The Neo-Luddites

Mankind has really been put in its place over the last 500 years.  Why only the other day, back in 1400, the sun orbited the earth; man was God’s consummate work of art; humans were masters of themselves and the domain God provided for them. 

Our secular fall from grace began with Copernicus, who dislodged the world from its celestial catbird seat.  Later, Darwin established that man, far from being the animal kingdom’s pièce de résistance, was a bit like a baboon in sports clothes.  Then Mendel documented the laws of inheritance—so much for free will—and Dr. Freud subordinated what was then left of our minds to unseemly drives over which we have little control.

In the 20th century, technology—the tools that connected us to the earth, the skies and ourselves—assumed a size and complexity too big to fit into what was left, finally, of our brains.  In the 1890s, an intelligent layman could achieve a rudimentary grasp of the scope of current scientific thought. Perhaps no one – scientist or not – fathoms the full scope of technology today.

According to scientist and futurist Raymond Kurzweil, the coming technological-evolutionary quantum leap, known as the Singularity, will erase the line between human beings and technology.  He maintains technology’s exponential progress will result in part-human, part-machine nanobots, with infinitely greater brain power and life-spans extending to immortality—a long life indeed. 

Kurzweil envisions the time, if a body part fails, one need only grab its replacement from the pantry and snap it in place.  Already, lawyers are busy devising the constitutional framework for a post-human future, in view of the shifting nature of what comprises a human being. The classic paradox comes to mind: once the knife’s blade and handle are each replaced several times, is it still the same knife? Once all your parts have been replaced a few times, are you still you?
 
Now a segment of the Green movement presents a fresh challenge to mankind’s place within nature.  Humans, the thinking goes, are one species among the many, a life form co-existing with others, our rights commensurate with those of tics, snail darters, mosquitoes and coral reefs. 

The new environmentalist thinking occupies that treacherous terrain between rationality and romanticism.  It’s highly logical, too, an all-encompassing equation where everything is equivalent to everything else—Communism at a cellular level.

The premise glows with the innocence we forsook when Adam larcenously appropriated an apple from its rightful owner, the tree.  We have yet to get back on speaking terms with the serpent, our unindicted coconspirator.

This dangerous new unnatural naturalism sees the planet as a realm of halcyon purity.  Conversely, mankind is portrayed as a cancer on the planet.  Welcome to secular subhumanism.

The Earth-Firsters are not fools. There are choice elements in their deranged philosophy that merit consideration; such is the essence of temptation. However, their failure is that they undermine their cause with acts of brutality. Theodore Kacinski, the UnaBomber, a PhD with kindred neo-Luddite views, was one such activist run amok, responsible for dozens of injuries and four deaths—a case study of how, contaminated with extreme emotion, logic becomes toxic. 

Evo-lutionaries and animal rights activists feel justified in spiking trees, burning down housing developments, vandalizing laboratories and threatening the lives of researchers and their families. By all means save the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, but not at the cost of human lives, no matter how few. That way lies madness.

One activist author posits that the planet can support only one billion people–a number surely including the writer, his friends and extended family.  Another activist advocates saving the world through euthanasia, abortion, suicide and sodomy.  However, the truly repugnant part of this story is that these are both tenured professors in wealthy universities. 

In Switzerland, proposed legislation protects the rights of plants. As you roam the Swiss mountains, do not violate the rights of the wildflowers by picking them: an undercover gnome might arrest you. Internationally, the Greener-than-thou brigade scorns hybrid seeds—the 20th century achievement that vastly increased the world’s food supply and rescued billions from starvation—forgetting that nature has been creating hybrids since the beginning of time.

A Yale professor maintains that owning pets is a kind of species colonialism, an exploitative master-subject relationship.  The word “pet” is now viewed as pejorative; if you must hold a creature hostage, call it your “animal companion.”  He explains that when we gaze upon the beauty of a man-made landscape, we fail to apprehend it is, first of all, an exercise in power.

