Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans


Sunday evening I watched the premiere of Interstellar on HBO. Only afterwards, I understood its rating on IMDb (8.6) and its (climbing) position (#29) in the Top 250 of best movies ever. It is a movie about faith, hope and love and a planet which is fighting back against its occupiers by altering the composition of its atmospheric gasses. Time is running out for humans and also for scientists to find a solution for leaving the planet. Gravity seems to be the enemy for a mass escape.

The movie appears to be in line with state-of-the-art scientific knowledge although slightly ahead of our current technology (eg, reversal of cryosleep or cryonics). The only possible anomaly I noticed was the “weak” supermassive (fictional) black hole called Gargantua (Space). Unlike Professor Robbert Dijkgraaf‘s recent explanation about black holes on Dutch public TV (DWDD), matter was not compressed to a tiny little fraction of its original shape while retaining its original weight. I guess that the qualification “weak” black hole was supposed to explain this apparent anomaly.

The element of ‘time travel’, in combination with immense gravity, is beyond our current scientific knowledge although not in contradiction with theoretical science. See my 7 September 2015 blog on Time and/or the 5th science brief by The Economist Magazine on time travel: “None of Einstein’s equations, though, suggests time has an arrow. They work equally well whether you run them forwards or backwards—as did their predecessors in classical physics. That sounds contrary to common sense. Einstein, proverbially, had little time for common sense. It is, he said, “a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind before you reach 18.”

The Economist: “Theory fails to forbid travelling backwards in time. But practice suggests it might just as well be forbidden. [] If backward time travel were possible, some fool would no doubt try testing the grandfather paradox, another invention of time-travelling fiction writers. In this, a visitor to the past kills his or her grand-father before the conception of the protagonist’s own parent, meaning the protagonist could never have been born, and the murder could not have taken place”.

Interestingly, the movie does not violate the grandfather paradox of time travel. The two time zones never really meet but they do find a way to let past, present and future communicate with each other in – what we usually refer to as – a “supernatural” way. The scenario writers, Christopher Nolan (who is also the movie director) and his brother Jonathan Nolan, did an excellent job in that respect. 

There was little time for explanation at the end of this 2.5 hour movie. Probably for the better as the movie may have gone from science to science fiction. At times this movie was very emotional. At nearly all times it felt very realistic. I have no doubt that Interstellar will become a classic movie and will once be considered a masterpiece. It has all the ingredients. Chapeau!

Remarkably, there are no aliens in this movie. We are just alone in this immense Universe. The only people helping us survive are the future improved versions of ourselves; also see my 8 July 2015 blog. In itself that is an intriguing adaptation of the very same grandfather paradox: The future us must help us survive right now else the future us would not even exist in the future…….

Pink Floyd – Time (1973) – artists, lyrics, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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