music, opinion and technology

male surplus

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Well, that was the week that was. Not very productive, as it turned out, but I think I’m fairly chilled out by now, which makes it worth it.Today I finally succumbed, and have spent half of today watching The West Wing from Series 1 Episode 1 on. It is seductive in a particular way, portraying a world in which real people do real things, but also act in ways not normally seen in this world: they say what they mean, do what they say they will, follow through on commitments and actually think about what they’re doing. Pure indulgent fantasy, in other words.

The ideas I wrote about eight days ago are still setting sparks off in my head, and there are more where they came from. I have a theory I want to expand on later, but I’ll put it down here for future reference. It involves the basic principle behind technology in all its forms: starting with how the harnessing of energy led to the use of force to reshape the world. Our modern world runs on one major principle: the targeted and controlled release of energy, whether in the internal combustion engine, or just by flicking a switch to let electricity flow through a light bulb. Progress has also put force in the hands of almost anyone who might want to use it against anyone else, in the form of weapons such as guns and explosives.

My point is that I see no way to get off this slippery slope of technological progress: even without ethnic, religious and cultural differences, there would still be population pressures to cause friction, with any one person now able to cause a frightening amount of death and destruction.

There is a surplus of young men in the world, and what are they all good for? We don’t need the muscle; technology has repackaged the energy they used to provide into machines. Only the best are needed for breeding purposes, the rest, like me, are surplus to requirements. Taking a hard view, that leaves one outlet for all this frustration: War. It worked for all the ancient cultures, after all, and the basic principle hasn’t changed.

What a great thought to end a holiday with, eh? Back to work.


Written by brian t

May 9, 2004 at 11:02 pm

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