The political views of the Eco-elitists defy easy categorization, if not also comprehension.  Their anti-business stance might mark them as liberals, while their hard-edged fundamentalist views about nature and brittle nostalgia for a lost Peaceable Kingdom are surely conservative.

Perhaps they are little more than one of nature’s newest 21st century hybrids: Progressive-Reactionaries. 
 

 

 

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 4:16 pm and is filed under Original Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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75 Responses to “The Neo-Luddites”

  1. Carolyn Branch said:

    Very interesting!!

  2. George said:

    Thanks, Carolyn.

  3. Dan Langone said:

    Only we humans will miss ourselves.
    The universe will move on without as much as a twitch when we finally give up trying to manage the unmanageable.

  4. George said:

    Dear Dan – Thanks for your comment. I tend to agree with your optimistic view. Rather like “The Waste Land”.

  5. connie said:

    I have lived on a midwestern farm where I see far more animals than humans every day. I must say the animals have more common sense! The new “tree and bunny huggers” are crazy. I just hope there are a few people left out there in the cities, who have at least a little common sense, to outvote those who think they are “saving the planet and humankind” before we are all doomed!

  6. George said:

    Dear Connie – Thanks for your feedback. I’m sure that balance will prevail, if not fairness.

  7. Chris W. said:

    Yeah, who cares about the environment or the animals. We are after all humans so I suppose then it’s our god given right to massacre everything in our path…

  8. George said:

    Dear Chris – Thanks. You must know that I did not mean that at all.

  9. Linda said:

    Oh c’mon. You’re distorting and telescoping. Surely you agree that man has wrought havoc on the environment. You don’t mind if wildflowers disappear from the wild? Oh, now I remember — wildflowers were meant to be sold! Ack.

  10. George said:

    Dear Linda – Do you agree that plants have the equivalent of civil rights? Seems very odd to me. But thanks for your comments. Glad you follow my blog.

  11. Larry Schlatter said:

    Nice write up. I grew up in a Swiss anabaptist community in Ohio and am familiar with the Luddits. While no longer part of my community of origin, or any anabaptist group, I am still in contact with my relatives. There are still active Luddite colonies in the Canadian prairie provinces. Interesting group.

  12. George said:

    Thanks for the comments, Larry. Of course I was being poetic.

  13. Marianne Jackson said:

    Predating Copernicus, from Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems: “Everyone who is competent in this subject know that it is the Sun rather than the Earth which is found (at the centre of celestial revolution).”
    SKYNEWS March/April 2009.

    Also, you condemn all “animal rights activists.”

    Don’t you actually mean the lunatic fringe, rather than those who work to feed, heal, rescue and protect animals…?

  14. George said:

    Dear Marianne – Yes, I thought I was referring to the extremist elements in the green movement. Sorry if I was unclear. Thanks.

  15. Michael Whittier said:

    Good Lord, what a lot of unnecessary noise.

    The hyperbole and posturing are antithetical to the communal, mindful quality that most people look for in the act of gardening. “Communism at a cellular level.” “Secular sub-humanism.” What wankery of language.

    And to what end, exactly? The irony is that this screed is as self-infatuated and esoteric as most of the views it criticizes.

  16. George said:

    Dear Michael – I don’t see an esoteric or self-infatuated screed here. Just being a bit literary. Re “wankery”: Strong language makes a weak argument.

  17. Patricia Reville said:

    Lining up all of the most extreme positions on either side of an issue is not the best way to stimulate dialogue. As you know, if we are going to move ahead ethically to protect the planet while providing the best home for all species, we are going to have to share ideas – not pummel each other with polemics.

  18. George said:

    Dear Patricia – Thanks. Just my opinion! After reading some of the fashionable yet provocative extremist ideas—and listening to folks defend Earth Liberation Front—I decided to write from an opposing point of view. I’ll resume writing exclusively about plants when ecoterrorists stop torching houses.

  19. Betty Stahl said:

    My grandmother use to have a little saying that goes ‘The hurrieder I go the behinder I get.’

    It seems this could be used to describe the so called Professors you mentioned at our schools of higher learning except it would go something like this, ‘The more educated I am the stupider I get.’

