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Sunday, August 05, 2018

Notes from “Egotopia" - Breathing Space Blog

A 20 year old book Egotopia by John Miller (University of Alabama Press, 1997) has some remarkable insights for today:

"There are moments in history that divide eras--moments that serve to direct our attention, to inform us of a fundamental shift in collective perception, in professed values. The emergence of the New American Landscape is just such a moment whose significance, for the most part, is a steep detection of sociologists, historian, and architectural critics alike.

So little of our historical landscape remains (replaced by the “New American Landscape”) that it’s hard to appreciate our present aesthetic deprivation, having few opportunities for comparison.

We have been transformed from a society modeled on the professed virtues of balance, harmony, rights, and responsibilities to one that unabashedly celebrates excessive behavior and self indulgence in the name of self-liberation.

The ugliness of our environment is a function of our transformation from a society to communal values to one that celebrates and encourages individual self indulgence. Greed, ignorance, mindless science and technology, and excessive materialism contribute to both environmental destruction and a public confusion and ambiguity about aesthetics.

We appear indifferent to the physical and environmental loss of our cultural heritage as authentic small towns and charming country side are paved over. Concurrently, we seemed pleased and satisfied in having created a physical environment in which it is literally possible to be no more than minutes by car away from refrigerated soft-drink. "

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Jeff Davidson, MBA, CMC, Executive Director -- Breathing Space Institute  © 2019
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