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BOOK REVIEW: “The Shroud of the Thwacker” by Chris Elliot (2005)

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I’m a big fan of Chris Elliot. I think. I generally *say* that I am, and more than that I generally *think* that I am, and I’m *pretty* sure that I am, but occasionally - through no fault of his own - I can’t remember why. Then I doubt. Then time passes, workaday life makes my doubts fade, and I’m a fan again, until something causes me to dwell on it, then the doubts remain. The thing that (mostly) convinces me I’m a fan despite my vacillation is that I’ve never said, “Oh, I hate him!”

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Indoctrination, Integration, Entertainment, and Propaganda in the Media

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Entertainment has always been a part of socialization. Learning social cues, acceptable behavior, unacceptable responses, biases, values, etc. That's a natural role from cave man days on up. The propaganda uses of this are pretty obvious, but what's *less* so (And probably more valuable in the long run) is the indoctrination value.

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REALSPACE: That Brilliant Starship Engine All You Scientists Have Been Yammering About For 50 Years? Um, yeah...about that....

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What with this being a science fiction website, and what with the embarrassingly poor science education afforded people in our country, it's easy to overlook the fact that a few starships have *actually* been designed. Nothing's built, obviously - NASA can't even be bothered to put people in space anymore, so good luck with that whole "Alpha Centauri" thing - but there have been several concepts developed to a greater or lesser extent.

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