I’m getting fed up with the concept of modern living. The idea that we need all of this technology, these modern things, and that without them, life is just not worth living, is becoming more and more alien to me. The things that I enjoy in life are starting to become more and more tech-absent.
Our technology has outpaced our ability to understand it. The Air Force is having to reverse engineer parts to the B2 bomber. Interesting Engineering reports that the US government is “calling upon industry leaders to reverse engineer parts” of the B2 stealth bomber. This is a bit odd, considering that the US government has contracts with various companies. It makes me wonder what happened.
But the concept transcends the example. Our progression as a society has outpaced the ability of our cultural institutions to understand them. I am not saying that we shouldn’t change, far from it. Our culture’s ability to recognize the evils of slavery and the continual evolution of equal protection under the law are admirable ideals. But it is, however, like the Chesterton’s Fence analogy.
Fs.blog has a piece about “second-order thinking.” The premise of Chesterton’s fence is relatively simple. While traveling along a path, you come across a fence. Those who only practice first-order thinking look at the fence as an impediment that must be removed because it is in the way. But those who practice second-order thinking look at the fence and determine why it is there in the first and what the consequences would be of knocking it down before taking action.
The same can be said of the neo-leftist movement. They see the hierarchies that exist in our society and wish to do away with them because they cause disparate outcomes between groups, particularly racial groups in today’s movement, though class differences certainly trickle into the conversation occasionally. Chesterton’s fence would advise us to understand why they exist in the first place, what function they serve, and whether removing them would have unforeseen consequences as the ripples move further outward from tearing the hierarchies down.
Hierarchies, pecking orders, food chains, and other similar definitions exist in nature. They form naturally, and have a number of determining factors: strength, beauty, intelligence, success, the ability to gather resources, etc… And they exist in human cultures as well, with similar determining factors. There is biological support for this type of behavior, usually associated with the passage of genes to the next generation. Those who have the desirable traits are the ones who will produce offspring, thus shifting the gene pool in favor of those traits. Evolution.
So what happens when the hierarchy is disrupted? It’s rather simple, a new one forms. We are in the middle of a hierarchical shuffle, trying to figure out where everyone fits into the new (world) order.
But I digress. I am growing rather tired of the modern society, one that on a daily basis, tells me I don’t belong, that I am evil and bigoted and hateful of my fellow human beings, and that the thoughts in my head should be “deprogrammed,” I like to scroll through memes, and I came across this one that I felt was inspiring.
I still need to find the one to make me money. But it’s a work in progress. Our modern society lives with a certain level of apathy. We are delighted about getting the newest, latest, shiniest things, but have little idea the consequences of that want. With our goods, we tolerate the sweatshops, the starvation wages, and the pollution that goes along with our consumerism. We accept the slow genocide of Uighur Muslims because China makes cheap stuff. We care little about how many resources go into making wind turbines or electric cars. And the reason is fairly plain to see. If we were to peel back that thin veneer and look at the consequences of our desires, we wouldn’t want them as much, and the entire engine of commerce collapses under its own weight, which has numerous unforeseen consequences in and of itself.
The best thing that I can think of, is to learn how to take care of my own problems and to owe nothing to anyone. I have many skills to relearn, and a mindset that must be re-forged, because at some point, things will change.
I am not saying that I am a prophet, I am not saying that I am going to build a boat and gather two of each animal. I am saying that I can see a lesson in that story, and I should be prepared for when the worst does finally come.