2001 and Beyond the Infinite

Commentary and Criticism

January 1997 through February 1997

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Date: Mon, 06 Jan 1997 18:09:10 -0500
From: [Name removed at user's request]

I have always believed that the monolith, in its lack of apparent use,
its blackness, and its indestructibility represented for the early
man-ape their(our) first comprehension of  mortality, or more accurately
death.  The monolith is the symbol of the abysmal.  The use of tools and
the advantages which they bring in providing for self-preservation are
reactions to that awareness of death. For mortals, when they become
aware of their mortality, mere survival is not enough.  Humankind are
continually trying to use their technology to protect themselves both
negatively (clubbing another ape over the head) and positively using
technology to improve their condition.  It seems to me that all of our
activities as humans (whether they are wars, economics, grand projects
which strive for the creation of something meaningful and enduring or
simply entertainment)are attempts to deny or delay the inevitable
re-confrontation with the abyss -death.  

I have never read Clarke but have seen Kubrick's interpretation several

On the other hand, I like your use of the question of technology and
what it means for our species to be defined by the quest to make a world
of abundant things and objects rather than live naturally -- in

What do you think?

Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 00:27:39 -0800
From: "Ana Paula G. M. Leite" [startrek@sercomtel.com.br]

Hi! My name is Ana Paula, I'm from Brazil and I have just read 
your essay on 2001 - A Space Odissey. I'm a great sci-fi fan - literature 
and movies, and Arthur Clarke is one of my favorite authors, since I've 
read a few books by him and enjoy his style, his opinions about Man and 
the Universe very much. I read the novel 2001, and I watched the movie 
a`dozen times. But when 2010 was released, I have to confess I liked it 
better than 2001 - the conflicts, the (possible) explanations it gave to 
the astounding questions of 2001, concerning the plot; and the images and 
effects it contained. The ending of the film, when Jupiter turns into a 
new sun, and the final message sent by the Aliens through Dave and Hal 
("All these worlds are yours, except Europa. Use them together. Use them 
in peace), and Dr. Floyd talking to his son about what had just 
happened and the warning (we are not the owners of our planet, we just 
live here, and we had been given another chance). To me, that was one of 
the most beautiful scenes ever done, and it explained a lot about being 
human and understanding that we live on a wonderful planet, and we are 
not here by mere chance. But when I read your comments on 2010, I 
realized that I had never seen the story through this point of view. It 
made me think, and I would like to read the novel to make my own 
conclusions. Of course, the birth of a new star so close to Earth would 
have a terrible effect on the surface of the planet. When you say that 
2010 is not a sequel to 2001, I still have to read the novel to see if I 
have an opinion. By the way, I read 2061-Odissey Three, and I think this 
one doesn't have much - if any - to do with the original story, except 
the fact that the characters mentioned in the novel are the same. What do 
you think?
        Well, thanks for reading my message. Send me an e-mail if you 
wish. (startrek@sercomtel.com.br)

Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 18:36:39 +1000
From: rex bellator [alpha60@alphaville.apana.org.au]

Major Bruce Miller says about your essay;

    And your point about no sound in a vacuum....I have not seen another space-based movie get that law of nature right, including Apollo 13! And I can't understand why. Its such a simple point to get right...just shut the sound off of the sound track when the camera is in space!
