Science & Society

Science and Society and how they get along.

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Location: Santa Barbara, California, United States

I'm a physicist and science consultant specialized in optics, lasers and optical engineering. This blog, StarkFX, looks at what applications physics is finding today. Or, if you are looking at my StarkEffects blog, it displays my views about and interest in the interface between society and science.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Golden Compass frightens someone

I just thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful, imaginative tale with excellent, complex allusions and riveting plot with more symbolism than anyone will catch at first glance. The tale is written by a religious skeptic with an obvious alterior motive to make the viewers think -question. I've noticed a large number of people with dreadful fear of anything that makes people question. They'd rather not know anything that doesn't fit their little world view and they certainly don't want children to start questioning. They have launched a campaign to boycott this great little piece of fiction. If we ever develop a world view that can withstand attacks from new ideas, maybe we won't react with such fear. The fear that reveals our insecurity with a world view that just won't work beyond a little false comfort.
Anyway, the movie was great. I enjoyed it with my little Nicole and was very impressed with Nicole Kidman's performance. Her character was beautiful, slightly vulnerable and extremely dangerous- alot like another Nicole I'm acquainted with. It was fun. I recommend the movie highly!
Think -It isn't illegal yet!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The anthropic principle and a great gift for me!

I just read another physicist referring to what he probably thinks of as the anthropic principle: That the universe is fine tuned to make life possible. It is true that life as we know it is possible because the universe is the way it is. If it were different, we'd be different or non-existent. This should not suggest to anyone that it was planned that way. We are observing the universe, therefore the universe is capable of supporting observers like us. Unfortunately, we have evolved to assume a purpose for everything so we assign purposes almost automatically which, I think, blinds us to many realities. Oh well, let's get on to something more interesting!

If you want to get me a gift:

This is an extremely exciting technology -If you want to buy me a gift, this is what I want! Amazon's Kindle is a
book reader. It would be a little like carrying around 200 books but in a package smaller than a laptop. I think this is much more exciting than the mp3 players that everyone loves (including me). You buy the books online and pay less than $10. I could save a fortune and not have to add anymore
bookshelves to my house, which already looks like the city library -maybe I could even replace the books I've got
with the electronic version! Anyway, this is something you need! If you happen to know me personally, this is a
gift I would love! For Amazon's Kindle, click here!