A meditation on technology, responsibility, falling short and going on
I love how you threaded in the wisdom of your Jewish faith and tradition here. Over the past few years, I've deepened my relationship to my ancestral traditions, and see the relevance of that timeless wisdom to our modern struggles. I think our ancestors left us "applied guidebooks" with deep meaning and same underlying themes across the globe; which sometimes gets missed when we stay stuck in divisive dogma.
Thankful for your depth of thought and willingness to share so openly.
This piece intrigues me. It was sent to me from a David McGaughey with a PS from the owner of davidalder.com, and I don't recognize either of those Davids. The owner of this substack is someone else I don't recognize. I imagine all three of these men recognize the great value in how this story is told, specifically referring to personal feelings and honesty about them, but ultimately the call for more conscientiousness.
I inherited voluntaryist.com from Carl Watner when he died at the end of 2020, and it has plenty of help for people who are dealing with power they may feel they have not earned, and recognizing the potential for messing things up in a big way. The thing about power is that nearly all the power that ends up creating lots of misery is given away by the people who experience the misery. I wrote something about it around this time last year, about "war" instead of misery, but it can be adapted:
"The trick is not to "stop misery" but to make misery stop affecting you, and help everyone around you make it stop affecting them. It does end up being a full stop of misery eventually, but the part each of us plays is far more personal than that. Also, misery doesn't come from war or the exercise of power or COVID or the last two years, but from how we develop and exercise conscience.
School generally teaches us the insidious lesson that obedience is the hallmark of a good conscience. School has no room for Acton's aphorism that power corrupts. Obedience is the source of that power that corrupts. The only thing obedience can serve without corrupting it is the self. So one solution for the issues raised here, in my mind, is to develop and obey your own conscience, using self-defense against all who pretend to take that responsibility away (by passing laws, for example, or making apps)."
Hi Andrew! I've been loving reading these and watching your journey. I am sure something magical will come out of it. Thanks for the ride along!