He false assumes that the camera is somehow a single "sense point" of the viewer which is the same as the point-of-audition. A false assumption; there is no --law of nature-- that says the audition point has to be the same as the viewer's viewpoint (ie the camera) -- it's just Standard Hollywood Convention, nothing more. If it were true you'd have to equally complain about external shots of characters whilst hearing their thoughts! As for over-interpreting the film; perhaps it's not MEANT to have a "meaning"; after all, sometimes a cigar, is a cigar. All the interaction between HAL and crew might just be standard filmic tension-building. For an interesting perspective on this there is an essay on "Full Metal Jacket" in the book "Incorporations". Kubrick himself says of FMJ that he is "trying to explode the narrative film" (the middle bit after the shooting at Parris Island), 2001's structure can be read in this light too, instead of injecting every last item in every scene with some supernatural and overreaching mystical "meaning". Rex. Date: Mon, 27 Jan 1997 16:42:10 -0800 (PST) From: Todd Mackay Rosie [rosit000@unbc.edu] Hey there Modemac(if that is indeed your real name), My names Todd and I go to university up in northern B.C., Canada. I truly enjoyed your essay, and in fact have printed it off keep it at home. Anyway the one point I wanted to discuss was your interprestation of the ending. The scene I wanted to talk about was the one where Dave arrives in the "room". My interpretation is that Dave did see himself when he looked out the window of the craft. My interpretation that Dave is in fact in the process of becoming a being of pure spirit or engergy, something beyond humanity, something as incomprehensable to us as we are to apes. In a film which revels in showing us every detail of the events taking place, why leave out Dave exiting the pod? No, I believe that Dave did not leave the pod, instead he "thought" himself out, something so startling to the human mind that he percieved it as seeing himself. However it is and older him as he has aged perceptiably. He is now acting on subliminal impulses, he moves around, in this strange environment, perhaps wondering how long he has to stay there,then sees another man, again he "jumps". What I believe is happening is a progressive ability to move through the mind and not the body, and as this reaches its end, with the death of his body , he is reborn through the support of the monolith, as pure mind, or whatever is beyond us. Anyway just a thought, thanks for the web page on the only film I have ever seen which feels like a spiritual event. Any thoughts email me anytime. Todd From: techref4@email_address Date: Tue, 04 Feb 97 16:35:22 GREAT JOB! 2010 EXPLAINS HALS MALFUNCTION CLEARLY( HIS ATTEMP TO INTERPETE CONFLICTING ORDERS). EVERYTHING ELSEIS EASY TO FOLLOW UNTIL THE END. I THINK THE LIGHT SHOW IS AS YOU SAID. HOW DO YOU SHOW THE UNSHOWABLE OR INEXPLAINABLE . THE EARTH LANDSCAPES IN DIFFERENT COLORS ARE MAYBE TO SHOW HOW THE MONOLITH HAS AFFECTED EARTH-LIFE. IF YOU WATCH THE LETTER BOXED VERSION(AS ALL MOVIES SHOULD BE WATCHED) YOU CAN SEE AN ALIEN FACE IN THE SCENE JUST BEFOR ETHE 5(I THINK ITS 5)FLOATING DIAMONDS APPEAR.MAYBE NOT.I THING THE ROOM IS HIM IN FAMILIAR SURROUNDINGS AT ITS SIMPLEST FORM-CHAIRS,TABLES A BED.I THINK THE BROKEN GLASS GOES BACK TO HUMAN ERROR.PEOPLE HAVE SAID JUST BEFORE DEATH THAT THEYVE LOST ALL FEAR, SEE WITH TRUE CLARITY AND EVEN ENLIGHTENMENT. ONLY WHEN DAVE OVERCOMES HIS FEARS AND LETS GO OF HIS ATTACHMENTS IS HE REDY TO REACH OUT AND EVOLVE.I THINK THATS WHATS MEEANT BY THE "LOOKING BACK" SCENE. THE MONOLITH IS CHANGE OR THE NEXT STEP. I DONT THINK ALL THIS REALLY HAPPE! NS, ITS IN DAVES MIND. BY THE WAY, I JUST HEARD KUBRICK IS PLANNING ON MAKING A MOVIE CALLED A.I.(ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE) TO BE RELEASED IN 2001. Date: Thu, 06 Feb 1997 09:25:41 -0800 From: David Garvin [dgarvin@mail.on.rogers.wave.ca] Hi. I just recently watched 2001 with a friend, and she and I were discussing the film, and several points as to its meaning. Then, yesterday, I found your website, with the essay, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of similarity that you, my friend Christina and I share in respect to our collective take on the film. I just had one question for you. It concerns the sequence immedietely before Hal states that the AE-35 unit will fail. Upon being probed as to the rumours surrounding the mission, David asks Hal if he is doing his crew psychological report. There is a deafening silence, until Hal unconvincingly says, "Yes. That's is exactly." Given that Hal is a computer, with immediate responses to everything put to him before, this pregnant pause may have seem like a lifetime to the computer. He most undoubtedly went through a thousand algorithms, trying to find a good lie to tell David. Of course, he was not programmed to lie, and he was also programmed to not tell them of the mission's proper intent. Perhaps this was indication that Hal was in a state of confusion over how to deal with the matter. From the