Oh yeah, you and what
Of the problems
that plague the world certainly one of the most troubling is
the human instinct for compassion. It is a case of too much technology,
not enough knowledge about that technology, and an overabundance
of idle time.
As these modern elements coincide, they introduce an emptiness
and a sort of loneliness that stems from the absence of the need
for a community. This social isolation motivates a sense of concern
for the natural world and traditional ways of living that seem
to share the same ideology and the same fate as these lonely
people. Unfortunately, as these concerns are voiced they often
do little to help the plight of their chosen cause, instead desensitizing
the public to notions such as outrage and vehemence, making it
very difficult, in any practical sense, to get anything done.
This is the beginning of the 21st century, an age of technological
achievement and convenience. Communication happens at the speed
of light. Even machines can communicate with one another. It
will not be too long before we can buy appliances with internal
computers and Internet capabilities that monitor their own performance
and ours and so that they may contact a technician when they
break down, or automatically place an order at the grocery store
when the food has run out. The point is that because of the human
desire for convenience people are finding themselves increasingly
baffled and marginalized by technology.
The feeling is compounded by the freedom from labour that machines
provide. Its a great asset not to be tied to a desk 12
hours a day six days a week. But when there is work to be done,
one feels that in some way energy is not being wasted, that in
fact they are part of a greater whole working toward a common
goal. Free time seems to carry none of that sense of purpose.
It is essentially idle time to be filled with personal value.
But this technological age does not promote values of community
and family. Increasingly it seems that free time is alone time
If this analysis is right then it is possible that the powerlessness
and isolation felt by these individuals creates a desire to overcome
these feelings. The first step in this process involves a sympathy
toward others recognized as being in the same condition. Once
these others are recognized they can organize on the basis of
their worldly interests. Sympathy and interest boil down in the
particular case to the effect of simply having an opinion. However,
the right to express an opinion is one of the basic human rights
supported by every democratic charter and consequently is very
empowering to those who unite under its banner. Being opinionated
thus is associated with empowerment. The value and energy wasted
in leisure time is refocussed through special-interest groups
into a productive force.
What really bothers me about this whole process is that the world,
and my life, has not necessarily become a better place because
of the compassion shown by these people. In order to stay relevant
and validate their own existence, these groups seek official
recognition from governments and any other agency that will listen.
They display their power by making shows of force in the political
arena. But it often resembles the actions of addicts who are
looking for a fix. People tend to grow desperate and radical
in the name of their opinions, fighting for what they now regard
as their god-given rights.
All this action really makes it difficult for the less motivated
among us to get a leg up. The world has become so desensitized
to the radical acts of these overly-opinionated folks that they
do not even respond to civilized requests anymore. The suggestion
box and the complaint desk are little more than fodder for the
cannons of justice. If you feel you have been dealt
with unfairly you need to raise an army of insurgents if you
want any thing to ever get done. And I just do not have the energy,
so I am left with my only option: complain to you folks.