Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Major Major: Edited AI entry, added the Sladek parody. The original AI entry was:

  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: a lot of stories that use this trope as their plot premise basically end with "AIs will kill us all so society better not be stupid enough to develop them," or an even worse, more fundamentally Luddite message, without addressing the possible benefits a benevolent AI may bring to society. There seems to be an honest, actual fear of AIs in society thanks to this trope, most dramatically demonstrated by Ted "The Unibomber" Kazinksy.

Working Title: Unforeseeable Consequence Aesop: From YKTTW

Ninjacrat: Pulled:
  • Doctor Who: Driving cars is bad, because a bunch of aliens might use their emissions against us. Nevermind that those emissions hurt the environment, the only reason to stop driving cars is because of aliens.
because that's not quite how the story goes (the aliens hid terraforming gas in zero-emissions devies, but there wasn't any causal connection between the two), and because it wasn't presented a lesson to be learned in any case.

Antheia: Isn't the Braceface example a case of Broken Aesop rather than this? Or even Fantastic Aesop ("don't use weird pump-things that don't exist to enlarge your breasts, or your breasts will explode")?

Cosmetor: It suggests a realistic course of action ("don't get breast implants") with fantastic consequences ("your breasts will explode"), thus falling under this.
Bob: Editing the Klonoa example to cut/incorporate the Justifying Edit.

Gizensha: Shouldn't the Lunatea's Veil example be cut entirely because the entire game is a dream-based metaphor going on inside someone's head for something along the lines of 'without accepting all your emotions you wouldn't be complete'?

Cosmetor: If you're willing to call them metaphors, pretty much anything on the page would be exempt. But inaccurate metaphors aren't very convincing. This one in particular is unconvincing because emotions aren't independently sentient beings with emotions of their own.
Brickman: I'm wondering if the Bioshock example might be more suitable for the Fantastic page. I mean, ignoring the fact that building a city underwater to escape existing governments is pretty improbable itself, you could easily consider the plasmids and such a metaphor for other potentially destructive technologies (guns, perhaps, but that feels too limited; I'm sure I could come up with a better one eventually). The "drives people insane" part's a little out there though, along with the mind control part.
Kimiko Muffin: Pulled due to an "Actually ..." which negated the original's purpose to begin with:
  • Wall-E. The lesson is "Take care of the earth, or else humanity will spend eternity on a spaceship until even that is unsustainable."
    • The above situation is a plausible extension of current science. It doesn't say we'll do it today.

Danel: This page seemed like a good idea at the time, but it really needs to be edited to reflect that it's probably supposed to be metaphor in a lot of these cases. As it is is, the description pretty much straight up calls this a bad thing, when it most cases it's a heightened way of addressing an important issue while actually giving the protagonists something to do about it. As it is the description seems to imply that all of the examples are serious and literal; that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is actually saying that bullies will possessed by hyena spirits, etc.

Advertising: In the "brain on drugs" examples, the heroin ad fails for a completely different reason than this trope. Everyone understood the message. Everyone also thought the girl (a young Rachel Leigh Cook) was incredibly hot, and even more so when she started smashing up the kitchen with the frying pan. It sends a bit of a mixed message: Heroin may ruin your life, but it may also make a hot, crazy teenage girl break into your house unexplained. I suspect that for people who were already on heroin, or other libido-dulling drugs, the mixed message wasn't a problem. But I can also imagine someone on cocaine—or just alcohol—thinking, "OK, where can I score some heroin at this time of night?"

Of course years later, Antitrust gave us the same mixed messages about working for Bill Gates: You will become involved in a horrifying conspiracy, with your life and your friends' lives and the entire world in danger, but on the other hand you'll also get Rachel Leigh Cook. I can definitely imagine a programmer putting in an application at Microsoft after seeing that movie—except for the minor issue that only 11 people saw that movie.

Garrison Keillor: Adam Ant had this exact same message in the song "Antmusic": "Don't tread on an ant, he's done nothing to you, there might come a day when he's treading on you!" Of course the other message of that song was "don't listen to music from dead old genres," so I suppose you really shouldn't go check it out.

I've always thought of Star Trek IV as a broken aesop. Star Trek is a pretty great future and, with the exception of confusing Super Powerful Aliens, killing the whales off doesn't seem to be a big deal.

  • Mass Effect: AI isn't a crap-shoot; they are INEVITABLY at war with organic intelligences. But the organics tend to start it...
    • It's a Frankenstein-style aesop saying "take responsibility for what you bring into the world, or it will bite you in the ass." That, and "if you treat sentient beings as slaves, it will end badly for everyone."

Turned Against Their Masters is not a Space Whale Aesop. The situation may fall under Fantastic Aesop, but not for long, and when we do get robot soldiers complex enough to disobey orders or interpret them creatively, them deciding they don't care to be treated as slaves is entirely plausible.
BritBllt: I've amended this...

  • The Day After Tomorrow: Why do we need to stop global warming? Uber-blizzards, crappy CG wolves that guard penicillin, and Hyper Thermodynamics. The people arguing hardest against global warning when the film was released said that, impossible as the consequences are, they're still more realistic than what the people who deny global warning think will (not) happen. Still, it's probable that the film has permanently damaged the anti-global-warming movement among the general public.
    • The wolves came from a zoo. Yet somehow, they're vicious monsters.
      • It's CG genetics: they were ripped off from The Lord of the Rings' wargs.
      • You can't properly domesticate wolves - they'll always remain unpredictable predators. But they are not prone to attack humans, especially when they have a city full of frozen corpses to choose from.
      • You can; It's called a dog. The problem being it takes a really, really long time.
      • Less time than you'd think — the most recently domesticated species is the fox, which was domesticated...within a single human lifespan. Everybody was surprised.
    • And it's silly that a movie which ignores the laws of thermodynamics, sanity, and reason is considered more realistic than someone saying that CO 2 will cause a few degrees of warming over a century or two. YouFailScienceForever

to this...

  • The Day After Tomorrow: Cut down on greenhouse-gas emissions or the Earth will enter a new ice age and New York City will freeze solid. By the end of this week.

Because the natter's hitting critical mass, and its core Space Whale Aesop is getting lost along the way. The rest would be fit better on a Headscratchers or Wall Banger page, if they're not already listed there.

BritBllt: Removing...

  • Every single Star Trek series (Yes, even the original) beat this trope to death, hopped down to Hell, found it there, slammed it against Satan's wall of fire, and beat it to living death. The cycle would repeat mercilessly with each new series, and by the time ST: Voyager rolled around, each new EPISODE.

We need specifics: this is pretty much just Two Words: Obvious Trope dressed up in lots of snark. And the snark is getting dangerously close to Complaining About Shows You Don't Like.

Kilyle: I'm not sure if this is Space Whale Aesop or Fantastic Aesop or what, but here's a quote I just heard from Sailor Moon Abridged:

Crazy aliens destroyed the Moon Kingdom! So we all need to do our part to make sure that crazy aliens don't destroy Earth! So write letters to your military and let them know you support them in their fight against crazy aliens!