Tomáš Očadlík’s book An Essay on the Limited Usefulness of Science, for which I was the publisher, is also available as an audiobook. Free of charge. Here.
And to explain why I find the book very interesting. Because it perfectly captures the basic feeling of our times. As we mentally return to the Middle Ages, science seems like something magical, incomprehensible and dangerous. The technological optimism has disappeared and, in fact, the desire to make the effort to study ever more complex things has disappeared. It’s just all wrong.
High-speed trains, airplanes, colonies on the moon… we leave that to Chinese civilization. Here, one side of the political divide sees it as oppressive sexism, the other as the result of a conspiracy between Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab.
Tomas Očadlík expresses this feeling in a very sophisticated way and aims at the essentials. The problem, in his view, is the basic premise of scientific thinking: not to settle for any dogma, but to ask more and more questions. To go deeper and deeper, to question again and again. Whatever we invent, try to improve it every time. Isn’t that destructive? Wouldn’t we be better off in a state of lobotomy, perhaps by some primitive climate cult?
Personally, I find it very useful that such questions are being asked. Useful because there are clear answers to those questions.