The Pendulum swings to the right


The political pendulum is swinging to the right side in Europe, the real deal now is to understand to what extent and to what consequences.
In the last ten years, the far right-wing parties in the Old-and-not-so-merry continent are booming and it’s quite likely that we will see one or more of the biggest countries in Europe going full throttle in that direction in a matter of five or fewer years. Bookmark the next round of presidential elections in France (2017) and the general political elections in Germany (also 2017) to check out what will become the European future.

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Science and Politics


The latest article of Lawrence M. Krauss in the New Yorker (link) is calling for a statement about the connection between science and politics. I strongly recommend reading the linked piece before going on in this post. I also would like to write that this subject is very complex and it may lead to prolonged debate.

All right, let’s go. The basic is about how much political control should be applied to scientific research, both about funding and public debate about scientific matters.  In a perfect world, national governments and international agencies should prioritize a number of matters of public interest that have scientific implications and find ways to fund as much research projects they can, hoping to harvest in the near future ideas and discoveries useful to solve problems and/or to upgrade the existing industries. That may sound good as a theory. But who will be in charge to establish what to research and what not?

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The limits in the cover-up theory


Raise your hand if you haven’t already heard this story: the government is covering up [insert theme] for years, they’re using technology derived from [insert theme] and only a few people is getting the benefits.

Known variant: the [national leader] is one of them, you know (wink, wink). They are here since [insert year] and they’re manipulating everything in the world via their advanced technology. Well, welcome to the cover-up world, where anything could be explained with a wacky theory and a “you know” whispered in the darkness.

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The Fandom, the Awards and the Business


It looks like that 2016 will be remembered as a turning point for a lot of matters about modern-day fandom and for all the turmoil connected to the awards. I wrote about it a few months ago (here) and sadly I’ve to say that things have not improved so far.

The online debate after the last WorldCon reached a new level of bitterness and the echo in the mainstream media has been, if possible, even worse than at the start of the Sad Puppies / Rabid Puppies campaign. The public image of the sci-fi fandom could be compared to a downsized version of a noisy political debate, with very few attention to what really matters: the business of acquiring and selling good stories, no matter who write it and why.

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A new saint could not be good news

Mother Teresa of Calcutta (26.8.1919-5.9.1997)...

Mother Teresa of Calcutta (26.8.1919-5.9.1997); at a pro-life meeting in 1986 in Bonn, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All right, today is the day. Pope Francis I° will proclaim Mother Theresa as a new saint in Rome, with all the media uproar about this kind of stuff. Of course, the Roman Catholic Apostolic church is operating in its own right and if you’re a believer, then this kind of decision is uncontestable. Well, I’m not a believer. And I’m asking questions about it.

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Story of Your Life – Arrival

Illustration for "Story of your Life"...

Illustration for “Story of your Life”, by Hidenori Watanave for Hayakawa’s S-F Magazine. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was back in 2010, maybe late October. I picked up a short story by Ted Chiang, “Story of Your Life“, one of the best I’ve read in my life. At the end, I was wondering about the choice to see a story like that in a movie. I do remember my words about that. “Nope”.

A few years ago, looking for movie trailers, I found the first trailer of “Arrival”. And my jaw dropped to the ground. Do they really do that?

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