|⇦|| Episode #462 - The Master's Tools
(Ascent of Humanity #2)
|⌚ Mon 11 May 2009 ☻Stephen Tan, Carol Thompson, Charles Eisenstein (reading)|
Download Hour1 Download Hour2The core myth of Western civilization is that the aim of human progress is to dominate nature, whether justified in religious texts or in the secular religion of science and technology. That we would have the outcomes we have is not surprising when one examines the value systems that guide the choices society makes.
|The 1960s were in many ways the summit of our civilization. We had beaten polio, smallpox and plague. Surely cancer and the rest would succumb in due course. We had beaten the Nazis. Surely the Commies were next to go. Social problems like poverty, racism, illiteracy, crime, and mental illness would be engineered out of existence. Everything pointed to unlimited growth and continued triumph: atomic power, robots, space, artificial intelligence, maybe even immortality. But in the words of Patrick Farley, the future has been running a little behind schedule...
It looks as though the future, always just around the corner, is never going to come. Since the mid-20th century, that feeling of betrayal and despair has spread beyond artists and intellectuals to engulf the entire population. Superficially, many people still affirm that the onward march of technology will someday render all our present problems obsolete, but on a deeper level they have lost confidence in both science and technology. The long-promised marvels — the next step in our transcendence of nature — have failed to materialize, while new and unforeseen problems multiply faster than we can solve them. Gone is the Sixties optimism that sparked the War on Poverty, the War on Cancer, the Conquest of Space. Now we hope merely to stave off the problems that threaten to overwhelm us: the convergence of crises in the environment, health, education, the economy, and politics.
Thanks to Mike McCormick
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