Are Mormons Anti-Modernists?

by: hawkgrrrl

October 1, 2013

The good old days.  So joyful.

There are many stories that could easily vie for the title of Scariest Story in the Bible, but I’d like to make a case for the story of the Tower of Babel.  In this story, the people on earth desire to build a tower tall enough to go straight into heaven.  They band together in teamwork and industry, engineering in unprecedented and creative ways.  The tower climbs higher and higher.  What happens next is found in Genesis 11: 5-9:

5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their alanguage, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the acity.

9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there aconfound the blanguage of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord cscatter them dabroad upon the face of all the earth.

A Petty God.  As a child, this story always bothered me for several reasons.  First of all, I saw no way that this enterprise would succeed anyway. Even when we successfully landed on the moon, we didn’t bump into God on the way.  So it wasn’t like it was going to work.  The story puts God in the position of a cruel boy with an ant farm, deliberately and capriciously thwarting man’s puny illusory progress.  Further, it was easy to see that confounding the languages would create all the wars and human divisions that followed as people misunderstood one another and formed tribes to protect their own linguistic groups.  Why would God deliberately want to play games like a grandiose contest of Survivor, forcing alliances and divisions?  It didn’t cast God in a very benevolent light, making him seem jealous of his own creations’ achievements, like a petty dictator.

An Unknowable God.  Many churches use this story to keep their flock’s upstart pretensions in line. It’s blasphemy to imagine oneself as being the same type of creature as God.  Their view of divinity is not that we are literal sons and daughters of heavenly parents, but that God is completely separate and different from us–always has been, always will be.  Clearly that’s not our view as Latter-day Saints.  We believe in a glorified man as God, right down to his fingernails and eardrums.

Can you be both anti-modern and a global warming skeptic?

Anti-Modernism.  As I reflect on this story as an adult, I see it as a misguided diatribe against progress, one likely made by anti-modernist scribes rather than a petty but superior divine being.  The story pits God against man’s growth, causing divisions among people, and desiring to keep men from achievement and also from attaining his presence.  It is a fable about the perils of modernity, one that makes innovation an enemy to God.  This is a position held firmly by terrorists, extremists and fundamentalists in our own current day.  It is hinted at by a few crotchety old folks and FoxNews pundits who think the world is somehow going to hell in a hand basket.  Basically the kind of folks that wrote the Bible.  I have a hard time believing modernism is antithesis to God’s will if God wants us to learn to become like Him.  Progress is progress.  Knowledge is power.  This makes the Tower of Babel equivalent to the story of Prometheus, punished eternally for giving fire to man.

Are Mormons Anti-Modernists?

Growing up in the church, particularly living in a strongly Amish area of the country, I would have said Mormons embraced the future, including progressive things like science, education and technology.  The Amish by contrast wanted to live a simple lifestyle, one bereft of technological and scientific progress, an increasingly isolated way of life.  The skills for Amish life did not require education beyond the 8th grade.  Certainly, compared to the Amish, we were practically cutting edge in our embrace of science, technology and change.

The older I get, the more I hear church members freely expressing opinions that are right-wing anti-progress dogma.  Just last Sunday a teacher asked for a show of hands of anyone who did not see the world slipping into an oblivion of moral peril at an alarming rate.  I was too shocked by the question to respond, although I couldn’t imagine that we were all ferreting away our gold bars under our mattresses as he seemed to think we should be.  It seemed to me to be a truly bizarre comment, distinctly anti-modern.

“Anti-modern movements represent a wide range of critiques, including appeals to tradition, religion, spirituality, environmentalism, aesthetics, pacifism, Marxism or agrarian virtues. They may reject technologies, or their use, social organizations, such as corporations, or some combination of the above.”

Antimodernism is a philosophical orientation that is somewhat difficult to define, but in essence constitutes a rejection of modernist ideals and behaviours in favour of what is perceived as a purer historical or even prehistorical way of life and consciousness of mind. As such, antimodernism is neither a single, definable movement nor a unified set of beliefs, but a vaguely-defined gist of thought.” [1]

When we idealize the 1950s or the Victorian era, we are being anti-modernist, reaching back into a fictitious nostalgic past that was not nearly as rosy as we remember or imagine.  Mortality rates were higher, people had fewer rights, and conveniences we take for granted hadn’t even been thought up yet.  I was once in a Sunday School lesson in which the teacher opined for the days when schoolteachers were allowed to use corporal punishment on the students.  And people didn’t sputter in disbelief.  Several nodded in assent!

Like Reservoir Dogs, only Amish.

Likewise, those who love the idea of a United Order sometimes pine for an agrarian self-sufficient community, like a hippie commune but with Mormonism as the base.  This is another form of anti-modernism.

As we all know, many Islamic clerics who are extremists also use anti-modern rhetoric to fight against the modernism they see that would give women rights to divorce philandering and abusive husbands or would allow people the freedom to leave their religion without being stoned to death.  They view any modernism as moral decay, a slippery slope into the western value system they oppose.  Anti-modernists are clearly not in the best company.

Why Is Anyone Anti-Modern?

Typically those who oppose change are those who believe they have the most to lose, those most invested in the status quo:  the elite (including the clerical elite), the elderly, the wealthy. All humans are prone to oppose change they dislike or fear.  That fear is associated with loss of status.

I recently finished reading The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley.  He points out that neither political party (in the US anyway) is immune to this tendency to stall in the face of progress:

“ . . . it is a book about the benefits of change.  I find that my disagreement is mostly with reactionaries of all political colors: blue ones who dislike cultural change, red ones who dislike economic change and green ones who dislike technological change.”

No wonder we messed up. These directions are in Japanese!

