Re: [-empyre-] Re: disaster containment

Hi Ryan and Friends:

What I liked about Crichton's afterword is that it rang so true. Now, I do believe that a warming trend exists and I do believe that fossil fuels consumption is a major concern. I also believe the politicians, the lawyers and the media DO create a state of fear (with the end of the Cold War, we must always have an enemy, eh?) BUT, I don't believe in the crisis du jour.

If there is anything I learned in politics and journalism, it is that PERCEPTION is often not true. When the public is fed the same crisis du jour, they perceive it to be true. It's dangerous and it is so much the reason for U.S. presence in Iraq, for instance.

Here in northeastern PA., the post-industrialized anthracite region, I work at changing perception of a culture, of a geography and of a people. It's a never-ending job ...

----- Original Message ----- From: "Ryan Griffis" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, December 10, 2005 5:05 PM
Subject: [-empyre-] Re: disaster containment

Regarding Michael Crichton and the "positive use of 'fiction'" it should be noted that you're not the only person who took Crichton's expression as "truth"... He was put on ABC news by John Stossel as an expert witness to refute claims about climate change. Not because he has expert knowledge, but as Stossel suggests, because people are more likely to listen to him.

On Dec 6, 2005, at 7:00 PM, Christine Goldbeck wrote:

One of the things I do for a living is facilitate the learning about
current affairs through book discussion (mostly novels, but I do
manage to sneak in texts when I can). So, I read a lot of fiction and
made my way to Michael Crighton's State of Fear recently. The best
part of his book is the afterword, where he talks about the
politicians, lawyers and media creating "a state of fear," wherein we
have to have at least one big crisis going on. Now, let me make it
clear that I walk in art and science worlds (politics and media, too)
and when I read this afterword, it struck me as being truth.

I think what we see in the world with the current environmental
crisis -- as well as others -- is that creation of fear, wherein a
mainstream public buys into the crisis du jour and mostly forgets
about it as soon as the press drops the story for something sexier.
Trouble with this is, we have serious issues that get little, if any,
play until a real crisis shows up ... New Orleans is a great example,
the bird flu is another.

Why I am waxing prosaic on this herein is because your dialogue on
"fictions" spurred me too think about the positive use of "fiction"
as a learning tool and about the fiction of the PLM, I think that is
what Crighton called it.

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