time David asks him the question, to the time he answers, perhaps he, for the first time in his existence, tells a lie. He covers it with another lie, and then falls down the slippery slope to the point of no return. He avoids David's question by giving him something bigger to think about. (The failure of the AE-35 Unit). Of course, there is nothing wrong with it, so he has to further lie, and try to hide his mistakes. He finally tries to hide his error by killing the crew of the Discovery. This is my take of that seemingly innocent pause in answer to David's question. Perhaps it is nothing more than reading something that is not there, but that is how I see it. Thank you for such an excellent site. I wish you all the best, and I will recommend this site to my friend, Christina. David Garvin. Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 11:44:14 +0000 From: John S Goodson [Goods@fdt.net] I've read your "Dawn of Man" synopsis from 2001. It is quite accurate. However, there is one more point about the "Moon-Watcher" that was overlooked. When the rival chief comes to attack "Moon-Watcher" at the pond the second time, not only does "Moon-Watcher" have the tool to kill his foe, but you will notice that he STANDS OVER HIS OPPONENT! He has begun to walk upright, on two legs not with the use of his arms like the other primates. This clearly is also to show human evolution. Like you, 2001 is one of my all-time favorite movies. It is the most accurate space movie ever made. "Slow and Silent" that is space! I am a graphic designer, and as a designer, I clearly see the use of this element in the movie. There is an overwhelming feel of early IBM throughout this picture. (IBM actually backed this picture until they found out the computer would malfunction). However, the reason I say that is because, The IBM logo and much of the early corporate design was done by none other than Paul Rand, one of the most well known and celebrated Graphic Designers of this century. He also taught at Yale University. One of the things that agrivate me most is that many people do not understand and appreciate this movie, I often find myself having to explain it to them. I'm glad to see someone else shares my feelings on this and has actually devoted a web site to this end. By the way I read in "Wired" that Arthur C. Clarke is righting yet another book call "3001 The Final Odyssey" but I am looking for more info, can you shed any light on that? I'll be back later to finish reading all the rest of your pages, until then... Thanks, and take care Pete Shepard macman@beaches.net or goods@fdt.net Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 20:25:27 -0800 From: byron dipaolo [dipaolo@chesco.com] I have first watched the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey this past summer. It was on television again recently. I was very much impressed with the direction of this film. It is impressive that a movie can leave such a compelling image in one's mind- when there was hardly any speaking during it. As a teacher, I have asked my students to watch the movie and write their impressions on it as part of a journal entry (I teach science; right now, we are studying machines). I was very interested to read your critique of the film. Because I have not read the book, I believed, like you, that man was losing his emotions and was turning more into a machine (consider our society today- nothing shocks us anymore). This was particularly evident to me in the scene where Dave is talking to his wife and child. There didn't seem to be a lot of feeling in his conversation with his daughter; much more was felt on her part. I also believed that the monoliths represented some kind of creating force; eventually, I thought that their creation (man) did not turn out as they liked. Man's creations were not perfect and did not foster a sense of brotherhood (like maybe they'd hoped). I felt that the end of the movie showed Dave going back in time to the early stages of the universe and I thought that we were watching the evolution of our own planet, from its hot beginnings to the time when waters covered it. I thought that maybe that creating force was giving man a "second" chance (now that Dave understood that the sole meaning and purpose in his life lay not in technology but in his own humanity. Well, thanks for your opinion; it makes a lot of sense when you relate Kubrick's and Clarke's ideas and perspectives! Trish DiPaolo West Chester, PA From: Movieted@aol.com Date: Fri, 14 Feb 1997 11:39:06 -0500 (EST) MODEMAC and readers of the site - WOW, Thanks for the inciteful comments, I do mostly agree with you, and I belive I have some plausible explanations of a few points I differ with you on. I don't think Heywood Floyd is lying....In 2010 it is explained that the "lie to the astronauts" directive came from the White House, In his "briefing" in HAL's memory center, in 2001, Floyd says that the information was only known on board to your HAL 9000 computer, he never says that the info was KEPT from them, I belive while Floyd advcated not informing them, the White House specifically