    Thanks for the interesting read. It’s a good thing that common people have one thing the Professors seem to have lost or never had to begin with, common sense, and they don’t buy into the global warming hoax and all the other environmental nonsense.

  20. George said:

    Dear Betty – Thanks for the compliment. I really meant to focus on the extremists rather than their followers. I should probably be more careful. Thanks again.

  21. Rebecca Sink-Burris said:

    Thank you for writing this, I totally agree, the human hating extreme environmentalist movement has become a religion and they see all of mankind as sinners not worthy of redemption, except themselves as you rightly note.

    You might want to take a look at Libertarian ideas, we acknowledge the human rights of life, liberty and property and value freedom and responsibility in both our economic and social lives. We see pollution as trespass and would require those responsible to clean up their mess. Observing that private owners of land take better care of it than the government, we advocate the sale of most publicly held properties. As both federal and state governments are among the worst polluters, we advocate an end to sovereign immunity so that they can be required to restore what they have damaged. A clean, healthy environment is a basic requirement for life on earth, ensuring these conditions does not require draconian measures, just common sense and respect for the rights of all.

    Live free and prosper.

  22. George said:

    Dear Rebecca – Thanks for the pointers. I’m not familiar with Libertarianism, so on your suggestion I’ll check it out.

  23. Elinor Yeo said:

    Loved it! Wonderful writing and reflection.

  24. George said:

    Thanks very much, Elinor.

  25. Bob said:

    Well written and so so true. I want to shake your hand when I come over to the garden center to buy more plant companions.

  26. George said:

    You’re very welcome. Please look me up or call my assistant.

  27. Mary said:

    “Matthew 15:13 Every plant, which my Heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.”
    Likewise, those that defile the earth, I believe,
    will not receive those unspoken gifts that are waiting for us in the kingdom of our creator.
    Progressive-Reactionaries will be saved to that place they will be comfortable, and it will not be a natural (as our creator intended for us)state of happiness; it will be confusion and torment to their “natural” progression. Our creator ever leads us “naturally”.

  28. George said:

    Indeed, hear-hear. O taste and see. Thanks, Mary.

  29. Terry said:

    Good points, all. These holier than thou purists are an interesting bunch, psychologically. And personal psychology is always the fountainhead of the ideas espoused by these intelligent nuts. The central emotion is always anger at people. They are a very hateful bunch. And all this romantic handwringing about this or that creature or ecosystem or the earth itself, is merely socially accepted way to express hatred for the Great Despoiler, i.e., people – us.

  30. George said:

    How true, Terry. Thanks.

  31. Steve McNew said:

    I wonder – do these people have any notion that their very leisure to think their thoughts derives from the labors of ancestors, who killed, cooked, and ate plants & animals, or even ate them raw? While living in structures, wearing clothing, and planning further fiddling with the poor earth, like fencing, weeding, or irrigation, or some other outrage? Back up, guys! Steve

  32. George said:

    Right on, Steve. Thank you.

  33. Louisa said:

    The “green” movement stinks out loud.

    REALLY stinks, and they make me sick to my stomach.

    Normal people (non paranoid-schizophrenics) need to stand up and fight against them.

    They’ve had too little opposition for too long, and they can take their stinking Al Gore right out with them.

  34. George said:

    Dear Louisa – I hope you have a nice garden this year. The greens that don’t stink can be found there. Or just take a walk in the cool spring woods. Thanks for posting.

