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Wendell Berry, “Renewing Husbandry”:

I remember well a summer morning in about 1950 when my father sent a hired man with a McCormick High Gear No. 9 mowing machine and a team of mules to the field I was mowing with our nearly new Farmall A. That memory is a landmark in my mind and my history. I had been born into the way of farming represented by the mule team, and I loved it. I knew irresistibly that the mules were good ones. They were stepping along beautifully at a rate of speed in fact only a little slower than mine. But now I saw them suddenly from the vantage point of the tractor, and I remember how fiercely I resented their slowness. I saw them as “in my way.” For those who have had no similar experience, I was feeling exactly the outrage and the low-grade superiority of a hot-rodder caught behind an aged dawdler in urban traffic. It is undoubtedly significant that in the summer of 1950 I passed my sixteenth birthday and I became eligible to solve all my problems by driving an automobile.

Two things:

  1. When I drive I become a different person. I am normally a patient person—but not when I’m driving. I become aggressive. I call people assholes. I would never do that in person! (And not just because I wouldn’t want to get in a fight.) I offer this as a counterpoint to those who would suggest that our tools (using that word broadly) are morally neutral. They do, in fact, train us in certain ways of being.
  2. Berry’s story is another example of Illich’s ideas about the development of tools

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