Homework for Monday


Hey gang. I know I’m out of turn and haven’t posted in a while. When you get 20 or so spare minutes in the next few days, take a look at this speech by Michael Crichton. I’ll write more about it on Monday.

P.S. It’s about 80 degrees and sunny outside right now. Happy Holidays from GTMO!


3 Responses to “Homework for Monday”

  1. Sandi Says:

    Interesting speech. I had heard about the controversy about Crichton’s book, but didn’t really know anything about his position on the issues. I probably just assumed that he was a nasty, evil Republican and didn’t think anymore about it. I should be more open to hearing people’s views. So I am glad to have learned more.

    Environmental stuff is not my pet issue, as I’m not a scientific type, and I don’t know so much about it that I can rebut anything he says.

    It is true that fear, like sex, seems to sell. From horror movies to drastic predictions about the fate of humanity, it seems that people like to or want to be afraid. Why is this? I don’t know, but I do know that I sometimes find such predictions/musings compelling and interesting — although I tend not to lose sleep over them.

    My one caveat would be to urge people not to throw the baby out with the bathwater; just because people have been (and undoubtedly will continue to be, just as in medicine, economics, and other theoretical fields) wrong about cause and effect relationships with respect to environmental issues, does not necessarily mean that there is nothing to worry about and no steps that can be taken to limit the effects of our use of fossils fuels etc. on the earth.

  2. Capt MidKnight Says:

    Thanks a lot for directions to Crichton’s speech. I read his latest book, “Fear Factor” not long ago. I’ll have to admit that he is not my favorite fiction writer, but he does know his science. I think his main point, in the book and the speech, is that science , and more specifically the people that practice it, are just as succeptable to all the failings, near sightedness, ego, and personal agendas as everyone else. Too often, the people and groups that make the kinds of pronouncements Crichton details in his speech are given a pass simply because they have a bunch of letters after their name. His point that many of these statements that turned out to be, as he says, not just wrong but spectactularly wrong were taken at face value, even by other scientests who should have known better, is long overdue.
    It seem that science, politics and even religion are becoming more and more mixed together around certain agendas – left and right – that good science, good scholarship, and even common sense are thrown aside in an “ends justifies the means” type of campaign.
    Crichton is a brave man to stand up among his fellow scientists and declare that many times “The Emperor has no clothes.” He may soon find that the old saw “No good deed goes unpunished” is really true.
    Thus endeth the rant.

  3. Capt MidKnight Says:

    I forgot to congratulate you on your move to GITMO – I guess congratulate is the right word.
    Also, I messed up on Crichton’s book. It was “State of Fear.” “Fear Factor” is the TV show where they eat worms, right?
    Seriously, the subject of Crichton’s talk should provoke a lot of comments.

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