Friday, August 05, 2022

In spite of technophobia, consumerism is rampant.

Unlike the energy crisis of the 1970s, it seems like hardly anyone discusses cutting back on consumption. Minimalist lifestyles do pull consumption out of the economy so it can create economic disruption; like loss of jobs.

Instead the talk is technological fixes. Clean energy, build back better. I'm okay with technological fixes, but they take time. Ironically, there are lots of people who claim that there isn't a "technological fix." They will say that relying on technology isn't the answer. I believe it can be the answer, but does take time.

Without technological fixes, the answer would have to be reduction in consumption. Both solutions being applied simultaneously could help, however.

Underlying a lot of thinking is the concept that technological society is somehow "immoral." Maybe that relates to the idea that "technology fix" isn't the answer. I guess quite a few folks think we are headed for catastrophe. Little or no hope for us. It's like "party, party for tomorrow we shall die." In spite of technophobia, consumerism is rampant.

I feel that technological society can have more of a future than that. At the same time consumerism, increasing populations, increasing rents and expectations does put a lot of pressure on people's psychology. Somehow, life has become like a rat race for many folks. Myself, having a low tolerance for stress, I have pretty much figured out ways to avoid the rat race. My life isn't very typical, however.

More folks could live the way I do, but it may not be appealing to so many people who seem to be influenced by movies, television, advertising, peer pressure, relationship obligations, mortgage obligations and so forth. They grumble about all of this and they say technology can't save us, but they party on as if collapse of civilization is a forgone conclusion.

Still, I think we need less consumptive living and the hope of technological fixes; such as solar energy and hydrogen fusion, for getting us to what still could be a better future. We need both conservation and technological innovation.