Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Welcome To The 21st Century

It is ironic that in the article "Clash of the Time Lords" in the December edition of HARPER'S magazine, which concerns a conflict among scientists over methods of recording and measuring time, writer Michelle Stacey doesn't seem to know what year it is. Stacey actually makes a present tense reference to "the Soviets": "GPS was inaugurated in 1978; now the Soviets have their own satellite..."
There have been no Soviets for nearly a decade and half; since the collapse of the USSR, the federation of nations held together by the tyranny of the Communist Party. I'm sure Stacey means the Russians, but the two terms are not perfectly synonymous. Russia was the dominant state in the Soviet Union, but not the only one; all Russians were Soviets, but not all Soviets were Russians.
Though the article is otherwise fascinating, informative and entertaining, its author's seeming ignorance of certain basic current geopolitical realities calls the veracity of the whole piece into question.

No comments: