Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Given the bleak trajectory of American politics, I worry about progressives retreating into private life to preserve their sanity, a retreat that will only hasten democracy’s decay.
Because politics is a choice, not a necessity, at its worst a fantasy, a speculative fiction.

"Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series is perhaps the definitive expression of mid-century American liberalism."

"The nerdy classic is quite possibly the definitive statement of 20th Century American liberal thought."

Sci-fi was very much a young man's game, and its tropes -- rockets, extraterrestrials, etc. -- were interpreted by thinking adults as inherently juvenile indulgences. Sci-fi publications marketed themselves almost exclusively to adolescent boys, and the leading practitioners were only slightly more mature than their audience.

Zachary D. Carter, the author of a biography of Keynes, follows Krugman as a TV critic.

Asimov is Ayn Rand for people who think they've outgrown Ayn Rand, or Rand for PhDs.

repeats repeats repeats

"Science Fiction was created by men trying to get away from the alien environment populated by their wives."

The rise of a self-conscious geek culture, the proud celebration of the preadolescent imagination in adulthood, came in earnest ten years after the publication of One-Dimensional Man and the release of Dr. Strangelove, the title character an amalgam of Werner von Braun and the ur-geek von Neumann.  “If you say why not bomb them tomorrow, I say, why not today? If you say today at 5 o’clock, I say why not one o’clock?”

On that note, Henry seems to have dumped Tyler Cowen for Noah Smith.

But Henry is using the same Calvino quote he used 12 years ago, so I'll repeat the comments I made there at the time, repeating arguments I made 30 years before that. 

And they're still "struggling to come to terms with the obvious".

Comments on "literary fiction" at Language Log; deleted ones—I always save a copy—here.

If the video dies. Imagining the Future: Science Fiction and Social Science, with Farrell, Ada Palmer, Smith, Jo Walton. Moderator, Krugman. Introduction, Karen Sander. At the CUNY Gradate Center, on Zoom. 11/10/21

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