Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pandora: A Telepathic Planet

It came to my attention that many people do not understand the James Cameron movie Avatar. They see "New Age" they see people without clothes on, they see cliche plots, and overdone special effects. And somehow they manage to miss the immense potential of the film; the enormous brilliance of the premise. I am here to clear up this mass confusion, and to reveal Pandora and the Na'vi for what they really are; the organic version of Tron.

I'll start with a very simple concept, one I'm sure you all can understand. A comic strip.

This is, actually, a surprisingly accurate representation of the Na'vi. Since you're reading this I assume you have a computer, and if you have a computer you're probably aware of what a USB is. Just in case you aren't, USB is how various devices are connected to each other. You use a USB cable to connect your MP3 player to your computer to transfer music. You use it to download pictures off your phone. It can be used for recharging, and for data exchanges.

Well, the Na'vi have the equivalent form of connection in the neural connectors at the base of their skull. Animals have two each, right behind the ears. When the ends of these fibre optic type connectors are laid together they connect, allowing information to pass from one mind to the other, much like data along a USB cable.

Cool, huh? But it gets better. The trees are connected neurally through the roots, so the entire forest is in communication with each other, spreading information around. The mistake the Na'vi made was worshiping the earth as a goddess, Eywa, when in reality it's just a huge data bank. One of the characters describes it thus:

What we think we know - is that there's some kind of electrochemical communication between the roots of the trees. Like the synapses between neurons. Each tree has ten to the fourth connections to the trees around it, and there are ten to the twelfth trees on Pandora... That's more connections than the human brain. It's a network - a global network. And the Na'vi can access it - they can upload and download data - memories - at sites like the one you just destroyed.
So, in other words, the entire planet is like a hard drive. And trees like the one pictured below are USB ports. And through the neural connectors coming out of their heads the Na'vi can "plug-in" and access the memory. They can store memories there, experiences, knowledge; for future generations to access and learn from.

Even the rituals they engage in, holding hands and singing around such a location fit in. They're forming a giant processor. Individually they're weak, but together, all striving for the same thing, they become very, very strong. There's really nothing religious about it all. And what they could do if they understood; imagine the potential for that kind of information sharing. They'd never need to develop technology; because they are the technology. The concept is mind blowing. The potential is staggering.

 Now can you see Avatar in a new, scientific, light?

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