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We are a collection of philosophers, authors, students, educators, artists, scientists, physicians, and lawyers seeking to build awareness of the most important issue facing the world today: TECHNOLOGY
Many people are blissfully unaware of the ways technology is wreaking havoc on their lives. Those that are aware typically believe the technological system is immune to change.
We believe otherwise.
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[The following is a question addressed to Darrell Bolin, and then Bolin's reply. The question is in regards to a draft of Bolin's contribution to the upcoming book Grand Revolution, entitled "Overcoming the Technêcrat".]
“One idea which I’m still struggling with is the idea of how technological processes can simultaneously remove us from the more repetitive/time consuming tasks which we might think of as robotic/less-than (farming, building), but then actually end up rendering us softer, more pliable, more like cogs in a machine whose process is very far removed from the actual necessities of human life. The classic thesis is that we developed tech so that we can spend our time being enlightened and producing art, but your paper made me question whether or not what we’ve done is actually kill the essence of what gives rise to human creative expression.”
Yes, this seems to be a very common problem, and often it is even weaponized into a defense of technological progress. “We” developed technology consciously, so the post-hoc stories go, to escape the horrid or unbearable existence of our ancestors, and continued technological growth will only make our existence that much more bearable (…until we reach the limit of bearability?).
But, if you accept evolutionary or even just biological stories about humanity, then we need to keep only one thing in mind; humans have instincts, and if we were to follow those instincts, it would not feel robotic at all. Perhaps it would seem robotic to a third-party observer: “god, just look at destitute people who act no different from animals! Let us save them from their mundane existence so that they can have all of their needs always accounted for and engage in (decadent) intellectual feats and live solely inside their heads forever.” This seems to be a central claim of Klages. Once we are doing what our Soul tells begs us to, and once we separate ourselves from the alienating and killing Spirit, then we can reach unity with the world, attain true life, and, if ‘happiness’ is possible it all, it will be when we are living in complete harmony with everything.
Consider it another way: in being a phenomenon at all (which each of us presumably is), this means that we are alive and thus have a Soul in Klages’ picture. How can we expect to ever be happy or content if we are denying the very thing that permits us to exist (the Soul, Life)? What we call ‘instinct’—the thing that moves all animals, plants, cells, and every other phenomenon—is the outward expression of each thing’s Soul. Humans tend to think that instinct is bad or that we need to “overcome” it to be “better” than or different from other animals. They usually justify this position by presenting the most disagreeable aspects of human nature as the definitive representation of human nature. But does not prove that instinct is bad in any sort of metaphysically imperative way. Here it becomes practical to specify that I do not condone these negative aspects if we have in mind things like rape, murder, and so on. No one needs to like or encourage these things, just as no animal chooses to be killed, and no plant eaten. Yet they happen, and the world keeps turning. If one is unwilling to take the ‘bad’ with the ‘good’—that is, the whole of Life—then one commits oneself to a technocratic existence as a servant of Spirit, dead set on destroying Life, on turning what is into what is not. The unity of
agreeable and disagreeable is Life; trying to keep one without the other kills both.
With that aside, I think my little tidbit way above about art foreshadowed most of what I would say here. I will continue to accept that art in its varied form is an expression of the Soul. Technological civilization has not killed creative expression but is killing it; it is a gradual process that ends either with the extinction of life or a rejection of the spirit. Each person has a particular share of soul and spirit, and each person might also have a particular capacity for outward expression of their inner composition. Art as we usually know it is a result from this interaction.
THe Anti-tech cast
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05/03/21 - Newsletter Archive est.
04/10/21 - ATCast Ep. 1 released
Featuring Dr. David Skrbina
04/05/21 - First ATC blog post
03/13/21 - Spotlight est.
02/15/21 - Now accepting donations
01/20/21 - The Library est.
01/16/21 - First ATC member meeting
Latest Blog posts
A NEW book edited by David Skrbina
Introduction, by David Skrbina, PhD
1. “The Real Cause of the Environmental Crisis”, by Griffin Kiegiel
2. “Revolutionary Art”, by Savona Safaoui
3. “The Technology Virus: How Much Technology is Needed to Live a Good Life?”, by M. H. T. Kang
4. “The Conservation of Man and Wild Nature in Light of 21st Century Post-Industrial Technologies”, by West Northwest
5. “Overcoming the Technêcrat”, by Darrell Bolin
6. “Democracy Not: The Impossibility of Democratic Political Freedom under Modern Technology”, by Chad A. Haag
7. “Technological Medicine: The Destruction of Natural Health in the Techno-Industrial Medical Complex”, by Heidi Gabr
8. “The Positive Devolution of Production”, by Ryan Glavin
9. “Primitive Authenticity”, by Milton Bäcksbacka
10. “An Old Beat from a New Drum,” by Charlie Clendening.
Forthcoming, Summer 2021
“In spite of all the men of good will, all the optimists, all the doers of history, the civilizations of the world are being ringed about with a band of steel.”
— Jacques Ellul, “The Technological Society” (1964), p. 127