Saturday, February 6, 2010

Kim Stanley Robinson beats me to the punch

I have a couple of posts in the works on how I feel about science, but I can tell they're going to be kind of big messes, so it's convenient that Kim Stanley Robinson just said everything I was going to say, elegantly. If you want to read this instead of what I'm going to be posting fairly soon on the topic, feel free; you'll probably be better served. The source, if you want to see more, is here.
[S]cience is a Utopian project; it began as a Utopian project and it has remained so ever since, an attempt to make a better world. And this is not always the view taken of science because its origins and its life have been so completely wrapped up with capitalism itself. They began together. You could consider them to be some kind of conjoined twins, Siamese twins that hate each other, Hindu gods that are permanently at odds, or even just a DNA strand wrapped around each other forever: some kind of completely imbricated and implicated co-leadership of the world, cultural dominance--so that science is not capitalism's research and development division, or enabler, but a counterforce within it. And so despite the fact that as Galileo says that science was born with a gun to its head, and has always been under orders to facilitate the rise and expansion of capital, the two of them in their increasing power together are what you might call semi-autonomous, and science has been the Utopian thrust to alleviate suffering and make a better world.
He's a bit more optimistic and positive than I can be, but other than that, um, yeah.

1 comment:

Richard said...

Awesome quote. Thanks for posting it. It's been years since I checked in on what Robinson's been up to. But he pretty much nails it, and much pithier than my various attempts at driving at this point... and then there are the implications, etc.