Q+A: Carleton professor Jim Davies

Jim Davies, a professor from Carleton’s Institute of Cognitive Science, has contributed chapters to Star Trek Psychology: The Mental Frontier, about the psychology behind the aliens in the popular TV series Star Trek. The Charlatan sat down with Davies to discuss a bit about science-fiction psychology in popular culture. The Charlatan (TC): How does your current research relate to your chapter in Star Trek Psychology: The Mental Frontier? Jim Davies (JD): We’ve done some studies of creativity the way most people think about it . . . one of them we did a study on how creative people are when they’re creating aliens. So we gave them a blank piece of paper and asked them to make up an alien, […]

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Review: Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival

The most interesting part of Arrival, by far, is its premise—the alien invasion movie for linguistics students—because the characters and dialogue only explore the range between boring and pathetic. This is not to say that the movie is not interesting or potentially worth seeing, but it’s very much a work of modern sci-fi that adopts clichés to compensate for deficiencies in an otherwise well-constructed plot. The film is written by Eric Heisserer, who up until now has mostly been kicking around re-makes of and sequels to classic horror films (The Thing, Final Destination 5), as an adaptation of a sci-fi short story called Story of Your Life. The stories both center on Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a linguistics professor working at […]

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