“I never knew who I was talking to. I was always worried about the physics. If the idea looked lousy, I said it looked lousy. If it looked good, I said it looked good. Simple proposition. I've always lived my life that way. It's nice, it's pleasant - if you can do it. I'm lucky in my life that I can do this.”
Richard Feynman

Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman

The cause of our current social crises

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I am playing a game (similar but different from what I did with his 2nd book Lila – An Inquiry into Morals) with Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. When I read this quote within the context of our times I felt chills running down my spine and thought it deserved this separate mention. As you read it please take into consideration that this book was written in the late 60’s and early 70’s and its ideas developed much before that:

“The cause of our social crises … is a genetic defect within the nature of reason itself. And until this genetic defect is cleared, the crises will continue. Our current modes of rationality are not moving society forward into a better world. They are taking it further and further from that better world. Since the Renaissance these modes have worked. As long as the need for food, clothing and shelter is dominant they will continue to work. But now that for huge masses of people these needs no longer overwhelm everything else, the whole structure of reason, handed down to us from ancient times, is no longer adequate. It begins to be seen for what it really is – emotionally hollow, esthetically meaningless and spiritually empty. That today is where it is at, and will continue to be at for a long time to come.”

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