Strange Weather: Culture, Science, and Technology in the Age of Limits
Who speaks for science in a technologically dominated society? In his latest work of cultural criticism Andrew Ross contends that this question yields no simple or easy answer. In our present technoculture a wide variety of people, both inside and outside the scientific community, have become increasingly vocal in exercising their right to speak about, on behalf of, and often against, science and technology.
Arguing that science can only ever be understood as a social artifact, Strange Weather is a manifesto which calls on cultural critics to abandon their technophobia and contribute to the debates which shape our future. Each chapter focuses on an idea, a practice or community that has established an influential presence in our culture: New Age, computer hacking, cyberpunk, futurology, and global warming.
In a book brimming over with intelligence—both human and electronic—Ross examines the state of scientific countercultures in an age when the development of advanced information technologies coexists uneasily with ecological warnings about the perils of unchecked growth. Intended as a contribution to a “green” cultural criticism, Strange Weather is a provocative investigation of the ways in which science is shaping the popular imagination of today, and delimiting the possibilities of tomorrow.
From Publishers Weekly
Ross ( No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture ) delves into the ways in which technocratic elites (military, corporate, scientific) have set the agenda for public opinion and examines the challenges to those elites posed by popular and alternative cultures. He explores groups--such as New Agers and cyberpunk SF purveyors and fans--who have marginalized themselves by choice and by their potential resistance to a techno-fascist future. In elegant prose and carefully worked out thought, Ross shows these groups to be communities of shared interests that encourage participation by all, the mechanisms of "a more radically democratic future." He is not blind, however, to the their limitations, expressing forcefully his objections to the sour dystopias of the cyberpunks and the failure of much eco-futurology to recognize the complexity of the human presence on earth, eliding differences of race, class and gender. The book's other theme, perhaps its most important one, is that science and technology, like economics and politics, are the products of social formations.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.