David Hines
The electrical hominid
By David Hines
October 20, 2014

We have been living with an emergency for millennia and have been entirely unaware of it. Yesterday Facebook experienced a brief shutdown. Los Angeles 911 received sufficient calls about it that the sheriff was compelled to issue a statement to the effect that he was not prepared to handle the situation.*

People once lived with the cycles of nature – diurnal waxing and waning of light, the seasons, the phases of the moon. Now those primal cycles have become more or less irrelevant. With electric lighting, work can proceed around the clock, which times activities to the millisecond. Seasonal weather has relevance mostly regarding whether driving conditions will be pleasant. Otherwise air conditioning and central heating remove it from consideration.

We are much more informed about the environment now, since instead of living in it we can read about it on Facebook. It's 2014 and everybody knows....

At one time people had to concentrate for long periods of time to achieve anything, but today man has a much shorter attention span. Even the formerly ubiquitous sixty-second TV ad has been replaced by smaller bits more digestible by the easily distracted. So, naturally, Homo electronicus has developed infallible opinions about processes such as environmental change and the sustainability of government money creation, which operate on the scale of decades and centuries.

Ancients performed some astounding feats, such as building pyramids and aqueducts with only rudimentary tools. Some could memorize and recite long sagas such as the Iliad. Modern man has difficulty making change if the cash register doesn't tell him how.

The sentiment that our ancestors were benighted savages until a couple generations ago is nothing new. It has been expressed practically since the advent of writing. Another ubiquitous sentiment is that the next generation is going to hell in a hand basket.

Like every other generation gone before, Homo electronicus seems to be consumed with common exalted assumptions about his generational superiority. It may be 2014, but what everyone knows ain't necessarily so.

* Lest my facetiousness mislead anyone, note that the sheriff's statement was more akin to, "Don't bother us with this crap. We have other things to do." He did it with a bit more tact than I might have been able to muster.

© David Hines


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

David Hines

Born in a mill town, David Hines has seen work as a furniture mover, computer programmer/analyst, and professional musician... (more)


Receive future articles by David Hines: Click here

More by this author


Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Flashback: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Cliff Kincaid
Saving America by saving Ukraine

Jerry Newcombe
Cancelling the “most wonderful time of the year?”

Judi Caler
Bluffing their way to an Article V Convention

Paul Cameron
The Marriage Equality Act in light of gay sex rings and molestations in group homes

Michael Bresciani
Why Libs, Dems, LGBT and Trans activists can’t identify the source of their own deep confusion

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Rev. Mark Creech issues statement on Senate passage of ‘Respect for Marriage Act’

Tom DeWeese
What we can learn from a red tide

Selwyn Duke
The new voting system that gave Dems a GOP House seat is dangerous. Here’s why.

Pete Riehm
Wiping out an entire generation of American youth

Peter Lemiska
How can woke warriors command an unsurpassed fighting force?

Tom DeWeese
Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing.

Cliff Kincaid
How Trump saved the world
  More columns


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

RSS feeds



Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites