Monday, August 21, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Michael Crichton (1942 – 2008)


American author, film producer and television producer.
Michael Crichton
I want to state emphatically that nothing in my remarks should be taken to imply that we can ignore our environment, or that we should not take climate change seriously. On the contrary, we must dramatically improve our record on environmental management. That is why a focused effort on climate science, aimed at securing sound, independently verified answers to policy questions, is so important now.
Crichton quotes
Leland Weston: "Never take a position unless you are certain it can be defended any onslaught. That may sound like good advice to a general, but then, a courtroom is nothing more then a very civilized war."
Crichton
I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people the best people, the most enlightened people do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.




Crichton Michael quotes
The cabbie laughed. "All right, mister. A guy can tell when he's being kidded." Sometimes," Jencks said, "but only sometimes.
Crichton Michael
We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we're told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.
Michael Crichton quotes
In order not to be misunderstood, I want it perfectly clear that I believe it is incumbent on us to conduct our lives in a way that takes into account all the consequences of our actions, including the consequences to other people, and the consequences to the environment.
Michael Crichton
Endless presentation of conflict may interfere with genuine issue resolution. There is evidence that the television food-fights not only don't represent the views of most people  who are not so polarized but may tend to make resolution of actual disputes more difficult in the real world. At the very least, they obscure the recognition that we resolve disputes every day.
Crichton Michael quotes
You could not predict what would happen in a single instance, a single throw of the dice, a single pitch in the seventh inning, a single toss of the coin. But you could predict three out of five, four out of ten, seven out of sixteen, and to that extent chance governed everyone, all the time. Just as surely as two equals two.
Crichton
Things do not turn out the way you think they will.
Crichton Michael
Science is nothing more than a method of inquiry. The method says an assertion is valid and merits universal acceptance only if it can be independently verified. The impersonal rigor of the method means it is utterly apolitical. A truth in science is verifiable whether you are black or white, male or female, old or young. It's verifiable whether you like the results of a study, or you don't.
Michael Crichton
Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.
Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.




Michael Crichton quotes
I often think people are nervous, jittery in this media climate of what if, what if, maybe, perhaps, could be  when there is usually no sensible reason to feel nervous.
Like a bearded nut in robes on the sidewalk proclaiming the end of the world is near, the media is just doing what makes it feel good, not reporting hard facts. We need to start seeing the media as a bearded nut on the sidewalk, shouting out false fears. Its not sensible to listen to it.
Michael Crichton
Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism.
Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists.
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Most of us have had some experience interacting with religious fundamentalists, and we understand that one of the problems with fundamentalists is that they have no perspective on themselves. They never recognize that their way of thinking is just one of many other possible ways of thinking, which may be equally useful or good. On the contrary, they believe their way is the right way, everyone else is wrong; they are in the business of salvation, and they want to help you to see things the right way. They want to help you be saved. They are totally rigid and totally uninterested in opposing points of view. In our modern complex world, fundamentalism is dangerous because of its rigidity and its imperviousness to other ideas.
Crichton Michael
As I went down to my car, [Peter Randall] said, "If you don't want to get involved I'll understand" I looked back at him. "You know damn well I'd have no choice." "I didn't," he said. "But I was hoping."
Crichton Michael quotes
Science is the most exciting and sustained enterprise of discovery in the history of our species. It is the great adventure of our time. We live today in an era of discovery that far outshadows the discoveries of the New World five hundred years ago.
Michael Crichton
The notion that the natural world obeys its own rules and doesn't give a damn about your expectations comes as a massive shock... it will demand that you adapt to it and if you don't, you die. It is a harsh, powerful, and unforgiving world, that most urban westerners have never experienced.
Michael Crichton quotes
The extreme positions of the Crossfire Syndrome require extreme simplification framing the debate in terms which ignore the real issues.
Michael Crichton
"What makes you think human beings are sentient and aware? There's no evidence for it. Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told-and become upset if they are exposed to any different view. The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their 'beliefs.' The reason is that beliefs guide behavior which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is just a self-congratulatory delusion. Next question."
Crichton Michael
We need to get environmentalism out of the sphere of religion. We need to stop the mythic fantasies, and we need to stop the doomsday predictions. We need to start doing hard science instead.


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