Science & Technology

 

 

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.

Since the 1930s a dominant trend has existed within the scientific community and popular science that explains quantum mechanics with all kinds of idealistic and mystical interpretations. Dominant within this school of idealism has been the “Copenhagen interpretation” of quantum mechanics, which originated with academics such as Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg who were based in the Danish capital.

In this longer article, Adam Booth examines the rise of the sharing economy, which has featured heavily in the media because of firms like AirBnB and Uber. These new models are presented as offering a revolutionary new dynamic phase in the life of capitalism. But the reality under capitalism is far from this utopian promise.

Flight, and later space travel, were viewed as an indication of humanity’s progress and ability to overcome even the most enormous of obstacles, in this case, the Earth’s gravitational pull. But the recent explosion of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket on October 28, and the explosion of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo just a few days later seem to highlight the primary obstacle in the way of humanity’s development today: the private ownership of the means of production.

Since the dawn of civilisation, humans have questioned the workings of the natural world around them and their own place in the Universe. Through a long process of investigation over millennia, mankind has built up an understanding of Nature and the wider cosmos. Each successive generation has expanded the horizon of our knowledge and in the process extended the boundary of the known Universe. From Ptolemy and Copernicus and through to the modern day, at every stage scientific discoveries have refined and redefined our picture of the Cosmos and our place within it.

A spoof Daily Mail front page is currently circulating on the internet, screaming that giant Islamic spiders are spreading Ebola in Britain and, what's more, at taxpayers’ expense. It won’t be long before we see life imitating art.

Americans’ dysfunctional relationship with food is regularly lamented or mocked in the media and in academia. What is never explained is the root cause of this dysfunction. Marxism explains that conditions determine consciousness. Your physical and social environment heavily influences the choices you make by limiting the very choices that are available to you.

Centuries of scientific research and investigation have helped to propel society forwards and improve the lives of millions. This strength of the scientific method and its ability to discover and innovate has been so great that it has created a mystical sense of infallibility surrounding science. But, as with all other areas of society, the senility and decay of capitalism is now being reflected in the question of science also, and many are starting to worry about the reliability of research.