Barba-Kay argues that we tend to resolve our cognitive dissonance by outsourcing all the choices that do matter and consoling ourselves with a plethora of choices that don't.
This trend is peaking in a small rectangle, the smartphone. As Marc Barnes observes, the smartphone has replaced the TV. The smartphone is portable and personal and has enticed us to enjoy our shows in our private rooms. The ubiquity of the smartphone is an artifact of our own loneliness.
Babbitt and More advocated the study of the humanities as a tool for the shaping of human souls toward virtue, helping confront what Babbitt characterized as the “civil war of the cave” that occurs in every human heart. Babbitt and More’s roughly forty-year friendship produced scores of letters that take the reader from the late nineteenth century into the 1930s.
The ecomodernist approach of Regenesis relies on a mechanistic understanding of humanity. The presumption is that humans are merely fleshy machines that can adapt to flourish in any environment as long as their basic material needs are met. That doesn’t match with most people’s experience of life.
When my wife and I started our rural homestead, we were suburbanites with a lot of ideas. For one, we’d do everything organically. No question. Second, we’d endeavor to only use hand tools. Scythe, sickle, spade. We’d become experts in the old ways. And third, we’d limit outside inputs.
Do real things together. Celebrate. Take delight in the world—together. Don’t feel compelled to broadcast your views about the dangers of technology. Let your life speak, but be prepared to give an account of why you’re living the way you are.