August 23, 2019
I read Andrew Sullivan’s 2016 piece for the New York Magazine this week and it’s as relevant as ever. It’s a wonderful, thought-provoking read that’s worth the investment. One quote won’t do it justice, but to give a taste:
Yes, online and automated life is more efficient, it makes more economic sense, it ends monotony and “wasted” time in the achievement of practical goals. But it denies us the deep satisfaction and pride of workmanship that comes with accomplishing daily tasks well, a denial perhaps felt most acutely by those for whom such tasks are also a livelihood — and an identity.
Indeed, the modest mastery of our practical lives is what fulfilled us for tens of thousands of years — until technology and capitalism decided it was entirely dispensable. If we are to figure out why despair has spread so rapidly in so many left-behind communities, the atrophying of the practical vocations of the past — and the meaning they gave to people’s lives — seems as useful a place to explore as economic indices.
Read it in full at NYMag.com1
Thanks for reading! My name's Stephen Weiss. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn.
Click here to see the archives of my weeks in review and sign up yourself!