Re: Science and Unemployment...

30 Jun 1995 08:53:53 GMT

Madhudvisah dasa Swami ( wrote:
: >Humility.


I'm an occaisional reader of sci.skeptic and followed this thread;
Thanks for the posting and I hope my reply is not too intemperate. It's
just that you sound like Sting on steroids -:)

: Generally we accept the status-quo without questioning it. If we haven€t

Maybe followers of the Bagwash Asrhi Narg are not, er, *encouraged* to
question His teachings?

: current social and political system you may be surprised. I have spent
: some time in Indian villages and have seen a different lifestyle
: altogether. There things are going on in a very simple way without much
: emphasis on economic development. Things go on in much the same way as
: they have been going on since time immemorial. There are no new models
: coming out, no new building materials, no multinational corporations, no
: new €fads.€ Life is simple.

You were on holiday. You flew into India on an airconditioned plane;
you had the security of modern, industrialised society throughout
your trip. And then you went back to Australia. It's unfortunate that
the worthy, hard-working, under-educated villagers who put up with your
little sojourn did not have the same opportunity. They, and their
descendants, are sentenced to an eternity of subsistence toil.

: The villagers have land, cows and bulls. They milk the cows, plow the
: fields and transport the produce with the bulls, and they grow food grains
: and vegetables on the land. They make simple but comfortable dwellings
: from readily available ingredients: bamboo, mud, cow-dung, and so on.
: Everything is clean and civilized. They are cooking very nice food with
: the produce of the land and the milk from the cows and their lives are
: full and happy. Although they are busy working the land, cooking,
: cleaning, bring water from the well, washing cloths, etc., still they are
: nowhere near as busy as we are in the Western world. They have time to
: think and time to serve God. When I saw this I was amazed. My Western
: conditioning didn€t prepare me for this. I couldn€t imagine how people
: could be living a civilized and comfortable life without the modern
: amenities we take for granted. There is no running water, no hot water,
: no electricity, hardly any furniture, no household gadgets, no carpets,
: none of the stuff we fill our houses with, yet I could perceive these
: people were happy and peaceful in this lifestyle. They have a peacefulness
: you just can€t find in Pitt Street Mall, or anywhere in Sydney for that
: matter.

You fell in love -:) This really should be a Hollywood script, with Jodie
Foster as the selfless doctor who re-discovers herself in the primitive
virtues. Great fun, if you have an AC-equipped caravan between takes -:)

: Their incomes are very small compared to our standards. We get twenty
: rupees for one Australian dollar and in Indian villages if someone is
: making twenty rupees a day it€s considered a huge income. They really
: don€t need so much money because their lifestyle is simple. It€s not that
: they are poor or missing out on anything...they have good food, clothes
: and comfortable houses, what else do they need?

Can't you understand how @#$%ly offensive you opinions are? You come from
another planet in terms of wealth. Would you swap - really swap, I mean
- your life and expectations for theirs?

: Seeing this lifestyle prompted me to compare it with ours in Australia. I
: don€t think we are better off than the Indian villagers. This was
: initially quite a shock to me as I had assimilated all the subtle
: brainwashing our society gives us to instill in us the desire to consume
: to the maximum possible extent and thus keep the capitalistic machinery
: running.

Why did you return, then? Work in the fields in India, bring up a family
on the bounteous earth, leave the rest of us in our technological Hell.
You might give the villagers a chance to swap roles, too

: We earn and spend so much money, but what is the result? What do we have
: that the Indian villagers don€t have? We have a house, it may be
: double-brick and in a posh suburb, but after all it€s a house. We are

Not made of cow-dung, though. Would'nt the women of the village
prefer your modern dwelling? (What is the experience of women in this
stable-state paradise?)

[Third-form Marxism deleted]

: It€s perfectly alright to spend $2,000 on a computer and then throw it on
: the junk-heap eighteen months later because it€s obsolete. I actually
: bought this computer at an auction for $200, because it is a few years
: old. If you haven€t got the latest model you€re missing out... or so the
: story goes.

You have just disproved you entire previous point about obsolesence (sp)

: Dissatisfaction is actually created in our society to fuel the
: capitalistic machine. But what sort of lifestyle does that give us? We are
: forced to work hard for things we don€t actually need only to find twelve
: months after we purchase them they are obsolete, they have no resale value
: and there is a new machine on the market with many more features.

Beats toiling in the hot sun for a few grains. FOREVER.

: mindless diversions to consume our energy. We can watch the television,
: play some sport, go to the beach, take some drugs, find a girl and try to
: arrange some sex life, go to a party, go to a disco, go to a pub, go to a
: restaurant, go to the movies, read the newspaper, go shopping... there is
: no end to the list of diversions available to us... perhaps that€s why we
: consider ours an advanced society?

I think all the above are opportunities for which I am extremely grateful.
To a subsistence farmer they must be glimpses of Paradise.

Oh, and you ommitted "or take an eco-tour and patronise hard-working poverty".

: Thank you. Hare Krishna!

You're welcome.

Forgive me for saying this, but you sound literate and intelligent. Life
can be hard and complicated; we struggle to make it better; please don't
throw your talents away on some guru's crazed panacea-mysticism.

IMHO the villagers can be just as confused as you. They are simply much,
much poorer.


Peter Lucey Opinions are personal and do not reflect or affect Hewlett-Packard.