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THE TERMINATOR - DIRECTOR CUTS

Updated: Sep 9, 2018



James Cameron's The Terminator is his best movie as far as I'm concerned. A nice solid sci-fi premise with just enough depth to have some pathos between the shootings.

In this edition of Director Cuts, I edited the film to contain logical paradoxes inside a phone book (the Los Angeles phone book printers apparently were future-proofing). The Terminator reads this exhaustive list and falls prey to the logic bomb trope. I put in a few seconds of Kyle Reese explaining how unstoppable the T-800 is before this occurs. It's also is just funny thinking of a near-indestructible robot using a phone book... but that was already there.


The logic bomb trope has an extensive history in science-fiction especially in Star Trek:

over...

and over again... you get the idea.


This is also used in a non-schlocky way to demonstrate the fearful nature of artificial intelligence. Leaps of logic aren't going to be immediately apparent or important to something trying to keep to its programming. If there is no consciousness than there is likely no inherent empathy or altruism. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL was programmed and instructed to not reveal the true nature of the mission to the crew members but was also told not to withhold information from those same people. He solved this paradox by cutting contact with Earth and killing the members of the crew. It would seem that A.I in general have problems with paradoxes.



Most of the paradoxes in the video are variations on the Liar Paradox as featured in the Star Trek videos above but a couple of others are rather interesting. Take the first one in the list:


It is raining,

It is not raining,

therefore George Washington is made of rakes.


This is a paradox in that it is not possible to disprove. There is not a situation where it is both raining and not raining so the conclusion cannot be disproven. It is an invalid argument whereas a valid one in this mould may be:


I am not on the ground and I fall towards it,

When I am on the ground I don't float off of it,

therefore gravity exists.


This is an empirically provable situation, it doesn't in itself prove gravity exists but provides understandable logic to verify it. It has a logical consequence but because the first example cannot be disproven can it necessarily be argued illogical?


Then there is the Raven Paradox (no. 3 in video). This one uses our brains tendency to form rules about reversibility, e.g.


If I look up I am facing the sky.


Can be inverted to form a complementary rule:


If I look down I am NOT facing the sky.


The Raven Paradox asserts that:


All ravens are black.


Therefore:


If something is not black it is not a raven.


Which is, so far as we know, true in the natural world.


My green apple which is not black, is not a raven.


Again this is logically true but by using the inversion of A ('all ravens are black') is B ('if something is not black it is not a raven') suggests that finding something that is not black that is not a raven is proof of A. Which is not the case, possessing something that is not black is not evidence that all ravens are black. The only thing that would contest A is finding a raven that is not black.


Finding conclusions in the kind of logic of these two paradoxes reminds me of this clip from the Simpsons:



There are no tigers around.

This rock is here.

Therefore,

The rock is keeping away the tigers.

Director Cuts is a series we do whenever we're not too busy with other video work. It's a fun exercise in trying to take pre-existing footage and edit it into something somewhat coherent.


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