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Thu Feb 2, 2017, 03:47 PM

Carl Sagan's accurate prediction of the future

In a 1995 book, Carl Sagan wrote:

“Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time—when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”

Did he have a time machine or was he just that smart?

Edited for citation: the book was "The Demon-haunted world: Science as a Candle in the Dark" written in 1995.

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Carl Sagan's accurate prediction of the future (Original post)
SCantiGOP Feb 2017 OP
First Speaker Feb 2017 #1
SCantiGOP Feb 2017 #3
First Speaker Feb 2017 #6
gordianot Feb 2017 #7
SCantiGOP Feb 2017 #8
gordianot Feb 2017 #9
ffr Feb 2017 #2
triron Feb 2017 #5
ymetca Feb 2017 #4
uponit7771 Feb 2017 #10
malaise Feb 2017 #11

Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Thu Feb 2, 2017, 03:49 PM

1. I think he was just that smart...

...though similar predictions were made by others at that time...in fact, Robert A Heinlein predicted the rise of Theocracy, and a turn away from science and technology, as early as 1940...

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Response to First Speaker (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 2, 2017, 03:58 PM

3. and Arthur C Clarke

Famous story about him being visited by government agents about a story he wrote in the 40s when the Manhattan Project was the most secret thing going on. His story involved using nuclear technology as a weapon, except in his case he had Soviet airplanes dusting our Air Force planes with highly radioactive dust so they were rendered unusable.
They realized that he was merely making predictions based on the current understanding of nuclear physics of that day.

We should listen to very smart people. It is not a coincidence that almost all of them are appalled by the Trump/evangelical/Tea Party nonsense going on in this country.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 2, 2017, 04:05 PM

6. ...I think that was actually Cleve Cartmill...

...a story he wrote for Astounding during the War called "Deadline". John Campbell, famous editor of the magazine, convinced the FBI that Astounding had featured so many stories about nuclear power that stopping them suddenly would be more suspicious than letting them continue. Clarke didn't start publishing professionally until after the War.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 2, 2017, 04:10 PM

7. Heinlein was actually arrested during WWII.

For a specific story about an atomic bomb. Robert's brother who I knew well said he was well treated at Leavenworth.

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Response to gordianot (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 2, 2017, 04:27 PM

8. You guys are right

I had always thought that it was Clarke, but I checked his Wikipedia page quickly and it said that, while he started writing in the 1930's, he wasn't published until 1946 and of course the A Bomb had already been used by then.
One interesting fact I did not know that I picked up from the page was that he was gay. That is one reason he re-located to Sri Lanka because they had a relatively relaxed view of that compared to the Western World. It said that his standard response when asked by journalists if he were gay was, "No, just mildly cheerful."

I guess I have read at least 90% of everything he and Heinlein wrote. It wasn't until later years that I had some concerns about the authoritarianism (or you could call it libertarianism) present in some of Heinlein's work.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 2, 2017, 04:51 PM

9. Heinlien was a real character I spent an entire day with him and his brother...

Looking for giant mud puppies in the creek. (Older than the dinosaurs for my 16 year old benefit) Of course I got to ask a lot of questions. Two things he hated at the time Bible Thumpers (who used it to avoid the draft) and the National Guard who used that to avoid the war. He would not have been an advocate of a professional army. The draft keeps politicians honest. He was not keen about the Vietnam War

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Thu Feb 2, 2017, 03:50 PM

2. He was just that smart. But again, like Hillary, he's not flashy.

Just a policy wonk who knows right from wrong and knows how to read tea leaves.

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Response to ffr (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 2, 2017, 04:04 PM

5. good analogy

Makes me sick that people are so gullible to believe that POS that got into the WH
by devious and illegitimate means.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Thu Feb 2, 2017, 04:00 PM

4. Philip K. Dick's 1963 short story "The Days of Perky Pat"

Wherein the adults take drugs and live in a dream amidst the carnage, but the youth abandon the delusion and begin picking up the pieces to begin a new world...

Global Direct Democracy
Universal Basic Income
No More Jobs, But Meaningful Work
Food, Clothing, Shelter and Healthcare for Everyone
Pleasure, Leisure, Travel, Time & Community Over Clockwork Conformity
No Flags, No Borders, No Patents, No "Intellectual Rights"
No Hierarchies, No Meritocracies, No Inherited Wealth (nor Inherited Illth)

"One with the Earth, with the Sky, one with Everything in Life" --Kenny Loggins

Turn on your Heart Light!

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Thu Feb 2, 2017, 04:59 PM

10. There should be a train, track and transport plan for those displaced and it paid for

... by some of the companies that are doing the displacement.

That's not to slow down innovation but to make sure the surrounding economies aren't taking a shock by innovation.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Original post)

Thu Feb 2, 2017, 05:11 PM

11. Very smart

Rec

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