We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, February 3. 2007
Candidate for Best Essay of the Year. Crichton: Fear, Complexity, and Environmental Management in the 21st Century
READ THIS SPEECH, if you do nothing else today.
Fascinating, and full of examples and images. I won't quote from it because it the link contains all sorts of frightening copyright warnings. It is from 2005.
In my opinion, getting speeches like this distributed and read is the best thing blogs can do: it's the magic of the link, which we already take for granted.
(Thanks, reader, for letting us know about this speech.)
It was clear to me that the point Michael Crichton made in his speech we linked was that linear thinking does not accurately describe the world, or predict events.Indeed it does not. Linear thinking is the domain of dangerous oversimplification and sito
Weblog: Maggie's Farm
Tracked: Feb 06, 06:08
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Many thanks for posting the Crichton essay. It was interesting beyond imagination and it didn't even have one car chase in it!
A thought kept recurring to me as I read each word. Marketing. Publish or perish, each universities credo for their faculty. If not on a faculty but have a PhD. then write and pump the marketing machine.
All of the studies he cited were prior to the advent of the blog and the massive amounts of information each of us now have at our disposal. But back in the day the Paul Erlichs went to publishing houses who had no way of fact checking a PhD's assertions. If it sounded like a train wreck or airplane crash, well folks flock to those so you sell the sizzle of the "Population Bomb" and bingo, money. And of course the NYT,WaPo, Time,Newsweek, all are in it not to dissiminate the truth but for the money.
It was a masterful essay once again proving that P.T Barnum was right. To the egress.
Not to insult the intelligence of the readers but P.T. Barnum made a fortune with that sign, "To the egress"
Folks in those days weren't as educated as we are to day. They'd pay a nickel to get inot the big tent to see the freak show, or whatever P.T. had going at the time, but in BIG BOLD LETTERS he had those words, "To the Egress"...well hell that sounded exotic enough for the masses so they'd figure that was the main attraction. Out the tent flap they'd go, only to be met by mother nature. Burly men prevented reentry, so they'd have to cough up another nickel to get back in the main tent. So, to the egress.
Talk about coincidences. I was just researching for a piece on PT Barnum and his family (they founded Bridgeport, CT)
Interesting piece. Tho I find Crichton rather insufferable at times, too clever by far, and lacking in the humility of the truly brilliant...Writes a ripping good yarn, tho, great escape trash fiction! That work will be his most lasting contribution, like movie stars who think the world cares about their views on the universe when all they really want is to ogle them onscreen...
Habu,you are such a charming devil. I may have been too waspish. Grumpily driving to look at replacement linoleum and countertop for 50s kitchen
Would rather walk several miles w dog, but hubby is unaccustomedly ready to open bear-trapped wallet, having tripped once too often on torn linoleum
My daughter-in-law is a global warming true believer. I am not, to say the least. But I am sympathetic with her views bacause, back in the late sixties, when I was her age (30), I, too, was a true believer about climate change. Only in my case it was about global cooling and the coming ice age.
During that time, I was in university (late bloomer, as they say) and I spoke and wrote about the coming doomsday as often as I could. The central theory I used to back up my belief was the Ewing Donn Theory of Glaciation. I won't go into it here but for anyone interested you could google: ewing donn theory of glaciation. I just did that and was amused at one the snippets under climate change.
"However, the Ewing-Donn theory turned out to have fatal errors..." It brought a smile to my face and I thought: no-shit Sherlock.
For all of you out there: this, too, will pass.
Retriever: Your 15:31 post was smug: "...lacking the humility of the truly brilliant..." How would you know?
m. glenister, sorry if I seemed smug to you. Hardly an assessment often made by those who know me better than you do, but perhaps the effort at restraining my opinion of Crichton made me appear so. The guy is a self-congratulatory a*****e and all the money and success in the world won't make him the genius he thinks he is.
