Tolerating Complexity and Mystery

Our postmodern society prizes technology and scientific excellence.  We celebrate this daily in the news as well as with the countless awards offered.  There are hundreds of journals and books written each month that tout the latest and the greatest.  Some of these are clearly fads, but others do become products we learn to rely upon in our daily lives.

Few today live without a cellphone.  Most of them become so essential to our daily lives that we form an addiction to them.  Therapists are needed to “wean” people off them because they are ruining relationships.  Family gatherings now often start with a basket or bowl into which guests put them so they can have a meaningful visit.  But this is often not without a fight.

The constant bombardment of digital information has created another set of problems.  People are thinking less about issues and are trusting others to direct their paths.  Ask your friends how many of them use Ways to guide them while driving.  And watch how some side streets become blocked when Ways directs traffic around a wreck on the major roads.

This does permit us tremendous efficiency in our lives, but it is also bringing about some levels of laziness in our thinking.  Go ahead and watch how service workers “make change” in fast food restaurants.  They don’t know how to do that if the cash register won’t do it for them!  Our son literally can’t sign his name since cursive is no longer taught in schools.

We are increasingly becoming so dependent upon others that the age old do it yourself projects no longer make any sense.  I remember taking the tubes out of the radio when it didn’t work to bring them into the electronics store, testing them, and finding the one needing replacement.  Now, you throw away the device.

All this trust seems to now push us into herd mentalities in ways we never anticipated. We are so trusting of our government or scientific community that we pay for their ideas without asking for proof that it will gain the desired result.

I am watching so many people sign up for “no cost” solar installations and sign 20-25 year agreements to pay much more than they would have paid if they had stayed normal electricity customers.  They didn’t read and/or didn’t understand what they were signing.  PT Barnum was right.

Worse yet, we elect our leaders on superficially appealing notions …

Ugh …

2 thoughts on “Tolerating Complexity and Mystery”

  1. Great piece. I talked with a parent who said they are bringing back cursive so people know how to sign their names and so they can read historic documents, like the Declaration of Independence. Wow. I didn’t know they did that anymore either. Unfortunately, I don’t remember where the guy was from.

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