Science & Technology

 

 

“The ocean is rising, and we are too.” So read one placard at the recent #YouthStrike4Climate in London. Young people across the world are taking to the streets to address the burning issue of our epoch: the impending climate catastrophe. Starting in Sweden last August with the weekly protests of one school student, Greta Thunberg, the youth strikes have rapidly spread internationally. In every country the situation is the same: a new, radicalised generation is entering into political activity, demanding action and system change to avert environmental destruction.

If asked 'what is the least proletarian profession?', many might place ‘video game designer’ pretty close to the top. Until quite recently, that opinion might well have been shared by a majority of game designers themselves. But now this is changing rapidly. A snowballing of awareness is taking place about the extreme exploitation that the video games industry is based upon.

In this article, Ben Curry explains the development of scientific thought from a Marxist perspective. Ben introduces the dialectical materialist outlook, explains how it applies to the natural world and demonstrates how the ancient philosophers of Greece and Rome laid the foundations for modern science. Science is always rooted in class society, and the lack of a dialectical materialist perspective has led some modern scientists back to the idealism and mysticism that the bourgeoisie railed against in its revolutionary phase.

We previously published a review of The Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – And the Unexpected Solutions, a book by Swiss-British writer and journalist Johann Hari, in which he attempts to re-examine the way that society views depression. However, while Hari raises some valid criticisms, his critique ends up being exaggerated and one-sided.

In the last 48 hours, liberal news outlets (in particular Britain's Guardiannewspaper), have made a scandal out of the exposé into Cambridge Analytica. This is a shadowy peddler of influence that has been exposed by an employee-turned-whistleblower for its use of masses of digital data to target political adverts.

As with all production under capitalism, scientific production is not democratically controlled by the working class. We argue that the workers can and should be the drivers of scientific advancement.

This article, written for Socialist Appeal, was published a matter of days before Bitcoin's value collapsed by half overnight. This catastrophic downturn proves everything we have written about Bitcoin and how it reflects of the general crisis of capitalism.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will stop research on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and is expected to lay-off 300 research and development staff in Massachusetts and Connecticut, in a move that could severely hamper progress towards effective treatments for these illnesses – proving that critical medical research cannot be left in the hands of capitalist profiteers. Corporations like Pfizer should be expropriated and their assets, data and equipment placed under democratic control, to be used for the betterment of mankind.

In archaeology, new evidence and the resulting explanations have come to resemble the conclusions that Marxists reached long ago in explaining how dialectical materialism corresponds to the natural world.

A growing number of scientists are becoming discontented with the old outlook. The rapid rise of the theory of Chaos and Complexity is one of the most significant developments in science at the turn of the new millennium. Many of the ideas expressed by this new trend are strikingly similar to the theories of dialectical materialism worked out by Marx and Engels over 150 years ago. A significant part of the present work is devoted to an exploration of the relationship between Marxist philosophy and the new theories. Will this encounter provide the basis for a new and exciting breakthrough in the methodology of science?

This weekend has seen a massive cyberattack against large corporations and public institutions. Negligence on the part of governments and companies allowed hackers to encrypt data on hundreds of thousands of computers based on tools developed by US security NSA.

In this talk from the Revolution 2016 festival, Ben Curry gives an overview of the historical development of scientific theories and the philosophical ideas that lie behind some of the biggest scientific revolutions in history.

We find ourselves today surrounded by a plethora of new technology, automated processes, and time-saving devices. And yet, at the same time, productivity growth is slowing, the economy is stagnating, and inequality is rising. It is clear that the system has broken.