Recently, some friends have been asking for suggestions of good science fiction novels. I know I previously had an entire post dedicated to listing the best SF books, but I thought I’d start a new regular thingy here at Deonandia: the SF Book of the Day. Like with all my “Of the Day” services (Joke of the Day, Daily Perv Link, Word of the Day, etc), expect to see one every few months.
Today’s SF Book of the Day is Startide Rising by David Brin. I was never a big Brin fan; he rarely delivers in terms of plot finales. And Startide Rising is no exception on that count. However, the very idea of the story more than makes up for its shortcomings. It’s about a crashed spaceship crewed by humans, a chimp and some talking dolphins, the latter of which are barely clinging to their newly evolved sentience. And that’s what’s ultimately fascinating about the story, seeing how the dolphin’s slow crawl to self-aware intelligence unfolds, and the pitfalls they must face.
The crew is led by a besieged dolphin captain named Creideiki, who is the heroic heart of the story. I will always be haunted by a creepy line from the book, when the distraught and semi-feral dolphins are calmed by their leader, and one comments, “Creideiki is a geniussss,” in that uncomfortable, skin-tingling, lolcat way.
More Climate Change Denial
Yesterday I talked a little bit about Climate Change denial. It’s a fascinating concept, no? I found this blog, dedicated to exploring “the topic of the psychology of climate change denial – with observations and anecdotes about our weird and disturbed response to the problem. It seeks to answer a question that has puzzled me for years: why, when the evidence is so strong, and so many agree that this is our greatest problem, are we doing so little about climate change?”
The fellow mounting the blog appears to be a Brit. I wonder if CC denial has a different face in Europe than it does in North America. To me, the nature of CC denial here is quite clear: it’s essentially people so subconciously married to the idea that Western civilization is the greatest invention in human history, that they cannot critically view some of its more deleterious pillars, specifically the double-edged sword of free market capitalism, which produces wealth and civil liberties, but also effects a significant tragedy upon the environmental commons.
I know there are some lurkers waving their fists at me, growling, “You’ll see! You’ll see we were right when you and kids and grandkids suffer no bad environmental effects at all! Then you’ll be sorry!”
Yeah. Let me go on record as saying that if the Climate Change deniers are correct, I will be so unabashedly relieved and happy, that I won’t care what names you want to call me. See, it’s not a matter of wanting a certain outlook to be correct; it’s a matter of appraising the moutain of evidence and drawing a conclusion, however undesirable that conclusion might be. On this topic, I hope to God that the right-wing free market types are right.
Them Wacky ‘Mercuns
Them wacky ‘Mercuns are at it again. Apparently, US airport screeners are taking note of what we read on flights. So next time, don’t pack that Koran or that biography of Marx or Bill Clinton’s new book, otherwise you might get onto somebody’s database. Best to stick with vintage copies of Hustler.