HAL has been permanently deactivated

vkd

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Trainspotter detail:

Did any of you know that HAL is formed from the letters in front of IBM in the alphabet? Like, one before IBM? An inside joke many fail to catch.
 

Thomas Veil

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That's one of those things that gets repeated because it sounds so plausible. Alas, Arthur Clarke (the co-author of "2001") said in "The Making of Kubrick's '2001'" (I'm quoting from memory here):

"Every so often some wag points out that HAL is one letter ahead of IBM and assumes we were taking a crack at that estimable institution. The truth is, HAL stands for Heuristically-designed ALgorithmic computer."

Which is not to say there aren't some pretty coy things in the movie. How many times has anyone who's watched the movie seen this shot?

jupiter06.jpg

Took me multiple times watching the movie until I noticed that just at the moment that the monolith turns completely sideways (edge-on) to the viewer and disappears (right before the Star Gate opens), the monolith and the alignment of Jupiter's moons form a cross. I've always taken that to mean Kubrick was trying to say that God is actually a higher form of alien intelligence.

And that too may be wrong. Clarke also said that (again, quoting from memory) "Someone once said they saw the sign of the cross in the movie, which would be interesting since I'm an atheist and Stanley's a Jew."
 

vkd

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That's one of those things that gets repeated because it sounds so plausible. Alas, Arthur Clarke (the co-author of "2001") said in "The Making of Kubrick's '2001'" (I'm quoting from memory here):

"Every so often some wag points out that HAL is one letter ahead of IBM and assumes we were taking a crack at that estimable institution. The truth is, HAL stands for Heuristically-designed ALgorithmic computer."
Yeah, maybe so, but would it not also be the case that they would have to keep such an inside joke quiet due to legal ramifications that Big Blue could very easily start against them for such things? In other words, "Yes, it is, but we won't admit it."
 

bluespark

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Yeah, maybe so, but would it not also be the case that they would have to keep such an inside joke quiet due to legal ramifications that Big Blue could very easily start against them for such things? In other words, "Yes, it is, but we won't admit it."
No. There is no legal cause of action for using the letters in this way, even if the intent were to critique IBM.
 
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Eric5h5

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They specifically said that if they'd realized at the time, they would have changed the name, since they got a lot of help from IBM. It's just a coincidence, not a joke or anything.

--Eric
 
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DeepIn2U

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I've tried watching this movie so many times in my youth and yet I've always found it BORING. Odd because I've grown up with great Sci-Fi movies with great long in-depth character building and introductions: Superman (OG), Alien (OG release), Battlestar (OG pilot; reruns I'm not THAT old lol, or was just too young to understand it), etc.

But this movie ... just couldn't stick with it long enough. I'll give it another try later in the week much more studying needed.
 

blackxacto

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You should have grown up watching a gray world on a small screen, then a duotone world that was supposed to be color. Then cowboy after cowboy show, then stupid white folk's saying nothing funny, yet there is a roar of laughter. Then one day in a dark wide screen theater, a miracle happens on the screen. Apemen to moon populace in detail no one has seen anywhere. You see the effects of space and planetary travel done realistically for the first time and you realize no movie after this one will be accepted with 1950ish crap again. That's why I am mystified everytime I see 2001 and hear HAL.
 

Arran

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You should have grown up watching a gray world on a small screen, then a duotone world that was supposed to be color. Then cowboy after cowboy show, then stupid white folk's saying nothing funny, yet there is a roar of laughter. Then one day in a dark wide screen theater, a miracle happens on the screen. Apemen to moon populace in detail no one has seen anywhere. You see the effects of space and planetary travel done realistically for the first time and you realize no movie after this one will be accepted with 1950ish crap again. That's why I am mystified everytime I see 2001 and hear HAL.
Indeed. Context is everything.
 

Thomas Veil

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Also, this is not a “character” movie. HAL is the most personable “character” in the film, but it’s not even about him.

This is an idea film. If you got turned off before the ending, wait’ll you see that. It’s totally an intellectual/mystical experience.
 
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vkd

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They specifically said that if they'd realized at the time, they would have changed the name, since they got a lot of help from IBM. It's just a coincidence, not a joke or anything.

--Eric
People can say anything they want, Eric, even you. And look, you do. You gave your opinion. I gave mine. My opinion is they had a joke and went with the letters before IBM on purpose. They can deny it all they want, you can help them deny it after the event if you like but it will be no use. I'll keep on believing, because I know.
 

Thomas Veil

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Clearing up an urban legend is not a diss. One of the movie’s authors has corrected the record, and that’s all there is to it. The creative arts are rife with stories like the IBM one.
 

Eric5h5

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People can say anything they want, Eric, even you. And look, you do. You gave your opinion. I gave mine. My opinion is they had a joke and went with the letters before IBM on purpose. They can deny it all they want, you can help them deny it after the event if you like but it will be no use. I'll keep on believing, because I know.
It's not an opinion, it's on record from the people who were involved in actually creating it. That you choose to call them liars does not speak well of you. Just goes to show the absurd lengths people will go to in order to see patterns in things that aren't there.

--Eric
 

vkd

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It's not an opinion, it's on record from the people who were involved in actually creating it. That you choose to call them liars does not speak well of you. Just goes to show the absurd lengths people will go to in order to see patterns in things that aren't there.

--Eric
Please, I did not call anyone a liar. If you will, kindly present for us just one verifiable and worthy piece of evidence (ie. not from a gossip website etc.) and I will concede.
 

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