Does believing you’re the last sane man on the planet make you crazy?


I love it when I’m able to get away from the city…  even if for just a couple of days. I spent the past couple of days in the quaint little tourist town of Tobermory. It’s located in cottage country at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, CA right on Lake Huron. There’s nothing much to Tobermory in regards to being a bustling metropolis. The tourists outnumber the residents at least 3 – 1, there’s no such thing as street lamps for as far as the eye can see,  and the term “walking distance” can’t be applied to anything convenient as far as goods are concerned. There are no Tim Horton’s. No Blockbusters. Heck there’s not even a movie theater within 100km. No dance clubs, supermarkets, malls, or internet cafes.

So why the hell would anyone go there?

For those exactly those reasons. Fresh air, mom & pop shops, an abundance of untouched nature and relaxing beaches are the selling points to this Canadian oasis. It’s kind of a throwback to a time when you could pass a stranger on the road and welcome them with a wave and a warm smile as opposed to locking your door and turning a blind eye. All too often we get so wrapped up in the day-to-day of everyday city life that we can’t even appreciate the little things like a cloudless sunny day or having  the feeling of  cool wet sand between your toes. As I drove back home reminiscing about sitting on the beach in the dead of night with family and friends, listening to the gentle crashing of waves against the rocky shore and staring up at the crystal clear star mapped sky above it made me think about how excessive are.

Everywhere you look there’s  someone expressing their opinion about technology.  Some feel we are becoming too dependent on it while others feel our future lies with the expansion of our scientific boundaries. Sadly both sides are about as fanatical as South American football fans when it comes to getting their point across. I love to play Devil’s Advocate whenever possible because people need to have things put back into perspective.  It pains me to see and hear technophobes blabber on and on  about how much we need to sever our ties and get back to basics. Let’s have a look at the word technology. There are several definitions:

tech·nol·o·gy

–noun

  1. the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.
  2. the terminology of an art, science, etc.; technical nomenclature.
  3. a technological process, invention, method, or the like.
  4. the sum of the ways in which social groups provide themselves with the material objects of their civilization.

Living off the grid does not make one exempt from the trappings of technology. Everything revolves around technology. Get used to it. Technology isn’t just wires, electricity, metal, plastic and gadgetry. Technology refers to the practical application of any process to enhance the way of life. Even a simple wooden outhouse with a shit bucket for a toilet is considered product of technology. There is absolutely no way we can abandon technology all together even if we wanted to… which none of us would want to do no matter how adamantly protested. Unless you plan to roam the wilderness butt naked and hunt with your bare hands (because any kind of weapon would be considered using technological means) there’s not much to argue about.

I honestly don’t think we’ve become super dependent on technology like some would suggest. Yes we’ve come leaps and bounds in the past century and we have access to far more innovations than we have ever had in history but the problem isn’t with our advancement but our own over-indulgence. As a species we are glutenous, excessive, and materialistic in whatever we do. Be it land, money, political power, religious influence or whatever there’s no end to our insatiable hunger for more. Advances in technology aren’t to blame for our decline in social graces or detrimental effects on the world around us. It’s our own human nature that’s the problem. There is no moderation in anything we do. Everything has to be now. Everything has to be in abundance. Sharing is a deprecated term and “living within your means” is an unattainable goal for most.  I can sit here till the cows come home and balk about how selfish humans are but at this point in time it’s pointless. People are going to do what they’re going to do. To spend time trying to coerce them into a more logical and frugal way of thinking is just an incredible waste of time. Instead of damning those who can’t live without excess, let me commend those that can.

Balance between necessity and excess is the only way to progress effectively as a race. No one is saying that you shouldn’t or can’t have nice things but c’mon… does one person really need a half dozen cars, several cellphones, multiple houses, etc.

Excess incites jealousy.

Jealousy breeds animosity.

Animosity leads to violence and self-destruction.

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One response

  1. Ooooh…like the new layout. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with technology, but it’s our dependence on it that will test us as a society when that technology fails. People don’t know what to do when their internet connection is down. Think back a few years to the massive blackout in the northeast US and southern Ontario…people went crazy for a little while, but then you started to see them gather in small groupings and really get to know each other. Neighbours met for the first time and had dinner by candlelight. People hung out on their front steps with new and old friends. We prove that we can do this, but the minute the power returns, we all go back to our “normal” way of life. A weekend away does a person good…it’s a renewal of sorts…bringing us back to basics so we can understand the value of a simple life. Sometimes we just get caught up in swimming in the technology.

    August 31, 2010 at 10:17 am

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