Friday, August 8, 2008

Episode 7 - Olymtech

Well, the 2008 Summer showcase for a totalitarian country, err, the Olympics start in moments from when I post this, so we thought this would be a good topic. The tech, the history and the sci fi of the Olympics. I think, BTW, theat this is fair use of the word Olympics, they are pretty bad about suing people...

We recorded in Ken and Christine's back yard while Jonathan and Carys ran around. Christine joined in for a bit as well. Oh yeah, so did K and C's dogs... Before we got into it we talked a bit about Podcasters Across Borders 2008 which Ken and I attended back in June. This was a great event, Ken called it the best conference he had ever been to. Ken is off to discuss an implementation of Evergreen open ILS in Ontario Universities next week. Yeah we know, it has been a long time...

So what of the games? How much are they like the original Olympics? Did guys back then cheat? How would you cheat back then, Olive oil laced with HGH? The tech angle here is really huge actually, the steroids, the possibility of genetic engineering, blood doping, all of that stuff. In Sci Fi there are a lot of examples of such things, of competitions, like the Gamesters of Trisdellion, that Buck Rogers episode with the Olympics games, hell even Rollerball.

(Note: this episode had a really nasty sound in the background, the neighbours' pool filter. I did my best to filter that sound out. Oh and there is a little break in the middle where I inserted Shotgun Loudmouth by Battery Life).

Enjoy episode 7.

4 comments:

Dave Brodbeck said...

When I mentioned TOm Merritt from CNET , I probably should have called him a twitter/facebook friend, rather than a real friend, that was a bit presumptuous of me to not use those adjectives.

Ken Hernden said...

I'm back from my meeting with the CONIFER group at McMaster University. Had a great time meeting with very smart folks who are attempting something that could get very big. Imagine being able to download an enterprise class library system that supports any language and can handle the needs of a public system with dozens of branches or an academic consortium -- for free (as in speech and hopefully beer...). Algoma University and Laurentian University look like we're going live in May 2009; we've got lots of work to do but the system looks great so far. I can't wait to hire our new faculty stream eServices Librarian at Algoma so that we can add another person to working full-time on this project.

Two other things of note: 1) I am still not watching the Olympics (my life seems fine without them); and 2) a big shout out to Dan Scott, Programmer and Systems Librarian God at Laurentian University who caught our last podcast. Dan is the Man on all things Evergreen ILS. You can catch him at http://www.coffeecode.net/

There's lots of good stuff on open source ILS development there for the librarians in the audience. ;)

Rachel said...

Hi! Finally found some time to listen to this--so timely.

So...there were several ways that the ancient Olympics differed from the modern Olympics. First, people routinely died in the classical Olympics--even in vase paintings of the boxing, you see blood spurting. None of those namby pamby gloves 'n stuff.

Second, there was no interest in "personal best" or "glory in participating" or any of the Coubertin pap; the ancient athletes were interested in winning, and second was no better than last. There was no money in last (and there was LOTS of money in winning).

I think that almost every SF writer took up the man/machine thing at some point; even Asimov did, in several of his later robot stories (mostly in the short stories). It's irresistable--just a step from eyeglasses to lasik surgery to new eyes...

Tangential said...

Yeah the robot thing is pretty much a gimmie in sci fi.

We are recording number 8 tonight, unless something unforseen happens. Tonight we talk elections, as both the USA and Canada are going to the polls. Should be lots of fodder there.

Oh and I now know how to use the Zoom H2 properly...

Dave