‘PBS Idea Channel’ Explores Whether Upvotes Illuminate the Flaws of Democracy

PBS Idea Channel host Mike Rugnetta explores whether upvotes–like those used with Yik Yak or reddit–actually illuminate the flaws in democracy in the latest episode of the series.

Are upvotes democratic? Supposedly, YikYak is a democratic social network, following the lead of forums like reddit that use upvoting as “community sourced decisions.” The IDEA behind both is that compelling, unique posts will float to the top, and weak ones will sink to the bottom. Reddit is a democracy! Much like The United States. HOWEVER, in both cases, the notion of true democracy may well be an illusion! Does seeing upvotes promote more upvotes? Does provocative content beget more provocative content? Is all content created equal?

‘The X-Files’ to Return For Six Episodes on Fox With Original Stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny

The X-Files

According to a report from Variety, the popular television show The X-Files is officially scheduled to return to Fox for a six-episode limited series with series creator Chris Carter at the helm and original stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny set to reprise their roles as Dana Scully and Fox Mulder.

Now official, the duo commented: “We had the privilege of working with Chris on all nine seasons of ‘The X-Files’ — one of the most rewarding creative experiences of our careers — and we couldn’t be more excited to explore that incredible world with him again.”

The original show ran from 1993 to 2002 and spawned two movies.

image via Hulu

via Variety

‘PBS Space Time’ Explores Whether a ‘Star Fox’ Barrel Roll Would Actually Work in Space

PBS Space Time host Gabe Perez-Giz explores whether a barrel roll from the Star Fox video game series would actually work in space in the latest episode of the series. Perez-Giz points to a video by It’s Okay To Be Smart on the physics of space battles before launching into why barrel rolls–which are more accurately aileron rolls–could be possible in space.

DO A BARREL ROLL! Or at least, try…? The iconic move from Star Fox seems so easy, just press a button and BOOM. The ship rolls. But HOW? Barrel rolls in atmosphere are easy to execute with the use of ailerons, but in space, it’s a different issue altogether. With no atmosphere (and no thrusters), how does one Barrel Roll like Star Fox in space?

Game Theory: Star Fox, Do a Barrel Roll

‘PBS Idea Channel’ Compares Writing for Comics to Running a ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Campaign

PBS Idea Channel host Mike Rugnetta compares writing for comics to running a Dungeons & Dragons campaign in the latest episode of the series. Specifically, Rugnetta explores the concept of agency and what it means to essentially run the lives of other people’s characters.

Dungeon Masters rule over Tabletop RPGs, but who watches the Watchmen? Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Thor… all famous comic book characters, but famous not technically because of the actions they perform, but for those that comic book creators and writers choose for them. How is this like the players of a RPG, who experience what they may perceive as agency over their actions, despite their routes being carefully orchestrated by the Dungeon Master. So, who’s really in control?