Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 15, Season 2, Peter
Posted by Karl Withakay on April 1, 2010
As usual, an episode synopsis can be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent.
A light episode in terms of material for Deconstruction, mostly due to the fact that this episode was mostly a story telling episode. For the sake of my blog, I’m hoping that next week’s episode is more ripe for Deconstruction.
You Can’t Copy What You Don’t Have the Technology to Manufacture
Even if Walter had the exact plans for the cell phone from the other universe, including the exact details of every single integrated circuit, there just wasn’t the technology to make the integrated circuits for it in 1985.
Moore’s law is really only indirectly about the growth of processor power, per se. It really states that the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. This limit on the number of transistors is due to manufacturing ability, not integrated circuit design. Processing power is directly related to the number of transistors, and so Moore’s law deals with growth in processioning power as well as transistor count in integrated circuits.
We couldn’t make Motorola Razr phones in 1985 mostly because we didn’t have the technology to make the chips, and not so much because we couldn’t think up how to design them. This is a bit of an over-simplification, but my point is that transistor size (and thus the number of transistors you can fit on an IC) was the main limitation.
Back to Eric Stoltz
Eric Stoltz was indeed originally cast as Marty McFly, after Michael J Fox turned the part down, due to scheduling conflicts. Apparently Stoltz and the filmmakers “mutually decided” he wasn’t right for the part, and so they managed to persuade Fox to work out a schedule that allowed him to star in the movie after all. I have a hard time imagining Back to the Future with Stoltz, who appears to have gone to the Richard Gere school for stoic, unemotional acting. I’m so glad I don’t live in the alternate universe… or do I????
A+ for Techno-Babble
“Rupture the fundamental constants of the universe”, it sure sounds sciencey.
Oh snap! What happened to the universe? I just measured the ratio of this circle’s circumference to its diameter and got the number 4.23, and I just transmitted that information 267,000 miles in one second, what gives?
If You Don’t Know What Coin it is, is it Still Lucky?
That was a silver Walking Liberty Half Dollar, and not a silver dollar, at least in this universe. The alternate universe provides the show runners a defense against certain criticisms, such as that really was a silver dollar in the alternate universe. At some point in the other universe, either the dollar was worth less, or silver was worth more.
Walternate Not Into Alternate Universe Research?
It’s interesting that Walternate is so similar to our Walter, but he is apparently either doing no research into our universe, or is way behind our Walter’ progress in that field, despite his Motorola Razr cell phone. (In the alternate universe, do they just call it universe research or primary universe research?)