Remembering John Crichton

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

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James A. Restucci is the author of this blog. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Internal License.

16 Responses to Remembering John Crichton

  1. jimr says:

    It worked Libby! – Thanks!

    I have also sent you a request to be my friend, when you login the next time, It will show your friends requests.

  2. Libby says:

    Thanks. I followed your instructions. I hope it works.

  3. jimr says:

    Libby: The “OpenID” field is for those using OpenID – it’s clearinghouse for logins, so that you can control your username/password from one location and use it on any site that support OpenID.

    However, there is no need to enter an OpenID account unless you have one or want to use one.

    Just enter your preferred username, your email (and re-enter your email), check the box you accept our Terms of Service, and you are done.

    Once completed you will receive an email with a temporary password, you can then login and change that password to anything you like, as well as make changes to your profile, including adding a picture or avatar, your name, and other info, all optional of course.

  4. Libby says:

    I attempted to create an account as you have suggested. But I have no idea how I should fill in the “group ID” space. What should I enter?

  5. Libby says:

    Thanks for the advice, Jimr. I will attempt to do that.

  6. jimr says:

    Admin Note: Libby, sorry it took so long to approve this comment. As you are a regular visitor to the blogs here at Axcess.Me, I would suggest creating an account. It’s free, and takes only a minute or so. Once you are registered, comments are automatically approved and posted immediately.

  7. Libby says:

    No TV. We are talking about the movie “Swarm” based on the book by Crichton about the killer bees invading the northern hemisphere from South America. Remember when that was a really big deal back in the 80s? Panic ensued in America similar to the panic we are all experiencing over the pandemic threat of H1N1. [chuckles].

  8. TVNews says:

    Swarm… Wasn’t that the one about the Nano-bots that went nuts?

  9. Libby says:

    You are right on target with the right brain-left brain-comment, Jimr. He is the technocrat, and I am? How about “The Old Philosopher”? LOL.

  10. jimr says:

    I will agree the plot left a lot to be desired, and the acting was so-so; however, the technical stuff was great for its time.

    “…but my better half thought it was great.”

    Must be a right-brain, left-brain thing then [:)]

    Thanks for your comments!

  11. Libby says:

    P.S. Jimr, I never cared for “Westworld”, but my better half thought it was great. The only thing I liked about it was Yul Brenner, who made a terrific robot, IMO.

  12. Libby says:

    EW, I too read “Swarm” and thought the book was great, but the translation into a movie was a disaster! I think you’ll agree. All those dead bees being blown around by huge fans! Too funny! Too bad they didn’t have the benefit of graphics technology back then.

    I never heard of “Next” but will keep my eyes open for it.

  13. EagleWatch says:

    Yes, I have enjoyed his work as well. “Swarm” is the last of his that I consumed, but TVNews and I saw “Next” in paperback the other day, and neither of us knew of this book, but I think I’ll get it.

  14. jimr says:

    I agree with you both. I personally enjoyed both Westworld and Futureworld, although they now have somewhat of a cult following, at the time they were cutting edge films.

  15. TVNews says:

    The man that gave us Jurassic Park. Great writer indeed.

    You have to wonder how many people took their children to see Jurassic Park with the image of Barney the Dinosaur in their heads?

  16. Libby says:

    I remember reading “The Andromeda Strain” when it first was published and from then on I was hooked. I couldn’t put it down. I read quite a few of his other books too. Among them “Jurassic Park”, and I think he wrote “Congo” too? The only story he wrote that I thought translated really well into a movie was Jurassic Park, though. I would have enjoyed Andromeda Strain more if it hadn’t been made into a mini-series for TV. Michael Crichton was a great writer and will be sadly missed.