A World Not Made for People

You must be getting tired of my whining – about how badly the world has treated me. When I grew up in the richest country in the world.

We were rich, no question about that – but we were not much of anything else. We were living proof that riches are not enough – and in fact, can be a considerable handicap.

Today, I am writing about the nature of that handicap – which has not changed for thousands of years. But has gotten worse in the last few centuries.

One effect of  this development was to erect a mirror between us and our past. If we look back, we can only see ourselves. It takes an effort to see through this mirror – and effort that we do not want to make.

One purpose of a classical education was to acquaint ourselves with our past – usually the Greco-Roman past. But today we need an education that acquaints us with another past – our pre-industrial past. Of only three centuries ago.

This change is shown, very dramatically, in novels and movies – we have been conquered by strange beings similar to ourselves – but mechanical beings, not living beings. Somehow our life force has been transferred to them.

This is what the Industrial Revolution accomplished – we became part of our machinery – our railroads and factories – and later, our automobiles. And our Movies.

The result was a century of incredible violence – WWI, the Depression, WWII, and the Cold War. We destroyed ourselves – almost completely.

But then something else happened – TV, and then the Computer. We are no longer in the Industrial World – but somewhere else – we do not understand in the least – and do not want to understand.

I just checked my inbox and saw this How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist.

I can’t argue with anything he says.


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