Progress Report

I once dated a woman who was an occupational therapist. Her motto was "activity is therapy". The sloth in me wants to rebel against this idea. Activity sometimes is activity. The spinning of wheels. Friction and heat, but not much light. Perhaps its not even the sloth, but the voice inside that says, 'maybe you should quiet the voice inside?'. Isn't that the ideal of meditative religious forms.

Ommm.

Ummm, I just find it nigh on impossible to shut myself up.
I even find it hard to concentrate on reading without my inner dialogue drifting off at tangents, thinking about the ideas on the page. My current source of torment is a brilliant collection of essays by the British historian Ronald Wright called Short History Of Progress. Picked it up on Saturday afternoon and wasn't able to stir myself to any form of activity for the best part of Sunday. His thesis is that progress might well do us in. He points to civilisations that have vanished - The Sumerians, Easter Islanders, The Mayans and even the mighty Roman Empire. He uses the history of these cultures as if they are 'black boxes' of crashed airliners that he analyses and looks for errors to be avoided in our own relentless pursuit of progress. As someone pretty much dedicated to commercial creativity I guess that I am a cog in the machine. Perhaps more of our invention and innovation needs to be applied to containing rampant consumption and creating sustainable strategies for the future.

I recommend the book to you. It exhausted me. I'm off to have a wee lie down.

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