Another great piece Martin. As a citizen of the United States of America I can only (poorly) imagine the impact of growing up/living in a place like Czechoslovakia would have on the development of a persons political mind. As a scientist I think I can comment on the current “fetishization” of science/technology, what you might call part of futurism, in the modern world. Of course I am a very strong supporter of the importance of science and rational thinking/logic to modern problems including political ones. That said I am much less optimistic about the power/impact of technology, at least as currently defined, as it relates to these issues. I am definitely an outlier among my peers in my beliefs. The vast majority of the working scientists I know and work with seem to value technology above science, at least in their daily lives. Yes the two are highly intertwined but there is a major divergence. Science in it’s purest form values truth above all else. Technology values the consumer before truth. Of course technology could not exist without science but conversely science could easily thrive and has in the absence of technology. It would be a different kind of science for scientists use technology as much or more than the laymen everyday. However this partnership between science and technology is only one of convenience. Technology makes my job easier but it does not define my job. I could still hypothesize, design experiments, conduct experiments, analyze data, and draw conclusions in the complete absence of technology. In point of fact for most of modern human history that is how science was done. Technology in contrast could never get off the ground without the. basic and applied science that supported its development.
Maybe I am old fashioned but with each new “advance” in technology it sometimes feels that science is falling further and further into the shadows. The hype that accompanies every new IPhone upgrade gets louder but the scientific achievements that made it happen are quickly forgotten or never acknowledged at all.