Monday, December 18, 2006

Guess who's coming to dinner? Everyone!

This week's column is the first in a series that will deal with postmodernity. As I've thought about values, virtues, morality and ethics over the last four years, I've discovered that there are particular qualities that we can cultivate in ourselves that are more suited to navigating postmodern waters than the usual suspects like kindness, honesty, courage and so on. It's not to say that these aren't important. On the contrary, they may be even more important today than ever. But they need an upgrade: honesty 2.0, kindness 2.6 and so on.

Postmodern virtues may in fact be more like adding RAM to your computer - a supercharge that makes the usefulness of the traditional virtues more effective and swifter to access.

Today's article sets the stage for that series.



Kansas Bob said...

In these postmodern times there is one entity that yet remains constant - Wal*Mart is still there for us ... they care enough about the World to put the whole East to work to provide the West with all of the treasures we so need :)

SusansPlace said...

I humbly accept your offer of personal trainer. I'll go there with you.

Julie, I think you vividly described the world that is around us and upon us. It's colorful, exciting, scarey and holds promise. It will not be ignored. How to go there without giving up ourselves in the process is going to be tricky and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


jim said...

I'm intrigued!

OldMom said...

Oh dear, you drove a stake through my heart with the middle age apathy comment!

Can I be wary yet open?

Can I just listen without saying too much? ;-)

I look forward to the rest of the series.


Dave said...

Julie, I've finally taken the time to read through this column carefully and consider it at some length.

I'm intrigued by this idea of postmodern virtues. Are you going to spell them out along the lines of the seven "classic" virtues?(Chastity, Abstinence, Generosity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, Humility) Or not quite so formal? And do you anticipate that the practice of these virtues (beyond just the mere espousing of them) will bring us into open conflict with some of the intentionally anti-pomo forces that are out there? In other words, is there or will there be *political* implications to being affirmingly postmodern?

Something for you to ponder as you get about composing future installments of the series...

julieunplugged said...

Dave you always ask such great questions. I want to look at the role of naming virtues and then talk about how certain virtues (some may see them as traits or attitudes to cultivate) may help us renegotiate the terms of relating that we now must face.

The seven virtues you mention don't cease to be meaningful or important, but I think they may need some kind of add-on - booster program - to help them become effective again.

I'm excited about the series and have already started naming the virtues but I'll hold off on sharing them here for the sake of drama. :)