However, it was the content of the column that may perhaps never be equalled. Each week, using the pen name of Daedalus, he wrote about an ingenious invention that was on the edge of plausibility, but was entertainingly fictional. It was not so much science fiction as technology fiction. As he put it: “Daedalus is ideally just beyond the edge of possibility, but only just. I can’t overtly break the laws of physics, and my arguments are always carefully buttressed by scientific facts . . . nonetheless, one should have the feeling that the argument has gone off the rails somewhere.”
The ones that struck were where some new discovery was slightly perverted into the foundation of a business. That just didn’t, really, make sense but did superficially.
Something of a pity that this appears to be where the professor of practice has got his economics from.
I remember Daedalus in the New Scientist mag–before it became Marxist agit-prop.
I think I remember the ‘artificial thumbnail’ on a stick as a kitchen implement.
Haven’t read it, but I bet the damn amateur never even went near a journalism school. Sniff.
My father started taking New Scientist when he realised that my brother and I were interested in science. He kept taking it long after we left home because it was then a good mag. Eventually I stopped looking at it when I realised that Daedalus was all that I was reading.
Much scientific humour is crass rubbish, almost IT-guy bad. D was peerless: top stuff.
An excellent example of decision-making by committee. I hope someone actually tries to make this one day.
Me, too. The actual ‘science’ content of the modern NS is pretty thin and often wrong. See also Scientific American.
Mr Ecks sums it up. Used to get NS every week but finally got totally fucked off with the left wing slant on everything. Actually somewhat more than a slant. Arseholes.
Normally don’t swear when posting but NS deserve it.
I stopped reading NS in the early 1980s when Fred Pearce appeared…