Tagged: Modernity

Convenience vs. Life

A map must be read, which is to say it must be deciphered, thought through, examined and understood. Digital navigation is not a replacement for the map; it is a replacement for the map reader, i.e., for the mind’s processes of absorbing and contextualizing information. Calculation is a difficult skill which must be studied as a child, and then practiced regularly for years...

Reflections on Knowledge

Failed rhetoric.— “Everyone knows that” is merely a rhetorically aggressive way of saying “Everyone believes that” — for there is literally nothing that everyone knows. And nothing could be more certain than this: Anything that “everyone believes” is likely false, since most people are completely ignorant of all but the most quotidian facts. Hence, when a person insists on a point of argument...

Overcoming vs. Hiding

To overcome something, you must face it, live with it, struggle through it, understand it deeply, and work out a way to surmount its debilitating or harmfully limiting effects. Merely avoiding the thing from the outset, by contrast, is not an alternative means of overcoming it, but rather a method of ensuring that you will never overcome it.  Failure, spiritual pain, loneliness, the...

Surface and Depth

The great modern error, resulting from the spiritual dialectic of modernity: desire as depth. Thesis: Reason is a calculative response to the imperatives of passion; hence the passions comprise the original “state of nature.” Antithesis: If passion is our original nature, then reason, which dilutes or repurposes passion, is a corruption of nature. Synthesis: Desire is reality; reason is merely the deforming mask...

Too Embarrassed to Live

We do not know why we are here. Hence, every expression of disinterest — and worse, every dismissive certainty – about this question bespeaks a detachment from life itself. There is no life without definition. There is no definition without essence. There is no essence without purpose. “Why are we here?” To the extent that this question has become a laughingstock, a joke...

Where We Are Headed (As If You Didn’t Know)

The likelihood that the current pandemic was manufactured in a laboratory, by researchers working under totalitarian rulers but funded by tax dollars from the supposed vanguard of the free world, is a neat little reminder of what should be glaringly obvious to every thinking person in the modern world at all times: We are going to annihilate ourselves with progress. This is not...

Beyond the Whirlpool

There is more life and sincere exertion of real power in a random blade of grass than is exhibited by any statesman today. There is more discovery in the way a morning breeze can draw the discrete perceptions of many days into a unified experience in the mind than in all the public school textbooks being ground into the immobilized souls occupying today’s...

What You Need

“Necessity is the mother of invention,” says the proverb. And so it is — or nearly so. For it would be more precise to say perceived necessity. That is, invention is born of the subjective sense of need, rather than only of actual, natural needs, a truth which may easily be observed by considering the kind of invention typical of our age, most...

Modernity’s Flagship Surrenders

To lose the most, you must have the most. America was modernity’s great winner, it once seemed; but that turns out to have been a shortsighted perspective. For insofar as America was the modern age’s exemplary case, its practical proof, we must concede that modernity’s conclusion, which we are privileged to be witnessing firsthand at this moment, may be most accurately described as...

Polis, Soul, Nectarine

Political life is over. There are only money and guns now, each of these, in any socially effective quantities, increasingly concentrated in the hands of an increasingly affiliated few. Everywhere, men are cowering, conceding, complying — and not only with their bodies. Modern men, in fact, have developed an impressive ability to feign courage, resistance, and erectness with their bodies, as a veil...