  35. Cindy said:

    It is gorgeous today in California, in the foothills of the Sierras. Best bloom I have seen in awhile. Alas, there is a leak in the irrigation line that has had to have been dug up and repaired. And I am cleaning a really beautiful tiled shower/tub that I found to be a scuzzy glob of black mold. First it must be cleaned, and then resealed again. Both those jobs have taken up my time today. Neither involved alot of technology. Will there be a robot to dig up pipes, find cracked pipe leaks and run to the store for parts, then take it apart and fix it?
    I know we are a technological society in this New Millenium, but it doesn’t get the work done. And the younger fellows don’t seem to understand that kind of work, don’t want to get dirty. I think that no matter how much we technologize our world, we will still need women and men to dig up pipes, and figure physical, cheap fixes. I quit going to college about 5 years ago and focused on my reality, and have been having a great time learning real stuff ever since. There are more bugs to see this year amongst the flowers than I have seen in awhile, and I can’t keep up with the gardening work and business this year. I would love a tenured position, but I’d miss what is going on outside. And, I will have to change jobs in the next year or so because my body is barking at me, so perhaps I will have time at some point to ponder all these historical events and add my 2 points to it all. Right now, technology isn’t helping with the problems I am dealing with. The pleasure of a garden and real food is just the best fun. How will the refugees from Pakistan ever have that? I feel so blessed.

  36. George said:

    Thanks much, Cindy, for your interesting comments. Please return soon.

  37. mpd said:

    Interesting observations and well put.
    p.

  38. George said:

    Thanks, mpd.

  39. Deb said:

    History is full of people trying to create their own god, or fashion God into what they want,but there is only one God, and he’s the one in control.

  40. George said:

    Thanks, Deb.

  41. Kyddyl said:

    Hmmm. Perhaps the dangerous economic climate has given rise to the rather derisive vision of “Luddite”. True, Luddites were active as the Industrial Revolution threatened textile workers, who destroyed the mechanized looms that they saw as taking away jobs and creating unemployment. The term later became quite derisive to include those who rejected any number of labor saving things. It is only fairly recently that Luddite has included Eco Elitists, eugenics and the Unibomber. It is becoming a catch all, nearly meaningless yet very intimidating. Threatening even. Yet it need not be.

    I would now skip to such persons and groups as the Mennonites, Amish, Quakers and the many, many others who see beauty in simplicity, value good common sense and who above all, do not put themselves first. Many have decided to be “apart” from the world, not indulging in the “toys” and “conveniences” that most people today see as necessary. The quiet is golden! The quiet gives rise to deep thought and contemplation. Are these people “Luddites” because they do not please another group or put money and/or power in the pockets of others? That they have, (dare I say?), an almost organic place in the natural order of things?

    In this threatening Luddite world view it is too easy to forget it is we who sit in front of a glowing screen making what sense we may of it. It is ultimatly we who determine whether we are making our own heavens or our own hells. What would heavens be without all that exists or ever has existed or ever will exist? Without the negative there is no positive or any degree in between. All things “move on” but there is little that is really new under the sun.

  42. George said:

    Nicely stated, Kyddyl, thanks very much. Please post again.

  43. Richard said:

    Come on, I know you want too …SING! “Oh we got trouble, right here in River City!”

  44. George said:

    I’m not sure what you mean, but thanks for chiming in, Richard.

  45. Siddhartha Banerjee said:

    Beautiful prose polemically written. I may have been persuaded had you substantiated your critique. Instead you toss out some pejoratives about people whom you do not understand. I would love to see an objective appraisal of the case for and against hybrid seeds, for instance.

  46. George said:

    Thanks for the comments, Sidd. What did I not understand? Do you know the professors I refer to? Have your read their books or essays? Re hybridity and heterosis: they’ve demonstrated their value by feeding people. There are also many fine open-pollinated cultivars. I was criticizing extremism. Thanks again.

  47. Andrea Powell said:

    I love your progressive reactionary label. It says it all. These people are living in an illogical illusion with a romantic tinge. They are trying to get us back into the world of the pre-industrial revolution. Obama’s cap and trade proposal could very well do that and make us a third world society. I love horses but realize they won’t take you very far very fast and the Greenies even want to tax their carbon emissions. Sometimes I think I have fallen into Wonderland!

  48. George said:

    Dear Andrea – I hope that President Obama will not go so far—he seems sensible. Thanks for the compliment.

  49. Helen York said:

    Very interesting post. You wouldn’t be a historian by any chance?

    I was just thinking about pets and the dynamics of control and intelligence this morning, after seeing a television piece about an orangutan who apparently has a blue tick hound as a pet.

