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Stefan H. Farr

FrolicsWork

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Debate: Our culture isn't adapting to our rapidly progressing technology.

There is a lot of talk about the current economic crises. Projections, promises or just plain old confusion, everybody seems to have an opinion on when and how it will get resolved or on the contrary how it will not resolve, but rather bring about the end of us.

Personally, I believe that it "can" resolve, but not by traditional economic measures, because the cause of it is not purely economic in nature. I believe, that this crises stems from a profound conflict brought about by the increasing incompatibility of our cultural, social and economic values with the ever more advanced technological progress that we are accumulating. Our inability to culturally adapt to this rapid technological progress is like a dead weight that impedes our metamorphosis as a species altogether.

Consequently, I believe that the next giant leap in our evolution must be a cultural / spiritual / intellectual / social one and not a technological one. Technologically we are way beyond what we can culturally accommodate and so any more progress in this domain will only deepen the conflict rather than resolve it.

Thank you!

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Closing Statement from Stefan H. Farr

It's been a pleasure reading your comments. Thank you very much everybody for the excellent insight.

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    Oct 31 2012: At the risk of addressing this too theoretically, I get very suspicious whenever I hear pronouncements about undefined things such as "culture", "society", etc. My answer and that of everyone else has everything to do with the definition of those terms that I and they have in mind when we respond.

    For example, my response to the statement "Our culture isn't adapting to our rapidly progressing technology" depends entirely on which "culture" I'm thinking of. I live in Orange County in Southern California along with approximately 3 million others. In contrast my wife's aunt and uncle who we visited this summer, live in Marshal County Minnesota with a total population of just over 10 thousand residents. OC County has 3 cities each with populations that are no less than 10 times the entire population of Marshal County. Orange County's size is 56% that of Marshal County.

    Knowing nothing more than this you can imagine that discussions regarding the "culture" of Marshal County versus OC County will be very different. Indeed, such discussions of a city in north OC County will be as well from those in south OC County even though those cities are no more than 15 miles apart..

    Stefan said, "I believe, that this crises stems from a profound conflict brought about by the increasing incompatibility of our cultural, social and economic values with the ever more advanced technological progress that we are accumulating", followed later by "Consequently, I believe that the next giant leap in our evolution must be a cultural / spiritual / intellectual / social one and not a technological one."

    I'm not sure we can separate technology from questions of culture, spiritual, intellectual, and social context, at least I know I can't. But I do think he is right in suggeting that assuming technology alone to be the key to our problems, which it often appears we do, is also wrong.
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      Oct 31 2012: One of the things I like about the way Stefan phrased this question, is that for me the question works at all scales of culture and society from the smallest to the largest. So I assumed the usual definitions of culture and society that work at all scales. But Stefan also includes an intriguing reference to a "metamorphosis as a species altogether," implying a global scope, as if all the disparate cultures might eventually link up some how to evolve.
    • Nov 5 2012: Hi Bill. I get your point about those terms. How do you feel if instead of saying our culture or our society or even our species or world "needs" x,y or z, we said that a technological phenomenon has occurred which offers answers to trillion dollar problem--massive sums of which we keep squandering because we need a new literacy above standard literacy and above technological literacy which is not esoteric -- which technology itself could deliver, which could help a new modernity reveal itself people will want to buy into and get for their children, and that this technology itself is now so cheap and so pervasive it is possible to achieve this new literacy in just a few years with just a few players?

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