instructed the computer to LIE to them about the monolith. In 2010, Dr. Chandra says one of HAL's main duties is to serve and help the crew members, and not to misconstrue information, and so these directives weree in opposition to one another. As HAL wants to be "friends"or at least a good companion, he doesn't want to lie, and just before the AE-35 fault prediction, he talks of "strange rumours, just before we left, about something being dug up on the moon" indicating the failure of the cover story after an extended period, and HAL trying his best to interpret the conflicting demands, he says he "gave these rumours no creedence" which is obiously false, as we later learn that he had known about the monolith all along, I simply believe that that was the best way HAL could concieve to fufill his programming, when that failed - "you're working up your crew psychology report" told him that Dave wasn't going to pick up on his clues, or even continue that line of conversation, he 'lost it' and went 'psycho' (not an elegant way of putting it....but quick), as to the final report from Floyd in the memory center, I think that possibly messages will play wherever the crew is detected to be. i.e. if Dave had been in the toilet, the massage would have played there, or possibly all messages played at all terminals, therefore, when we saw the messages, we weren't seeing everywhere that they were playing. Also, for some in the messages that weren't clear on this point, the buried monolith is as the essay says a "burglar alarm". Remember that before they dug down to it, it was emitting stong magnetic signals, it was meant to be found. TMA-1 was merely a progress marker, showing that we had progressed to space travel. The reason we see the sun over it is that whenever it is uncovered, the sunlight (black ABSORBS solar energy) triggers the monolith and reports to the Jupiter monolith (which we may assume reports to the "Aliens") by a single Radio burst, powered by the absorbed sunlight. IN DEFENSE OF 2010 I like 2010. It is based on the ARTHUR C. CLARKE novel, therefore, we cannot blame Peter Hyams for the progression of the plot. Anytime in that movie you feel they are trying to "explain" 2001, (I disagree that most of the film is spent "explaining", it's just a part of a sequel, to refer back to the original material!) it is ARTHUR CLARKE'S EXPLANATION, I feel the person that came up with it ought to be given a little leeway when explaining HIS OWN IDEAS (they were Clarke's as much as Kubrick's, though most forget or ignore this.). We must also realize that in most respects 2001 is an ART film, and 2010 is a COMMERCIAL film, two entirely different animals. An ART film is made for itself, to be beautiful and to be whatever the artist intends. a COMMERCIAL film is made to MAKE MONEY. I think both do an excellent job of experessing the ideas within the constraints of thier respective forms. There are even several points in the film, where 2010 reaches out to the level of the art film...the sequence withe Dave Bowman warning Floyd, is a highlight, and an excellent way to express Bowman's new existance cinematically, also the final sequance, parallells the "dawn of man" sequence, it could be called the "dawn of the Europans" the "Aliens" as you call them, as explained in the series, covet only one thing - mind, or intelligence and they do whatever they can to encourge its growth all over the universe, I think of the monolith as the flint that sparked man's intelligence, and the monolith at the end of 2010 is doing the same for the Europans, a presumably amphibian race. Also implicit, but explicit in the novel, is that Dave Bowman is now the caretaker of the nev Europan race, and along with the Europan monolith, keeps man from visiting Europa. An interesting thing to note for those that haven't read the series of novels (Expanding in March 1997 with the release of 3001) by the end of 2061, HAL and Floyd are both of the starchild race, HAL having joined when the Discovery was incinerated by Lucifer (the sun created from Jupiter) and Floyd by the end of 2061. I hope that these comments add to the bouniful wealth of your site, should you choose to post them, as I give you permission to do, please respond at your convenience Thank You - Ted Wilkinson (MovieTed@AOL.com) From: agower@netcom.ca Date: Sat, 15 Feb 1997 19:56:13 -0500 (EST) I found your essay very informative and interesting. You obviously have some kind of English background. Do you work for Coles Notes? I have interested in 2001 ever since first seeing the movie. I don't remember when exactly, but seeing as how I was born in 1974, it was probably on TV or possibly video. I love the movie and seeing it again on Detroit PBS last night revived my interest. I read the novels of 2001 and 2010 (2061 was too boring). They provided me with more insight into the plotline than a film can demonstrate. It all seemed to make sense until I saw the movie again. I guess my explanation was so complicated that I can't remember it. It is interesting how you point out the differences between the novel and the film. I was