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Johnny Mnemonic 1995 / 320 GB. WTF!

Just had to bring this up. Keanu Reeves made a lousy movie in 1995 that takes place in 2021. LOL!
Their idea of the future (the now to us) was pretty weird and mostly inaccurate, but the weirdest was that 320 gigs of data was a humongous amount to stuff into Keanu’s adapted brain ( he had to get rid of his childhood memories to create the disc space).

So, considering Moore had invented his Law in 1995, they still got it terribly wrong for the terabyte world we live in. That was 25 years ago. If we think about 2050 will we be so wrong as well? Frightening when you think about it. Nanotechnology...brrrrr.

Comments

  • If you think that's bad, watch The Net from around the same time period (Sandra Bullock)! So funny

  • Prescient on several fronts: human augmentation, degenerative diseases from such, trash everywhere, division between rich and poor. Keeping medical treatment artificially high and withholding cures. AI finding said cures. The transmigration of the soul to the digital realm. Pop up ads and 3D avatars and virus attacks. Weaponized dolphins.

    But yes, stupid. It always cracks me up when people cobble together “hi” tech in movies where there’s an excess of moisture, dirt, temperature swings, and other crap. Plus dumb villains Dolf Lungren as a psyco “Jesus” loving killer. 🙄🥜

  • TBWB. JM is one of those stories you can (mis) quote from memory, like song lyrics. ‘Not my style at all, but that's what I was aiming for. If they think you’re crude, go technical. If they think you’re technical, go crude. I’m a pretty technical boy. These days you have to be pretty technical to aspire to crudeness.’ I wish I could write like that.

    Best part of The movie was the music over the end credits, that at least captured the feel. We can only hope Neuromancer never gets made 😐

  • 2050? That is if we don’t knock ourselves out first. Biodiversity, pandemic, nuclear/biological weponry...and global warming somewhere at the bottom of the list is just how potentially screwed we humans are. Mix into it some violent extremism of any kind and....boom.

    Pandemic is probably the most likely reason for a drastic change of the world as we know it. We’ve never been as interconnected as we are now via cheap travel etc.

    It’s funny, maybe I’m looking at this this way because I’ve listened to BBC Analysis podcast only this morning. Maybe not quite unexpected by there’s people employed full time to monitor the situation using public insurance style statistics. Apparently we’re at 10% probability of extinction by the end of the century. Seems like a small number but ‘would you fly knowing that one in 10 flight ends up in a crash?’

  • Great comments... but... how did they get the memory capacity so wrong? I can only think of Eisenhower saying in the 50s "a million here, a million there, soon we're talking about a lot of money!" It seems inconceivable that 320gbs was an awesome number to imagine in 1995. But I guess it was.

  • that was a great movie, really enjoyable.

  • Keanu was not at his best... a little too much Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (?) and not enough Matrix.

  • @LinearLineman I have to agree, not his finest moment! I thought you might find this interesting:

    http://www.mkomo.com/cost-per-gigabyte

  • Never seen Johnny Mnemonic so couldn't comment about it's prescience, but without wanting to appear pedantic, Moores Law is with regard to the number of transistors on a silicon chip doubling every two years, it's not something that's universal to all computing technology; although for many years it did have a direct bearing on processing speed (but even that trend has slowed since about 2010).

    The last link is particularly interesting as it was obviously written a few years back and it mentions that if Moores Law held true, we'd be in the age of Quantum Computing by 2020.

    https://www.relativelyinteresting.com/comparing-todays-computers-to-1995s/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law

    https://www.bcs.org/content/ConWebDoc/16965

  • @Iso, thanks for that! So in 1995 a gig cost around $900. Now, under .10! So Johnny's 360 gb memory was worth way over half a million in today's dollars. No wonder they couldn't imagine a terabyte!

    Thanks @jonmoore, I will have a look. But with a Chinese ( and US, of course) doing over four quadrillion calculations a second doesn't Moore still work even outside the transistors on a silicon chip? @Iso 's article talks about memory storage cost halving every 14 months. Also similar, no?

  • @supadom said:
    2050? That is if we don’t knock ourselves out first. Biodiversity, pandemic, nuclear/biological weponry...and global warming somewhere at the bottom of the list is just how potentially screwed we humans are. Mix into it some violent extremism of any kind and....boom.

    Pandemic is probably the most likely reason for a drastic change of the world as we know it. We’ve never been as interconnected as we are now via cheap travel etc.

    It’s funny, maybe I’m looking at this this way because I’ve listened to BBC Analysis podcast only this morning. Maybe not quite unexpected by there’s people employed full time to monitor the situation using public insurance style statistics. Apparently we’re at 10% probability of extinction by the end of the century. Seems like a small number but ‘would you fly knowing that one in 10 flight ends up in a crash?’

