Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Dyson , Freeman (1997), Imagined Worlds, Retrieved on 2015-05-31
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  • Folksonomies: science science fiction

    Memes

    31 MAY 2015

     Social Commentary in "The Time Machine"

    Science is my territory, but science fiction landscape of my dreams. The year 1995 was the hundredth anniversary of the publication of H. G. Wells's The Time Machine, perhaps the darkest view of the human future ever imagined. Wells used a dramatic story to give his contemporaries a glimpse of a possible future. His purpose was not to predict but to warn. He was angry with the human species for its failures and follies. He was especially angry with the E nglish class system under which he had...
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    31 MAY 2015

     Airplane VS Airship

    The histo ry o f flying is a goo d example to loo k at in detail fo r insight into the interactio n o f techno lo gy with human affairs, because two radically different techno logies were co mpeting fo r survival- in the beginning they were called heavier-than-air and lighter-than-air. The airplane and the airship were no t o nly physically different in shape and s ize but also so cio lo gically different. The airplane grew o ut o f dreams o f perso nal adventure. The airship grew o ut o f dr...
    Folksonomies: technology culture
    Folksonomies: technology culture
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    31 MAY 2015

     Conceptual and Technological Revolutions

    There are two kind s of scientific revolutions, those d riven by new tools and those d riven by new concepts. Thomas K uhn in his famous book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, talked almost exclusively about concepts and hard ly at all about tools. His id ea of a scientific revolution is based on a single example, the revolution in theoretical physics that occurred in the 1920s with the advent of quantum mechanics. This was a prime example of a concept-d riven revolution. K uhn's book...
    Folksonomies: progress revolution
    Folksonomies: progress revolution
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    31 MAY 2015

     The Supercollider Was an Unreasonable Gamble`

    Now particle physics in the United States is struggling to survive the d isaster of the Supercond ucting Supercollid er. The Supercollid er was a gigantic particle accelerator project that was canceled in 1 993 after about 3 billion d ollars had alread y been spent on it. The cancellation was a personal traged y for many of my friend s who had d evoted the best years of their lives to the project. But when I speak of the d isaster of the Supercond ucting Supercollid er, I d o not mean the can...
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    31 MAY 2015

     Science Fiction Shows Us the Human Output

    TO UNDERSTAND TECHNOLOGY AS IT IS seen by people outsid e the technological elite, I have found science fiction more illuminating than science. Science provid es the technical input for technology; science fiction sh ows us the human output.
    Folksonomies: technology society
    Folksonomies: technology society
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    31 MAY 2015

     The Evolving View of Science and Evil

    Daedalus begins with an artillery bombardment on the Western Front, the shell bursts nonchalantly annihilating the human protagonists who are supposed to be in charge of the battle. This opening scene epitomizes Haldane's hard-headed view of war. And likewise at the end, when the biologist in his laboratory, "just a poor little scrubby underpaid man groping blindly amid the mazes of the ultramicroscopic," is transfigured into the mythical figure of Daedalus, "conscious of his ghastly mission ...
    Folksonomies: evil inequality war science
    Folksonomies: evil inequality war science
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    31 MAY 2015

     Automation and Early Computation, Social Inequaltiy

    Haldane did not foresee the computer, the most potent agent of social change during the last fifty years. He expected his Daedalus, destroyer of gods and of men, to be a biologist. Instead, the Daedalus of this century turned out to be John von Neumann, the mathematician who consciously pushed mankind into the era of computers. Von Neumann knew well what he was doing. Soon after the end of the second world war, he started the Princeton computer project. Like Haldane's Daedalus, he had dreams ...
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    31 MAY 2015

     Genetic Language is Abstract and Flexible

    The awesome power that genetic engineering will one day place in our hands was foreshadowed recently by some experimenters at the University of Basel in Switzerland. Walter Gehring and his students were studying the effects of the eyeless gene in fruit flies. The gene is called eyeless because its absence causes flies to grow without eyes. The gene actually causes eyes to grow. Gehring and the students inserted the gene into various tissues of embryonic flies, and the embryos grew into flies ...
    Folksonomies: genes genetics dna heredity
    Folksonomies: genes genetics dna heredity
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    31 MAY 2015

     Summary of "Sirius"

    Fifty years ago, the philosopher Olaf Stapledon published a novel, Sirius, which explores some of the depths of loneliness and alienation to which genetic engineering might lead. Stapledon knew nothing of DNA and molecular biology, but he foresaw the possibility of genetic engineering and saw that it would give rise to severe dilemmas. His hero, Sirius, is a dog endowed with a brain of human capacity by doses of nerve-growth hormone given to him in utero. His creator raised him as a member of...
    Folksonomies: science fiction
    Folksonomies: science fiction
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    31 MAY 2015

     Hero of "Brave New World"

    The hero of Brave New World is John, a young man who grew up on an Indian reservation in New Mexico. The reservation is inhabited by primitive peoples and maintained by the benevolent world government as a tourist attraction. It exists so that the civilized tourists can observe from a distance the nasty and brutish lives of people who have the misfortune to be unprotected by the cushions and comforts of technology. On the reservation, traditional religions and traditional customs are tolerate...
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    31 MAY 2015

     The Future of "Brave New World" is "The Time Machine"

    Brave New World gives us a dramatic view of a future in which the technology made possible by science brings science to a halt. This future is consistent with the more remote future seen by the Time Traveler in Wells's Time Machine. After the disruptive influence of science has been permanently tamed by the triumph of bureaucracy and eugenics, it is easy to imagine human society remaining stuck in the rigidly conservative caste system of Brave New World for thousands of centuries, until the s...
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    31 MAY 2015

     Static Culture

    The fantasies of Wells and Huxley were based on the same idea, that a species adapting itself too perfectly to a static ecological niche is doomed to stagnation and ultimate extinction. Their nightmares describe a possible future for our species, if we succeed in building around ourselves a protective cocoon that shields us from the winds of change while our mental faculties dwindle. A future of senile dementia is as possible for the species as it is for the individual. And yet, when I compa...
    Folksonomies: culture cultural change
    Folksonomies: culture cultural change
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    31 MAY 2015

     Speciation of the Human Race

    On a time-scale of a thousand years, neither politics nor technology is predictable. China and Japan are the only major political units that have lasted that long. A thousand years ago, Europe was an unimportant peninsula lying on the edge of the more advanced and civilized Arab world. The technologies of today would be unintelligible to our ancestors of a millennium ago. The only human institutions that retain their identities over a thousand years are languages, cultures, and religions. Per...
    Folksonomies: futurism speciation
    Folksonomies: futurism speciation
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