Big Red Flix 28: Independence Day (Part 2)

Dave, Jitterbug and Yoshifett have trouble staying on target as they continue to Stephen Hawking the summer blockbuster, Independence Day. The crew is back to their old Star Wars form (including a planet core moment) and recorded 4 awesome hours for this BKR (Be Kind Rewind). Check back on BRB later this week for part 3!

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  1. FireMuncher

    cant wait to listen to it!

  2. Providence

    Politics, Terrorism, and the Universe. Was Stephen Hawking right? FIND OUT on this exciting episode of BRBFlix!

  3. I think the show is at its best when we have a few of our extended, silly arguments. I’m curious to hear what other people think. Do you like it most when we all agree on a movie, or when we have arguments?

  4. I like a lively debate, jitterbug!

  5. zombiesauerkraut

    I like arguing, as long as there’s a point to it. The ‘fake’ discussion about the drunk kid in Jaws had me kinda ticked. You need to pick your battles, Jitterbug.

    I enjoyed the discussion about the intentions of aliens visiting Earth. Of course, once again, I think Jitterbug is wrong :) There’s no way to tell exactly how long it will take us to become capable of interstellar space travel, if it’s even physically possible. But it’s safe to say that by that time our civilization will not be the same. A civilization that for hundreds, maybe thousands of years has been plagued by ever worsening conditions such as war, pollution, overpopulation, disease, famine, depleting resources and climate change, may have evolved a cold, calculating mind set, necessary to surviving these circumstances for millennia. It makes sense that such a people would only be concerned with the survival of the strongest of their race, as opposed to humanity, who currently strives to save every living species from extinction.

    Michio Kaku said something interesting on this matter: When you see an anthill, do you go up to it and say “Greetings, I bring you nuclear power, I bring you technology, I bring you the cure for disease”… or do you just step on a few and then be on your way?

    Cool show guys, cheers.

  6. With all due respect, the ant analogy is stupid. Human beings are the smartest creatures on the planet and are also the most empathetic. No other creature on Earth gives a crap about any other species, but we have massive organizations devoted to saving other animals. We have pets that we adore, unlike every other species, and strive to ensure that we at least TRY to keep from forcing other animals into extinction. By that logic, seeing as the smartest animal on Earth is also the most empathetic, it stands to reason that a species even more intelligent than us would be just as, if not more, empathetic as we are. 

    I take the Roddenberry approach to this. Secondly, while I’m the first to decry our lust for resources, I will also point to the moon landing as proof that our desire to learn about the universe is not intrinsically tied to a desire to plunder. We went to the moon several times, and we never started mining it. I think that intelligent creatures that have designed a way to travel light years will also HAVE to be evolved enough to have designed society. It is my belief that a properly functioning society breeds empathy – hell, I don’t even think that’s a theory, that’s just fact. So, in an alien civilization that has become so technologically superior that they can travel light years, it’s fair to suspect that they are an empathetic species, just like us, simply curious to go out and see what’s out there.

    You can use the Native Americans as proof to your point, but I’d contend that our society has progressed past that sort of thing now –  just like we’ve progressed past the idea of slavery. Our society has evolved, and the acceptance of marriage equality over the past ten years is an example of how we continue to evolve. Society breeds empathy, and that’s a good thing. So, i my mind, any aliens that visit us would be doing so after thousands of years of social evolution and will be empathetic, and elated, to meet another species that shares that social structure. After all, a colony of mindless raving bug monsters intent on demolishing all life they encounter are probably not going to be too great at building spaceships.

  7. Furthermore, what exactly are these resources that you are convinced aliens want to steal from us? I’m dumbfounded that we are so jealously protective of our things that we think a race of creatures will careen billions of miles through space just to steal them. If you want gold or some other mineral, then go to any planet anywhere and start mining. Do you think they’re coming here to steal our oil? I sincerely doubt a species that has learned to travel light years is using fossil fuels to do it! Are they coming to eat us as food? No, unless they have humans in their diets currently and just ran out. Do they need water? That seems really stupid, right? So, what exactly is everyone so convinced the aliens are coming here to plunder from us that they couldn’t get from another, uninhabited planet?

