Today's Goodies

• A tad aged, but Kung Fu Monkey misses Republicans.

• Jeanne d'Arc preaches it.

• Mark Schmitt comes out for Rosenberg, and makes the point that net-savvy isn't the sole or even primary attribute needed. Is he sure?

• Henry hooks Easterbrook's Collapse review up to the Insight Machine and returns with this:

It seems to me that there’s a shared attitude towards science among various right-leaning technophiles (Glenn Reynolds being a paradigmatic example). Roughly speaking, they tend to agree with science when it suggest new possibilities for human beings (the Singularity! nanotechnology! conquering the universe via spaceflight! longer lifespans!) and to strongly disagree with scientific results or prognoses that suggest fundamental limits to human beings’ can-do ability to prevail over their circumstances (global warming, ecological collapse).

Most impressive! I'll see Henry's point and raise him a reversal -- liberals are no less entranced with technology's potential but portions of us are more suspicious of progress as it relates to ever-encroaching materialism. Kind of a Durkheim-esque anomie thing. The conservative refusal to believe in technology's downside is, by the way, a peculiar little phenomenon. My personal theory is that science has become their modern-day frontier, and for a group so obsessed with freedom (a term whose frame is pretty bound up in Western ideas of exploration and discovery), whatever is taking the Oregon Trail's place cannot, if the belief is to hold, be judged a source of evil. Danger, sure, but only the sort we can evade and feel more actualized for dodging. Maybe I'm wrong here, but aren't the major technogurus -- the Winer's and Gilder's and Jarvis's of the world -- generally a bit to the right? And generally on the libertarian -- FREEDOM! -- slab of the right, to boot? Any validity to this?

As a weird sidenote, the political party that fetishizes liberty -- Republicans, in case you were confused -- are also far closer to accepting Durkheim's critique of social freedom, even as they reject his premises. Liberals, on the other hand, would probably accept his critique (particularly against materialism and for communitarianism) but reject the traditionalist conclusions Durkheim often drew. Weird how that works out.

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