Science & Technology

 

 

Mass sackings are occurring across the tech industry, including at online behemoths such as Twitter and Facebook, portending trouble for investors, users, and employees. It is time to take Big Tech under public ownership and workers’ control.

Thirty years after the launch of the Hubble telescope, its successor, the James Webb telescope is now operational. Big Bang cosmologists expected it to show young galaxies just a little after the universe’s own ‘beginning’. But having peered deep into the cosmos, the James Webb telescope is sending back images that defy the established cosmology, and point to a universe that is infinite in time and space. This article is included in issue 39 of the In Defence of Marxism magazine, click here to buy a copy and subscribe!

The recently awarded 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics has been accompanied by much chatter in popular science columns about how the work of the three awarded scientists has proven that there is no such thing as ‘objective reality’, and the world is not real. Even the Nobel Prize committee itself succeeded in misrepresenting the science. Idealist mysticism has made much headway in the sciences, and is expressed most crudely in popular science journals. Perhaps the worst specimen is the once highly regarded New Scientist magazine, as the following article from issue 37 of In Defence of Marxism magazine explains.

On April 25, Twitter announced that its board of directors would accept a $44 billion bid by Elon Musk to purchase the social media company. Pending shareholder approval, the deal is set to be finalized over the next three to six months. Musk, currently the richest person on Earth, with a net worth of $259 billion, would thus own one of the most influential social media sites in the world, used daily by over 200 million people.

We all know we are supposed to recycle plastic. We are taught the three R’s in school, at home, and at the workplace: “reduce, reuse, recycle.” From an early age, we learn to separate plastics from trash using the recycling triangle and to put the blue bins out on the sidewalk once a week since doing so can help combat pollution, in particular the pollution of the oceans. We are taught that we can all be a part of the solution—if only we recycle.

In April 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) released an annual report, once again warning that little progress has been made in developing new, desperately needed antibiotics. Overlooked by most in the midst of the raging COVID pandemic, the report analyzed 43 antibiotics currently in the development pipeline.

Lenin once said that “war is terrible, terribly profitable.” The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic measures up to warfare, not only in terms of the lives it has taken, but also the grotesque windfall it has provided to capitalist profiteers. The US-based company Pfizer has emerged as the most egregious example of Big Pharma exploiting a horrific public health crisis to swell its coffers.

While Amazon is not known for its kind treatment of workers, a Bloomberg report has highlighted the extent of the mistreatment and abuse received by Amazon delivery drivers. While multi-billionaire parasite Jeff Bezos lines his pockets with profits during the pandemic, delivery drivers on precarious contracts are being hired and fired by an unaccountable computer algorithm, for anything from being stuck in traffic to having a punctured tyre. In a truly dystopian scenario, Amazon workers are being

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On 4 July, the celebrated evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin sadly passed away at the age of 92. Rare among scientists, Lewontin’s science and politics were guided by a conscious philosophical outlook, which he staunchly and unapologetically defended throughout his life. Lewontin was a Marxist, and therefore a dialectical materialist. Through his work, he gave the world a glimpse of the rich possibilities of applying a conscious dialectical approach to the study of nature.

Earlier this month, in the midst of a pandemic that is one of the worst catastrophes since the Second World War, billionaire tycoons Jeff Bezos (owner of Amazon and his own private spaceflight company, Blue Origin) and Richard Branson (owner of Virgin Galactic) announced their intentions to see which of them can be first to travel into space. The two are also in competition with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to become the first company to send paying, super-rich customers into space.

The ruling class is doing everything in its power to assist the evolutionary development of SARS-CoV-2, to become more infectious and vaccine resistant. In their myopic incompetence and sheer disregard for human life and scientific evidence, the capitalists are helping to ensure this pandemic drags on for years and continues to wreak havoc on billions of lives. 

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto established the first digital bitcoin transaction by mining the so-called genesis block. This was to be the beginning of a new era for money and the payment system, but the story did not develop according to the original aims of the pseudonymous bitcoin creator. Digital currencies really have the potential to change the economic landscape. The problem is that, under capitalist conditions, they will not be used to help ordinary people, but rather, the profiteering bankers. Note: this article was written in December 2020.

With the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recently approved for use in the UK; and products by Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and others already being administered around the world, one would think we are approaching the end of this pandemic. However, pharmaceutical profiteers and political representatives of the ruling class are bungling the rollout in some of the worst-affected countries. In their haste to return to ‘normal’ and get the economy moving again, they are ignoring the science, cutting corners and

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The COVID-19 vaccines slowly entering circulation offer a glimmer of hope for millions of ordinary people who have spent the best part of a year trapped in the seemingly endless nightmare of this pandemic. For the pharmaceutical capitalists, these essential resources (whose development has been funded largely by public money) are a goldmine to be plundered. Meanwhile, stockpiling by the imperialist powers, and Big Pharma’s bottom line put a working vaccine out of reach for the poorest parts of the world.

The censorship of social media accounts of left-wing groups has continued, with Facebook recently removing and restricting US anarchist and antifascist pages. This is part of a pattern, which has seen similar moves by other social media platforms. These purges demonstrate whose side these huge corporations stand on, and why we must fight for public control and ownership of social media.

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