  8. zombiesauerkraut

    Plastic. They want our plastic. You’ll find it’s easier to deduce the motives of an unknown extraterrestrial race by looking at their means of survival, their methods of space travel and their scale of evolution. As we don’t have any of these, or even know if these guys are going to be carbon-based, your guess is as good as mine. I’m not convinced aliens are out to get us, I’m not convinced that they’re even looking for us. But in a scenario where they come all the way out here to meet us, certain incentives seem more plausible than others.

    If they come in peace, I can think of 3 reasons for not killing us: they’re here to help us, to study us or to just plain make nice. I can’t imagine us exhausting space faring resources and spending huge portions of our lives traveling through the cosmos in the name of intergalactic charity, so why would they.

    I’ll admit it may be insightful, as well as entertaining to observe the behaviors of a self destructive, intelligent society, but I’m not sure that would still be their thing. That’s what WE do; we like to look at little things through our microscopes and watch bugs mate and figure out what animals eat by examining their excrement. What use could a space-faring race, who surely thinks of itself as evolved beyond the level we’re on, and who must be close to having all the answers if they can SPAN THE UNIVERSE, what use could they have for such tripe activities. Besides, if they wanted to watch us, couldn’t they just flip on their intergalactic boob-tube and leave the space ship in the garage? So much easier.

    ‘Making nice’ was a joke, but to address it none the less, the cost/reward ratio of “just saying hi” seems sufficient reason to dismiss this point as unworthy of discussion, though I suspect I’ll be proven wrong immediately after posting.

    Resources may not be the most likely, but I’m still not taking it off the table. If we’re saying aliens are like us, then let’s not pretend that Lunar Prospecting wasn’t the first thing we thought of, even before we got to the moon, and the reason it’s not in practice yet, though will be soon, is that it’s not currently profitable. It is very possible that the resources needed for space travel (of which we have no idea what these might be) are not renewable. Though it is unlikely that aliens think they’ll find enough of these on our planet to justify the trip, surely we can all agree that they must have a very, very good reason for spending so much of them.

    The universe is full of these gigantic, resource rich rock balls, and the aliens probably would have wizzed right by millions of them on their way here. So why is Earth so special? What could Earth possibly have to make it such a rare and valuable wonder among those millions of other planets. The ability to sustain biological life, duh!!! If colonization sounds like science fiction (which is what we’ve been talking about the whole time btw), scientists have not just been talking about colonizing the moon and Mars for ages, but even Europa, an ice moon of Jupiter, which, by the time we’ve F-ed up Mars, should be just about right for our third exodus.

    After we’ve managed to travel beyond the reaches of our solar system, we’re going to find out that the benefits of space travel are not limitless, not to mention the practicality of it. One day our journeys to other planets, for the fun of it, will be over. If the ending of Nasa’s space shuttle program isn’t foreboding of this, then “foreboding” is not a word. The only way we’re going to get to that solar system next door is if we absolutely have to. And why would we have to? If our planet turns to sh*t and kicks us off it. The ability to travel to other planets does not necessarily imply an ability to fix the world you’re living on.

    To sum it up, the only way we’re gonna get to meet E.T. is if he wants our sh*t. Sorry everyone for ranting. Had to get that off my chest, I feel much better now.

    Oh yeah, an analogy translates one notion into a simplified version of that notion, often exaggerating certain aspects in order to make the point of the notion more obvious. If you think talking to ants is stupid, then you know how I feel about traveling millions of light years to shake the hand/tentacle/flipper of an alien.

  9. I think the aliens want to take all of our Deadlock books.

  10. I completely understand and am intrigued by the idea that an alien race needs to come to our planet because they f’d up their own so bad that they need a new place to live. But if you take humans as an example (the only space faring species we can use in our test group), we simply don’t display the desire to ravage other planets. If we discovered intelligent life (even something as simple as a colony of ant-like creatures) on a world in another solar system, our first inclination would not be to go destroy them. Instead, we would most likely want to send humans to that planet and set up a colony. Could there be a disastrous outcome from this endeavor? Certainly, and perhaps we’d smallpox the s**t out of those ants, but it wouldn’t be our intent. 

