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Limitless? - the period of cosmography
Limitless is one more of those pictures that have been made recently that are not about what they are supposed to be. Others in this category would be Inception and The Adjusment Bureau. I don’t need much of a reason to go to see a movie, but the fact that the premise of this one is related to my favourite Tom Disch novel's, Camp Concentration, did make it a bit more alluring. Limitless is about a guy who comes into possession of a hoard of pills which supposedly make you incredibly intelligent. But the story doesn’t go very far before you start wondering whether the most intelligent man in the world would really borrow money from an East European mafioso, or call the attention and the raging envy of the world upon him, or leave the source of his power at the wardrobe. Now, if you swallow that with a grain of salt and a bit of good will, the movie will entertain you. It is fast paced and fun, it has some nice visual effects consisting of travellings of apparently endless length (I guess we'll be seeing those in future pictures as they are adopted into the standard language of the screen) and some good action scenes. I suppose that the suspicion that humans waste a lot of their potential has been around since before the parable of the buried Talents. But where did the myth come from according to which we only use a very small percentage of our brains? I don't doubt, I mean I actually believe, that there is a lot we could do if we trained ourselves to improve our abilities, even things which we would usually consider to be impossible. But the myth in the particular form where it uses technical language and speaks of definite quantities, reeks of bad science gone mystical to me and I do wonder who invented it and when.
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jackfirecat From: jackfirecat Date: April 26th, 2011 09:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't seen Limitless or The Adjustment Bureau yet, but is what you mean about Inception that it might seem to be going to be 'what is real?' territory, but it is actually rather clear about what is real and what is a dream?

The brain unuse theory is wikipable, but I note also the grain of truth that the brain is very adaptable and the amazing finding of a man living a normal life with a relatively small amount of brain left after slow hydrocephaly - "...commented Dr. Max Muenke, a pediatric brain defect specialist at the National Human Genome Research Institute. "If something happens very slowly over quite some time, maybe over decades, the different parts of the brain take up functions that would normally be done by the part that is pushed to the side.""
anselmo_b From: anselmo_b Date: April 27th, 2011 07:05 am (UTC) (Link)
What I mean is that the story is supposed to happen in dreamed realities but it doesn't. There is nothing dreamlike in those realities, they have no oneiric qualities at all, instead they are more like movie clichés, like a holodeck episode in a scenario out of sixties assault-on-alpine-nazi-fortress pictures for example. I think they used the dream thing as an excuse for dealing with artificial or virtual realities without giving too much room for comparison with The Matrix. The "controlled dream" explanation doesn't make it a better excuse. I don't think it's a bad movie at all, but I noticed that problem, problem at least for me, right from the minute you learn what they supposedly do.
I know the brain adapts, in school I had a shot put (funny name had to look the English translation of Kugelstoß) tossed at my skull, which caved in and caused minor brain damage. I completely lost my orthography. It was a weird experience because when I wrote I was fully aware that the spelling was coming out all wrong, but I couldn't do anything about it. After a while I relearned it to some degree. My memory also changed a lot, or rather the way I can access it.
Thanks for the wikilink.

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