Technology in Context: the Digital Fields of Abraham…

IMG_0453We are attached to our devices, which is a great source of angst and consternation to some, but really is it any different from yesterday? Yesterday we either went to work or stayed at home, worked on our papers or talked on our phones, listened to our radios or watched TV, played with our toys or played with our selves…

Now we can do all that with only one ‘little helper’, the digital device of our choice, live on the big screen or right in our hands, everything except our food and our shelter and our transportation and our offspring, i.e. more than half of all our activities, now available in one convenient place. Is this a bad thing?

Is our digital field of vision any different from our field of rice, or wheat, or corn? That used to occupy at least half of our waking lives, and frequent long walks to land that hadn’t yet been wasted nor spent, in ever-increasing radii outward in search of fallow fertile ground, a search that continues to this day where land is free and labor is cheap, an equation in which infinities play no part. These are the new fields of Abraham…

Yesterday’s ‘Miracle Miles’ are today’s ‘blighted areas’ and what have we gained in the process? Mostly nervous excitement and unmitigated waste, I’d say. We wonder why civilizations come and go, and the populations scatter, to the four winds or wherever, but the answer is as clear as it is eternal: this is what we do, we humans we animals, shit in the nest like it doesn’t even matter, no thought for the future and even less for the present…

This is why the Egyptian civilization ‘fell’; this is ‘what happened’ to the city of Mohenjo-Daro; and this is where the Mayas ‘went’, back to from where they came, the fields and streams and rivers and forests. Human beings are totally unfit to live in cities, which require a high degree of social organization and—cleanliness. We may be learning, but agonizingly slowly…

Now it’s that time again, when international order breaks down and people are left to their own devices—increasingly digital—and forced to fend for themselves. And once again people with common interests will find it convenient to cling together for protection, as there will always be predators lurking waiting to pick off weaklings nurselings changelings and those who simply stray too far from the pack…

The Fundamental Law of Existence on this planet is that you have to eat—or be eaten. The fundamental law of religion, no matter which one, is that we all have to take care of each other. Usually this refers most specifically to the members of whatever religion is in question, but the challenge is to extend this to everyone else, also. The challenge is to make the new feudalism a healthy one, possibly the finest fruit of our sketchy existence…

Is there really any technology we need besides the high-tech kind? People rag on the mindlessness of social media then turn on their air-conditioners and jump in their cars and destroy the planet without thinking. This is where it all went wrong. Petroleum is the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, not knowledge. Think about it—before it’s too late…

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