What’s Wrong with the World
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Beautiful. Can we get a caption?
Paul J Cella |
May 3, 2007 5:30 PM
Must be nice to be able to fly. :-)
May 3, 2007 6:57 PM
Can we get a caption?
I though about it, but where I ended up was that the Shenendoah valley and river (this is just south of Front Royal, Virginia) can speak for herself without any of my banal words interfering.
May 3, 2007 8:04 PM
William Luse |
May 4, 2007 2:31 AM
I was guessing northwestern Virginia, where Stonewall and his Foot Cavalry made their names.
Paul J Cella |
May 4, 2007 6:29 AM
Last year I drove through the Shenendoah Valley for the first time in my life. I was coming from CT and on my way to AL and I had some time, so I overnighted it in a motel and spent a few hours driving the farm country in and around Staunton / Swoope, VA. Without a doubt, that valley is the most beautiful area in the eastern US. Straight out of a storybook... On the way home I took Skyline Drive (I think it's called.) If you ever take that road, make sure you have plenty of time though. You'll be stopping every few miles at every lookout to take in the breathtaking views...
May 4, 2007 7:33 AM
Yes indeed. The view is to the northwest, off into West Virginia. Front Royal is out of the picture to the right. I'd guesstimate that the picture was snapped right around here.
May 4, 2007 7:37 AM
Hello. Beautiful shot. I just found y'all's site. I am intrigued, hoping to find some respite from the folly and heartened by your spirit. I am a fellow traveler - "I'll Take My Stand" and "Look Homeward America" made me nearly weep with what's been lost.
However, the place the picture was taken from (airplane) makes me think of my personal quandary about the modern world. Perhaps this can be helped here.
I detest the modern (state, philosophy, culture, etc) and do find difficulties with Liberalism and it's offspring Capitalism. But what (and this is the question of the masses I think) in the thought stream of a Traditional worldview will save my children from life threatening diseases? How in the Traditional worldview do we build airplanes, cat scanners, mri's and the like?
Are we all on that George Jetson treadmill of modernity (modor-nity)with its concomitant successes and disasterous failures and able only to hope for the successes.
I know there is a lot packed in here. My point is that I would love to live simply in a simpler community, but then what do I do when I need the most modern of whatever? I understand that we have to learn to accept that death and suffering do not have the final say. But that answer does not seem enough especially to the modern man enamored of his technology. I just want someone out there who has thought more on this to help me with an answer to what happens when we turn away from the modern. Am I just not thinking of this rightly? Is it a false dichotomy between modern technology and traditional ways of life?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
P.S. I do love the site.
May 4, 2007 1:14 PM
I recommend Neil Postman's _Technopoly_. You can come to terms with technology without going all the way into scientism / technocracy. Just like the Creator-Man order must be right, so the Man-Technology order must be right. There are parallels, but in both, any problems are Man's fault. Isn't it strange how in the Creator-Man relation, we try to subvert the Creator and rise up into His place, while in the Man-Technology relation we crawl down into the dirt and bow to our own creations? There's precedent for that in the Old Testament (tip: Isaiah 44).
You can figure out technology that is useful as man's tools / servant, and technology that exists for technology's sake. The latter is often dominated by consumer goods. Cheap junk imported from overseas, primarily for amusement, heavily advertised and marketed with manipulative schemes. New! Improved! Buy, buy buy! (Another key is that this is the stuff Libertarians go ga-ga over.)
May 4, 2007 3:02 PM
Tim H: another point is that regarding Medical Technology, do you not notice how it slyly moves us into playing the role of God: we must decide who lives, who dies. I for one am terrified of any such decisions. In a lot of ways technology is a Promethean deal with the devil. Much wisdom is required, more than I have.
I say all this as someone who has a PhD (toot, toot!) in Engineering from an Engineering Powerhouse Institution, so I was trained to be slavish devotee of All Gadgetry. That was the best education for me in learning the mindset of people who do things not because they should but because they can.
May 4, 2007 3:11 PM
TimH: look at the links on the right: I just noticed "The New Atlantis", it delves into these kinds of questions.
