, creator of the First Earth Battalion, and New Age motivational speaker for the DoD, has written another book. The best way I can think to describe this, is a New Age take on Globalism, among other things.. I'm not sure of another way to describe this... I'm not sure there is a way to describe this.
This is not a special effect, people. Nor is this a Photoshop job. It's what happens when an Australian tinkerer decides to put an electricity-spewing Tesla coil on top of his automobile. Let's just say he won't be worried about carjackings any time soon.
Porting the hacker ethic to the nonvirtual world, magazines like Make and blogs like Boing Boing are making it cool for geeks to get their hands dirty again...
But the hands-on revival is leaving home chemists behind.... “There are very few commercial supply houses willing to sell chemicals to amateurs anymore because of this fear that we’re all criminals and terrorists,” Carlson says. “Ordinary folks no longer have access to the things they need to make real discoveries in chemistry.”
To Bill Nye, the “Science Guy,” says unreasonable fears about chemicals and home experimentation reflect a distrust of scientific expertise taking hold in society at large.
This Wired article is very apropos in light of Decius's CACM article. Apparently between trying to prevent terrorism, meth production, and fireworks accidents, state and federal regulators have pretty much made amateur chemistry illegal in the United States, which is going to do wonders for our future.
There was a debate on MemeStreams about whether product liability and tort law restricted individual freedoms. This is also a perfect example of that.
Richard Dawkins on the history of The Selfish Gene
7:01 pm EST, Mar 15, 2006
Unwriting a book is one thing. Unreading it is something else. What are we to make of the following verdict, from a reader in Australia? “Fascinating, but at times I wish I could unread it . . . On one level, I can share in the sense of wonder Dawkins so evidently sees in the workings-out of such complex processes . . . But at the same time, I largely blame The Selfish Gene for a series of bouts of depression I suffered from for more than a decade . . . Never sure of my spiritual outlook on life, but trying to find something deeper — trying to believe, but not quite being able to — I found that this book just about blew away any vague ideas I had along these lines, and prevented them from coalescing any further. This created quite a strong personal crisis for me some years ago.”
I have previously described similar responses from readers. A teacher reproachfully wrote that a pupil had come to him in tears after reading the same book, because it had persuaded her that life was empty and purposeless. But if something is true, no amount of wishful thinking can undo it. As I went on to write, “Presumably there is indeed no purpose in the ultimate fate of the cosmos, but do any of us really tie our life’s hopes to the ultimate fate of the cosmos anyway? Of course we don’t; not if we are sane. Our lives are ruled by all sorts of closer, warmer, human ambitions and perceptions. To accuse science of robbing life of the warmth that makes it worth living is so preposterously mistaken, so diametrically opposite to my own feelings and those of most working scientists, I am almost driven to the despair of which I am wrongly suspected.”