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pierredv : myth   8

After Technopoly - Alan Jacobs - The New Atlantis - aug 2019,
Technocratic solutionism is dying. To replace it, we must learn again the creation and reception of myth.

What Neil Postman called “technopoly” may be described as the universal and virtually inescapable rule of our everyday lives by those who make and deploy technology, especially, in this moment, the instruments of digital communication. It is difficult for us to grasp what it’s like to live under technopoly, or how to endure or escape or resist the regime. These questions may best be approached by drawing on a handful of concepts meant to describe a slightly earlier stage of our common culture.
technology  ideas  TheNewAtlantis  NewAtlantis  myth 
2 days ago by pierredv
The world's great nations are revisiting the moon. But where's Europe? | New Scientist Dec 2019
"Since the beginning of the Soviet state, space travel has been associated with utopianism, exemplified by 19th-century visionary Nikolai Fedorov and his colleague Konstantin Tsiolkovsky."

"For the US, going to the moon was all about rugged, pragmatic individualism; for the Soviets, it was a parable for their communal social philosophy. This enactment of national myth is apparent in the Chinese moon programme. Chang’e is the name of a goddess who flew to the moon after she drank an elixir of immortality to stop her husband’s enemy from stealing it: a story of heroic and dutiful self-sacrifice that underlies China’s Moon Festival in the autumn. ... more recently the government has revived legends and historical figures such as Confucius to mobilise nationalist sentiment."

** Not clear to me how this is "enactment of national myth" - unless one defines myth as Merriam Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/myth
"2 a : a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone especially : one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society"
NewScientist  space  utopianism  myth 
march 2019 by pierredv
Wokeness and Myth on Campus - The New Atlantis Jan 2018
"The problem lies in a failure to grasp the true nature of the students’ position. If we are going to understand that position, we will need to draw on intellectual sources quite other than those typically invoked. What is required of us is the study of myth — and not in any pejorative or dismissive sense, but in the sense of an ineradicable element of human consciousness."

Polish philosopher Leszek Kołakowski's "technological core is analytical, sequential, and empirical. Another way to put this is to say that what belongs to the technological core is what we find to hand: whatever occupies the lifeworld we share, and is therefore subject to our manipulation and control, and to debates about what it is and what might be done with it. To this core belong instrumental and discursive reason, including all the sciences and most forms of philosophy — everything that reckons with the possible uses of human power to shape ourselves and our environment. The technological core undergirds and produces the phenomena we typically refer to as technological.

The “mythical core” of civilization, by contrast, describes that aspect of our experience “not revealed by scientific questions and beliefs.” It encompasses the “nonempirical unconditioned reality” of our experience, that which is not amenable to confirmation or disconfirmation."

"... as Kołakowski contends, the technological core and the mythical core will always come into regular and profound conflict with each other: “The futility of this clash would not in the end be so burdensome were it not that both points of view, incapable of synthesis and eternally in conflict, are after all present in [every one] of us, although in varying degrees of vitality. They have to coexist and yet they cannot coexist.”"
NewAtlantis  myth  politics  religion  technology  *  academia  education 
january 2018 by pierredv
BBC News - Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked
via Jacques "Much of what we think we know about the 1914-18 conflict is wrong, writes historian Dan Snow. No war in history attracts more controversy and myth than World War One. For the soldiers who fought it was in some ways better than previous conflicts, and in some ways worse. By setting it apart as uniquely awful we are blinding ourselves to the reality of not just WW1 but war in general. We are also in danger of belittling the experience of soldiers and civilians caught up in countless other appalling conflicts throughout history and the present day."
history  ww1  myth  war  bbc 
january 2014 by pierredv
John Allen’s emails to Jill Kelley: Why do generals like David Petraeus have extramarital affairs? - Slate Magazine
"Consider what a general does, especially a commanding general in wartime: He sends his soldiers into battle, knowing that some of them will die as a result of his decisions. That is the nature of the job, and has been for millennia. That doesn’t necessarily make generals bloodthirsty or immoral (I’ve met very few generals who fit that description), but it does require them to be supremely self-confident, even arrogant. When issuing their orders, they can’t display the slightest sign of ambivalence or hesitation. If they did, they would soon lose confidence among the ranks, and the army that they’re leading would fall apart."
x:slate  war  leadership  myth 
november 2012 by pierredv
Fossil fuels are far deadlier than nuclear power - tech - 23 March 2011 - New Scientist
Strap: "Nuclear power kills many fewer people than other energy sources, according to a review by the International Energy Agency"
nuclear  coal  energy  risk  myth  psychology  safety  NewScientist 
april 2011 by pierredv
Climate change: no Eden, no apocalypse - Mike Hulme, opinion - 07 September 2009 - New Scientist
Essay on how to use the idea of climate change to support various projects. Identifies "four enduring myths" to frame climate change debate: = Edenic = Apocalyptic = Promethean = Themisian Mike Hulme: "The value in identifying these mythical stories in our discourses about climate change is that they allow us to see climate change not as simply an environmental problem to be solved, but as an idea that is being mobilised in various ways around the world." "Having established that climate change is as much an idea as a physical phenomenon, we can deploy it in positive and creative ways." "It is important to note that these creative uses of the idea of climate change do not demand consensus over its meaning"
climate  environment  science  metaphor  NewScientist  myth  story  *** 
november 2009 by pierredv

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