Tag: technology

The War Machine is Not Ergonomic

We have wrought a strange and fantastically complicated world for ourselves. But we can know how well we are interfacing with it by its fruits: a terrifyingly effective machinery, but spasms of pain in our arms and backs.

Centering Humanity in the Age of the Chatbot

Though the metaphor sounds alarmist, an unimaginable tsunami is barreling down on a complacent world. We may have time to adjust, who knows?

Why I Wish I Didn’t Have a Smartphone and Computer (But...

We can agree that many technological “advances” have objectively done more harm than good, in terms of the human condition as well as the Earth, and that we face a bleak scenario of looming catastrophe. But this doesn’t mean that there is no way out.

Joining the Dance: Setting Aside Screens to Build the City

The young pagans band around the picnic table and scrawl inky runes into their hands with cheap pens. Around them, the world falls, and wonders if they will...

Flowers and Dust: Summer in The Great Gatsby

The summer, its heat and its flowers, has finally been put to death. But the dust remains. George Wilson is covered in it, alive and dead, and as Nick told us at the beginning of the novel, the empty space around Gatsby’s dream is made up of that same dust, those same ashes.

The Dignity of Craft: In Praise of Mortise & Tenon

Beyond writing about craftmanship and antique furniture, M&T explores ideas about human work in a technological age, work in the context of community, and the relationship between craft and tradition. Regardless of your interest in the nuances of woodworking, many Porchers would find reading M&T to be worthwhile.

Hot Mediums, Hot Tempers

Life is inherently unpredictable and requires engagement without certainty of outcome. It also often requires patience. No matter how many labor-saving and time-bending devices we create, we will never exist in a completely predictable and easy environment. “Convenience” ceases to be convenient when it is sapping us of the courage we need to encounter everyday life.

“Great Men” and Great Expectations

We may heap much of the blame or praise upon generals and czars and presidents, but they are rarely in the trenches. We may want to avoid taking responsibility for what happens, but big things often require many people working together. Individuals alone do not shape history. It is not wrong to be either disappointed or excited about Elon Musk taking over Twitter, but it is wrong to expect wealthy individuals to solve our collective problems.

The Banalities of “the Birth of Modern Agriculture”: A Review...

All of the biases, all of the bloodlessness, and all the banalities of Tractor Wars, I suggest, are the products of a whole way of thinking about technology, agriculture and the economy, one that values invention over implementation or use, innovation over maintenance or care, and the “modern” over the technologies that are proven to work better for the plants, animals and people of the broader communities of agriculture in the present as well as the past.

An Exception that Proves the Rule: NFTs Don’t Serve the Great...

Chris Hytha is a laudable example of somebody civilizing our approach to digital assets, and I fully support him. I’m glad to see fellow Philly Porchers Anthony Hennen and Nick Russo elevate Hytha’s work, but I don’t see any way to align the Wild West NFT economy with Wendell Berry’s “Great Economy.”