of the understanding that the film and the novel were written concurrently. From what I've read now, it seems like Kubrick read the short story "The Sentinel" from 1950 and approached Clarke to collaborate on the movie. I guess that Clarke decided to expand on the novel after the movie was made. The novel and the film defenitely stand on their own. The film is gloriously intriguing and mysterious. Kubrick proves himself a subtle director with an incredible vision. I'd love to see more of his films. The Shining is the only other one I've seen so far. Unfortunately, without narrative the film can be a little too much razzle dazzle and not enough meaning, unless you're willing to spend the effort to uncover the symbolism. The book provides a more academic look at the themes with a good narrative. I read it after seeing the movie, so possibly I was only interested in guidance which the book offered. Questions And Comments: 1 Isn't that Frank jogging and boxing? 2 Your explanation of HAL's malfunction stills confuses me. HAL's prime directive is the success of the mission. Unfortunately his ego forces him to ignore his own malfunction, kill the crew and continue the mission alone. What is the mission exactly? Can HAL perform it alone? What if he malfunctions? My understanding is that the crew is simply trying to discover the receiver of the radio signal from the Monolith. How could HAL make the trip through the Monolith? How would Ground Control react to news from HAL that the crew were dead? Would they still be interested in HAL's report from Jupiter. How does enticing the crew to discover the truth about the Monolith help HAL. Does he want them to continue the mission without him? Does he want the mission to be cancelled? Will it be cancelled if he is found to be malfunctioning? (I thought they said that they could finish the mission with a HAL on the Earth?) Is he feeling guilty about keeping secrets from the crew? OK these questions are going nowhere. I will attempt to summarize the situation as I see and read it. Let me know what you think. HAL is going to malfunction. He wants to satisfy two needs. One, the mission must succeed. Two, he will not allow himself to be deactivated (killed). Option one, kill the crew and finish the mission, malfunction or not. Option two, force the crew to deactivate him and give them the relevant information to continue the mission. HAL figures being deactivated for insanity is better than being deactivated for error. By giving them the appropriate information they may finish the mission without the HAL on earth. HAL might be jealous of another computer taking over his mission (hence the deactivation of the communication antenna module). I like the ambivalence of the symbolism of the movie. But the book (had) satisfied my need for basic motivations and explanations for minute detail. I can accept any broad explanation for the last sequence of the movie, but HAL's motivations are important to my acceptance of the plot. I don't need to know why aliens left the Monolith or took Dave on a cool roller coaster ride, but I do need to know why HAL did what he did. 3 An important point you might want to add to your essay to emphasize HAL's control of the ship. When HAL is asking Dave the "personal question", Dave asks if he preparing his psychological report. This is a small point, but it demonstrates how HAL controls almost every aspect of the mission. 4 You sound like you know a lot about 2001. The original movie had 20 minutes more in it. Have you ever heard of this version being released after the premiere? Hope to hear from you Andy Gower agower@netcom.ca Vancouver, Canada Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 11:38:20 -0400 From: Alan King [aking@newedge.net] Modemac; Wicked 2001 site! I've seen the film many times, and was encouraged to look it up on the web after having seen it again this past weekend on PBS. A more incredible film I've yet to see made, and what has always amazed me about it is Kubrick's incredible vision to have made such a film, as scientifically accurate and yet beautiful at the same time. But I digress... I did have a couple of points; 1) Regarding the playing of Dr. Floyd's message to Bowman immediately following HAL's disconnect, my assumption (and I do stress 'assumption') has always been that there was most likely some contingency in place to ensure that message was played to the crew in the event of a HAL shutdown, perhaps using a backup computer who's only function was to monitor HAL's operational status, and upon finding HAL 'off', playing the message. After all it would be a considerable waste of time and resources if after all the pains taken on this mission, were HAL to fail and not play the message, the crew would never know what it was all about. It makes sense that this would be the case. The fact that almost immediately after HAL bites the dust, the message comes on screen, tends to support this idea. It's obviously a stock message that HAL would have played anyway, but triggered in the event of HAL's shutdown. That's my guess. A friend had an idea that the message was set to autoplay as soon as they were in "Jupiter space", which sort of works if you overlook the incredible coincidence of when the message played. 