May 4, 2007 3:14 PM
Regarding the lovely picture, my intial thought as a loyal son of Virginia was, "you can't go wrong with a picture of Virginia." But you _can_ go wrong. Don't take pictures of Northern Virginia, it's been wrecked by the swamp gases emanating from D.C.
My last memory of the Shenandoah Valley was driving down in winter, covered in snow, exceedingly beautiful. I almost weep when I think about it.
May 4, 2007 3:20 PM
Don't take pictures of Northern Virginia, it's been wrecked by the swamp gases emanating from D.C.
I recently flew basically right over Dulles airport at close to sunset. There were heavy rains up near Harrisburg PA and there was another storm over Baltimore, severe thunderstorms out over West Virginia and Ohio, and light showers in the vicinity where I was flying. Washington DC was visible off to the east, the white steeple of the Washington Monument spiking into the sky on the other side of the Potomac; the Blue Ridge clawed at the heavens, which responded by striking back with their own vengeful force, off to the West: I could see fifty miles or more in every direction. The Chesapeake Bay split the landmass into intricate halves away to the south and east. The smell was indescribably fresh; the view was stunning, nothing that could possibly be captured in a picture. (The picture above is a poor caricature of the experience of flying down the Shenandoah Valley).
And being a poor poet that was the point to posting the photo with no words: as much as is wrong with the world - and make no bones about it, there is very much that is wrong - there is so very much that is right.
May 4, 2007 3:58 PM
This not, btw, 'medicine for what ails' me. It only sustitute's one disease - envy - for another, and makes me long for a place other than the one God put me in. Nice pic anyway.
William Luse |
May 4, 2007 7:27 PM
Thanks for the thoughts. I will look at the New Atlantis website as well.
While I do struggle as a recovering scientism(ist)[?], I am also concerned as a parent and husband about the well being of my family. To tell the truth I work in the corporate world and despise it, but what does one do? The benefits are essential in the modern world, the pay is essential for a one income household in a large metro area - even on that we scrimp a bit. And again, the matter is on getting off the treadmill. I suppose we must just accept some higher risks if we are to leave the corporate world behind, but is this irresponsibility or strategic risk taking?
May 5, 2007 11:16 AM
TimH, I'm sort of the resident pro-capitalist around here (I think), so I'm going to tell you not to worry too much about taking advantage of the good things of the modern world. Good gifts of God and so forth.
_But_, I might just put a word in for considering relocating. I don't here mean moving to a farm. That's good for some people but not for others. What I do mean is that if you're living in a large metro area that is awfully expensive and making it really difficult to make it on one income without debt, it might be worth sending out some resumes to some smaller areas--small cities or large towns in relatively inexpensive parts of the country. That is, if there are jobs in your field in such places. The Internet (another blessing, IMO, if used properly) does help in checking out such possibilities.
May 5, 2007 3:51 PM
My attitude about technology is similar to Lydia's. I am neither pro-technology nor anti, as a general thing. I view being pro-technology or anti-technology as a general thing similarly to how I view being pro-procedure or anti-procedure as a general thing: the very idea strikes me as puzzling.
Particular techniques have moral implications; particular procedures have moral implications. Complex social life would not be possible in general if there were no techniques and no procedures. On the other hand there are I think dangers in idolizing either technique or procedure as general things (I think "futurism" is almost always an example of this kind of perversity). So one's attitude toward formal procedures and technology should be like one's attitude toward non-human life, it seems to me: some are just awful in themselves and we would be better off without them; some are either good or evil depending on use and circumstances; some are probably goods even unto themselves. For example bean farming isn't good in general: the man who raises beans to produce ricin for use as a terrorist weapon isn't doing the same kind of thing as the farmer who raises them to produce castor oil.
I am not sure how well the idea that technology is bad -qua- technology fits in with the idea of a politics of repair (and, I might add, a politics of repentance). But my relationship with all of these ideas remains uneasy. There is something, it seems to me, to the notion that man's attempted mastery of nature at too fast a pace is inherently reckless. But at present I don't think it is possible to escape from making particular judgements, as opposed to judgements about the use of technology -qua- technology.
May 5, 2007 7:41 PM
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