It’s hard to believe we are in greater danger today than we were during the two world wars, or during other perils such as the periodic nuclear confrontations during the Cold War, the numerous conflicts in Africa and Asia that each claimed millions of lives, or the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq that threatened to choke the flow of oil through the Persian Gulf and cripple the world’s economy.
How can we get a less hyperbolic assessment of the state of the world? Certainly not from daily journalism. News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen.
A BBC está transmitindo uma adaptação radiofônica de Good Omens - que em português tem o equivocado título de Belas Maldições. Neil Gaiman relembra o processo de escrever o livro em parceria com Terry Prachett.
On Friday, the journal Science published a buzzy new study suggesting that homophobia is more of a minor, curable malady than a chronic illness. For the study, researchers sent gay and straight canvassers into strongly anti-gay neighborhoods and directed them to converse with residents for about 20 minutes about why marriage equality mattered to them. The result: Residents’ support for gay equality increased considerably—and those residents who spoke with gay canvassers retained their pro-equality beliefs nine months after the conversation
Para um gênero que supostamente se preocupa com o futuro, a ficção científica mainstream anda extremamente nostálgica, como demonstra o fato de mais três Star Wars vindo aí.
A non-religious outlook does not hold the promise of immortality, but it does provide some relief. For example, I have no sense of being unfairly afflicted. I do not wonder what I have done to deserve this – and I most certainly do not think that anyone else is more deserving of it. Well, I can think of some, but that’s beside the point. The point is that no one has handed me these cards, and therefore I do not need to waste emotional capital pondering the injustice of my lot. I have simply pulled the short straw in the malignant mutation lottery.
Today, the cheapest rockets available charge a little less than $1,000 to send 1 pound of material into low-earth orbit. Sending that pound to other planets, let alone the stars, would cost vastly more. To be sure, time and expense might be reduced by building space elevators and (should the laws of physics permit) taking advantage of handy wormholes. But the lesson of Zheng He remains: Exploration of distant lands will be a short-lived venture unless it yields something really, really valuable.