For anyone else who is similarly repelled by Mr. Horgan's myopic rant, I would also recommend looking at David Deutsch's excellent (and quirky) The Fabric of Reality, which includes the Everett-Wheeler type of multiverse as Deutsch discusses quantum computing.
Now a lot of commenters have jumped in with "... but this stuff is all unfalsifiable...", which Deutsch explicitly addresses, pointing out that if algorithms such as Shor's or Grover's work, they point fairly clearly to a multiverse, otherwise where is the algorithm actually solved?
A very interesting read, imho.
Nationalise? (Yes, with a s and not a z)
The nadir of geological ignorance evinced by phrases such as "the underground aquifer" puts, imo, the folks complaining about this into the "concerned but completely clueless" box. Most high-access potable water aquifers have a connection to rainfall to recharge them, and aren't therefore connected to natural gas reservoirs, otherwise the gas would have escaped long ago. Shale gas wells tap the gas from a tight shale that's completely separated vertically from the aquifer. Nobody who has just spent $$$ on drilling a well wants the very gas they were after to piss itself away into an aquifer. You may doubt companies stick to regulations, but I'm sure you don't suspect their desire for not literally letting their profit evaporate.
Equally, fracking fluids don't go anywhere near anyone's aquifer - they go in the shale and that's it. I could be convinced that a company that felt like being a corporate dick might try and lose spare fluid in a ditch somewhere on surface, but that would have to be a far more convincing case than you see in 'Gasland'. Believing that because stuff is put "in the ground" it must all get mixed in with everything else in the ground - water, gophers, pirate treasure etc. - is really dumb, and basing any other arguments on that, however worthwhile, also looks dumb.
Now if you want to get back on topic about the sort of bastard offspring of DHS and corporatism that this story seems to represent, then great, because that's a lot more worrying than gas development, even more worrying than the idea that some fool would shoot or vandalise a gas line.
I don't know where he is, but here in the lovely Sahara desert (two-thirds down Algeria towards Niger) it's more like 49 Celsius. On the plus side, there's no humidity, except my slow evaporation. Dry and hotter than hell is fine, I really hate warm and damp.
Outside of science fiction novels, where did it do that? If you're thinking of WWII, the Allies had a gigantically larger industrial base than the Axis could ever summon, and basically won by throwing enough men and materiel at the problem. At most, crypto might have shortened that war, but even that's not crystal clear.
Part of the importance of keeping Enigma secret after WWII (up until the late seventies) was that the British circulated Type-X coding machines widely into colonial countries (and the US may have done similar things, I don't know). That enabled GCHQ to run decrypts against a very large number of governments, presumably including those in the post-colonial wars, Suez, etc, although this is (unsurprisingly) not publically well documented. That's a fair number of wars right there.
Even during the earlier stages of WWII, key areas such as North Africa were won with very significant help from decrypts, not to mention the Atlantic. Without that, and assuming that Purple had never been broken either, WWII would have probably ended in 1943. All the "men and materiel" is irrelevant if you're an ocean away from the enemy and can't engage them.
Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten