Science, and Interstellar

I have tried hard the past week to keep myself from writing about Interstellar, but it’s come to the point where I give up, and will indulge myself. I consider it indulging myself since I have never actually written a blog entry about a single sample movie, using just one case as a subject. The only time I have come close is a spectacularly ill-received rant two years ago where I related Christopher Nolan’s depiction of Batman to the role of the United Nations in international relations (if you didn’t like that, you sure as hell won’t like this!). Interstellar is another Nolan movie, and that is no coincidence. Rather surprisingly, his big-budget movies resonate long after the credits roll, and the fact that they are blockbusters makes it all the more powerful, since you don’t really expect to see any meaningful ideas put forward in this type of loud, effects-heavy movie. Interstellar indeed had some idea that linger in the brain and that I have ended up liking rather a lot. By saying that I like these ideas of course really means that I agree with the line of thinking, and consider it close to my own ideas and opinions, and naturally I am a big fan of those (they are my favourite). Just to clarify, this blog is about the ideas put forward in Interstellar, rather than actually the quality of the movie, which has proved quite divisive: some people love it, some people hate it. I am not discussing here whether it was a good movie or a bad movie, nor am I ranting about the scientific legitimacy of the theoretical physics writ large that dominate the movies’ dramatic beats. This isn’t about the science of Interstellar, it is about Interstellar and Science. That’s because Interstellar is all about the idea that science, specifically the pursuit and accumulation of knowledge, makes us immortal. Continue reading