Wisdom and virtue

Digital Universe (14)Below is a snippet from an article by Jonathan Pageau on Orthodox Arts Journal here.  The article is fascinating but one thing that caught my eye, and attention, was this idea of what we see through machines is more real, truer, than how we experience them.

It’s scary how much we rely on our smartphones. Even the name we’ve given them is disturbing – all of the sudden they’re smart?? Not only that but it’s this overload of information. Fox News and CNN and ABC and BBC….they all have apps, we’re constantly on there wanting to read the newest news. We need information and more information and then newer and the newest…. Why? Can we even handle it? How much time do we spend just sitting in reflection, contemplation?  We’re much smarter than our phones but don’t act like it at times. If they give us information it doesn’t mean they can give us wisdom.

Anyway, click the link above for the full article.

“…It is only in the 17th century that men framed their vision with metal and glass, projecting their mind out into an artificially augmented space. Men always had artificial spaces, painting, sculpture, maps, but the telescope and microscope are self-effacing artifices, they attempt to replace the eye, to convince us that they are not artificial but are more real than the eye. It is not only the physical gesture of looking at the world through a machine that demonstrates the radical change, though this is symbolic enough, but it is the very fact that people would do that and come to the conclusion that what they saw through these machines was truer than how they experienced the world without them. Yet the great revolution is not simply a technical rectification as it is presented by some today, it is not only that technically speaking we used to believe the earth to be a flat disk at the centre of the cosmos, and now we know the earth to be a big ball of water and dirt swirling around a giant nuclear reactor at the centre of our planetary system. The change happens in the very core of what Truth is, it is a change in the priority of knowledge, a change in what is important to us as human beings. That is the change. In a traditional world, all of reality is understood and expressed in an integrated manner. We describe phenomena in the manner we experience it because what is important is not so much the making of big mechanically precise machines that will increase our physical power, but rather the forming of human beings that have wisdom and virtue. The resistance to the heliocentric model was a desire to “save the phenomena”, the desire to express the world as we experience it because this expression must remain connected to how human beings live their lives and interact with God and their fellow men. So by projecting ourselves out through our machines into an physically augmented world, we “fall” into that materiality, we inevitably live in a more material and materialist world. And this is modern history itself.”


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