We are encouraged by the cheerleaders of consumer culture to see technology as a seamless whole that embraces everything we do and that is on a hockey-stick rate of accelerated change that will eventually meet every need and fulfill every desire. In this conception of our history and development from bowed Ape-Man to buff Super-Man technology swallowed up Craft and this is what has made our ascent so rapid and miraculous.
There is no longer a separate natural world. This is true conceptually and physically. Conceptually there is no longer any excuse for making such a distinction. Physically, human intervention and human-forced destruction, have spread throughout the non-human world and become so pervasive as to have nullified any distinction.
We are all natural. There is no more nature.
This equation has a result. Multiplying by zero leads us to a null result.
Craft, like Art, has been in exile for a long time, put in a ghetto where it’s been held at the mercy of wealth. In a way I suppose we should be grateful, they might have disappeared entirely without patronage; but on the other hand, if it hadn’t been for the creation of poverty and its spread due to the predations of “wealth generation,” Art and Craft might have remained vibrant, integrated aspects of life.
One of the most dispiriting concerns I have – in a time of plenty in this regard! – has been the way so many who should know better continue to confound Craft and Technology. The epitome of this might just be the halleluiahs surrounding the advent of the 3-d printer. I don’t share in this enthusiasm.
Let’s get one thing clear. Wind Turbines are not an alternative, appropriate technology. They are the last gasp of all the arrogance behind business-as-usual. They take the violence hidden in the mine, the oil well, behind power plant walls; and set it defiantly against the sky. They present the form of whirling knife blades, or scissors, ready to cut-down anything that resists their demand that post-industrial Narcissism must flourish at any cost.
They attempt to appropriate the imagery of the windmill – only made “efficient.”
There is the key! They are fully immersed in, and may mercifully be the last gasp of, efficiency as an organizing principle. They have nothing in common with windmills except for sharing the driving force of the wind. In every significant way they are something else.