Poll

The scientific accuracy of Michael Crighton.

His science is credible, at least until converted into a horrible sceenplay.
2 (15.4%)
Just a spoonful of fiction helps the learning go down.  Sometimes inaccurately.
4 (30.8%)
I can't read.  I'm a lover, not a reader...
0 (0%)
He's a douche.  And The Drifter is a douche for bringing him up.
3 (23.1%)
I can't get to the science part.  Stan Lee wrote deeper characters in the 60s than this guy.
4 (30.8%)

Total Members Voted: 13

Voting closed: July 23, 2008, 12:27:28 AM

Author Topic: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly  (Read 2300 times)

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Offline The Drifter

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Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« on: July 18, 2008, 12:27:28 AM »
I just tried to read NEXT at the library and found myself skimming.

10 years ago, when I started reading Crighton, I unskeptically gave him scientific carte blanche and believed everything I read to be founded in cold, hard facts.

I read Sphere, Terminal Man, Andromeda Strain, Etc. and enjoyed them.  That was years ago.

Offline fishshtick

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2008, 12:34:08 AM »
NEXT is a crappy book.  The only good part is the end section where he talks about how legislation is needed to keep biotechs from pattenting everying they blunder into.  He makes some decent arguments about how such rampant pattenting has hampered medical progress in more than a few cases.
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Offline Neutral Milk

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2008, 01:11:15 AM »
One of my first experiences on this forum was bringing up "State of Fear" in a global warming thread. I was quickly shot down.

I trusted his science until that exact point.

Has anyone that is so adamant about global warming being a serious issue read Michael Crichton's "State of Fear"?
I was a firm believer until I read this entertaining (yet extensively cited) story about the problems with climate study.
I would suggest any skeptic that firmly believes all they read about global warming to check it out, it shouldn't take you more than a few days to read, and it is quite informative. (And need I mention again that every claim he makes is cited, and the information comes from reputable sources? So you can't say he's just a fiction-thriller writer and dismiss it.)

Neutral, actual climate scientists have already responded to that book back in Dec. 2004.

Link: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=74

 :(

Offline KarenX

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2008, 12:40:43 PM »
I remember only that the last few pages were awful, but my roommate and I both read Sphere when it first came out in paperback and were appropriately thrilled and terrified. It was very exciting. I don't remember the actual plot very well.

Offline roger

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2008, 12:43:52 PM »
NEXT is a crappy book.  The only good part is the end section where he talks about how legislation is needed to keep biotechs from pattenting everying they blunder into.  He makes some decent arguments about how such rampant pattenting has hampered medical progress in more than a few cases.

Interesting.  That is mentioned in this article I read on Slate today.

http://www.slate.com/id/2195158/
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Offline MikeHz

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2008, 11:30:21 PM »
Crichton is spotty. Sometimes, he's good, verging on great. Other times...not so much.
"It's easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled." Mark Twain

Offline Skeptress

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2008, 02:09:02 AM »
Next is crap.  I gave it a resounding "unrealistic" on my 50 books list.  I liked Lost World or whatever the heck it was called back in the day.
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Offline xie

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2008, 02:19:26 PM »
Jurassic Park is still one of my favorite pieces of fiction, just because it's impossible doesn't make it any less entertaining.

He's gotten worse as time has gone on, but one should always take his stuff at face value. It tends to be "completely true science" taken to the next level.

Congo was a really good read, as was The Andromeda Strain, Terminal Man, etc. All based on plausible bases taken to a fictional level.

Offline Halleyscomet

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2008, 03:03:50 PM »
One of my first experiences on this forum was bringing up "State of Fear" in a global warming thread. I was quickly shot down.

I trusted his science until that exact point.

Has anyone that is so adamant about global warming being a serious issue read Michael Crichton's "State of Fear"?
I was a firm believer until I read this entertaining (yet extensively cited) story about the problems with climate study.
I would suggest any skeptic that firmly believes all they read about global warming to check it out, it shouldn't take you more than a few days to read, and it is quite informative. (And need I mention again that every claim he makes is cited, and the information comes from reputable sources? So you can't say he's just a fiction-thriller writer and dismiss it.)

Neutral, actual climate scientists have already responded to that book back in Dec. 2004.

Link: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=74

 :(

Global Warming is a red herring.

If Global Warming is real, then what would we be doing about it?

Reduce our use of oil based power sources
Increase our use of domestically produced power
Increase research into and use of renewable and "green" energy sources
Recycle as much as possible instead of just throwing it away.
Reforest deforested areas
Clean up the environment in general

Now tell me, which one of these things should we NOT be doing for about 100 reasons OTHER than Global Warming? "Fixing" Global Warming would require a host of things we need to be doing anyway.

The debate about the "reality" of Global Warming is therefore a distraction and a side issue.

Offline musteion

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2008, 03:22:32 PM »

The debate about the "reality" of Global Warming is therefore a distraction and a side issue.

But it isn't. There are plenty of people out there who certainly do not agree that that list of things you named is much of a big deal at all.

In fact, arguably this is what has led to our current state of affairs, in which global warming is happening at its current rate--denial of the importance of those things you list has led to where we are now.

Offline bjza

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2008, 12:33:53 PM »
Not to poison the well... but I thought I'd share a great moment in literature.

Offline roger

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2008, 12:39:25 PM »
Not to poison the well... but I thought I'd share a great moment in literature.

Wow... I had no idea Crichton was so petty.  Almost makes me want to stop watching ER.  I already stopped reading his books after Airframe was just too terrible.
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Offline Iconoclast

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Re: Michael Crichton - Good Bad or Ugly
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2008, 06:29:58 PM »

Congo was a really good read, as was The Andromeda Strain, Terminal Man, etc. All based on plausible bases taken to a fictional level.

I enjoyed his earlier works.  But he is completely clueless on many things not the least of which is GW, but particularly where GW intersects with economics.  His one book dealing with finance, Rising Sun, was an early indicator of not only is misunderstanding of economics and geopolitics, but also his willingness to use fiction to push his false and biased views.
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