Humans have transformed this planet in way that no other species could. Our tendency to see particulars in a focused way has resulted in amazing inventions. With many of the advances that have come with our unique way of seeing there have been unforeseen destructive consequences.
At one level a technical way of working with the material world works but always there is a greater cost at another level. Batchelor writes “A technical way is a calculative one that proceeds with the conviction of its own validity, knowledge. and expectations. A technical attitude is locked in a narrow vision which is blind to the wider implications of its actions.“
How much can we submit Nature, including our own understanding of our own nature, to our technical, reductionist ways?
Aussies Response: What makes nature work is its intimate responsiveness to change. The survival of individual animals requires them to be very aware of their environment and to adjust to changes in it. Our position of near invulnerability has taken us out of that relationship and thus disrupted the system. I think the way forward is to seek to do things on a smaller scale that brings us closer to a sense of our dependency on the natural system. This would be more labour intensive, but that could be beneficial in providing jobs. Maybe we need to recognise that we needn’t always use the most advanced technology available to us in every instance. I think of fishing. We have been overfishing the oceans with trawlers. Some people could go back to fishing the old-fashioned way, with a couple of people in a small boat with a net. The fish would be more expensive, but we could skimp on some of the extravagances of life to know that we were in a healthier relationship to the planet.
Gord Response: Yes I can easily agree with what you write here. And there might as well be a passion in those simple actions that is missed today. The means as opposed to the ends, sort of. Most of it might be that we lack the insight that this is what technology does; that it is a tool to aid us as opposed to being an end all. And than we resort to technology (technique) to find our way to the spirit that we have been disconnected from. I talk about technique as being a calculative way to bring some form of generalized replicated insurance. Is it that the problem is; that we have become to comfortable with looking at the world and our resolution of perceived problems in this way. Just because we can use technology and technique does not mean that there are no consequences for it; that we probably have to deal with eventually. Even with the use of technique in a spiritual sense there are consequences. As you seem to suggest there might be substantial merit in just being present with the simplest and most ethical ways of meeting our needs both indidually and collectively.