    It's going to be a long week :)

    FWIW, my money is def. on the pandemic as regards body count.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    Great comments... but... how did they get the memory capacity so wrong?

    Seems most likely it was informed by contemporary estimates of the human memory. As far as I know there are still no reliable estimates as we don't know definitively how it works.

  • @LinearLineman The point was mainly that Moores Law has been so misused and distorted as a metaphor over the years (particularly on the Internet) to the extent that it ceases to have any real value or meaning. The main thing that has increased computing power over the last ten years has been parallel processing, not core processor speeds. Sure server farms have an incredible amount of computing power but that has little to do with Moores Law.

    When Quantum Computing becomes an everyday reality in consumer devices, Moores Law will seem conservative and lacking in ambition! :)

    My guess with regards to the Johnny Mnemonic script writers (and the tech people they consulted with in the early 90's) is that they didn't give it much consideration, other than the fact that 320Gb of storage at the time would have required a lot of space and cooling. Plus in 1991 the first solid state drives came on the market and cost $900 for 20 Mb of storage. On that basis, 320 Gb of memory in a device small enough to fit into somebody's brain would seem a fantastical achievement.

    Interestingly, Johnny Mnemonic was originally a short story published in a magazine by William Gibson in 1981. I have no idea as to whether he was involved in the movie, but I'd be surprised if he sold the movie rights without being involved. And William Gibson isn't somebody you would think of as being clueless about future technology trends.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Mnemonic

  • @jonmoore William Gibson also wrote the screenplay, although apparently he wasn't that happy with the finished film. The studio got involved & insisted on cuts & edits which made the film more mainstream, less funny, so it lost it's "alternative " spirit, which ironically is the element that would of made it a box office success, or at the very least a cult classic. It was on the box recently, & wasn't as bad as I'd remembered it ............. might get hold of a copy & give it another go without the adverts & on a bigger screen, with a decent sound system............

  • @iso I must admit that as soon as I read that Gibson wrote the screenplay as well as the original short story, I made a mental note to stream it at some point. The studio obviously ruined it, but it will be interesting to see how much 'Gibson' is retained.

  • Ok @jonmoore , no moore Moore's Law for me!🤐 Your explanation of 320gb sounds spot on. I can see how it would have seemed fantastical as you describe it. Thanks!

    @iso, your mentioning the humor explains a lot for me. Keanu's attempts at humor seemed out of place, but I bet a lot of the cuts took the comedic thruput out and left it posing as semi serious with unexpected humor now and the.

    But now the ultimate question... why Johnny MNEMONIC? True, he is trying to remember something, but there is no mnemonic device.... except HOKLGB.... Hang On Keanu, Life Gets Better.

  • There is the movie Neuromancer in the works ;)

  • Consider that in 81 it was written as some megabytes of data instead of gigas (as I recall)
    That was a lot for that time :lol:

  • @supadom

    Pandemic is probably the most likely reason for a drastic change of the world as we know it. We’ve never been as interconnected as we are now via cheap travel etc.

    My non existent money that we won’t need is on environmental collapse. The displacement of huge populations will further hasten political unrest as people try to survive and poor health etc will bring more diseases. When it happens it’s not going to be just one horseman.

  • @audiblevideo, poor Greta! Naturally she thinks she is the center of it all. All that weight on those thin shoulders. Really, it is sad, but somehow, as she says, totally absurd. I hope she grows up to be president... of something. Now, back to business... what the hell does mnemonic have to do with it, other than it is a cool word?

  • @LinearLineman said:
    Now, back to business... what the hell does mnemonic have to do with it, other than it is a cool word?

    Because "mnemonic" is an adjective to describe things memory-related.

  • @MarkH said:

    @LinearLineman said:
    Now, back to business... what the hell does mnemonic have to do with it, other than it is a cool word?

    Because "mnemonic" is an adjective to describe things memory-related.

    Imma use a mnemonic to remember that mnemonic is a mnemonic.

  • edited March 14

    I thought a mnemonic was an alphabetic device to help one remember things @MarkH? We meet again! 😂😍

  • I thought mnemonic was an alphabetic device to aid memory...
    1.
    a system such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations which assists in remembering something.
    "the usual mnemonic for star types is O Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me"... (or for us music types Every Good Boy Does Fine)
    adjective
    1.
    aiding or designed to aid the memory.

    So it’s a bit of a stretch that Johnny uses a machine and a dolphin to aid his artificially induced memory cause Johnny actually gave up his childhood memories to take on jobs hauling data.
    Still, not a mnemonic in my book. But hey, it’s Hollywood.

  • I see my thinking was too narrow. Johnny Mnemonic is a perfect name... Keanu had a device that helped him remember (albeit stuff he didn't know). Duh! Getting old, I fear.

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