Friday, September 18, 2009

The Telephone Killed the Romantic in Me

You've Got MailEvolution is a cornerstone of communication in society.  If communication were to become stagnant then it would eventually break down and disappear entirely just as if the gene pool of a particular being were to stop changing that species would eventually die out.  Evolution is a necessity of communication.  However it seems as though, for the past 150 years, that this evolutionary process has made a misstep in direction.  As technology has advanced at a more and more rapid pace so too has the evolution of communication; in only the past century and half we've seen the rise of telephone, music, worldwide postal service, film, television, fax, and most recently the internet which has spawned a vast array of new forms including email, discussion board, instant message, voice over internet protocol, and video communication.  The problem is that with the recent strain of comm. tools communication has become depersonalized and romance has almost entirely fallen out of most forms.  Couple the depersonalization with the fact that much of the communication forms used throughout the West have actually caused devolution in language.  The Internet and telecommunications, it seems, are most responsible for this devolution because they emphasize speed and productivity.  This paper will discuss, primarily, why people need personal communication, the timeline for the evolution/devolution of communication, why this is a problem, and finally present possible solutions to the issue.

Why Religion Matters according to Huston Smith

Scientism is the enemy of culture and knowledge according to Smith. In order to further advance the knowledge of our civilization we must put away our strict bias toward science as the only haven for the answers to our great questions. We must, once again, as before the scientific revolution spun off in to scientism, allow the humanities to make their own attempt at an answer. Philosophy and religion are now seen more as pagan ritual than educating practice in the modern society. Smith purports that a civilization which is able to view things from both a quantitative (science) and qualitative (art) perspective will be much better off than the one in which one discipline is so greatly outweighed by the other, as is now the case.

Technological Innovation: Of Abundance and Want

The existence of a leisure class and the want for change are two key societal factors necessary for technological innovation. There are surely other things that factor in, such as the availability of materials, relative usefulness, and supranational interactions among many others, but the most important for the evolution of technology are the creative minds provided by a leisured class and the lesser limits that are imposed by a society open to change.