Applying a Political Speech to Technology: Agnew Knew

I was listening to a mix by Deadmau5 tonight and he included a speech by Vice President Spiro Agnew while in Houston, Texas on May 22, 1970. It’s a pretty profound speech about the times during the Vietnam War.

The speech has elements that hold true, in most instances, to what is happening today; and by that I mean technology. I figured I would post an edited version of the speech here. The speech really rings a bell for me every time I hear or read it.

Yes, I know it has political connotations to it and by all means I don’t really want to enter into a political discussion. However, if you sit back and read this excerpt and apply it to our contemporary lives with technology, it adds another meaning entirely; and that’s what I’m trying to get at.

“Sometimes it appears that we’re reaching a period when our senses and our minds will no longer respond to moderate stimulation. We seem to be reaching an age of the gross, persuasion through speeches and books is too often discarded for disruptive demonstrations aimed at bludgeoning the unconvinced into action. […] Subtlety is lost, and fine distinctions based on acute reasoning are carelessly ignored in a headlong jump to a predetermined conclusion. Life is visceral rather than intellectual. And the most visceral practitioners of life are those who characterize themselves as intellectuals. Truth is to them revealed rather than logically proved. And the principal infatuations of today revolve around the social sciences, those subjects which can accommodate any opinion, and about which the most reckless conjecture cannot be discredited. […] The student now goes to college to proclaim, rather than to learn. The lessons of the past are ignored and obliterated, and a contemporary antagonism known as “The Generation Gap.” […]”Vice President Spiro Agnew, Houston, Texas – May 22, 1970

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