Nietzsche – Ehrlich – Giddens Thread
Innovation Etc. (copy)
What's written on the poster
Writing under the title "Modernity from the point of view of digestion", Friedrich Nietzsche observed that the "prestissimo" inflow of impression leave modern people dazzled. Incapable of digesting them, they only react, automatically, to the impulses from without.
While researching among the Inuits in the 1950s, Paul Ehrlich observed that every member of the community knew and understood all of the community's tools. In modernity this has been radically changed. We challenge you to try to list all the professions whose expertise one would need to produce the smart phone or the computer you are using to read this text.
Writing in “Modernity and Self-Identity” Anthony Giddens observed that modern people tend to acquire “ontological security” by reducing the world's complexities to managing one's own career and being successful in it. “Mastery, in other words, substitutes for morality.”
The Homo Ludens pattern follows.
What additional information we may provide
Sensibility immensely more irritable; the abundance of disparate impressions greater than ever; cosmopolitanism in food, literatures, newspapers, forms, tastes, even landscapes. The tempo of this in ux prestissimo; the impressions erase each other; one instinctively resists taking in anything, taking anything deeply, to “digest” anything; a weakening of the power to digest results from this. A kind of adaptation to this ood of impressions takes place: men unlearn spontaneous action, they merely react to stimuli from outside. They spend their strength partly in assimilating things, partly in defense, partly in opposition. Profound weakening of spontaneity: The historian, critic, analyst, interpreter, the observer, the collector, the reader-all of them reactive talents-all science! Arti cial change of one’s nature into a “mirror”; interested but, as it were, merely epidermically interested; a coolness on principle, a balance, a xed low temperature closely underneath the thin surface on which warmth, movement, “tempest,” and the play of waves are encountered.“ Opposition of external mobility and a certain deep heaviness and weariness.“ (Friedrich Nietzsche, The will to power)
The threat of personal meaninglessness is ordinarily held at bay because routinised activities, in combination with basic trust, sustain ontological security. Potentially disturbing existential questions are defused by the controlled nature of day-to-day activities within internally referential systems. Mastery, in other words, substitutes for morality; to be able to control one’s life circumstances, colonise the future with some degree of success and live within the parameters of internally referential systems can, in many circumstances, allow the social and natural framework of things to seem a secure grounding for life activities.