Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Little Less Tech II

In addition to other 'advances' given us by the physical sciences - genetically modified food, toxic factory waste, Big Pharma's killer drugs and vaccines, maiming and death from car wrecks, etc. - we can now add a new one: cell phones.  From UPI:

Cellphone addiction shows similarities to compulsive buying and credit card misuse, a study by marketing researchers at Baylor University in Texas found.


Previous studies have shown young adults send an average of 109.5 text messages a day or approximately 3,200 texts each month. They receive an additional 113 text messages and check their cells 60 times in a typical day.

"At first glance, one might have the tendency to dismiss such aberrant cellphone use as merely youthful nonsense -- a passing fad. But an emerging body of literature has given increasing credence to cellphone addiction and similar behavioral addictions," Roberts said in a Baylor release Wednesday.

A return to the spirit of ancient Greek science, described by Simone Weil in The Need for Roots (tr. Arthur Wills, New York, Routledge: 2003, p. 242), is surely needed now more than ever:
As for technical applications, if Greek science didn't produce many, it isn't because it was incapable of doing so, but because the Greek savants didn't wish it.  These men, obviously very much less advanced than we are, as is natural seeing that they lived twenty-five centuries ago, feared the effects of technical inventions which could be made use of by tyrants and conquerors.  So, instead of delivering to the public the greatest possible number of technical discoveries and selling them to the highest bidder, they kept rigorously secret all the ones they happened to make for their own amusement; and, apparently, themselves remained poor.
If today's scientists won't put their harmful mindcrafts away for the good of the wider public, we need to do it ourselves, following the excellent example of the Amish and other wise folk.

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