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Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to... Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM
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Location: Inside Farlex computers
Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Bully_rus
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 1:39:21 AM
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Location: Minsk, Minskaya Voblasts', Belarus
Funny, but progress through communication (better communication) was beyond Thoreau's wildest dreams.

>> I doubt if Flying Childers ever carried a peck of corn to mill.
Miriam...
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 6:59:52 AM

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I have often thought that many 'inventions' are good ideas that don't really work in reality. They clutter up our lives and home, and generally make our lives more complicated. Ironically, these 'inventions' have become our modern day 'monsters'. They are destroying our planet and littering it with their debris.
MTC
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 7:38:25 AM
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Joined: 1/18/2011
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Our advances in communications (Thoreau's "pretty toys") would certainly have been "beyond Thoreau's wildest dreams," but the future, particularly the future of our Flying Childers (race horse) technology is beyond any man's wildest dreams. Not so very long ago who could have imagined the Internet, or a thousand other inventions? The present generation is no different from Thoreau's in that respect. Gen X, Y, and Z will soon find themselves in the same position as farmers in Thoreau's day scratching their heads at the telegraph. The pace of technological progress has become dizzying. No sooner do we get a comforting fix on the landscape than it disintegrates into a blur. But where are we all headed on our Flying Childers technology? That is Thoreau's point. Our "improved means" may lead us to an "unimproved end." Just take a look at the zombie-like faces of teenagers in the local Internet Cafe. Kids who can tweet in a nanosecond, but who can't read serious fiction or write a coherent essay. The "New Illiterates." On the other hand, a few strokes on a keyboard opens sweeping vistas of human knowledge in a way unimaginable to Thoreau and of obvious benefit to mankind. Our "pretty toys" have brought us mixed results.

Bully_rus
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 9:56:53 AM
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Location: Minsk, Minskaya Voblasts', Belarus
Pretty plaything from preacher.



[image not available]
MTC
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 10:32:10 AM
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Joined: 1/18/2011
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What's your point, besides alliteration?
Bully_rus
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 11:06:24 AM
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Location: Minsk, Minskaya Voblasts', Belarus
To resolve all doubts about the meaning of the evidence in favor of the defendant/reader. Is it punishable, sir?
MTC
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 12:04:38 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/2011
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Qu: "Is it punishable, sir? "

Ans: Only in the court of public opinion. The Netizenry will decide on the relevance and probative weight of the "evidence," or lack thereof. They will decide whether your post makes sense, or is mere twaddle.

But back to relevance, how does your post "resolve all doubts about the meaning of the evidence?" How is the "evidence," in this case, "Pretty plaything from preacher" over a picture of what is presumably Thoreau's cottage on Walden Pond (a guess since you did not specify) relevant? To what? The original quatation? Without an explanation the meaning of your post is quite obscure. In the absence of an explanation Netizens might conclude you have none.

Bully_rus
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 1:51:15 PM
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Location: Minsk, Minskaya Voblasts', Belarus
Daemon wrote:
Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Is the linear progress approach possible at all or is it wishful thinking of young inexperienced teenager?
Verbatim
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 3:13:17 PM
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Joined: 10/3/2012
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Daemon wrote:
Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


Thoreau had not seen proof for "the half of it" (about the pretty toys) during his lifetime, yet he articulated a wholesome, unadulterated truth: "They are but improved means to an unimproved end". If only he could see how right he had been!

Yes, we have improved the means of communication but communicate less, worst of all, sometimes communicate nonsense without regard for its end.

capitán
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 10:48:32 PM

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Joined: 2/18/2013
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Location: San Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
Quote:
Daemon wrote:

Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things.
They are but improved means to an unimproved end.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)


Somehow we are driven to earthly possesions because of vanity and luxury.
And we have to take care of our possesions and give them maintenance and improve them and update them, etc.
It takes time, money and energy to live taking care of our possesions; life is so short after all.

Here´s a guy who thinks the same... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac

"That´s the whole meaning of life, isn´t it? trying to find a place for your stuff!"
Bully_rus
Posted: Sunday, May 12, 2013 11:19:53 PM
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Location: Minsk, Minskaya Voblasts', Belarus
Funny, but idea of Total Usefulness (world without toys) later give birth to fascism and communism. Sometimes man don't have a clue what's he preaching about.
Miriam...
Posted: Monday, May 13, 2013 11:03:11 PM

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Joined: 12/20/2012
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Hey, Capitan, I'm laughing my ass off. I especially liked the ending. Still smiling...:)
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