News and Tribune


June 23, 2014

CUMMINS: Progress is moving backward

— Has human progress gone about as far as it can go? Is there anything else to invent that will ease the struggle and pain of human beings in their search for meaning in a world full of nut cases?

 First, it was the wheel which evolved into the Model T Ford. And then it was aluminum wings followed by rocket ships to take man and experimental animals to outer space. When we landed on the moon, one of the astronauts hit a golf ball, but there has been little progress there since then. Mars is the next goal, and if we can establish a colony there, it might be a good place to ship Congress to.

Think back to all the remarkable inventions in recent years. Between 1876 and the invention of the telephone to the recent explosion of the smartphone, humans have much better ways to communicate. From the sealed letter delivered by U.S. mail carriers on mules, people now have speedier ways to send words. To me, instant texting is like eating instant mashed potatoes, but it did eliminate the postage stamp.  

The invention of the printing press replaced monasteries full of monks copying stuff on crumbly parchment. But man was essentially lost in a huge wilderness until government saw the need for the Internet. Until then, man lacked knowledge, but thanks to Google, we now have all of the world’s information at our fingertips. Unfortunately, information is not necessarily knowledge therefore man does not seem to know how to use knowledge as he continues trying to convert his soul into a digital mechanism.

We can continue listing inventions that have assisted us in our daily living such as the aspirin in 1899 and the nuclear reactor, which could wipe out our daily living. Amongst all these inventions, I rank the remote, thermostat and microwave near the top. I like to sit back changing channels at 78 degrees, and when overcome with hunger, I pop a frozen gluten-free dinner in the microwave. What more could I ever want or need?

Admittedly, I cannot live without my computer and the data cloud that stores my life’s stuff. I once heard you should store your treasures in Heaven. Maybe you’ve heard that, too. That’s getting pretty deep, mixing the spiritual with the digital. Theologians have their work cut out for them, defining the soul and its treasures in a world ruled by nerds, despots and elected numb skulls.

Perhaps we need a new religion, or maybe we have too many already. Current religions can’t seem to get along. Religions stem from a God, yours or mine. Yours says this and mine says that. Did you know that one God gets involved in politics?  One of them determined the result of the recent cutthroat congressional race in Virginia. Powerful Eric Cantor was upset in more ways than one by little-known Dave Brat, who attributed his upset victory to God, another miracle like feeding thousands from one fish. And we thought treasure chests of corporate money stored in off-shore banks determined elections.

If God plays politics, maybe we should consolidate all religions into one with a one-and-the-same God. It would certainly help Iraq and the Middle East, where the Sunnis and Shia have been killing each other since Mohammed died in the 7th Century. The U. S. may get involved over there again to clean up that mess. Good luck in bringing other fractured nations together while our nation can’t even agree on how to purify the air we breathe. Democrats and Republicans are similar to the Shia and Sunnis except we haven’t regressed into gunfire on the hallowed House of Representative floor yet.

Back to Brat and his miracle at the ballot box. If God is going to continue intervening in elections, it might prevent potential statesmen and stateswomen from running for office and risk being struck down by God’s sword. And if God chose Obama, then Republicans better be careful. He could choose Hillary, dividing our nation into staunch men and uppity women.

Have we run out of things to invent? Ever heard of Terasem? It’s a new religion that’s growing and could be the answer to current strife and bloodshed. A young visionary, Gabriel Rothblatt, thinks we should place our faith in technology, which could save our souls. I know people who are already worshipping it.

It does make some sense. Most anything makes more sense than what our feeble-brain leaders are doing to our once beautiful world.

— Contact Terry Cummins at


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