Sunday, July 10, 2011

Scarcity Improves Art

Improvements in technology are a double-edged sword. The shear, raw "horespower" of new technologies make all sorts of things that were difficult, if not impossible, to do in the past trivial. Unfortunately, it also seems that, as effort is removed, it lowers the bar to entry so much that the art is lost. You see it computer programming and you see it in movie-making. Much as "old school" coders were better because of limited resources, I think the same can be said of film-makers.

If modern coders were as efficient with their coding as the guys of the 50s, 60s and 70s were, we would already have truly immersive virtual reality and computers that put HAL 9000 to shame. Probably the only reason that the SciFi writers got things wrong on the timescale was because they were basing projects of technological growth and assuming the same level of skill and artistry would follow it. Unfortunately, not so much.

When I was a kid and first saw movies like Tron, Last Starfighter ...even up through Jurassic Park, it almost seemed like there'd be no need for physical actors within my lifetime. Unfortunately, what I've seen is that the effects have gone from enhancing the story to being the story. And it's sad.

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