Popular Technology

OK. Back to ScribeFire. Which I still don;t much care for but then, the marketplace of blog editors is not only odoriferous, it’s abysmal.

I ran across this cartoon:[Link]

and I was struck by its accuracy and the wisdom of the artist.

I have to admit to subscribing to Popular Science. I also subscribe to Scientific American, which is part of the story.

Back when I was a bairn, reading Popular Mechanics and Popular Science each month was an important activity. It was as close as we came to getting technical literature in the house.

Of course I got to read Science News at school. When there was time or I could grab a copy, but the two populars were as close as I could get at home.

And I thought I lived in an information desert then. Now it’s worse since there are lots of magazine that pretend to be technical and aren’t.

I didn’t enjoy Popular Mechanics that much. IT had better articles than PS but most of them were mundane and involved tool bashing that my parents wouldn’t permit. Given my adventures as an experimentalist in college, that was probably one of their wiser things.

The PS articles were a lot more poof. And they were all fairy tails. All positive. No balanced coverage. The technology – not much science but that was to be expected, after all, who would buy Popular Technology? – was always wonderful,  a panacea or elixir vitae, with no negative aspects. Like Agent Orange.

And I still subscribe. Because PS hasn;t changed. It’s still all about technology and it’s all positive. Sort of the opposite of Congress.

Scientific American, on the other hand, was excellent in the ’70’s, then turned to Stercus, and is still crawling out of the hole under the out house. And I keep hoping it will and the stench will abate.

So in the meantime, I enjoy PS for the lie that it is.