Science & Ignorance: A Dark Road Ahead?

“We've arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” ― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Do you know how your car works? Evolution? Communication systems like the Internet? Do you understand the science behind GMO crops to understand the risks? In a world of sound bites, reality TV, etc., are we falling behind in understanding the ramifications of our rapidly expanding science and technology? What are the issues raised by Carl Sagan? Come join the discussion.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    It's always nice to see everyone. I'm just sorry I hadn't been able to be there at the start.

    June 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Interesting conversation and then a fun time at Orleans. Thanks for organizing Jim.

    June 1, 2013

  • Doreen C.

    Interesting discussion and fun conversation at the after event. Nice evening overall. :)

    June 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Jim, any idea when you may consider those of us on the wait list? Thanks.

    May 31, 2013

    • Marty

      I just canceled few minutes ago so there should be a spot open unless someone took it already

      May 31, 2013

  • Barbara

    "They" will have a master, inclusive plan for us. We will learn to LIKE
    a narrow focus - I will paint all red, round things red. You will make
    tires. Etc. Reading with purpose or curiosity or thirst for knowledge
    will be discouraged. We will all follow the design of the swarm of bees,
    the flock of birds, the herd of zebras. Tom, Dick, and Harry will look toward the east which will cause Sue and Jane to look at and follow them and on and on. The little group decision becomes the big group
    decision. Science will not be for US, or U.S.. Except for some rote
    memorization - like some of today's education (MCAS). How do we
    keep the poor quiet? For one thing, we make McDonald's affordable,
    we have 33 cent sweatshirts made in China, and we encourage
    flat screen TV's in every car.

    May 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wishing there were more room and that I had better hearing!

    May 31, 2013

  • Michael

    I m sorry. Sh.. happens.

    May 31, 2013

  • ann

    Hey Chris...what's the address...and will it run late...?

    May 30, 2013

    • Chris C.

      It's at the World Trade Center and runs till 9:30. There are also two Daturday sessions but the Friday one is the only one not sold out.

      May 30, 2013

  • Chris C.

    Took myself off the waitlist to avoid another situation where I'm added in at the last minute but I already made other plans.

    I'll be attending the American Craft Beer Fest that night, so while you guys are busy enriching your brain cells, I'll be destroying mine.

    1 · May 30, 2013

  • ann

    :)...yea! Look forward to an interesting, learning time discussion. Will be there.

    May 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    ;-)

    May 30, 2013

  • ann

    RSVP. Yes

    May 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Love to attend this one, Jim ... let me know if there's room.

    May 25, 2013

  • Bill T.

    Please let me know if a spot opens up!!! B

    April 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    there were a few civilizations where specialization was much more moderate, e.g., ancient greece, renaissance italy, etc. galileo and leonardo could be broad because the total accumulated knowledge was then not nearly as enormous as it is today.
    as far as efficiency goes, mcdonald i presume is very efficient, but i will take instead french government subsidized baguette any time :-)
    my point is: perhaps specialization is unavoidable, but it has its price in more ways than people generally realize.

    February 21, 2013

    • Chris C.

      Correct me if I'm wrong here but isn't general education a fairly modern concept? In Ancient Greece and Renaissance Europe artisans didn't receive general education, they received apprenticeships where they learned all about one specific vocation and nothing else.

      February 22, 2013

  • Chris C.

    Just for the sake of playing devil's advocate here, isn't specialization the basis of civilization? Farmer A is better at producing X, Farmer B is better at producing Y, they both need X and Y, so A only produces X and B only produces Y and they trade their surpluses, and there's no reason for Farmer A to have any idea how Y works. It's just like that with technology, the only people who need to know how it works are those who choose it as a specialty. All everyone else needs to know is how to use the interface.

    1 · February 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The statement implicitly refers to so-called "ordinary" people (non-scientists). I think that in fact it is much worse than that. I never met anyone with a phd who understands anything about technology or science in a profound way, with a possible exception of mathematicians and theoretical physicists who generally know reasonably well their field at least... In view of that it is rather inexplicable to me that things do not break down much more often...

    February 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    sounds like fun!

    February 21, 2013

  • Jack O.

    Ahead? We should be so lucky.

    February 20, 2013

  • Diane C.

    Grappling with the central questions of our culture.

    February 20, 2013

  • Lisa

    +1

    February 20, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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