Discovery is always rape of the natural world. Always.
It's not unreasonable to imagine that, at least as we're in a transition to a world economy, it's still necessary now to pay attention to how our country is doing economically in comparison with other countries.
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.
In the postwar period, Americans turned away from quality as the principal goal of manufacturing and made cost the principal goal. Japanese, restructuring their companies, made exactly the opposite decision.
The American media produce a product of very poor quality. Its information is not reliable, it has too much chrome and glitz, its doors rattle, it breaks down almost immediately, and it's sold without warranty. It's flashy, but it's basically junk.
When I have political discussions with my friends, I piss them off because my personal position is that there's no difference between the parties. It's the Red Sox and the Mets.