Marginalia, no.241

The machine which at first blush seems a means of isolating man from the great problems of nature, actually plunges him more deeply into them.

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars

It’s hard to feel optimistic about man. If technology is an attempt to escape human limitations, the limitation it seems most irked by these days is our inability to completely do away with each other. The awkward need served by new forms of communication is the need to be in touch with as many people as possible while keeping as far away from them as possible. To invoke Dostoyevsky, it’s easy and gratifying to love mankind in the abstract or from a distance, but it doesn’t count for much.

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