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Chapter 22: Significance junkies 
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 Chapter 22: Significance junkies
Chapter 22: Significance junkies

Please use this thread to discuss Chapter 22: Significance junkies.



Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:29 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 22: Significance junkies
Sagan's seems to be getting carried away with his quixotic ideas about science and the general populace, particularly their television viewing habits.
He mentions in this chapter old tv shows like In Search of, The X Files, and, Star Trek.

His lament about Star Trek's Mr Spock, is particularly,um, interesting: :|

Quote:
The idea that Mr. Spock could be a cross between a human being and a life-form independently evolved on the planet Vulcan is genetically far less probable than a successful cross of a man and an artichoke..., Star Trek doesn't come to grips with evolution.


Refer to page 375 for the context of the paragraph and Sagan's specific lamentation.

Essentially, Sagan's point is that television shows like the aforementioned promote unscientific, mythical ideas and are lost opportunities to educate viewers. ( :?: )

I've youtube'd Sagan several times now. I respect his concern for the future of humanity, our environment, culture, and his zeal to foster child-like wonder and promote it to adults who've lost theirs.

But Sagan is getting much too stuffy here. Television's existence is and always will be primarily for entertainment. The majority of productions will always be strictly for entertainment purposes with little intellectual content to offer. It's a means for people to pass the time until they get up the next day to work at jobs that are mostly unfulfilling and alienating (if your not the lucky few doing what you love). Not everyone can be, or has the desire to be a scientist.

Somebody has to serve our food, wash our cars, pick up our trash, mow our lawns (if your'e too damn lazy to do it yourself or genuinely need the help) etc etc. A scientist isn't going to pick up my trash on Weds. Ken Kraus isn't going to wash my car. The fact is the jobs I've mentioned are essential to a functioning society and economy.
The wages the trash man, the gardener, and the waiter earn generate taxable income. Some of that money at some point finds its way to funding scientific ventures that scientists can participate in and earn their living.

I might have strayed off course here, but it was intended to defend people who watch TV, are not dumb, are still interested in intellectual matters, and are responsible, dependable participants in society.
It seems like overkill to lament a lost opportunity to promote evolution in a show like Star Trek, so everyone can understand that for species to successfully cross breed they must share genetic similarities.
Give me a break.

The glorification of science (and scientists) gets a bit tiresome.



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DWill, youkrst
Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:46 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 22: Significance junkies
i always liked the idea of the Kirk trinity

Quote:
Trinity

The relationship between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy is the cornerstone of TOS. They are called archetypes, though perhaps the ancient Rhetoric terms fit best: logos (logical Spock), ethos (ethical Kirk), and pathos (emotional McCoy.) The constant interplay of these qualities makes for fascinating viewing. But these three officers are not only abstractions, but richly developed and dynamic characters. As Spock must learn to control the conflicting aspects of his nature, the others face their own challenges. Together, they overcome much.


Kirk as the ego dealing with it's logical side (Spock) and it's emotional side (McCoy)



Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:42 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 22: Significance junkies
Continuing off-track, ant you might have heard of the death a few days ago of Phillip Levine, a poet with a strong connection to CA. He was unusual in the literary field, in that he was a top-flight poet who had worked as a laborer and in service jobs before publishing at a fairly late age. He remained "rooted," as far as his sympathies and subjects, celebrating ordinary things and people. I think he was a good kind of lefty.



Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:03 am
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Post Re: Chapter 22: Significance junkies
Hi, DWill

An acquaintance of mine attended one of his classes at NYU :)



Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:51 am
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