Feminism, the Body, and the Machine

Monday, 28 July 2003

I came across this great article by Wendell Berry on Arts and Letters Daily. I find it to be a challenging and succinct analysis of life as a part of the modern industrial complex. It spoke to me in some ways that I recognized as coinciding with my own beliefs, but also impulsed me to examine the ways in which I have bought into technological mass consumption, and have rebelled against it. I will most likely masticate on this for quite some time, and hopefully discoveries will abound. Here is an excerpt:

The statistics of life expectancy are favorites of the industrial apologists, because they are perhaps the hardest to argue with. Nevertheless, this emphasis on longevity is an excellent example of the way the isolated aims of the industrial mind reduce and distort human life, and also the way statistics corrupt the truth. A long life has indeed always been thought desirable; everything that is alive apparently wishes to continue to live. But until our own time, that sentence would have been qualified: long life is desirable and everything wishes to live up to a point. Past a certain point, and in certain conditions, death becomes preferable to life. Moreover, it was generally agreed that a good life was preferable to one that was merely long, and that the goodness of a life could not be determined by its length. The statisticians of longevity ignore good in both its senses; they do not ask if the prolonged life is virtuous, or if it is satisfactory. If the life is that of a vicious criminal, or if it is inched out in a veritable hell of captivity within the medical industry, no matter?both become statistics to ?prove? the good luck of living in our time.