mirrorshard: (Terrella)
[personal profile] mirrorshard
Via Tor.com: Global Warming is good for us.

I may have lost my temper slightly in the comments and posted one longer than the original article.

Date: 2009-02-03 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-alchemist.livejournal.com
Wasn't the original article supposed to be ironic? Humour along the lines of: "it's great now my house has burnt down - no need to hoover the front room any more!" That's definitely how it reads to me.

The internet seems to suggest that the author is an environmental activist.

Date: 2009-02-03 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirrorshard.livejournal.com
It's possible, but if it's irony she's doing it wrong. It reads as either bog-standard SF triumphalism of the worst kind, or deliberate trolling, to me. Too many people really do believe things like that, and the SF/libertarian nexus tends to attract them.

This (http://www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework/sers/WWFBinaryitem2738.pdf) is the only thing I can find along those lines for her, and it's a good report, but she's listed as only one of four co-authors and (significantly) with no affiliation in the "experts attending" list.

Without any more information on what her environmental activism consists of, I'm not willing to assume that a) she doesn't believe anything she wrote, and b) this doesn't need public refutation anyway.

Date: 2009-02-03 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blue-mai.livejournal.com
I don't know the author, but the way it was written, i just assumed it was meant to reveal the opposite of the title. ie. Taking what too may people really believe to its logical extension (everything will be ok! we'll live on Venus!) but not so far that it is easily dismissed as ridiculous by those same people. Probably the wrong forum though.
That was a really interesting bee article you linked to, thanks...

Date: 2009-02-03 02:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sleetersoulfire.livejournal.com
I think the main problem though is that it's written very well in that if you're coming from a point of view that believes that to all be non-sense then you can read irony into it but if you're coming from the other point of view then you can see it as sense.

Devious. Very devious. ;)

Date: 2009-02-03 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pfy.livejournal.com
The more I read it, the more I think you're right and it's meant to be satire. It takes an attitude that some people really have ("Sure, maybe some people will die because they're poor or live in the wrong place, and somewhere I don't care about will turn to desert, and a bunch of creatures will die out... but I don't have to do anything, someone else will do all the hard work to support my comfortable life for me"), and takes it to the level of utter batshit lunacy. Global warming means we'll be ready for surface temperatures that can melt lead, no oxygen, and 92 times standard atmospheric pressure when we go to Venus!

Date: 2009-02-03 03:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirrorshard.livejournal.com
To an extent I think you're right here, but large parts of the SF culture really has gone through extended periods of "wouldn't it be great if we could go and live in tin cans around Ceres/migrate into computers/evolve into things capable of breathing fart gas".

I don't have any confidence that the Tor commissioning editors didn't commission someone from the lunatic nutjob fringe to raise controversy (and the article's full of dogwhistles), and I didn't look up $random_person beforehand, but after all that, you're probably right and it's an attempt at satire.

I'm not going to regret explicating it for the even-harder-of-noticing than I am, though!

Date: 2009-02-03 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blue-mai.livejournal.com
Absolutely i agree you're right to. But actually now i think it's quite a good piece - for satire (to be honest i'm not very clear on what that means which is why i didn't describe it as such) to be effective at changing people's minds, rather than just preaching to the converted in an inside joke kind of way, it has to be not that obvious. Ideally a realisation should dawn on the reader it's aimed at, perhaps sometime later.
Of course it doesn't have a very high success rate, but i think if/when it does, it's probably a lot more effective than being disagreed with in a straightforward manner.
I suppose there needs to be a campaign of various amounts of being-hit-over-the-head-with-it and in a wide variety of places...

Date: 2009-02-03 05:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pfy.livejournal.com
I can't comment on SF culture, or even parts of it, but I think I recognise the mindset you describe (latching onto a fascinating idea and dismissing impracticalities as stuff someone can figure out later.. heck, there are places where that's called "project management").

And, yes, regardless of the author's actual stance, I'm sure the article was meant to be controversial. Calm, in-depth rebuttals in the comments are a good thing if they make people think instead of instantly dismissing/accepting the article at face value. If the author wrote it specifically to attract detailed rebuttals, it would be heartwarmingly cunning.

Date: 2009-02-03 07:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neonchameleon.livejournal.com
I'm afraid that that reads as satire to me (especially as I really wouldn't expect [livejournal.com profile] pnh or [livejournal.com profile] tnh to commission the lunatic nutjob fringe).

Date: 2009-02-03 09:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mirabehn.livejournal.com
I certainly *hope* that your commenters here are right and the article is tongue-in-cheek. Reading and re-reading it I'm still not sure, which (if I may be immodest about my degree and abilities) is possibly a useful data point! And, you know, there are environmental activists and environmental activists. We know nothing about what she *does* to call herself that.

Still, regardless of the spirit in which the article was meant, your response was fantastic: detailed, remarkably calm, informed and lucid. Everything you said was worth saying, especially if you're right (and I'm sure you are) that Tor.com has some idiots on it that would agree with the sentiments expressed in Buckner's article. That's the case regardless of whether she herself does!

I rather like [livejournal.com profile] pfy's suggestion that Buckner might have been trying to get lovely responses like yours, as a way of making people think more than would have been the case if she'd said such things in her original post. That sounds quite plausible. :-)

Or possibly she's gone weird since 2002 and really does believe what she's written. A horrible thought, but sadly not implausible.

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