Culture, Science ...
Follow
Find
211 views | +0 today
Scooped by CherylBrin
onto Culture, Science Fiction and the Future
Scoop.it!

Urban Planning Amid the Rubble

Urban Planning Amid the Rubble | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

Rebuilding Haiti means not only recovering from the earthquake but also building infrastructure for the future...Indeed, were it possible to wave a wand and transform that hellish place into an upward-rising land of hope, health, education, enterprise and opportunity, while replanting its ravaged hillsides, who wouldn’t?Lacking magic wands, we have another tool, money, in limited amounts. That, combined with ingenuity and goodwill, can take care of some short-term things. Stop the dying. Provide food, shelter and basic sanitation. Help the Haitians to restore basic utilities and bury their dead. Repair the ports and roads enough to get commerce flowing again. So far, no arguments.

more...
No comment yet.
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

Why Johnny Can’t Code

Why Johnny Can’t Code | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

BASIC used to be on every computer a child touched -- but today there's no easy way for kids to get hooked on programming. Very few young people are learning those deeper patterns. Indeed, they seem to be forbidden any access to that world at all. This is not just a matter of cheating a generation, telling them to simply be consumers of software, instead of the innovators that their uncles were. No, this goes way beyond that. In medical school, professors insist that students have some knowledge of chemistry and DNA before they are allowed to cut open folks. In architecture, you are at least exposed to some physics.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

“Star Wars” despots vs. “Star Trek” populists

“Star Wars” despots vs. “Star Trek” populists | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

By now it’s grown clear that George Lucas has an agenda, one that he takes very seriously. After four “Star Wars” films, alarm bells should have gone off, even among those who don’t look for morals in movies. When the chief feature distinguishing “good” from “evil” is how pretty the characters are, it’s a clue that maybe the whole saga deserves a second look. Just what bill of goods are we being sold, between the frames? Elites have an inherent right to arbitrary rule; common citizens needn’t be consulted. They may only choose which elite to follow.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

Names that live in infamy

Names that live in infamy | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

Killers want notoriety. Let's not give it to them. In the recent spate of highly visible hate crimes — from Texas and Illinois to California and Washington state — the emerging pattern seems to be less about specific hates, racism or anti-Semitism than frenzied, bloody tantrums staged by a string of losers with a common goal — to grab headlines. “The reason they are doing this is for their moment of glory,” says Marvin Hier, who has studied the subject intensely for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, “when they feel the whole world is stopping to take notice of them.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

Is the Web Helping us Evolve?

Is the Web Helping us Evolve? | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

 So, is the Google era empowering us to be better, smarter, more agile thinkers? Or devolving us into distracted, manic scatterbrains? Is technology-improved discourse going to turn us all into avid, participatory problem solvers? Or will the Web’s centrifugal effects spin us all into little islands of shared conviction — midget Nuremberg rallies — where facts become irrelevant and any opinion can be a memic god? The truth lies somewhere between "Google is making us stupid" and "the Internet will liberate humanity....

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

J.R.R. Tolkien — enemy of progress

J.R.R. Tolkien — enemy of progress | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

Naturally, I enjoyed the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) trilogy as a kid, during its first big boom in the 1960s. I mean, what was there not to like? As William Goldman said about another great fantasy, “The Princess Bride,” it has “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True Love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad Men. Good Men. Beautifulest Ladies. Spiders. Dragons. Eagles. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Magic. Chases. Escapes. Miracles.”"The Lord of the Rings" is lovingly crafted, seductive -- and profoundly backward-looking. But why not look at things through the Dark Lord's eye for a change?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

Ray Bradbury, American optimist

Ray Bradbury, American optimist | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

Ray was the last living member of a “BACH” quartet — writers who transformed science fiction from a pulp magazine ghetto into a genre for hardcover bestsellers. Isaac Asimov, Arthur Clarke and Robert Heinlein helped shatter barriers for the rest of us, establishing the legitimacy of literature that explores possible or plausible tomorrows. But it was Bradbury who made clear to everyone that science fiction can be art. An art form combining boldness and broad horizons with sheer, unadulterated beauty.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