    But of course human beings have never been the only species that dominates another. The ants are notorious aphid farmers for example. We give ourselves too much credit if we think we are the only dominators in the universe!

    And we must remember that the original Luddites weren’t against ALL technology- just against the new machine-powered looms that were putting them out of work. Breaking machines was not an act of ideological purity but of self-interest.

    When earth-firsters spike trees, they are using advanced technology: iron or hardened steel nails are hardly natural. Bombs are part of technology as are music boxes, flower gardens, or anything else made by humankind.

    This is of course an anthropocentric definition, but we are also masters of another technology and that is categorization and definition. WE make the rules and we win the game. It’s biological hegemony, but we can’t help being what we are. If “fish gotta swim and bird gotta fly” then people gotta mess around with stuff. It’s our nature. We will always have technology, it’s what we do. That being said, we can strive for appropriate technology.
    In the case of organisms we affect and manipulate, I would posit that we think more about symbiosis.

  50. George said:

    Dear Helen – Thanks for the ants insight—didn’t know that. I wish I’d studied history more thoroughly; I stuck mostly to medieval history. You post interesting questions and stimulate thinking. Thanks again.

  51. Amy said:

    I find this article interesting in a few parts. . .When speaking of the knife blade I’m reminded of classical science fiction and it’s representation of people’s fears about organ transplant (before this was commonplace. Classic Cybermen are actually what comes to mind. . .) I think society as a whole tends to distrust, then adapt and integrate whatever changes life as we know it. As for Eco-terrorists, I find it disgusting the amazing dis-service they do to the causes they “represent.” Fear and radicalism has never swayed minds to your cause. They marginalize the causes they campaign by making it easy to write them off as “nut jobs.” At the same time, our abuse of technology has cut us off from our surroundings. I’ve met people who have no idea where their food comes from (in a cows = hamburgers kind of way.) Why can’t we just hold a healthy respect for ourselves, each other, and nature? I only hope that those who try to walk a moderate path are never lumped in with extremists because we use canvas totes for groceries and reusable water bottles. :)

  52. George said:

    Thanks, Amy, for wise thoughts. I tried to strike a balance without becoming dull. It’s a knotty subject, alas.

  53. Pat said:

    Bravo…a clarion voice.

  54. George said:

    Thanks very much, Pat.

  55. Sandy S. said:

    I have to give you credit for posting this even though you are in what most consider a “Green” business. I think I could have been a supporter of many green objectives but the Neo-Luddites as you call them have indeed taken the original ideas away from the movement and have twisted them beyond all reason and recognition. As a result I have lost all respect for the new aims of groups I once might have admired.
    It has become all too apparent that many of those involved are there for the only two things that really matter to them, power and money. Since I have none of either, I can only refuse to endorse or encourage their excesses.
    Thank you for being brave enough to shine a light on the subject. S.S.

  56. George said:

    You’re very welcome. Thanks much for your comments.

  57. NP Smith said:

    An unusually great essay!!

  58. George said:

    Thanks, NP.

  59. Barbara Tiffany said:

    Hi, George,
    This is an uncharacteristically dark piece, I think. I AM impressed by the breadth of your reading — I can only hope that ultimately balance will take over and save us from ourselves!
    Meanwhile, “nous cultivons nos jardins!”
    warmest regards,
    Barbara Tiffany

  60. George said:

    Hi Barbara – I make a couple of jokes too…I guess you had to be there. Sorry. Can’t wait to get over to your garden this summer, after hearing so much about it from Michael Dirr.
    Thanks

  61. elspeth Bobbs said:

    Great essay, love “baboons in sports clothes” We are not fallen angels we are jumped up chimps, but this only explains us, it does not excuse us.

  62. George said:

    Dear Elspeth – I’m very glad someone liked that particular line—although I like the little gnome/policeman also. Thank you! And you are so right, in my opinion. I’m always thrilled when someone likes my jokes. Thanks again.

