October 3, 2010

“Since The Problem Could Not Be Solved By Scientific Methods, It Has Not Been Solved At All:” John Michael Greer

“The forces that will take the lead in the opening phases of the deindustrial age will be political, cultural and psychological, not scientific. About these issues the methods of the scientist and the engineer have very little useful to say, and most of what they do have to say was drowned out decades ago by the louder voices of political opportunism and middle-class privilege.

In the same way, the technical issues of the approaching deindustrial transition were either solved along ago or could have been solved readily with modest investments in research and development. What could not be solved by scientific methods was the problem of finding the motivating factors and the political will to get these solutions in place. Since this latter problem could not be solved by scientific methods, in turn, it has not been solved at all. This is the downside of the superlative technological efficiency of our age: those things that we can’t do with our machines, or with the ways of thinking that we evolved to manage our machines, are for all practical purposes beyond our reach.”

John Michael Greer: The Long Descent ( Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society , 2008).

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