A modest proposal to neutralize gerrymandering

A modest proposal to neutralize gerrymandering | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

Gerrymandering’s top malignant effect has been radicalization of U.S. politics. Having engineered for themselves safe districts where the minority party has no chance, politicians have rendered November Congressional elections moot. Yet, this only shifted tension to the primary; a district’s most vociferous 5 percent can oust established representatives. But consider: Gerrymandering lumps birds-of-a-feather till each district is “owned” by one party or another. Democratic voters in a Republican-owned district – or Republicans in a Democratic-owned district – will never cast a vote of legislature in the only election that matters: the majority party’s primary. Unless…unless you hold your nose and re-register with whatever party owns your district. This holds, whether you’re a Democrat in a Republican district, or vice versa

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

How Will the World End?

How Will the World End? | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

Does the universe hate us? How many pitfalls lie ahead, waiting to shred our conceited molecule-clusters back into unthinking dust? Shall we count them? Today, our means of self-destruction seem myriad — though we at Pandora’s Cornucopia will try to list them all! So adjust your AI-ware, your im-VR-sive wraparounds, your omnivision eyeptics and dive right in.

At one level, none of this is new. Men and women always felt besieged. By monsters prowling the darkness. By their oppressive rulers, or violent neighbors, or capricious gods. Yet, didn’t they most often blame themselves? Bad times were viewed as punishment brought on by wrong behavior. By unwise belief.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

Three cheers for the Surveillance Society!

Three cheers for the Surveillance Society! | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

In the brave new future, Big Brother will watch our every move. But that's OK, because we'll be watching him too. While privacy may have to be redefined, the new technologies of surveillance should and will be the primary countervailing force against tyranny.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

What's wrong (and right) with “The Phantom Menace”

What's wrong (and right) with  “The Phantom Menace” | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

A science-fiction author scours the new "Star Wars" film for signs of intelligent life: First off, let me say that I think the film looks gorgeous. George Lucas was able to hire the best. He took advantage of advances in computer graphics to portray many old sci-fi favorites in vivid ways. The costumes are just spiffy, the sword fight scenes zesty. Great aliens, too (except for Yoda, who’s still a rubber oven mitt with two facial expressions: patronizing and condescending).

more...
George Jackson's comment, April 12, 2013 6:28 PM
The article made some good points. But it came off as very "snarky". It mostly pointed out what was "wrong" with the film.
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

Urban Planning Amid the Rubble

Urban Planning Amid the Rubble | Culture, Science Fiction and the Future | Scoop.it

Rebuilding Haiti means not only recovering from the earthquake but also building infrastructure for the future...Indeed, were it possible to wave a wand and transform that hellish place into an upward-rising land of hope, health, education, enterprise and opportunity, while replanting its ravaged hillsides, who wouldn’t?Lacking magic wands, we have another tool, money, in limited amounts. That, combined with ingenuity and goodwill, can take care of some short-term things. Stop the dying. Provide food, shelter and basic sanitation. Help the Haitians to restore basic utilities and bury their dead. Repair the ports and roads enough to get commerce flowing again. So far, no arguments.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by CherylBrin
Scoop.it!

A note on the Enlightenment, Romanticism and science fiction

It’s been said that Western civilization has spent the last hundred years trying to resolve a deep cleavage in our culture — a continuing struggle between the 18th century and the 19th, between prescriptions offered by the Enlightenment and those of the later Romantic movement. For generations, a vast majority of writers, artists and academics have sided with Romanticism, from Keats and Shelley to nearly every modern musician or movie star. Seizing every opportunity to extoll emotion and put down “cold” reason has become as natural as breathing. George Lucas expressed this reflex when he said, “I’d say the primary word for me is Romantic. I like the aesthetics of the Victorian age.”

more...
No comment yet.