Where have all the shamans gone?

Here's a link to the most unbelievably depressing article I've read in a long time. I'm now convinced that if a civilization aspires to match the dignity that inheres (even when it's latent) in all human beings, it needs to involve a dynamic mix of a moral culture and a "reasonable" government order.

By moral order I mean a culture that shares a priori assumptions about interpersonal obligations. From a secular/academic perspective, that means a moral culture not based in "reason," but in a kind of shared trust or confidence or faith. Think "mythology," in the era when the myth was still believed.

By "reasonable" government order I mean a commitment to an ideological system so that individuals operating within the system can base future-oriented decisions on the expectation that the system will essentially remain in place across time.

Frankly, I'm pissed. What we're seeing now is a mix of a moral culture of nihilism and a political system so unpredictable to the average citizen as to make it altogether "un-level."

But forget what I think -- go read that article about algorithmic millisecond stock-trading, and judge for yourself.


Insignificant Wrangler said...

I'm fighting off a pretty head wrecking cold today, so I'm not quite sure about needing myth and shamanism. But hyper-micro trading seems like just the kind of artificial economic inflation of profits that got us in such trouble in the first place. Boo.

Casey said...

The shamans could fix your cold, Wrangler! -- or at least tell you what "got you into such trouble in the first place."


But yeah, this hyper-micro stuff is unbelievable, isn't it? My parents always told me that "blahblahblah over any given 30 year period, the stock market is a very safe bet," and I used to believe them, because they used to be correct. Now I'm not so sure.