Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"The Imagined Relationship to Reality"

The folks who contributed to the blogging meme I posted a couple days ago mostly seem to be humanistic science [-fiction] techy types, so I decided to keep checking their blogs.
And, as these things go, one thing leads to another.

Big Dumb Object led me to Gerry Canavan, who posted this:

Essential Weekend Viewing: Kim Stanley Robinson's Talk, “Science, Religion, and Ideology”, (you can watch the whole talk here, plus read some transcriptions).
This is just terrific; it even influenced my dreams after I watched it last night.

This is Part 1 of 7 of the talk. ( That's Canavan giving the intro--he helped organize the event.)

K. S. Robinson, a sci-fi writer, touches on about a million things I've been wondering about as I look at Star Trek and design-
-especially utopianism: the belief that another world is possible, which connects with my attempts to understand what it means to say Star Trek (TOS) was optimistic.
KSR's wry humor proves he believes in "the possibility of comedy" too.

Robinson says history and technology have accelerated to the point where he sees little difference between sci-fi and realism anymore:
"We are living in a science fiction novel that we all collaborate on."

I want to quote every other thing he says, but if you find this sort of thing exciting, you can watch his talk yourself.
I'll just stop here with his definition of "ideology" (science is an ideology, he says as much as religion and politics are):
"Ideology is an imagined relationship to a real situation."


ArtSparker said...

I don't dare get into this...there are just too many interesting things, especially when discriminating cohorts have already vetted them...I love the quote about ideology. It's precisely around imaginary abstract constructs that we become most rigid...Yes, that's part of an earlier rant.

Fresca said...

Yes, it is incredibly involving--the talk is about an hour long, and I couldn't stop watching.

Re rigidity: KSR says scientists who work on the edges of science never talk with certainty about anything.

bink said...

FYI--just getting a big white box at the end of your post. A youtube vid that never materialized?

Fresca said...

Try, try again--it's showing up on my computer.
Meanwhile, I'll post the link. Thanks!

ArtSparker said...

Fresca - yes, edges are liminal and so transitional, it would be hard to hold fast.