November 1, 2016

Womankind #10: tiger

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, “One should, each day, try to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words.”

Today, in our technological age, it might be modified to, “One should, each day, try to hear a little traffic, check one’s phone countless times, see a reality TV show, and, if possible, read and reply to messages.”

Since the 18th century, the view widely held is that humanity is climbing towards a more intelligent, humane, and insightful future. Today, the twin powers of technology and science push a similar mindset that technological progress is somehow synonymous with the good and happy life; that if something can be invented, then it should be.

But we must ask ourselves: If technology is the solution, what then is the problem? If we use technology to conquer boredom, why are we so bored? If we rely on technology for education, why can’t we educate ourselves in other ways? If technology allows us to keep in touch, why are we out of the loop?

Romantics such as Goethe, Lord Byron, and Mary Shelley saw the spiritual emptiness of a society built upon the doctrine of technological progress. Why are we so convinced that technology is the key to a good and happy life?

If technological progress must come at the expense of human progress, then is it really worth striving for?

Articles Posted on Womankind #10: tiger
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