American hedonism closes its eyes to death, and has been
incapable of exorcising the destructive power of the moment
with a wisdom like that of the Epicureans of antiquity.

- Octavio Paz
Death is un-American, and an affront to every citizen's inalienable
right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- Arnold Toynbee
"As long as such self-serving hypocrisy
motivates America's response, Ukraine will
only sink further into needless bloodshed,
and that blood will be on America's head."
In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal
applies only upwards, not downwards.

― Bertrand Russell
Global Coke
Global Coke
"What those 'racists' are reflexively and rightly reacting
to is the soulless chill as the fire goes out beneath the
melting pot. Those who think America can thrive as a
'cultural mosaic' are worse than fools; they're Canadians."

Global Coke
Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe.
It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster,
in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe
have grown to appalling dimensions.

― Frantz Fanon
What the United States does best is understand itself.
What it does worst is understand others.

- Carlos Fuentes
Poor Mexico, so far from God
and so close to the United States.

- Porfirio Diaz
"Indeed, everything about the American southland was magical
and exotic to the young Canadian musicians, from the sights
and smells to the drawling manner of speech to, especially, the
central role that music played in people’s everyday lives."

America is a mistake, a giant mistake.
- Sigmund Freud
America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.
- Auguste Bartholdi
"This is the tone of the China Century, a subtle
mix of Nazi/Soviet bravado and 'oriental'
cunning -- easily misunderstood, and
heard before, in a real enemy, by the West."

Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"And for the others who argued for English-only
patriotism, I note that there are more than
57 million Americans (about 20% of the nation)
whose first-language is not English...."

Coke and 'America the Beautiful'
"This is the behavior, and the fate, of paranoid
old-world tyrants like Hitler or Saddam, not liberal new-world democracies like America pretends to be."

America is the only nation in history which
miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to
degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

- Georges Clemenceau
I found there a country with thirty-two religions and only one sauce.
- Charles–Maurice Talleyrand
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle,
and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.

- Edmund Burke
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word.
- Marshall McLuhan
"The removal of racist sports nicknames (and mascots) seems outrageously belated
-- why, exactly, has this civil rights cause
taken so long to gain momentum?"

The atom bomb is a paper tiger which the
United States reactionaries use to scare people.
It looks terrible, but in fact it isn't.

- Mao Tse-tung
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but
they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.

- Red Cloud
In America sex is an obsession,
in other parts of the world it is a fact.

- Marlene Dietrich
I would rather have a nod from an American,
than a snuff-box from an emperor.

- Lord Byron
One day the United States discovered it was an empire.
But it didn’t know what an empire was.
It thought that an empire was merely the biggest of all corporations.

- Roberto Calasso
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather
be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

- Alexis de Tocqueville
"No one, I thought, could watch those scenes, of young children slaughtered en masse, and so many parents grieving, without thinking that this, finally, would tip some kind of balance in the country."
If you are prepared to accept the consequences of your dreams
then you must still regard America today with the same naive
enthusiasm as the generations that discovered the New World.

- Jean Baudrillard
I am willing to love all mankind, except an American.
- Samuel Johnson
America, thou half brother of the world;
With something good and bad of every land.

- Philip Bailey
"What can be more powerful than disinformation in the Information Age?"
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.
- Sir Walter Besant
Christopher Columbus, as everyone knows, is honored by
posterity because he was the last to discover America.

- James Joyce
Now, from America, empty indifferent things
are pouring across, sham things, dummy life.

- Rainer Maria Rilke
If the United States is to recover fortitude and lucidity,
it must recover itself, and to recover itself it must
recover the "others"- the outcasts of the Western world.
- Octavio Paz
The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
It has been going on now for three hundred years.

- Oscar Wilde
"America really is, for most Americans, all things considered, a good place to be, and all they really want is for everyone to enjoy the same privilege and pleasure."
When good Americans die they go to Paris;
when bad Americans die they go to America.

- Oscar Wilde
jobs drug dealer
jobs drug dealer
They're nothing more than traffickers; and as the smart traffickers'll tell you, you don't use the merchandise. They are just inoculating their kids with a tech-drug serum, to immunize them against the very merchandise that put the **** bowling alley in their basement.
jobs drug dealer
America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that
lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself.

- Georg Friedrich Hegel
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room.
Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.

- Arnold Toynbee
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else.
- Winston Churchill
The thing that impresses me most about Americans
is the way parents obey their children.

- Edward, Duke of Windsor
Americans are apt to be unduly interested in discovering
what average opinion believes average opinion to be.

- John Maynard Keynes
Europe was created by history.
America was created by philosophy.

- Margaret Thatcher
America is God's crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of
Europe are melting and reforming!... The real American has not yet arrived.
He is only in the crucible, I tell you - he will be the fusion of all races.

