Quotable (#71)

John Gray does not share in the common assumption that scientific development is connected to moral progress. He imagines the replacement of ancient prayer-wheels with …

… an electronic tablet containing inspirational statistics on the progress of humankind, powered by algorithms that show this progress to be ongoing. […] Unlike the old-fashioned prayer wheel, the device would be based on the latest scientific knowledge. Programmed to collect and process big data, it would have the ability to deliver statistics that never fail to show long-term improvement in the human condition. If regress of any kind was happening, it would appear as a temporary pause in the forward march of the species. In order to ward off moods of doubt – to which even the most convinced believers in improvement are occasionally prone – the device would broadcast sound versions of the uplifting statistics. Best of all, the device would be designed to be worn at all times.

It would not be the first time that science has been used to bolster faith in the future. Nineteenth-century disciples of Comte’s religion of humanity practised a daily ritual in which they tapped the parts of their heads that according to phrenology embodied the impulses of altruism and progress. In order that they would never forget the importance of cooperation, they were instructed to wear specially designed clothing with buttons down the back that could be accessed only with the help of other people. Twenty-first century believers in human improvement can surely find a better way to practise their faith. Reciting out loud numbers broadcast by their amulets, they can exorcise any disturbing thoughts from their minds. For so long shrouded in myth and superstition, meaning in life can at last be produced by modern methods.

2 thoughts on “Quotable (#71)

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RNfFg4-xNY
    01.05.2008 – Hochgeladen von KennethSnelson
    daily dose of dust producing rock polisher and prayermill … soon to obsolesce all wargear. Read more … Piety …

    RockSoilerToil TaleTattler – Google+
    https://plus.google.com/110100351831106053963
    RockSoilerToil TaleTattler – be sure to check out my subalterwego ‘piety piet’ … so is my (‘chas wheel'[ification] of a) prayerwheel loaded with rocks (both rolling …

    GAP Kin 239: Blue Overtone Storm Codes the 26th Day of …
    https://2013andthemysteryqueen.wordpress.com/…/…
    26.06.2014 – If a Tathagata or the King of the Golden Wheel appears in the human world, this … Piety Piet duh Pious Poet | 2014/06/26 at 10:57 AM … let alone any 3d ones you can give prayerwheel-like spinwhirls .. like that pinsphere with …

    the piety poet
    thepietypoet.blogspot.com/
    29.11.2011 – The Lords Prayer Sacred Geometry ….. with wheels showing that when one wheel is immobilized (the lower wheel …. Piety Piet duh Pious Poet …

    care to help me do an emergency emigration from holland .. if my first ever taxbill scares me enough to try get out of the anglosphere in a hurry?

    i’d like to get building the thingy i so glowingly yet succinctly describe in these commentarian gems … or is besslerite thinking not done in the sinosphere .. along with tweaking tibetan rattlerollcalltoprayervolvertage?

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