    It’s an interesting debate. You take the side that if aliens come, chances are they’re going to be evil, and I take the side that if they come, they’ll likely be nice. It’s ET vs ID4!

  11. zombiesauerkraut

    Traveling to other planets is really, really hard. It’s so hard, in fact, that we can’t do it yet. We can’t assume to know the practicalities that come with interplanetary travel, but when aliens just show up at your door without calling ahead, isn’t that kinda suspicious?

    Since we can’t go to other planets, we’ve been sending signals into space in the hope of a response from intelligent life. I have a feeling that we’ll be getting better at this before we get better at traveling to other solar systems (which, again, we can’t do yet). Space is so big, that we’re not going to bump into E.T. by just wandering around, so it’s a good thing that we can spot planets with life sustaining potential with our telescope. So when we finally spot a planet, with cities on it, if our intentions are peaceful, wouldn’t we try to contact them first? It would be quicker, safer, and less costly than travel. Oh, they don’t have phones yet…well, then we could send an unmanned vehicle of some sort, and even shove a fruit basket in their and other articles typical of our human culture. If we don’t have the common sense to do this before we blast off, then surely, as an empathetic race, we’d recognize that showing up with I giant space ship would freak the sh*t out of these primitive beings and we’re considerate enough to go ahead and not do that. After all, first impressions are everything in a new relationship.

    The human race still does a lot of horrible things (mostly to itself), but that ‘wiping out indigenous peoples by default’ thing, we’re definitely past that. We wouldn’t exterminate life on another planet just for the funk of it. But Earth is in trouble, we’re on the brink of an ice age that will end our civilization as we know it. We just found a magic door on the moon (this thing’s 800 km tall, I can’t believe we never saw it before), and if we go through the door, there’s a planet that meets all our needs. But it’s inhabited by Gungans. Weeza no speaka their language, weeza justa know they’s a really annoyin! The planet is as overpopulated as ours and obviously has no room for the both of us. The end of the human race is at hand, our salvation is right in front of us. We can take these guys, easily. But we’re going to do the right thing, which is stay on our planet to die? Even as a generally empathetic race, when President Wise makes a statement that we’re not taking planet Gungan, how do mother’s holding their children to their breast feel about doing the right thing, how do the fathers standing behind these mothers feel about doing the right thing? Aliens don’t care about our sense of the right thing and when we’re gone, the space time continuum won’t care about our sense of the right thing. There is only survival. And when it all comes down to this, and God’s not coming to save us, and the universe is completely without love, the right thing is relative, and the right thing dies along with all of us.

  12. TamarindLAZ

    If the aliens were nice, I would be expecting them to be trying to pull off a “Trojan Horse”.

  13. Your predicating your belief in evil aliens on that the destruction of all races due to resource depletion is inevitable. I disagree. Clearly, we’re never reaching another sustainable planet using fossil fuel. Any race that has developed interstellar travel will have to have done it by designing a means of travel that doesn’t consume massive amounts of fuel. Will that be based on manipulating time/space? That idea once sounded ridiculous, but now physicists are contemplating string theory and have begun to consider various different possibilities. 

    My only point here is that if aliens come to Earth, we should give them the benefit of the doubt. There’s at least a 50/50 shot that they’re here as good guys. On the other side of that, they might be here to put cylindrical items into our butts. So, it’s pretty much a win/win.

  14. zombiesauerkraut

    Resource depletion? In a past post I clearly stated that although possible, lack of resources would not be as likely a cause for a hostile encounter as a dying planet would. You’re trying to make me argue a point that I’m not so that you can ignore the ones that count. No matter, I will explain again. Warping spacetime means manipulating forces equivalent to that of a black hole. There will be massive costs that come with creating gravitons, or multiple pairs of entangled particles, or whatever phenomenon is needed to warp throughout the galaxy. Just to be clear, these are not fossil fuels we’re talking about. It took us 50 years to MAYBE discover the Higgs Bozon since we theorized its existence. And the US even stopped building their collider because they’d rather put their money into a sure thing; that floating tin can called the ISS. Developing the technology will be so costly, and so time consuming, that it can only be warranted by sheer necessity. 

