Journal 09-04-03

Back to the question of why more than how.  This was the distinguishing question in Fahrenheit 451. The people in this society are trained only to ask how, to learn how.  Asking why gets you into trouble, gets you not one, but many answers which leads to confusion and to turmoil.  On the one hand I could agree that it does, especially in today’s society, which as stated shows eerie similarities to the one in Bradbury’s novel.  I remember skimming an article in the Utne Reader (2003, May) about the consequences of choice in our society and how the amount and variety of choice has grown. Note to self to actually READ the article and bring to class.

Another thought — totally unconnected at this point and probably not original — is that the computer, specifically with the addition of the Internet, has become a large book.  Table of contents, glossary, index.  At times, and I see this as the challenge at hand, it is quite an unorganized book.  From a librarian’s point of view it might be called a poor reference source.  But I wonder, thinking of the class discussion posts, if a new Dewey were to come along to systematize it, would that be a good thing?  Are we actually at the beginning?  Are we in the dark ages of what is to come?  Hard to imagine.

But I think it is important to see these connections to the “old” way of doing things.  I think our generation — and maybe it is a society more than age — has lost a connection with the past.  Aha, my connection [to the point I started with]!  History classes are about facts and memorizing how and when  certainly more than asking why.  I know that my history education is pathetic and boring [and yet in spite of this thankfully remains my favorite subject]. I have only just begun to see that value in keeping the past present in the future thought my faith.  In Orthodox Christianity the idea of remembering is a present activity.  Everyday is the remembrance of some event or lives of Christian history.  It is nor only remembered, but also celebrated and made present because the point of these lives and events is to be witness to our faith.  Likewise, if we as a culture pur more value in the asking of why about our histories and answering those whys in our present lives, it seems we would find more value and reason for our lives.

Spayde, J.  (2003, May). The unbearable lightness of choosing. Utne,(117), 66-68.  Retrieved November 1, 2009, from Proquest Research Library. (Document ID: 333748591).

Also available from Utne.com: http://www.utne.com/2003-05-01/the-unbearable-lightness-of-choosing.aspx

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