Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stuff I Wish I Had Written

From a Jason Peters article "Maybe It's Time to Ban 'Technology'" at the Front Porch Republic.

I hold the following opinions too.  Peters just enunciates them far better than I can.
And, in my book, “conservative” and “liberal” are similarly suspect. I have never, so far as I know, identified myself by either of these unreliable epithets, because by now they pretty much get us nowhere in any kind of discourse I care about. I might argue like a “conservative” around “liberals,” or like a “liberal” around “conservatives,” but I don’t want my daughter marrying a young man issuing from either of these crazy sets. I’m not even sure I want her marrying a “Christian,” and I admit to being one.
. . . I began to wonder whether we should ban “technology.” I mean the word, not the amorphous thing. Has “technology” also become an unreliable word, like “Christian,” like “conservative,” like “liberal,” like a host of other monikers currently being slung like mud by truant boys down at the creek.

(How about “socialist” and “Nazi” and “fundamentalist”? That’s a favorite of mine: as if materialists, progressives, and technophiles aren’t also fundamentalists.)

What is technology anymore? What does the word “technology” mean?

The answer is actually a matter of record, and those who use the word should acquaint themselves with the record. But as for what the word means now, on the keyboard of every journalist and university-sponsored cultural critic—well, that is another matter, though every one of them would change her tune after about a week on an Amish farm.

The shovel, the book, and the nuclear power plant have this much in common: they are all technologies. All three have done damage. Mayhap all three have done good.
Well, I’m for books and shovels and some other things as well. I’m not for nuclear power or mountaintop removal or vast monocultures. I’m not for the 2:00 a.m. drive-thru (“thru”!) at Taco Bell. . . . I’m not for much of what I myself am implicated in.

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