Thanks Tim, this is a great piece with lots of insights and ideas I subscribe to.
Thomas Euler
72

I completely agree that a broader education is necessary for everyone. I also think that a period of social service is needed for everyone during their late teens and early twenties. This would be an important group to intercept before they sink into a lifetime of video games and drug abuse. Military was the old fall back to straighten out the slackers. If I were a cynic I would posit that all life is a state of war, a struggle for survival. This is the natural order and our attempts to defeat this order will always be met with failure.

The ancient Athenians had slaves for their robots. The citizens enjoyed great prosperity and built many marvelous things. But their period was described as a continuous war interrupted by brief periods of peace. No matter how rich they became they still thirsted for more and war was an aphrodisiac that even the wealthy who did not need more still lusted after. The Keynes quote is spot on: “he who has built for use till use is supplied must begin to build for vanity.” Human nature will be our biggest obstacle. As society becomes more and more affluent the desire will be there to demand more affluence. Can our planet support this? Will our end be destruction by war or destruction by over consumption?

A broad based liberal education coupled with exposure to both the ugly and beauty of the world will hopefully reach in and bring out the transcendent person. The one who does not live just in his stomach, but has nobler desires.

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