Embrace the Crazy (Blame this Rant on a Papercut)

I’ve come to the conclusion that we are all a little nuts and that mental sanity is just something used to sell self-help books (see previous post). Maybe I’m crazy in saying that, but I’ve realized that once you embrace the crazy, life becomes a lot easier.

At this point, I’m about to launch into a rant about technology. Be warned. Stop reading now if you aren’t mentally prepared.

I like technology, I think, generally speaking, it’s made our lives easier. But there are two sides to the coin. I believe the notion of “progress” is entirely subjective. There’s overwhelming anthropological evidence (trust me, I have a degree in this) that hunter-gatherer societies were far healthier than us; had a similar life expectancy; had more leisure time; rewarding, cooperation-based social lives; a generally egalitarian social structure; and fulfilling, complex belief systems. It’s only with the “progress” towards state societies and the development of agriculture that life expectancy shortens to what we think of ‘the past’; that social inequalities emerge; wars happen; people are enslaved; the ‘proles’ spend all their time labouring for the rich; no leisure time; belief systems are used to enforce social control; and so on.

Of course this is a gross generalization which completely ignores the diversity of the human experience, but there is truth in it. Contemporary society has only pushed this farther. No longer is necessity the mother of invention, but marketing is. Honestly, did anyone ever sit around one day thinking, “you know what I really need, a television that makes me able to see the actual pores on someone’s face, because that way I will enjoy this movie more.” Come on. It’s just consumerist capitalism. But let’s remember that not only does technology seem to be redundant and in the business of create false needs, but it has a dark side. The environment would not be in such a shitter otherwise. Look at the “progress” the invention of mass-produced paper has achieved. But, it has also given us the paper cut–the single most cringe-worthy piece of evil ever.

Ah. Sigh. Deep breath. Rant over. Wow, think of the things you could think of too if you welcome the koo-koo with open arms!

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