I wax philosophical here as a very limited small minded inquirer into the ‘What Cannot Modern Man Accomplish? BIG Science, BIG Ideas Revealed in Stories, Parables, and Fiction’ and I restate the old wisdom that Fact is stranger than Fiction.
I believe that Fiction being organized into a coherent story with beginning, middle, and ending is much easier to communicate through than Facts which are patently harder to examine, quantify, and know as a mathematical set with anything like finality and confidence. And this is why human beings love stories. The best fictional writers always draw upon reality and what is possible, weaving their stories together with these threads of genuine universal truths.
The greatest story teller of all time, Jesus Christ, communicated genuine universal truths to his disciples through plain speaking, but through Parables did he communicate unto the crowd.
One example of a Modern Man as story teller of genuine universal truths, Michael Crichton, illustrated and illuminated BIG Science, BIG Ideas, through his fictional writings as well as his factual essays and lectures which are found all over the Internet. I mourn the loss of his revelations and high abilities to communicate the strangeness of technological advancements to the crowd through his fictional writings.
I wonder whether Crichton knew of the historical archival records out of New Zealand that nonfictional writer Ray Waru revealed in his book, Secrets and Treasures: Our Stories Told Through the Objects at Archives New Zealand.
Crichton, who died in 2008, was an avid researcher and deeply interested man of wide education so it is possible that he could have come across something like ‘Project Seal’ and or the archives which were written about in this article; Tsunami bomb NZ’s devastating war secret By Eugene Bingham 5:01 AM Saturday Sep 25, 1999
Top-secret wartime experiments were conducted off the coast of Auckland to perfect a tidal wave bomb, declassified files reveal.
An Auckland University professor seconded to the Army set off a series of underwater explosions triggering mini-tidal waves at Whangaparaoa in 1944 and 1945.
Professor Thomas Leech’s work was considered so significant that United States defence chiefs said that if the project had been completed before the end of the war it could have played a role as effective as that of the atom bomb.
Details of the tsunami bomb, known as Project Seal, are contained in 53-year-old documents released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Papers stamped “top secret” show the US and British military were eager for Seal to be developed in the post-war years too. They even considered sending Professor Leech to Bikini Atoll to view the US nuclear tests and see if they had any application to his work.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1Treasures: Our Stories Told Through the Objects at Archives New Zealand&objectid=14727
Whether he had knowledge of those archives or not Michael Crichton wrote a fictional account in his story of a plot to use a tsunami making device for a political end in his 2004, Science Fiction, Techno-thriller, Dystopian Novel, State of Fear.
Overview from widipedia.org;
State of Fear is, like many of Crichton’s books, a fictional work that uses speculative science and technological innovations as fundamental storyline devices. The debate over global warming serves as the backdrop for the book. Crichton supplies a personal afterword and two appendices that link the fictional part of the book with real examples of his thesis.[…]
[…]In the finale of the story, the group travels to a remote island in the Solomons to stop the ELF’s “piece de resistance”, a tsunami that will inundate the coastline of California[…]
Now my emphasis in this post is not the debate over global warming and I will reserve that aspect of the novel for another time. I rather want to state the obvious fact that Michael Crichton has demonstrated in his writings that he was very well informed about scientific and medical research and that he wrote his novels with well documented background material as inspiration for them.
Despite their fabulous entertaining aspects Crichton’s writings contain reams of facts in the areas of science and politics and history all into the mixture of his novels that serve as the basis of further research and inquiry into the marvelous What Cannot Modern Man Accomplish.
Michael Crichton because of his vast intellectual honesty and brilliant mind was very much a thorn in the side of those who would politicize science, his voice is greatly missed, especially now that things such as ‘Project Seal’ are becoming widely known. I close this post with the Author’s Afterword/appendices from wikipedia;
[…]In Appendix I, Crichton warns both sides of the global warming debate against the politicization of science. Here he provides two examples of the disastrous combination of pseudo-science and politics: the early 20th-century ideas of eugenics (which he directly cites as one of the theories that allowed for the Holocaust) and Lysenkoism.
This appendix is followed by a bibliography of 172 books and journal articles that Crichton presents “…to assist those readers who would like to review my thinking and arrive at their own conclusions.” (State of Fear, pp, 583).[…]