Saturday, July 15, 2006


"Books have this bad habit of talking to each other when we're not looking. Worse, they go off and breed, like hangers in your closet or dust mastodons under the bed."

That's a quote from Cocktail Party Physics

If you have a scientific bent and lots of time, you might want to look at a few posts. Each of the links are an education in the joys of science fiction, my favorite genre after plain old ordinary old science. The problem with SF is that there's a high admisson price, including a good education and critical thinking skills. Some require more than I have to give in thought to follow the plot and sometimes the author will take off into a fantasy that is out of the realm of the possible. The best SF has a solid technical base and simply explores places we as a society have yet to go.

The general public thinks Star Trek is science fiction, but it's actually just fiction. "Di-lithium crystals" neither exist nor do they stand up to any quantum examination of the possible but they were a nice plot device that enabled situations unrealized in earth society so far..such as people of different races getting along together, or even with different species and hybrids such as the pointy eared Spock.

Spock is that most tragic of all creatures, a logical one, and certainly cannot exist in reality. Rationality has become a tragic flaw in humans, and is stomped out at an early age whenever possible by religious and governmental institutions and replaced by an appropriate mythology more suitable for subservience and control.

Science Fiction allows for the exploration of alternative societies and philosophies that we will never experience in our lives. Some futures can be explored, not to promote them but to prevent them, as George Orwell's "1984" tried to do with present America. Nice try, and maybe he delayed it a few decades, but as anyone who remembers Ted Turner's version of CNN and the present day incarnation with hacks and propagandists playing the part of news people, Orwell failed in his preventive efforts.

Science Fiction does not always fail, however, as Arthur C. Clarke fans know. Clarke is the imaginor of the synchronous orbit satellite that lets us have all sorts of modern conveniences, like XM radio, weather satellites, and full time monitoring of your whereabouts via the GPS built in to your cell phone. You did know that it is illegal in the United States to produce a cell phone that does not broadcast its location to the authorities, didn't you? Yes, it's true...George is not only listening, but he knows where you are...and who you're with, as long as you have those little bars showing on your cell phone.

Perhaps we should rename Science Fiction and call it Science Terror. Make sure you remember what the Founding Fathers knew way back then...Big Brother is a sociopath...



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