As much as I might have enjoyed some of the storylines and concepts of writers like Arthur C. Clarke, for example, he was incapable of writing recognizably human characters. This is not to single Clarke out, he was a veritable student of human nature compared to an Issac Asimov, say, or a Ben Bova.
Even a very good writer like William Gibson misunderstands the reactions people have to the ubiquity of technology, in that the more ever-present and invasive technology and science become, the more the majority of people resent it, not make a fetish of it.
People are addicted to their iPhones and other gadgets, but they are simple mediums- it's the content and not the technology itself that most people fixate on. In fact, studies have shown people are becoming increasingly technologically illiterate as our gadgets become more powerful.
One of the worries of the establishment media-- which is to say the government, since outlets like the major networks, the New York Times, National Geographic, and major magazines and newspapers are merely echo chambers for the government-- is the so-called "Anti-Science movement." This is a misnomer, since there are a number of different, sometimes mutually-hostile movements with often clashing interests put under this umbrella.
But what the government's mouthpieces and the people who fetishize totalizing government as a kind of substitute deity (such as the I Fucking Love Science crowd) are really worried about are people who don't unquestioningly accept the dictates of government and/or corporate science (there's hardly a hint of daylight between the two these days). This has become a pressing concern as the depth of corruption in corporate and academic science has gotten so overwhelming-- the peer review system is in danger of becoming a bad joke, for instance-- that the mainstream media can no longer ignore it.
Science has a become a substitute religion to these people, which is to say government science, which is just another way of saying they actually worship governmental power. And a vindictive and totalizing power at that.
They may not readily admit to doing so, but will be forced to do if you walk them through the reality of their belief system. What real scientists will admit is that all science of any scale being done today is ultimately controlled by the government, specifically the Defense Department.
It's ironic, for instance, to see how apoplectic liberal scientists like Phil Plait get over Apollo skeptics, since it basically puts them in the position of defending the integrity of the Nixon Administration, SS officer Wernher Von Braun and his Paperclip Nazis and a gaggle of Scottish Rite Freemasons from south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Politics do indeed make for strange bedfellows.
But there's also the reality that the totalitarian control exercised over scientists today is much worse than anything scientists had to deal with from, say, the Medieval Church. In fact, the whole notion that the Church went around smashing science down where ever it found it is a myth.
On the contrary, the Church has long been a patron of science (particularly medical science) and the extreme cases such as Hypatia and Giordano Bruno had more to do with political issues than theological disputes. But try questioning the party line on global warming or any of the other new orthodoxies today and your career in science will be finished.
As political and corporate power exercise increasing control over science, they've branded all opposition to their hegemony as "anti-scientific." This has become one of the epithets you hear coming from progressives, who depressingly have become the absolute mirror image of the Religious Right of the 1980s and 1990s. Onetime independent sites like Disinfo and Salon have become hyperpartisan screech-engines, and are major mouthpieces for the "Anti-Science" propaganda campaign.
As the mask comes off and capital "S" Science reveals itself to be nothing but a submissive lapdog for the Globalists, I think we can expect strange rebellions from the totalizing status quo. Most of these may be marginal but you never know what's going to strike a nerve. I've spent the past couple of weeks trying to wrap my head around one of the strangest new rebellions, the surprisingly vigorous revival of the old Flat Earth Movement, an old fringe movement that's found an eager new audience.
As with most of these movements there's a range of beliefs, but this video is a good place to get the basic bullet points. Essentially, it goes like this: the Earth is a disk covered by a dome and surrounded a wall of ice that keep the oceans in. The Moon and the Sun orbit the Earth and the planets are just wandering stars. The space program is a hoax and there are no satellites. The Apollo missions were faked because space travel is impossible. All the zero G footage we've seen was done in high altitude airplanes, the same ones astronauts were trained in.
Flat Earth theory tends to be surprisingly Gnostic, in that the planet is a prison and there's no escape. The high altitude nuclear tests that the US and USSR undertook in the late 1950s were an attempt to punch holes in the dome but were unsuccessful. The movement tends to be anti-UFO, which I find a bit peculiar, given that if someone built the Earth as a prison wouldn't they want to keep an eye on it?
Every movement needs a rock star and the Flat Earth movement has Matt Boylan, a Canadian photorealist painter who claimed to have worked for NASA and been initiated into the secret at a party. Boylan doesn't offer any evidence for this and his credibility is somewhat... hazy, given the fact that he pushes the theory in a stand-up comedy act, in which he rolls out the world's worst Denis Leary impersonation.
Boylan also pushes a bizarre Stephen Hawking conspiracy theory that offers up an extremely dodgy interview with an alleged Hawking employee as 'evidence'. I have to wonder how committed Boylan is to all of this since he doesn't exactly project sincerity.
He seems to be a very talented painter, though.
You know me, I love a wild theory. But the only thing I got out of the Flat Earth material was just further evidence that NASA is full of crap. It makes no sense to me that the other heavenly bodies are all spheres but the Earth is not. The entire model just didn't ring true, especially since I've actually, y'know, seen the curvature of the Earth for myself.
But I got some fuel for my own fires, namely my own nutty conjectures that if all this NASA stuff is faked, maybe it's because planets like Mars and Venus aren't what they say they are. But I'm the first to admit that's conjecture- I'm not making YouTubes about any of it.
Flat Earth theorists believe that the globe model is used to diminish the importance of the planet and of humanity but I didn't really find that argument compelling, the same way I don't find the materialist extremists' theories that human life is some cosmic accident and everything is meaningless compelling either.
Poking around I saw a few people protest that the entire movement is a psyop, meant to discredit "Truthers" in general and Apollo skeptics in particular. Boylan's Vaudeville act didn't exactly dissuade me from that argument (one video has him expounding his views while slurping on wedges of grapefruit like a pig, as if consciously trying to be as repulsive as possible) and it certainly wouldn't be out of character for the Cryptocrats.
But animals in captivity are known to display aberrant behavior and human beings are no different. I expect more of this kind of thing as our lives become more controlled and our horizons continue to shrink.
As to science, I'm old fashioned- I think it should be above politics. Scientists may come to rue the day they all threw in with the partisan agenda, no matter how emotionally satisfying it might be to use science as a cudgel against one's perceived enemies.