Explosive! Anima! Technica! Vacua!

Episode 102 · August 11th, 2017 · 1 hr 23 mins

About this Episode

We've talked about the "anima technica vacua" a bunch of times in the past, but now we do a deep dive, especially how the empty soul of the modern West affects our patterns of thinking.

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  • Against Great Books by Patrick J. Deneen | Articles | First Things — Berry writes of the books that aimed to educate human beings by teaching the limits of human power and knowledge. Great books such as Paradise Lost sought to inculcate a sense of limits, a cognizance of knowledge inappropriate to humans. They sought to cultivate a capacity to accept and endure rather than the impulse to transform and escape, and they endeavored to foster an education in the accompanying virtues that are required in a world where such limits are recognized—virtues such as moderation and prudence—and in the avoidance of vices like pride and hubris. Here we could look at a dominant understanding of a long succession of great books, from antiquity through the Middle Ages—books whose authors would include the likes of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Dante, and Aquinas, among others.
  • Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? - The Atlantic — One of the ironies of iGen life is that despite spending far more time under the same roof as their parents, today’s teens can hardly be said to be closer to their mothers and fathers than their predecessors were. “I’ve seen my friends with their families—they don’t talk to them,” Athena told me. “They just say ‘Okay, okay, whatever’ while they’re on their phones. They don’t pay attention to their family.” Like her peers, Athena is an expert at tuning out her parents so she can focus on her phone. She spent much of her summer keeping up with friends, but nearly all of it was over text or Snapchat. “I’ve been on my phone more than I’ve been with actual people,” she said. “My bed has, like, an imprint of my body.”