Notebooks

Jeremy Rifkin

03 Oct 1994 12:02

A dangerous loon. Vice-President Al Gore thought highly enough of Entropy to give it a blurb, which shows our self-proclaimed environment tsar is scientifically illiterate. (This should not come as a surprise.)

Recommended:

• Professional physicists, exemplifying the law of the invisibility of scientific scorn,'' have not condescended to write refutations of Entropy, at least not that I have found. The engineer K. Eric Drexler has done so, however, in a section of his book on nanotechnology, Engines of Creation. The argument is very neat and requires no technical knowledge of thermodynamics; in fact, Rifkin himself could probably understand it.
• Steven Jay Gould, Integrity and Mr. Rifkin,'' in An Urchin in the Storm. This is a very total demolition of Algeny, which I wish I could put on-line. It is all the more effective because Gould is genuinely concerned about the risks of stupid, careless and greedy uses of biological technology, and knows much more about them than Rifkin ever will.
• Paul Krugman explained why The End of Work was rubbish in the Economist not long after the book came out, but I can't now find the citation, and it's not in Krugman's on-line collection of his popular articles.