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The VisioneersHow a Group of Elite Scientists Pursued Space Colonies, Nanotechnologies, and a Limitless Future$
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W. Patrick McCray

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176291

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176291.001.0001

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Utopia or Oblivion for Spaceship Earth?

Utopia or Oblivion for Spaceship Earth?

(p.20) Chapter 1 Utopia or Oblivion for Spaceship Earth?
The Visioneers

W. Patrick McCray

Princeton University Press

This chapter details Americans' conversion from unabashed enthusiasm for technology to ambivalence and hostility in the 1960s. This change did not occur suddenly, nor can it be traced to a single cause. Some Americans, for example, were concerned about the mortal dangers of the escalating arms race, while others worried about the pollution of the country's skies and waterways or questioned societal values that prized conformity, consumerism, and planned obsolescence. For others, the “plastic fantastic” futures depicted in corporate advertising were not just banal and boring but appeared threatening. Whatever the direct cause, Americans' overall attitudes toward science and technology became more complex and questioning.

Keywords:   American culture, science, technology

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