The Illusion of Abundance
Clearly, technology does not assure abundance – at least not abundance evenly distributed. When we look at starving people in the United States, we cannot claim that there is abundance. Abundance that benefits a few is only scarcity disguised.
One of my favorite stories comes from Robert Asprin’s “Incarnations of Immortalities.” Famine incarnate sits with another immortal at a fast food restaurant. He laughs at all of the people eating there. When the other immortal asks what is so funny, Famine says that amidst this abundance of food, they don’t even know that they are starving.
Agribusiness not only provides less food than what an organic farm can provide on a per acre basis, it also provides food that has less flavor, less nutritional value and costs more in fossil fuels and damage to the health of the people who run the operations in both body and soul.
This generation will be the first generation to have less than its parents. The United States is mired in debt, poor health and the belief that we are still moving forward. People are working longer hours than ever since the 1950s and are less happy.
It isn’t necessarily the technology that is at fault, but it is rather the belief that one system, the assembly line, can improve every facet of life. We are inherently inefficient; we need to celebrate those inefficiencies with more art, dance, song and love.
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