John Michael Crichton was born at Chicago, Illinois on this day in 1942. He started writing early with a travel column in the New York Times at fourteen. He pursued a degree in literature at Harvard but disagreed with faculty and switched to anthropology, graduating in 1964. He earned his M.D. at Harvard Medical School in 1969. His breakthrough novel was The Andromeda Strain, he wrote 25 novels, half of which became movies. He was very interested in the movies, writing the screenplays for several of his own works, directing or producing most of them. The first use of 2D computer-generated imagery (CGI) in a movie was his Westworld (1973), the first 3D CGI came in the sequel, Futureworld (1976). In 1994 he was the only artist ever to top the charts in three major media, with the film Jurassic Park, the television show ER, and the novel Disclosure all at #1.
“We haven't got the power to destroy the planet – or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves.”
“All human behavior has a reason. All behavior is solving a problem.”
“Although knowledge of how things work is sufficient to allow manipulation of nature, what humans really want to know is why things work. Children don't ask how the sky is blue. They ask why the sky is blue.”
“Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.”
“In our modern complex world, fundamentalism is dangerous because of its rigidity and its imperviousness to other ideas.”
“In the information society, nobody thinks. We expect to banish paper, but we actually banish thought.”
All from Michael Crichton, 1942 – 2008