American Experience: Rachel Carson ★★★★★

I've been captivated by this extraordinary woman's life, and the change that she was able to user into the world with her works. We take the dangers of chemicals to the environment, animals, and our human selves for granted today, but she grew up in a very different world that indiscriminately spread pesticides on our food, in our homes, on our soldiers, and created some video footage that is deeply disturbing now that we better understand the cancer risks. For myself, I very much related to Carson's personal struggle living with the early warning signs of much greater horrors while others spread the chemicals around like air, only my interest is in intrusive surveillance technology mixed with profiteering from our increasingly gamified attention spans and a deep phobia among the tech sector of regulation. The cries of the pesticide industry in favor of self-regulation and against the early environmentalists has an uncomfortably clear echo today, as does the commentary from the documentary crew about how the men in charge of chemical development saw themselves as doing pure good by advancing human control of the world. But at what cost? And, frankly, for meagre benefits in the grand scheme. I am extremely interested to read Carson's work now. Her success is a dramatic, inspiring example of social change actually fucking happening.