We took special pride in the fact that climbing rocks and icefalls had no economic value in society...We were like a wild species living in the edges of an ecosystem - adaptable, resilient and tough.
To do meaningful work is to contribute - to create value in society.
All the things we value in society don't mean much in fiction.
It seems to me that we're in danger of losing sight of certain basic civic values in society by allowing the growth of a whole generation of people who really have no sense of attachment to society.
When I think of someone equating poems and machines, it makes me feel like that person would like poems to have a more obvious use value in society. They're not happy with poetry being this ephemeral, indefinable thing. They want it to be "real."
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