Crichton is one of many, many smart and persuasive people, but not in any way exceoptional. He made extremely good points and quite deftly illustrated them. It was his self-satisfaction that put me off. The truly brilliant scientists, mathematicians, fine arts professors, historians, biographers, museum directors, plantation owners, Presidents, founders of multinational corporations, Boston pepper traders, and writers of the Declaration of Independence in my family have, without exception, been humble about their own ignorance before the mysteries and wonders of God's Creation. Have all spent lifetimes seeking to remedy that ignorance, and in the process enlightening countless others. But never proud or conceited about themselves. It's a WASP thing. And a Puritan thing--the awareness of oneself as a miserable sinner. Although everyone in my family has shared in an obnoxious trait, of being seldom wrong and never in doubt when opining about the ideas and theories of other people. It seems to afflict those of us descendants of this almost exhausted and now thoroughly exhausted lineage even more, as if to compensate for us lacking the talent or temperament of our forebears... Sorry to have miffed you. If it had been intentional, you would have been able to tell the difference.
Of course there are plenty of examples of genius allied to arrogance and loathsome personal habits (Picasso, Einstein, Frank Lloyd Wright come to mind). But there are more like Marie Curie, Hawking, Edwards, who pursue truth at great personal cost and who have brought light to the world without vainglory.
I'm glad to see that you have a sense of humour. I stand corrected.
This is the last time I read comments before I post. What repulsive drivel.
The speech was a tonic to me. WD40 to my 'fear'-enshrouded myelin sheath. Its simplicity is exactly was has been called for for a long time. Damn, I love simplicity in this complex world of ours.
And I don't give a rat's ass who delivers it.
Maybe a trip over to gagboy's UNO COSMOS will give someone some necessary grounding in smugness and relentless whining.
Not as repulsive as what you wrote about male anatomy in response to Dr B's piece on transexuals.
Drivel, yes. When you have many responsibilities it is sometimes fun to indulge ourselves writing nonsense and enjoying what others write. Not deserving of abuse. A harmless form of amusement. Life is Real, Life is Earnest everywhere else. Why don't you go clean up your room and take your meds and chill...
OOps, forgot to post my post, which was a thank you to Maggie for posting the speech. I'd heard it was good, some while back, but had never read it. Good stuff. The Yellowstone fires of '88 are an especially clear warning about self-inflicted 'natural' disaster. So much more intimate & visual than such complex-system order-perversions as, say, 20th century totalitarianism, which killed a couple hundred million folks and blighted a few billion more. And ain't done yet.
You chose the perfect name. Your solipsistic view of the world is apparent in that you simply cannot comment here without bringing whatever subject right back home to you and your permanent misery. I have an image of you with your nipples and the corners of your mouth meeting in happy Jesus jubilations at your hairy bellybutton.
I'm glad you brought up the transsexual post. I believe I was the only one who made it a point to take the parents out of the blame game.
And yeah, sister, I'd love to have a PENIS. I'd play with it and let it think for me and see what it's like to be a man. How 'bout that? Nothing like seeing both sides of an issue, right? Maybe that's what you need considering the way you talk about the penis in your life. That is some disgusting pornography if I ever heard it.
I don't need to clean up my room. I have maids for that, thank you.
May we have some civility here, please. I do not like the ad hominem stuff. Me like comment threads, but me also like good manners - even on blogs.
kinda fun to watch two excellent, enjoyable writers try to top each other, shame on me.
Whence this hostility? I have read and enjoyed most of what you write. I agreed heartily with your comment about parent-bashing. You are extremely intelligent and very funny.
Nevertheless, as I read your latest diatribe I thought that the people who talk the toughest and crudest about body parts and processes are usually the ones who aren't getting any. Was it just a lonely Saturday night?
Fortunately for my husband, I look nothing like your ravings. Some day, if you ever make it thru a quarter century of the daily joys and sorrows of a committed marriage and of raising kids, you will understand. A husband is a great deal more than a penis. When you understand that, you may find one.
Finally, having enough money to pay somebody else to clean up their mess does not make somebody a lady.
"Aliens Cause Global Warming"