Crux Myth of the Machine by John Michael Greer:

  • Americans can’t imagine giving up cars just as they can’t imagine giving up television – both answer important emotional drives: “If the automobile is America’s talisman of freedom, the television is its talisman of community, of participation in a world of shared activities and shared meanings.”
  • But watching tv is isolating, and using roads and highways is dependent on big bureaucracies: “Isolation packaged as participation, dependence packaged as freedom”.
  • Americans allow themselves to depend on these two machines. When they imagine solutions to oncoming problems, they think of other machines: “A solar panel, a wind turbine, an electric car, a thorium reactor, a supercomputer, a flying saucer or a nuclear bomb, take your pick, but it’s got to be based on a machine.”
  • The idea that any problem has some machine that can solve it is a myth, in the original sense of the word: a narrative that directs actions.
  • Machines don’t have an inner world like people, so they allow their users to have power without needing to wield real power over others. This leads to a problematic “nexus between an illusion of power, a reality of dependence—and a large and increasing cost.”