Wednesday, October 24, 2007

the human element

I am reading a rhetorical analysis (literary criticism) of Rachel Carson's silent spring. It is from chapter 5 of the book "And No Birds Sing" by Craig Waddel. I came across the following passage that sparked my thoughts.

"Silent Spring offers an alternative to technological psychosis yet does not require readers to reject science. Carson uses scientifically validated information to weave humanity into the vast tapestry of life on earth.
She does not insist that all life is the same but leaves considerable room within which a reader can negotiate a place for human needs and desires that is just a bit more special than that occupied by other life. She does not urge people to return to a previous age of innocence but to move forward out of the 'stone age of science.'
She offers a revised view of progress that accounts for multiple perspectives, inculding, but not limited to technological solutions to environmental dilemmas. She does not just give us good and evil. Instead, she waves a terministic screen that accounts for a complex interconnection between humans and other earth life."

I thought that the point above can be summed up in this video. (Ironically, it is a commercial for Dow Chemical.)

I found the juxtaposition there quite interesting. Dow Chemical is known for being polluting and one of the types of companies that Rachel Carson would be fighting were she alive today. But in a way, for PRs sake, at least, Dow has embraced the idea that there is a "complex interconnection" between humans and the earth - and that we have to acknowledge that. Also, the idea that technology and earth can be in harmony is a radical proposal from a chemical company.

Something to think about.

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