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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  March 2, 2011

Outsourcing Effort

In his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittgenstein tried to reduce all statements to logical assertions, dismissing anything incapable of forming itself appropriately. But the world does not consist of philosophers (perhaps a dozen exist at a time) and most people lack language to articulate ideas, presuming they first have thoughts to express.

The ease of making utterances makes communication more difficult and almost completely devalues it. 100 years ago, writing and publishing a book took substantial effort, dissuading dabblers. Now anyone can self-publish, no longer ensuring a basic level of effort or quality. Consequently, the quality of literature has diminished and with rare exceptions there is little point paying attention to books published by moderns.

When people wrote letters there was effort and time invested because there was a purpose and something worth communicating. With the trivial effort now needed to send email, a text message, or tweet, we correspondingly have trivial, effortless communication lacking substance. Little can be said in a tweet or text message, and email is mostly an effort to outsource work to others, where letters contained ideas and discussions about one's actual efforts.

Progress is regressive and reduces our quality of life.

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