Stasis, Movement, Perception, Forward

from the manifesto of transition, a literary journal, published in 1929: “Tired of the spectacle of short stories, novels, poems and plays still under the hegemony of the banal word, monotonous syntax, static psychology, descriptive naturalism, and desirous of crystallizing a viewpoint… Narrative is not mere anecdote, but the projection of a metamorphosis of reality.”

from Reddit: “In 1903 the Wright brothers flew for 59 seconds. 38 years later the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. 28 years after that, we landed on the moon. We went from gliding a few feet off the ground for less than a minute to launching rockets out of orbit, traveling for hundreds of thousands of miles, landing on the moon, and then returning, all within a single lifetime.”

If you define technological growth/advancement as the continual manifestation of processes previously unexperienced, how would you define cultural growth/advancement? Is there such a thing? I sometimes think that evolution is a weird and harmful idea; so easy to term something as growth that may be more destructive in implicit or temporally stretched ways. Most of this relates to what I get in arguments about most of the time, anyway, which is: should there ever be an accepted utopia-pointed all-human goal? And if not, doesn’t the notion of advancement, even on a small (cultural; decade-to-decade) scale crumble? And, even smaller still: isn’t the (for now mostly inexplicable) emotional foundation for human action the purest and most reasonable foundation there is?

addendum: Also: if we say that technological improvement is understood as making new processes or making old processes with less energy, maybe we try to make our culture more efficient.

Technology / 23 Comments
October 12th, 2010 / 7:28 pm