29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

 Science Fiction Gave Literature New Frontiers

The shift in subject matter from westerns to science fiction was probably already underway when Burroughs began writing. The frontier, which had been such a key feature of American popular fiction, was rapidly disappearing, and writers had begun looking for new frontiers—hence, the increasing number of stories about lost civilizations in unexplored parts of the world. But even the unexplored parts of the world were shrinking rapidly, and as new technologies, such as aircraft and rocketry, b...
Folksonomies: history science fiction
Folksonomies: history science fiction
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Burroughs "Princess of Mars" even has the protagonist go from the Western frontier to a Martian desert. Wastelands are frontiers as well.

19 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Specialization is Differentiation

The proliferation of subcults is most evident in the world of work. Many subcults spring up around occupational specialties. Thus, as the society moves toward greater specialization, it generates more and more subcultural variety. The scientific community, for example, is splitting into finer and finer fragments. It is criss-crossed with formal organizations and associations whose specialized journals, conferences and meetings are rapidly multiplying in number. But these "open" distinctions ...
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Toffler explores the phenomenon of specialization in the sciences, producing subcults and subsubcults.

22 FEB 2013 by ideonexus

 William Gibson 1996 Observations of the WWW

In the age of wooden television, media were there to entertain, to sell an advertiser's product, perhaps to inform. Watching television, then, could indeed be considered a leisure activity. In our hypermediated age, we have come to suspect that watching television constitutes a species of work. Post-industrial creatures of an information economy, we increasingly sense that accessing media is what we do. We have become terminally self-conscious. There is no such thing as simple entertainment. ...
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WWW is emergent, we see consuming information as work, Beavis and Butthead are meta in that we are watching someone watching TV. Lots of good stuff here.

09 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Humanists Do Not Fear Technology

As humanists who value human creativity and human reason and who have seen the benefits of science and technology, we are decidedly willing to take part in the new scientific and technological developments around us. We are encouraged rather than fearful about biotechnology, alternative energy, and information technology, and we recognize that attempts to reject these developments or to prevent their wide application will not stop them. Such efforts will merely place them in the hands of othe...
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They are cautiously optimistic about scientific progress.

22 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 The Need to Get Off Foreign Oil

New technologies are advancing to the marketplace. but consumers can be wary of change. If they unequivocally demand alternatives to gasoline, for example, the marketplace will be activated, but ±ere is plenty of resistance to overcome. Recently, the president of Shell Oil, John Hoffmeister, expressed his views on world demand for energy and business opportunities ahead. Shell Oil's position, as Hoffmeister explained it, is ±at America will always need foreign oil even as it aggressively de...
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Gingrich argues that we cannot have an intelligent conversation on alternative energies and oil production unless we agree on this principle.