lundi 18 octobre 2010

Machine-inventing Man

Human beings are machine-inventors. Instead of doing something, we try to find a machine, an instrument that does it. Nowadays these machines are real machines, be it calculators, computers or washing machines. But in a way, ideologies, religions, world views, life styles, trends, fashions, art movements are also machines who do some of our intellectual work for us, help us to achieve thought economy. To some degree it's unavoidable, but there's also a danger in giving away too much of our intellectual sovereignty to an impersonal system of views and values.

We are never entirely ourselves, a part of us is borrowed, taken over from others, from the "collective mind". Our individuality is an outgrowth of a bigger identity, we are partly dissolved in this collective mind. Our conscious life is always a compromise between the collective and the individual parts of our mind. It's a dynamic compromise, sometimes we let the collective stream of consciousness to carry us, sometimes we strive to swim in a different direction, sometimes even counter the current. But we are never entirely successful, the current is always there. The current that carries us, and the machines that do our work for us. And often dictate us what is the work that has to be done, what is the life we must live.

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