- Israel Zangwill
American dreams are strongest in the hearts of those
who have seen America only in their dreams.

- Pico Iyer
America: It's like Britain, only with buttons.
- Ringo Starr
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer.
It has never yet melted.

― D.H. Lawrence
I have two conflicting visions of America.
One is a kind of dream landscape and the other is a kind of black comedy.

― Bono
The American mirror, said the voice, the sad American mirror
of wealth and poverty and constant useless metamorphosis,
the mirror that sails and whose sails are pain.

― Roberto Bolaño

January 3, 2021


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Author Topic: Imagine Emerson using an iPhone

New Member
Posts: 4
Imagine Emerson using an iPhone
on: January 21, 2018, 21:11

Technology is a concept that is disguised in many variations. Studies conducted indicate the dependency our society has on technology have enabled us in his stage of learned helplessness. Reflecting on my own personal use of technology, I tend to utilize technology as the first solution to solve some of the obstacles I face.

For example, don't know a word? "Google it". Don't know a location? "GPS it".

Imagine all of this removed. If we deconstruct the concepts that Emerson proposes on self-reliance, how could we imagine Emerson being immersed in technology?

Have you ever thought about how technology has perhaps deteriorated your "self-reliance"?

What would Emerson think about booking a "Genius Bar appointment" by relying on other people to helping you on products you "rely" on?

Hoping to read some of your responses!

Did you know 6 Billion people have a smart phone, while only 4.5 Billion people have access to a working toilet? Here's a short video of how your phone may be changing you!

New Member
Posts: 1
Re: Imagine Emerson using an iPhone
on: January 29, 2018, 21:10

I find that Emerson would be thoroughly disappointed with modern society. In fact, for Emerson, our reliance on technology would seem like a failure on our part as it is a waste of our human potential. For Emerson, individuals should only be relying on our own thoughts and ideas and all our knowledge should be gained by us going out into the world and learning about it by ourselves. Thus, to answer one of your questions, Emerson would most likely disapprove of us booking a "Genius Bar appointment" by relying on others and in the first place, would disapprove of the very notion of getting help from another individual. However, despite Emerson being correct that our reliance on technology has made us lose valuable skills, I wonder if Emerson ever considered how technology also helps us gain other important skills. For example, if you ever need to fix a broken sink then instead of calling someone to come and fix it, you can now google it and do it by yourself. Although, at the end of the day, humans do rely on technology more than they should Emerson's belief that one should only trust one's thoughts is not right either (i.e. consider the fact that that kind of thinking implies serial killers and psychopaths are right in their thinking).

Experienced Their American
Posts: 17
Aminah Hayek
Re: Imagine Emerson using an iPhone
on: January 29, 2018, 21:59

iPhones are in the saddle and they ride mankind.

New Member
Posts: 1
Re: Imagine Emerson using an iPhone
on: January 29, 2018, 23:47

Just to add to what AmericasObserver has said, I also doubt Emerson would view today's technology favorably. In the fourth section of Self-Reliance Emerson writes, "Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other", and suggests the invention of the coach - either symbolically or physically - has crippled humanity. His subsequent arguments against efficient transportation and the reliability of timepieces imply he had nothing but contempt for anything that made life easier.
Although I agree with the point about the ways in which the internet helps us exercise our independence, I'm sure Waldo would disagree. Despite the benefits of such a great tool, having all of this information readily available whenever we want it does seem to create a sense of dependence - we trust that the internet will always have the answer. In terms of "just googling it", Emerson has this to say: "A Greenwich nautical almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His notebooks impair his memory: his libraries overload his wit". This sounds similar to learned helplessness but in a much more literal sense. Was Emerson the first to suggest this? Would we ever have to learn anything if we had all of the answers we would ever need just a few seconds away? I suppose Emerson's point is this: what would you do if your search for "how to fix a sink" returned nothing? He probably thinks your next search would be for local plumbers.

New Member
Posts: 2
Al Galluzzo
Re: Imagine Emerson using an iPhone
on: April 4, 2018, 20:50

Would Emerson really disapprove of the idea of someone "just googling" something?

I know that the obvious answer is probably yes. Especially with the context of the quote provided by Relaycofactor, and because the internet is basically an incalculable mass of user-generated information.

But, wouldn't Emerson approve of the idea of using the information on the internet as a stepping stone to autonomous action?

Take the example of googling "how to fix a sink". Would that not be the same as referencing a manual? Yes, you would be relying on the information off the internet, but you wouldn't be relying on another person, at least not directly, to do the work for you. You would still be doing the work yourself, and, in the process, learning information that would help you to be more autonomous in the future. And all of this without ever leaving your house or having to speak to another person.

In fact, I think Emerson would take calling a plumber as a sign of defeat. Maybe even more so with the context that you could have just googled it and done it yourself.

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