liminal deployments

An exhibition gave rise to an editorial.

Stanley Schmidt in "Technology and Taste" takes his cue from a travelling exhibition about the life and work of William Morris.

The Earthly Paradise: Arts and Crafts by William Morris and His Circle from Canadian Collections. / Le paradis terrestre. L'artisanat d'art selon William Morris et ses disciples dans des collections canadiennes.

Beginning by commenting on the ironies of artisan production being unaffordable to the working class, Schmidt goes on to argue that mass production has improved affordability and quality and that what stands in the way of realizing Morris's vision is not technology but the social and economic factors involved in its deployment. He observes:

Products of quite respectable quality can be made under decent working conditions and without wrecking the environment. Yes, shoddy workmanship, poor working conditions, and waste and pollution are still all too easy to find. But now the blame must be placed on manufacturers too cheap or unscrupulous to do things right not on the intrinsic inability of machines to do a decent job.
This from Analog April 1995. In the same issue of the magazine one finds a story by Julia Ecklar "The Human Animal" in which an explanation about how humans are animals and that we look the same from baby to adulthood, that is we do not progress from larvae to pupae to adult stage, is told to a race of beings with such distinct stages is interpreted as less about out nurturing instincts and more about insatiability:
You told her worse than that [...] You told her that humans are unChanged children, abominations who would feed themselves to the destruction of everything else around them. You told her that humans cannot be lived with or trusted.
Interesting take on what it may mean to grow up and live responsibly and do a decent job. Time to become changelings.

And so for day 1186