Tuesday, November 6, 2012

World of Wonder

Ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you that I’m definitely not a reactionary type. I consider myself to be progressive about most things. But in some regards, I’m an unapologetic originalist. I almost always prefer the first recording of a song to the cover version, the original version of a movie to the remake, authentic ethnic food to an anglicized, family restaurant dish, and charcoal over propane. Knowing that, it should come as no surprise that I’m not entirely sold on the whole theory of progress idea. Looking at the ancient world, one has to wonder whether we’ve really come as far as we like to think we have. Sure, modern medicine with penicillin and vaccinations is great, and it’s tough to imagine life without the Internet anymore even though it’s been around for less than half of my lifetime.

But ask yourself, what does the 21st Century offer to rival the seven wonders of the ancient world?

The American Society of Civil Engineers has a list of modern engineering wonders and, make no mistake, it’s impressive. Yet I can’t escape the nagging feeling that our steel mills, steam-driven excavators, tower cranes, and computer-aided structural analysis constitute cheating on some level.

(Read the rest at Kobold Quarterly ...)

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