Some luxuriate in a technological dream – where technology pampers them and provides every comfort and solves every problem. But immediate satisfaction and the elimination of the rough edges of life eventually stale. Their only challenge is to create more and more frivolous problems so that they can devise frivolous technologies to solve them.
They are on a path towards technological perfection in their own lives, plugged and wired to the technological superstructure, on which, for all their brilliance and freedom, they are dependent like a man on a respirator.
There is a different route which other people have seen: to rediscover the physicality of life by engagement with nature. To stroke the roughness of bark, pat the wet of grass, to go dizzy on the pleasant scent of rotting. To feel your body stretched by the distance between two boughs, to be rocked and sprayed in a canoe. But it’s not just about touching the frayed edges of the universe: it is to witness love and death in the natural world, to know I am part of the natural world, and every step I take touches, shapes, crushes, shifts, rebalances something in that world.
The technologists deny their dependence on nature and create a dependence of their own creation, but no less a dependence. We embrace our dependence on nature, recognise our limitations, temper our ambition and seek fair sharing with other living forms.
I pull headphones over my ears so I can’t hear suffering; I merge my mind with a screen; I live in a cocoon, a compartment. I pull down the blind so as not to see animals in agony, clawing at the window.