Skip to comments.Michael Crichton: Fear and Complexity [State of Fear + Why Politicized Science is Dangerous]
Posted on 01/04/2006 7:49:59 AM PST by Tolik
click here to read article
And the reason a politicized science is dangerous is the same reason that a politicized media is dangerous -- most assume that both are neutral and objective, and are mainly concerned with unearthing the truth. But the reality is that science and the media are being used by some to drive various agendas under the guise of "truth and objectivity." If there was ever an age when people should question everything, today is it.
Yeah, it was funny. But Martin "airhead" Sheen is still around.
Another part of this is hijacking of the language.
Just a few examples: there is no leftists, they all claim to be moderates, and conservatives then are right-wingers.
MSM - Main Stream Media instead of the Left Stream Media (or as Dr. Bennett puts it: Alien Media Nation).
Environmentalists presume that everybody else are against environment. In truth most of them are better to be called anti-progressists.
I read Crichton's "Author's Message" when I read the book.
The point is that "Sudden Climate Change" (formerly "New Ice Age", formerly "Global Warming") scientists are killing their own arguments, however valuable, by polluting their research and message with money and politics.
Saving bump...this'll take a while to read!
Nothing is more inherently political than our shared physical environment, and nothing is more ill served by allegiance to a single political party. Precisely because the environment is shared it cannot be managed by one faction according to its own economic or aesthetic preferences. Sooner or later, the opposing faction will take power, and previous policies will be reversed. Stable management of the environment requires recognition that all preferences have their place: snowmobilers and fly fisherman, dirt bikers and hikers, developers and preservationists. These preferences are at odds, and their incompatibility cannot be avoided. But resolving incompatible goals is a true function of politics.
We desperately need a nonpartisan, blinded funding mechanism to conduct research to determine appropriate policy. Scientists are only too aware whom they are working for. Those who fund research --- whether a drug company, a government agency, or an environmental organization --- always have a particular outcome in mind. Research funding is almost never open-ended or open-minded. Scientists know that continued funding depends on delivering the results the funders desire. As a result, environmental organization "studies" are every bit as biased and suspect as industry "studies." Government "studies" are similarly biased according to who is running the department or administration at the time. No faction should be given a free pass.
Because of the Left Stream Media being a strong watchdog of the Republican government, excesses are aired and corrected (as they should be). They would get more legitimacy of course if they toned down the Bush hate and hysteria that cloud their minds. When their pals are in power, the watch dog goes to sleep mostly (sex scandals they find too hard to resist regardless). So there is no equilibrium in affecting public perception: the Left has a clear upper hand in propaganda. I would support his "nonpartisan" thesis otherwise, but in reality "nonpartisan" spells out "advantage Left".
"Nailed it", is right! bttt
Aw c'mon! Surely some big name actor - Costner? Cruise? Cage? - would love to play the part of the fatuous arrogant actor who gets tenderized and eaten by cannibals? Sort of hoist on his own petard!
There are only two viable political parties in America. We must give our allegiance to the political party in which we have a voice. For Crichton --- and for us --- that ain't the DemocRAT Party of today. He knows it, too.
Thanks for posting this.
Great book, finally out in paperback. I finished it a few weeks ago.
Thanks for posting this. Mark. Bought the book for my dad this Christmas. I have read it twice! State of Fear is an EXCELLENT book, if only for the wonderful fate awaiting the Martin Sheen character!!! I love Michael Crichton.
Crichton has pretty much sacrificed his career to the cause of intellectual honesty. I hope he made enough dough off The Andromeda Strain and Airframe to carry him.
I agree with your sentiments, I tend to use the word "conservationist" when describing myself. I learned most of my conservation ideals from my father and from the Boy Scouts. The stances that the wacko environmentalist take are almost always on the extreme and the one thing they always misunderestimate (that was done on purpose) is that mother nature is a powerful b@*&$. This should not stop us from being responsible to the environment but we are a minor blip in the the grand scheme of things.
State Of Fear was a great read...