Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Celebrating 50 (Future) Years of Building Better Worlds

Ridley Scott has cleverly managed viral marketing for his upcoming Alien prequel film, Prometheus. On 28 February, he released a faux futuristic TED talk. Since 2006, the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference has acted as the famous and much-respected Silicon Valley online agora for today's leading lights to discuss cutting-edge ideas. Scott's produced TED talk looks just like a regular TED talk, except the hall is different, it is set in 2023, and it features actor Guy Pearce playing fictional corporate magnate Peter Weyland (Thanks to -J.).

For those who don't follow these things, in the Alien universe, Weyland is one of the co-founders of Weyland Industries, which later merges into the fictional Weyland-Yutani Corporation, better known by everyone unfortunate enough to work for it as 'the Company.' Weyland designs the artificial intelligent androids that are mysteriously connected via the Company to the Yutani corporate interest in weaponized alien species. He has a faux online bio:
Sir Peter Weyland was born in Mumbai, India at the turn of the Millennium. The progeny of two brilliant parents; His mother, an Oxford Educated Professor of Comparative Mythology, his father, a self-taught software Engineer, it was clear from an early age that Sir Peter's capabilities would only be eclipsed by his ambition to realize them. By the age of fourteen, he had already registered a dozen patents in a wide range of fields from biotech to robotics, but it would be his dynamic break-throughs in generating synthetic atmosphere above the polar ice cap that gained him worldwide recognition and spawned an empire.

In less than a decade, Weyland Corporation became a worldwide leader in emerging technologies and launched the first privatized industrial mission to leave the planet Earth. "There are other worlds than this one," Sir Peter boldly declared, "And if there is no air to breathe, we will simply have to make it."

Peter Weyland has been a magnet for controversy since he announced his intent to build the first convincingly humanoid robotic system by the end of the decade.

Whether challenging the ethical boundaries of medicine with nanotechnology or going toe to toe with the Vatican itself on the issue of gene-therapy sterilization, Sir Peter prides himself on his motto, "If we can, we must." After a three year media blackout, Weyland has finally emerged to reveal where he's heading next. Wherever that may be, we will most certainly want to follow.
A related character, Charles Bishop Weyland, head of Weyland Industries, appears in Alien vs. Predator (2004). One fansite that traces the characters and the Alien continuity is the Weyland Yutani Archives and another is the Weyland-Yutani Wiki. The Alien Universe timeline is here. With one film promo, Ridley Scott has provided the sci-fi metafictional connection from our time, to the near future, to this timeline.

This TED talk is so Millennially metafictional, it makes my head hurt, but in a good way. The talk was conceived and designed by Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof and directed by Luke Scott. There is also a faux Company Website, here. The film is due to open in theatres on June 8.

Video Source: Youtube.