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Passions in Poetry

Progress

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Errandghost
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since 09-10-2003
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Thoroughly Abroad


0 posted 07-13-2004 05:43 PM       View Profile for Errandghost   Email Errandghost   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Errandghost

What is "progress"?

Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
since 11-18-2002
Posts 7451
the ass-end of space


1 posted 07-15-2004 12:49 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Depends, do you mean in terms of evolution? Thought? Technology?
Copperbell
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since 11-08-2003
Posts 952


2 posted 08-10-2004 08:19 PM       View Profile for Copperbell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Copperbell

Sometimes its not what it seems - sometimes its walking backwards, sometimes forwards, sometimes leaping over mountains
Stephanos
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since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


3 posted 08-27-2004 10:38 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

To move toward a fixed goal.
hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


4 posted 08-29-2004 10:49 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Ummm...

seems like this question should be a little more specific.

Then maybe this thread could progress.

Stephanos
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5 posted 08-31-2004 11:24 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hush,

I suspect (though I could be wrong, since the thread is kind of vague) that this thread could be about a more existential crisis, than want of a definition.  It's something I've heard the philosophers ask, in some form or another through the centuries: namely, is there such a thing as real "progress" or is it an arbitrary construction of the human mind to help us cope with a universe that we can never wholly understand.  


Of course maybe I'm reading more into the question than was implied by the author.    


It's just this sort of ambiguity and questioning is what has haunted humanity for the longest.  Believing that there is such a thing as objectively fixed goals, independent of our arbitary thinking, I thought I would answer the question in general terms, in order to bring into consideration just what the requirements for progress would be.  There has to be a fixed goal that doesn't change ... or else one might ask if progress itself is progressing ... if meeting an odd set of short term goals, falls into any meaningful scheme of some more universal goal for our lives.  


Stephen.  
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


6 posted 09-01-2004 10:20 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Or the existential crisis could be caused by a vague definition.

We all, I'm sure, know the hoary nineteenth century idea of progress, don't we?

What exactly is promised if we don't define clearly what it is that we're progressing toward? (nod to Stephan) Could it be nothing more than a rhetorical trick, a kind of fill in the blank idea of paradise. But wait, you don't even have to do that, as long as you keep it vague, contradictory, as long as you can show that someone else will do the work for you all of your desires will be fulfilled, not to matter that those desires are also poorly defined, or if you can blame someone else for your preordained place in paradise,  it seems you have a winning ticket.

Or have I been watching too many national conventions recently.
Stephanos
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7 posted 09-03-2004 12:44 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Brad,

at least the acknowledgment of a universal existential crisis, and the need which it indicates, allows others to look at the definitions, and see whether or not they are vague.  To try and ignore the questions, the longings, the bent for universals, may be satisfactory, or it may be just another universal in disquise.  Though negative ones, incognito, are less likely to be criticized as such, armed with presumably a more practical wisdom.    


But what some call vague, others call mystery.

What some call sentimental and unquantifiable, others call romance.


Stephen  
Errandghost
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8 posted 09-03-2004 08:12 PM       View Profile for Errandghost   Email Errandghost   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Errandghost

When I think about what seems to predominate as themes in our modern culture I get a feeling that man's concept of progress nowadays hangs upon things like making media, conducting business affairs, industrializing, drawing money in; creating bigger TVs, better music players, etc  I feel I probably magnify in my mind what disturbs me a bit, so I try to account for that warp.  But nevertheless, I still see these things, even if in truth they are smaller than what my mind makes out.  These things are not just minor ideas of "progress" only on the side, that can simply go away if they hurt a nobler and wider progress in civilization, safety, equality, health, general wellbeing;  these things almost now seem to dominate our "feeling" of progress--they are what people push into the center, and once they are in the center, whether they are well or ill, we must living among them/  It is like they become mechanically fixed into culture and living.  Unless "more" and  "quicker" and "bigger" "more complex" are the shape then it seems there is no "feeling" of progress whatsoever.   And once we are past a "layer" or "period" of history or civilization, we must remain in the "mode" of that stratum.  It should no longer be "progress" if we decided to become again as people were on former "layers" of history that we've "progressed" from.  Men used to speak or think or do like that; that was also when they did this negative thing or this; some higher positive may be brought down because of some lower negative.  It is treated as if man may not, or should not try, now try to be like ancestors of the ancient past but we should completly put our "mind" in modern "scheme" of things. In culture's eye  we should never try follow after former ways, because everything was lower and baser.  If we follow after the fashions of old, we shall go back to the negative things that came with that fashion when it was "on the stage".   That is what seems to be the idea of progress today.  We are now at this stage; all former stages are past and progressed by; the only place to go to is now more of the kind of life we have on this new make and model of civilization--needing our feeling of progress in "more" "quicker" "bigger" "more complex" etc.  But how deep is the cultivation of progress, in the more accumulation of everything?  Is there any chance--at this point-"less" "slower" "smaller" "less complex" may actually be a need for progress as well?  Is there any chance that man needs to downsize his "structure" a bit?  I think there needs to be a better middle point and balance; I just don't see that coming out in our allmodern age.

[This message has been edited by Errandghost (09-03-2004 08:45 PM).]

Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


9 posted 09-05-2004 02:56 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

But, Errandghost, that doesn't seem to be how people actually think about it, perhaps that's how they act, but you're leaving out romanticization of the past that has always been a strong current of Western civilization.

A few years back I did a recording on aboriginal cultures around the world. Half way through, I started laughing because the description of diverse cultures in Africa, Australia, and America were all the same.

Everybody's closer to nature except us.

 
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