2) Right after this, when Bowman hops on board a pod and leaves Discovery, my guess here is that he was going back out to retrieve Poole's body again, which he had to discard earlier during his attempt to re-enter the ship. There is nothing to indicate that he was aware of the monolith's presence prior to his leaving the ship (he knew there was something there, from Dr. Floyd's message, and perhaps he looked around first.. but this seems unlikely to me), and there certainly wouldn't be any other reason for him to leave the ship. Once he gets out there, he spots the monolith, and et cetera happens. 3) There is an inconsistency in the film which has always bothered me. Once the determination is made that there is nothing wrong with the 'defective' AE-35 unit, why is it that Poole and Bowman make the decision to EVA again and put it back in? I know HAL suggests this course of action, but it would seem to me that they would likely not do this, as they are already suspicious of HAL at this point. When the unit was removed initially, it was obviously replaced by another working unit (we clearly see Dave bring a replacement to the antenna), and it works fine, as evidenced by the communication with Mission Control. So why risk another EVA, especially when they aren't sure HAL's working properly, when they have a fully functioning AE-35 in place? This has never made sense to me. The argument could be made that EVAs were so commonplace on this mission that they wouldn't give it a second thought, but the circumstances are no longer commonplace at this point in the plot. Now some thoughts; 1) I don't think that the monolith plants the thought of using the bones as weapons into Moonwatcher's mind; instead I think that the monolith somehow enables Moonwatcher to come up with the idea on his own. Sort of expands his consciousness, so to speak. 2) I don't think we were ever meant to understand the ending, I would guess that Kubrick himself probably didn't at the time. Which is good, of course. The only observation I have from it is the whole idea of Dave aging and then reverting to the embryo suggests to me that time is a variable concept in his new place, and he can pop from one level to another quite easily. 2010 tends to support this idea (which sucked, btw.. and if they ever make a movie of 2061, it will be a sign of the apocalypse). Well that's about it. Once while watching with a friend, near the scene in the end sequence where the diamond shaped objects are hovering above the 'planet', my friend yells out.. "hey! those are the ships from Close Encounters!". Hmm... some people just don't get it. =) Last point... could Kubrick have picked a better voice than Douglas Rain's for HAL? Not possible.. I loved him in the film, and his contribution to 2010 was that film's only redeeming feature. I could listen to him all day. (My email program notifies me of new mail with HAL's quote "There is a message for you".) Do you suppose he ever got tired of being asked to say "I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that" at parties? Thanks, and again, great site! =) Alan King Date: Mon, 17 Feb 1997 07:55:29 -0600 From: Jim Lewandowski [jlewand@starnetinc.com] I am 35 now and saw 2001 when I was 7 or so. The most dramatic thing I remember from the movie was the "big black lead door" (monolith). I wonder if anyone else who saw 2001 at a very young age was "disturbed" by what they saw and could not digest. I have only seen 2001 once as an adult and I was flipping to other shows while I was watching it. I consider myself a very aware and through provoking person. However, I just didn't get much of the movie (actually it's kind of depressing that I didn't take the time through move viewings, etc. to "read between the lines" with the brilliance you have shown). I must give a ton of credit to Clark and Kubrick on how "advanced" and deeply philosophical this movie is for the late 60's. We will the there are species of creation that have created machines that surpass them in many respects. A machine can create other more advanced machines because machines are not bound by Darwinian evolution or biology or understaning of DNA, etc. From my reading and contemplating the universe, I have come to understand the following to be evolution of creations within the complete original Creation (I hope this relates to 2001 et. al.): 1st density - earth wind fire water 2nd density - living reproducing (sexual or asexual) creatures that are "autonomous" and instinctual 3rd density - creatures that "understand" they are alive and ponder the universe (humans, dophins, and whales) with various 2nd density creatures (dogs, cats, trees, etc.) that will begin to encroach on 3rd density thinking which will propel them to incarnate into a 3rd density creature upon their physical death (one of my dogs when she is outside will actually look up at the stars and trees and planes whereas most dogs think the world only exists below knee level leaving me to believe she will become 3rd density). 