If I was stranded on a desert island and we stipulated that there were no predators, an abundant supply of food and water, and perfect weather conditions, I might possibly survive. I might even have a head start on building a wagon or bicycle since I appreciate the concept of a wheel. I would not have the slightest idea how to make an internal combustion engine or how to generate electricity. Perhaps some others in the same position might be able to do so, however, even those savvy individuals will not replicate the comforts of their pre-castaway homes. With apologies to Gilligan’s Island, no one is going to look as if they just walked out of a beauty salon while sipping cocktails before dinner.
We would indeed consider it foolish to insist that every generation start from zero when it comes to science and engineering. We enjoy air-conditioning and elevators, running water and communication because we build on the past.
Yet, while we acknowledge this truth when it comes to technical matters, much of society has dismissed it when it comes to our spiritual, psychological, and emotional health. Rejecting all past lessons of society (and making sure that people remain ignorant about them) seems to be the hubristic goal of academia. Tragically, this deliberate blindness spills over to all areas of life, slowly diminishing even those gains we have made in science and technology.
About half of American society is turning back the clock, lauding racism while demonizing the free exchange of ideas. They are abandoning unfettered scientific inquiry and replacing it with hysteria and irrationality. They are pretending that people with no shared values can live together peacefully while ignoring soaring levels of violence and an increasingly amoral population.
At first, the damage was seen in the social sphere as families and communities fell apart. We are now moving toward the next phase, where we begin to lose the technological advances that made life pleasant. On August 30th, 2022, the California agency that oversees the operation of that state’s bulk electric power system and transmission lines, the grid, announced the need for voluntary cutbacks of electricity users. To avoid power black-outs, citizens are asked to dial back their air conditioning and to refrain from charging electric vehicles. This used to be a familiar characteristic of ‘third world’ countries. Whether it is a lack of resources or increasing costs for those that exist, we can expect a return to the days (as is happening in Europe already) of shivering in winter and broiling in summer, of scavenging for food rather than facing a cornucopia of food on supermarket shelves. Among the wisdom we as a culture have denigrated is the warning in Deuteronomy 32:15, that when things are good the tendency is to grow fat and bloated, spurning the source of our blessings as we abandon God. How stupid of us to think that we will be the first culture in history to escape the consequences.
What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this Susan’s Musings post.
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