable and reasonable trope I guess. But I don't think the military has made their own stargate yet in real life.

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Re: Inception

Postby headprogrammingczar » Mon Sep 06, 2010 12:38 pm UTC

That's what they want you to think...
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