Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dystopia

"Our civilization has reached a stage at which together we are extremely powerful and in our individual capacities nearly helpless. We (that is, we as a body) can solve the most complicated mathematical problems, but our children no longer know the multiplication table. Since they can use a calculator to find out how much six times seven is, why bother? Also, WE can fly from New York to Stockholm in a few hours, but, when asked where Sweden is, thousands of people answer with a sigh that they did not take geography in high school: it must be somewhere up there on the map. There is no need to know anything: given the necessary software, clever machines will do all the work and leave us playing videogames and making virtual love. The worst anti-utopias did not predict such a separation between communal omniscience and personal ignorance, such a complete rift between collective wisdom and individual stultification."
~Anatoly Liberman

I didn't realize the great Anatoly shared my discontent with the direction our great society is headed.

4 comments:

Chaka said...

How are you endeavoring to keep the flame of civilization lit, Pirate Jimmy?

beau said...

Regarding Anatoly's rant on standardized spelling and more specifically the spellchecker: I find the Achilles heel of this particular function in the fact that, having right clicked on some spelling train wreck of mine in search of the correct spelling, I inadvertently slip and select "Add to dictionary" which only canonizes my error and leaves me wide open to future embarrassment. In this small way, I suppose, I am contributing to the downfall of civilization.

Chaka said...

I just did my times tables from 1 to 13. Keepin' the flame lit.

Pirate Jimmy said...

I quit being a gamer. I play an occasional video game, but I'm no longer a "gamer."