Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Mining Accidents

Or, how Science Fiction lied to us.

Isn't there something ... creepy about how technologically advanced we are, yet we still send people down deep into the earth to get the fuel to power all our cool stuff? I thought that by now, it was supposed to be robots and stuff doing that work, or that'd we would've built devices that run on water or air. If there's something that suggests to me that there's a problem with our technological advances, and that such thinkers as Tolkien and Berry are on to something with their ruminations on how we should return to an agrarian, local, rural society, it's this recurring image played every few months on television, of people waiting for news of their husbands, sons, and brothers who are trapped underground (and watching this image on a television powered by electricity generated by the coal they dug up). No, I'm not ready to go off the grid yet, anymore than I'm ready to go barefoot, because any shoes I buy at the store are made by people in inhuman working conditions, so I guess you'll have to call me a hypocrite, but I can't help feeling uneasy and sickened by where we're at right now, and that so long as there's no economic incentive to change (i.e. the shoes and coal are cheap, so of course we'll keep buying them), we won't.


Blogger E.Pollarine said...


No, there are plenty of reasons as to why people will always feel as if the future they wanted, the future they were told about, through the media and their families and every other source of information that they consume, now more than ever, will always , always let them down or seem to never generate itself.

Though I don't share Tolkein's ideology that technology, especially industrialization, or now post-industrialization in our worlds case, has ruined or demystified in some sense the wonders of the natural world, I can see where our information based technology or new media industries, the plastic and the keyboard, the touch screen and the nano tube has in fact, destroyed our theory of what the future is, or is now going to be.

The revolution will not be measured in jet packs nor will it ever be televised- no sir, the revolution will be streamed in 3D HD to our brains, either continually plugged in through RFID body modification or some other "new" thing. Some other "new" way to dismiss the realities of the future, which are simply, the memories of the past, accelerated.

We fight wars on video screens, like games that can be downloaded, we measure the lives we live in the abundance of or lack there of- in products and bits consumed. There is no more living off the grid with GPS or Google Maps. Unfortunately, the world is so small now- but at the same rate- maybe it allows for the role of gatekeeper to be torn down and nullified. I don't know.

But good luck in trying to sort it out.

1:27 PM  
Blogger KPaffenroth said...

well, my blaming SF was half-joking. What I mean is simple (though hard to fix) - something's wrong if we're so addicted to energy and to the free market, that it is more profitable for a company to put its workers in danger, and then pay a fine when they get hurt or killed - and therefore they do it. WTF? Oh, the market is immoral, but somehow it'll maximize profit and productivity, so that makes it okay, 'cause now we have all this STUFF? That's our excuse?

1:35 PM  
Blogger E.Pollarine said...

Simple solution- Robot miners- oh but then there will be some sort of upheaval from the unions and the scabs and, gasp the robots themselves, possibly the robot unions, who knows what that could bring-

6:58 PM  

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