New Technologies Miss the Point

(January 26, 2016)

“In a galaxy far, far away” are iconic opening words for Star Wars, whatever the episode

Things at a distance fascinate us.

Last week’s announcement of a new planet, “Number 9,” in an orbit much more distant than Pluto, briefly pushed aside even news of aging celebrities in bikinis.

We are concerned about disasters on the other side of the world, just as heartwarming tales from elsewhere also crawl across our screens and pages.

In fact, we can be so focused on what is far away that we can’t see what is close at hand.

We literally can’t see what is under our noses because we act as though we live somewhere else — in a galaxy far, far away from the problems in our own backyard.

If you need a word to describe this situation, it would be “escapism.” Why deal with (literally) the garbage all around us here and now, when we can escape into some future happy place where the trash has yet to accumulate?

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