3rd density creatures' only purpose for existence is to decide whether to serve others or themselves. 4th density - a social memory conscious collection of previously 3rd density creatures who can now experience true love because they know what everyone else is thinking (if I know you are thinking you don't love me when you SAY you love me causes me not to bestow true love upon you). 5th density - creatures that use wisdom to manage their true love capability 6th density - ? 7th density - ? Upon "graduation" from 7th density, the social memory complex achieves infinite mass upon approaching the speed of light causing a black hole to be formed upon which "they" go on to other levels of existence. Each level of density corresponds to the colors of light when shown through a prism. Basically, the ape-man that "thinks" and makes a bone a tool, is spiritually evolving from 2nd to 3rd density. I've always been curious as to how an "original" thought occurs. You are born with brain material with neurons, chemical reactions, etc. How can your brain store x pieces of information and produce a new "original" piece of information. I believe that because the whole universe is "the Creator" and the Creator contains all the thought possible, you are just incorporating one of the Creator's original thoughts into your brain. When you serve others, because we are all "part of the Creator" you are really serving yourself. I believe, in some part, that 2001 provokes unanswerable questions because if we understand all the ramifications of spiritual evolution we will be "equal" to the Creator or will actually recombine with the Creator and become the Creator. Feel free to use these comments (unless they are too nebulous re: 2001) on your excellent Web site. P.S. This is my first week on the internet. I am thankful you are serving a very valuable purpose to other "thinkers". Good luck. jlewand@starnetinc.com Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 16:04:10 -0600 From: raver [raver@hal-pc.org] While in the Navy, I worked closely with NASA in Spain. There are three alternate landing sites in Southern Europe (2 Spain, 1 Africa), and they require weather checks prior to a shuttle launch. We flew with an astronaut each time, who would check weather and get a feel for the strip in case an emergency landing ever arose. We would have direct contact with Houston and enjoyed hearing everything live... neat to see off T.V.. Anyway, I had been watching 2001 the night before a launch and started talking to the astronaut. I've forgotten his name now, but he was a decent talkative guy. Back to the point... I asked him what his thoughts on the movie were, and what he thought it all meant. This guy IS a spacefarer, no?? As I sat there waiting for some kind of educated description of his thoughts... He told me he remembered seeing it the theaters... parts of it, at least, because he fell asleep. While we're on the subject, I'll tell you another little story. We flew up on a different launch and entered the briefing cubbyhole... There I found the astronaut... with a portable amplifier... for his electric guitar... next to a surf board he brought... classic, huh? Too bad there wasn't anywhere he could surf... within 300 miles. All of this... and I am only 24... Brian Krontz Houston, Texas From: "Stephen Anderson" [stephen@v-wave.com] Date: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 02:42:10 -0700 Hi there fellow 2001 fan... Please do not take offense from the follow comments, but I felt I must correct you on a couple of issues regarding your critic of 2010.
    Kubrick's painstaking care to create a "realistic" environment was lost in 2010. Spaceships "whooshed" through outer space, in the same manner of the ships in Star Wars.
While you are obviously correct in that there were (unrealistically) sound effects in open space in 2010; I would never go so far as to compare it to Star Wars (a fine film in it's own right, but no 2001). The occasional retro-rocket "whoosh" is not exactly the same thing as an X-Wing fighter behaving like a WWII Spitfire in space.
    The astronauts walked around in zero-G conditions as if they were back on Earth,
Not true. The Lenenov had a rotating mid-section where the crew spent most of it's time... if you believe the Discovery's carousel could create artificial gravity then you must forgive this as well. When the crew was in a non-gravity area (like the pod launch bay) then you see examples of 0-g... (a Cosmonaut is seen walking on the wall in the background, while Velcro-shoes keep everyone else in place).
    scientific error of all may be this: When a new star is created and our solar system has two suns instead of one, wouldn't this have a disastrous effect on Earth's ecosystem? The enormous energies put out by a second sun would almost certainly lay waste to our planet, as it would raise the temperature of the atmosphere considerably, obliterate its fragile layers, and even affect the orbit of the Earth as its gravitational pull changes the course of the solar system.