  63. Sudie Coles said:

    The 14th must have been a cloudy day down there. I know what you mean about old hippies (my age) who have grown so rigid they lose it if you move something on the CO-OP shelf. Of course, many have changed the world. As for Singularity/technology, I am tired of vista bossing me around, slowing me down in its cretan stupidity and fumbling for glasses to see my cellphone. Childbirth is still dangerous and iffy, even in America especially in W. Africa (Kristof). I’m all for hybrids – come to Providence, where the beautiful people are part African, part Malaysian, part Mexican, and part native American, etc. And of course, there is Barack!

    Can I grow Philadelphius in RI?, maybe there’s a hybrid – just moved here from ME.

  64. Marianne Jackson said:

    Lest we ignore certain truths – the Midwest Amish are well known for raising puppies to sell at horrific puppy mills. Definitely Eco-terrorists!

    Hope you don’t go back to writing just about plants until they return to just pies and quilts.

  65. Kyddyl said:

    For Marian,

    Amish are only very human people, the message was about many others also and the beauty of simplicity and not putting self first. I am associated with a world famous no kill animal sanctuary in southern Utah. We see thousands of terrible cases of animal cruelty annually and take in the most hopeless cases from around the world. No one group has the corner on cruelty. Also nothing is ever gained on behalf of these animals by condemnation and rejection of the people, instead one must reach out and befriend them and gently educate them. On occasion I take some of these people to lunch at our vegetarian cafeteria (ironic as we’re surrounded by thousands of obligatory carnivores) with a magnificent view and a tour of the facility, which takes several hours. Most times it helps, sometimes it does not. Neither people nor animals are “perfect”, they are what they are, yet they all deserve dignity.

  66. Melanie said:

    What an interesting piece! Good job.

    I was headed downstairs to liberate my sister-in-law’s “animal companions” when I thought better of it. She, after all, is quite the colonialist — in her own small way. She spends almost all her time, and much of her hard-earned money, treating them better than many young people are treated by their parents. And most of her sympathy is for animals of the four-legged variety.

    That line about “euthanasia, abortion, suicide, and sodomy” as means toward population control was right on the money. Two states, if not three by now (one of them Montana), have made “suicide on demand” a legal reality. Abortion — especially partial-birth abortion — has made the womb the most dangerous place in America. Respect for and acceptance of sodomy and such relationships is going to taught by mandate (with no exceptions) to all students K – 5th grade in Alameda Co., California. Wow.

    Our current lawmakers and activist judges (who believe they’ve been given the right to create laws by the Constitution — which isn’t exactly the case) are promoting all of these.

    The Hippocratic Oath is dying a rapid death in America. I know others will chide me for my old-fashioned beliefs, that physicians should invest their energies in healing others — and not be forced by politicians who are trained primarily in the arts of argument and sophistry to turn their energies toward ending life and health.

    Anyway — enjoyed the writing!

    Thanks.

  67. Gentle Miant said:

    Hi Betty Stahl,
    You make a good point regarding “professors of higher learning” (not a direct quote from your note). It is certainly true that being schooled in science does not necessarily make one a true scientist.

    However, I hope that by “common sense”, you don’t mean “avoiding relevant information”. I’ve heard “global warming” referred to as a hoax before, and it boggles my mind that anyone could review what’s happening to the permafrost in Asia and North America, the glaciers in Iceland, and the icecaps in antarctica and still call global warming a hoax.

    When I reed(sic) that, the only thing that I can think of is that the writer is avoiding unpleasant information or indulging in wishful thinking. I hope that in future you will research any subject of importance on which you make a statement as fact. If the masses have no knowledge of a real problem it may certainly be harder to solve.

    As for your right to your opinion, I acknowledge that it could be that “your opinion is just as good as mine” (an expression I’ve had thrown at me on occasion). They are both totally worthless (and possibly harmful)… unless one or both lead to some truth.

  68. AD said:

    “Progressive-Reactionaries”
    In a Pre-Modern World, we mockingly pointed to such people, and mocked them as “Maroons”!

  69. Dale White said:

    Mr. Ball,

    Thank you for a well-reasoned piece. But, “progressive-reactionaries”? No, sir, these people are called “nuts”.