    As always, you assume that any alien society will not be dissimilar from our own. I am not arguing “evil” aliens against “righteous” ones. Rather, circumstances that would force a race to take drastic actions against another race in order to survive. In a previous post you said that it is FACT that living in a society creates empathy towards other living beings. I wonder, did you mean a society like a community of chimpanzees, or more like a colony of bees? Or like fascism? How much do you think living in a fascist society encourages empathy towards other beings that don’t look exactly like you, a lot or a little? A planet with conditions favoring insect-like life may spawn a society of intelligent bug people who morally have little in common with descendants of chimpanzees. They will not know our “rights and wrongs”. But every living being knows survival, else they would not exist.

    You wisely avoided answering my thoughts on establishing telecommunication with a distant race before sending manned exploration parties. Let me know when you have something on that…

  15. Good lord, ZS. Calm down already. Yes, I agree that SETI is a good thing. And I agree that if we make contact in our lifetime then it’s a good chance that it’ll happen that way first. I have no idea why you’ve taken so much offense to my stance on this. I never declared love for fascism, I really don’t have any idea why you got that idea. All I said was that humans have developed empathy, so it stands to reason that other space traveling creatures would also develop such a capability. That’s it. That’s all I said. So, if an alien race has empathy, then it’s likely that they won’t come down to demolish us first chance they get. My only point in all of this has been that the chance that a visiting alien race might be kind is just as possible as them being malevolent. That’s it. 

  16. From what I gather, your take on it is that if an alien race comes here, the chances are that they’re here because they destroyed their planet and want to take over ours. I am simply disagreeing with you by saying that there’s a chance that might not be the reason they’re here. That’s it.

  17. zombiesauerkraut

    Wow, I see we’ve reached a new all time low here, so the smart thing would be to just walk away now. I’m pretty smart…and almost that smart. I thought you’d have a bit more class than to pretend that I was accusing you of being a Nazi sympathizer, just because I used the very valid example of fascism to illustrate why society is not the can of magic beans you obviously think it is. If you are also offended because you feel I implied you have a special place in your heart for chimpanzees or bees, then you need to stop deliberately misunderstanding me.

    While you may find it hard to believe, the fact that you do not share my opinion does not offend me, nor does my arguing an opinion that does not match yours necessarily mean that I harbor any disdain for you. It’s called a debate, a word that you used in your third post on this matter. However, I cannot deny my feelings of disdain towards your methods of arguing. When you come out swinging, responding to a one paragraph post with two posts of your own equalling 4 paragraphs, I assume the gloves have come off, though we stay above the belt. As is the objective in a debate, I have presented facts, and theories obtained through deductive reasoning in order to convince you that my opinion is correct, or to at least enlighten you with the origin of my opinions. Though you claim to be a science buff, I regret that you have thus far been unable to provide me with a single fact, except that you want aliens to shove cylinder shaped objects up your ass. You make desceptive comments that imply that I believe that most alien life must be “evil”, and pump their space craft with gasoline, which you desperately regurgitate in multiple posts. You avoid contesting the majority of legitimate arguments I’ve put forth. Your tactics are cheap, and your pathetic attempt to save face while backing out of this debate by insinuating that I’ve become hysterical and resorted to insults, is the way of a coward.

    As this thread draws to a close I am ironically reminded of the anthill analogy. This “debate” has been a colossal, as well as an extremely comical, waste of time. May you never get into an argument with someone who can scream louder than you. Have a coke and a smile..

  18. Good lord. Now I remember why I stopped coming to internet forums. I think that you’ll find, if you go back and read my posts, that I was agreeing with some of your points, and even stated that I was intrigued by them. Then I tried to inject a bit of humor into a post (anal probe FTW) to try and gracefully exit after agreeing to disagree. You took offense to it, and I really can’t fathom why. Go ahead and reread my posts, and I think you’ll see that you’re overblowing this whole conversation. You think aliens will be coming here to take over the planet, I’m saying maybe not. No need for nasty words and angry tantrums (on either side). It’s all good. Drink a beer and chill the f*ck out.

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