While I agree/disagree with some/most of that... I think it is unfair to criticize Peter Hyams' in one area and then not mention that the well known/loved Science Fiction writer (and author of 2001: A Space Odyssey) Arthur C. Clarke that wrote the book that the movie 2010 was based on and thus this major technical error is his fault not Peter's.
    movie by Roy Scheider) replies: "Those sons of bitches. I didn't know...I didn't know!" But if Dr. Floyd is to believed in 2001, then he DID know about HAL's deception. Not only did he lie to the Soviet scientists who questioned him about the "epidemic" at the Clavius moonbase, but he even stated openly that he was fully aware of the secrecy behind the true purpose of the Discovery mission. In his final message (played by
I believe you simply misunderstood this passage in the movie. Floyd was not suggesting that *he* didn't know anything about the Monothith. His comment before is the key... "I didn't authorize anyone to tell HAL about the monolith". Just because other people in upper government did, does not make Floyd responsible. If we can believe that Presidents are sometimes not be fully informed in the real world (i.e.. Bay-of-Pigs, Iran-Contra, FBI File-Gate) then one must believe that a even a senior official such as Dr. Floyd can be "out of the loop".
    The sequel reduces him to the level of an innocent "Hollywood Good Guy," when in the original film he is much closer to a "real-life" human being.
I strongly disagree. I think 2010 makes Floyd *human*... the scenes with his son and his wife are character building and make him into a real person. As I'm sure you know that there were scenes cut from 2001 at the Clavius moonbase involving the inhabitant's children... (and while I have no kids myself) I think this would have served a useful purpose in making 2001 just slightly more accessible to average guy (or gal).
    tools granted to him by the Aliens. In 2010, Man was unable to survive without help. The Aliens had to intervene to save the human race and act as caretakers of the solar system.
Again, as much as I hate to do this... you must take up this argument not with Peter Hyams but with Arthur C. Clarke. I believe he is one of the greatest SF writers of all time, but if you really have a problem with these elements of the storyline then your argument is not only with the movie 2010 but also with the book (and thus the novelist that created 2001 in the first place).
    were believable; there have been worse science fiction movies than 2010.
There we agree 101% :-)
    But what is the point of making a movie and calling it the successor to 2001, if the movie completely abandons the ideas of the first film, does not advance any new ideas of its own, and even fails to tackle the questions raised in the original work?
While all of that may be true (and I'd agree at some level) I ask this... must a sequel eclipse it's original film? What is wrong with simply continuing the story....?
    As a sequel to 2001, then, 2010 is a failure.
Again I disagree. I love both films 2001 and 2010... but I love them the same way a man can love both a blonde and a brunette... (at the risk of sounding sexist). Each is wonderful it's own right, yet different from the other.
    It cannot approach 2001 in terms of vision and scope, and it does not advance the ideas of 2001 or even continue the themes begun there.
Perhaps it was not supposed to. The Korean War followed World War II... not grander and better; just the continuation of the larger story... the story of Mankind in the 20th Century. 2001 and 2010 (and 2061 and soon 3001) do the same thing... in the 21st Century.
    But 2001: A Space Odyssey will always stand alone.
I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time in 1976 on TV when I was 11 years old. It forever changed my view of this planet, the solar system and mankind's place with in it. I have read the book dozens of times since and own the film on both VHS and Laser Disc. I am a major fan of 2001. None-the-less I accept 2010 as a viable sequel to 2001 and I'm proud to say I own it on VHS and Laser Disc as well... (if nothing else the cameo appearance by Arthur Clarke feeding the pigeons in front of the White House in 2010 is priceless...) Thanks for listening... and thank you for an interesting critic. ~ Stephen ~ Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 16:21:12 -0600 From: Todd Raymond Shaw [wahs@rconnect.com] To whom It may concern: I was quite impressed with what I read. I did not read it all. I would like to offer several ideas. (These ideas may be in areas I did not read.) Did you notice that all the "killing objects" are white the color of cleanliness and innocence and the two individuals killed where dark in color(red suite and Black ape?) Even the "tombs," hibernation units, are white the spaceship is white, the color of death in this story, the faces of the sceintis where dark and shadowed. I have yet to form a theory about this but there must be some story behind this. One week idea is that it somehow relates to intelligence. Also the monolith seems to equall death or is the cuase of death perhaps the end of mankind is near secnairo. e-mail address is jshaw@ilcc.cc.ia.us I thank you for your insight into this film and I agree with your anaolgies J.Shaw (sorry about spelling)