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Theory and Practice

June 8, 2009

Theory often sounds nice and can wear a certain mark of perfection, but sometimes falls far short of the aims it aspires to realize. 

I remember a good friend of mine that I grew up with talking with a MIT engineer whom he had never met.  Maren is a master of common sense and all things practical.  He is also 6’2″ and around 280 – 300 lbs.  Maren and I grew up together in the foothills of northern CA, and I watched as he would chase rattle snakes and pull them out of their holes by the tale — crazy!  We also took shop together in high school and he can build pretty much anything out of wood or metal.

Maren explained to this engineer how they can build things that look perfect on paper, but almost completely useless once manufactured.  As he held up his hands he asked, “How am I supposed to replace a part this big (making a gesture with his hands) through a hole no bigger than my finger?  Genius.”

Theory equally applies to politics.  Political rhetoric contains equally as little substance as the theories and ideologies it upholds.  I have found the words of G. K. Chesterton alarmingly perceptive when he writes in “What’s Wrong With the World” that progress must be built on principle not precedent, but the problem with moderns is that they continue to promote a form of progress entirely built on precedent.  This is what Darwin has gifted us, by which I mean the notion of adaptation.  When principle are forsaken, the eternal is lost and the hope for true progress unrealizable.

I found this article about the general public’s recent judgment concerning socialistic ideologies no longer practical in Europe interesting.  The headline on the Drudge Report read, “USA moves left, EU goes right.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090608/ap_on_re_eu/european_elections

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From → Philosophy, Politics

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