Rolling Column

by
May 1995, no. 170

Rolling Column

by
May 1995, no. 170

Western society’s thirst for ease and comfort is insatiable. Every innovation which minimises effort is leapt upon, not always with respect for social and environmental costs. Cars are automatically-geared, air-conditioned, full of devices to save even the effort of winding windows. Unaware of the strain such comforts may cause on natural resources (unless we exert ourselves to find out), we expend scarcely any personal effort on traversing huge distances, where our ancestors who had to walk knew exactly how much energy their travel needed. Living in comfortable homes where clean water is a tap’s turn away, we need give no thought to what sustains the supply, where our forebears knew precisely how much effort was needed to get water (and therefore used it more carefully). Even in pursuit of pleasure we welcome less effort. We love the technology which brings the sound of huge orchestras into our living rooms. We expect to see all kinds of cultural display at the touch of a remote control.

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