  70. Aaron said:

    Mr. Ball,

    As a young gardner and reader of the WSJ, I found your this piece fascinating.

    I am a third-year law student on the cusp of beginning to research and write a law review article. In choosing a topic, I have been contemplating the emerging movement of plant rights.

    I am both fascinated and troubled by the philosophies and its’ implications for my generation. As I gather resources and perspectives, could you point me towards sources that have guided your views or would facilitate my research? I would be grateful.

  71. Christian said:

    Hi George, found your blog post by chance.I thought I noticed your name from an interview I might of heard with you on the Alex Jones weeks back-which if I recall, I enjoyed quite a bit.
    You cover ‘many’ topics of my own personal interest in this piece, so it was easy to be drawn into this quick blog post of yours.
    You seem to stand on both sides of the nature vs. human cunundrum, which I feel is the best place to stand if we remain pure mortal beings.
    I do find your stance on genetically engineered seeds unclear, and wonder if you being the Chairman of Burpee seeds being a influecing factor…how could it not?. Im sure you are aware of the wonderful journalist F.William Engdahls work on the top hidden agendas of genetic engineering in the seed arenas. With this knowledge and more of whats available out there on this subject, dont you feel it is quite easy for humans to cross the rubicon sort of speak when mega corporations, and the military industrial complex as drivers in the future of the seed issue? Rarely is scientic motivation driven by altruistic ways these days.
    Also, you should get your hands on the DVD called the ‘Net’, a brillant film by a german filmmaker combining IT, the Unabombers real background(CIA subject at Harvard,just prior to mid/late 60′s radical social/cultural experiments),the social engineering intent of the 50′s Macy Conferences, and origins of the computer world.As you are probably aware of-what is presented to us(the public) is rarely 10% of what is really intended by the world movers and shakers.
    Extremism on either side of the spectum leads to fanatisism.Thanks for your post.

  72. Winston Smith said:

    Something about tending my garden today made me want to return to this piece. To what precisely do the Neo-Luddites seek to return? In a simple, neglected corner of my woodland garden toad lilies strain to outrun the wood ferns, clethra and joe-pye continue their invasion into each other’s space and the poor spicebush is left craning its branches for a hint of sunlight. Where would the garden be without the gardener? I neither made the plants nor make them grow; but I do offer nourishment and direction.

    I suspect few Greens have spent as much time gardening and getting their hands dirty as they should; otherwise, the “Edenic” state would not seem so romantic.

  73. Kris said:

    When I read or hear about the extreme environmentalists claim that the sky is falling, the earth is dying, and it’s all man’s fault, I often think of that old story about the three blind men and the elephant. Each of them felt a different part of the elephant, and imagined it as an entirely unique beast than each of the other two. We all can get immersed in our whereabouts to the point that we think the whole world must be like it. Anyone who is screaming about the damage man is doing to this planet, that it’s turning into one big landfill, and all animal and plant life is being exterminated, either hasn’t gotten out of the big city much, or is lying through their teeth in order to solicit support for their “cause” (which probably supports them financially). I’d tell the former to take a drive, take a trip, get out of the city. Go stand in the middle of Kansas or Nebraska, where there are few people. Take a deep breath, let it out, take a long look at the sky, and realize that nature is doing a very good job of taking care of itself. Take a drive into the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming or Montana, and then come back and tell us the world is dying. (But PLEASE don’t stay in those places! We don’t want you here.)
    Disclaimer: I am not saying that mankind shouldn’t clean up after himself. We should most certainly do so: we have a moral obligation. But extreme environmentalist are going way too far.

  74. Jonathan Dean said:

    While it is fun to take shots at the odd views of professors, we need to remember why society has given them the freedom to write what they believe. It is to avoid the danger of silening all Galileos, referred to by one of the writers, who state the unpopular. Whatever one writes in the accademy must be supported by both referrences and logical argument, however wrong the conclusions may turn out to be. So let us not laugh at the professors–let’s read what they wrote and show where they went wrong.

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