Ridley talks about the irrepressible nature of human progress.  What differentiates man from chimpanzees is collaboration:

“At some point, human intelligence became collective and cumulative in a way that happened to no other animal.”

In the fable of the Tower of Babel, this is the moment of human evolution when people began to come together to share ideas; because they can communicate, they can innovate and share a vision as a group.  But sharing ideas is insufficient as Ridley explains:

“If culture consisted simply of learning habits from others, it would soon stagnate.  For culture to turn cumulative, ideas need to meet and mate.  The ‘cross-fertilization of ideas’ is a cliché, but one with unintentional fecundity.”

In the ancient world, many people only became wealthy by taking someone else’s wealth.  This model was based on scarcity:

“ . . . one way to raise your standard of living would be to lower somebody else’s:  buy a slave.  That was indeed how people got rich for thousands of years.”

There are two enemies to progress as outlined by economist Ridley:  small communities and self-sufficiency.  Yet, these are the hallmarks of the united order and our push for provident living and the very byproducts of the confounding of languages in the Tower of Babel story:

“This is the diagnostic feature of modern life, the very definition of a high standard of living:  diverse consumption, simplified production.  Make one thing, use lots.  The self-sufficient gardener, or his self-sufficient peasant or hunter-gatherer predecessor (who is, I shall argue, partly a myth in any case), is in contrast defined by his multiple production and simple consumption.  He makes not just one thing, but many—his food, his shelter, his clothing, his entertainment.  Because he only consumes what he produces, he cannot consume very much.”

“The bigger the connected population, the more skilled the teacher, and the bigger the probability of a productive mistake.  Conversely, the smaller the connected population, the greater the steady deterioration of the skill as it was passed on.”

He likewise cautions against . . . caution:

“The precautionary principle—better safe than sorry—condemns itself: in a sorry world there is no safety to be found in standing still.”

Change, primarily as sparked by the exchange of ideas that leads to innovation, is the surest way to sustainable wealth for all, raising the standard of living and the human condition.

When Progress is Lost

How did we get here again?

There are times in history when innovation has actually been forgotten.  It’s like the myth of Atlantis.  Having served a mission in the Canary Islands, I am aware of the history of the Guanche people, seafarers from Northern Africa who settled in the Canaries and became goat herders spread out through the seven islands.  In the process, they became isolated into small mountainous communities, and despite being able to see the other islands from where they were, they “forgot” how to build boats and sail.  They became isolated and land-locked.  When the Spaniards showed up in the 1600s, the Guanche were easily conquered.

Describing a similar culture, Ridley said:

“They fell steadily and gradually back into a simpler toolkit and lifestyle, purely because they lacked the numbers [of people] to sustain their existing technology.”

Along similar lines, I have done a mental experiment of what the world would be like [say, in the wake of a zombie apocalypse or deadly virus] if the population were suddenly reduced to only a handful of people.  In my mental experiment, there’s a lot of looting of shopping malls initially, but then the food begins to spoil and I realize I don’t know how to fix the refrigeration systems or grow various types of fresh food, etc.  The fact that those things are currently available to me today is only a byproduct of specialization and a large, fully interdependent society.  If the millenium is going to be like my apocalyptic fantasy, no thanks!

Ah, yes, the good old days. If you were the rich ones, that is.

As an expat living in Singapore, we were frequently inconvenienced by a lack of the self-servicing options that abound in the US.  If we wanted to buy groceries, we had to wait in line.  We couldn’t pump our own gas and pay at the pump because someone pumped it for us, but then we had to go inside to pay.  When a culture is based on raising the standard of living for all, as the US is, we conspire to create more options and self-service solutions.  In a culture like Singapore that depends on an underclass of servants, the overall standard of living is not quite as high and egalitarian.  When American friends became aware that we had a live-in domestic helper there, they sometimes expressed jealousy.  However, it was I who was jealous of the conveniences they took for granted.

“The cornucopia that greets you as you enter the supermarket dwarfs anything that Louis XIV ever experienced (and it is probably less likely to contain salmonella).  You can buy a fresh, frozen, tinned, smoked or pre-prepared meal made with beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, prawns, scallops, eggs, potatoes, beans, carrots, cabbage, aubergine, kumquats, celeriac, okra, seven kinds of lettuce, cooked in olive, walnut, sunflower or peanut oil, and flavoured with cilantro, turmeric, basil or rosemary . . . You may have no chefs, but you can decide on a whim to choose between scores of nearby bistros, or Italian, Chinese, Japanese, or Indian restaurants, in each of which a team of skilled chefs is waiting to serve your family at less than an hour’s notice.  This of this:  never before this generation has the average person been able to afford to have somebody else prepare his meals.

“You employ no tailor, but you can browse the internet and instantly order from an almost infinite range of excellent, affordable clothes of cotton, silk, linen, wool and nylon made up for you in factories all over Asia. . . . You have no runner to send messages, but even now a repairman is climbing a mobile-phone mast somewhere in the world to make sure it is working properly just in case you need to call that cell. You have no private apothecary, but your local pharmacy supplies you with the handiwork of many thousands of chemists, engineers and logistics experts.”

Costco is the American’s domestic helper.  Amazon is our Thai tailor.  Now that I’m back in the US, I’m struck by how easy it is to do the laundry (which was done for me in Singapore down to the pressed socks and underwear), and how quickly I can get the shopping done, and all in one place!  In Singapore I had to shop in a store that was roughly the size of two side-by-side 7-11s.  Often, we’d find (after stopping at seven stores) that every single store in the country was out of a special item we wanted such as vanilla frosting.


“Get off my lawn, damn kids!”

One argument people make to fight against ecological change or technology is that it comes with unforeseen consequences or saps unrenewable resources.  Often the rally cry is “If things continue as they are going . . . ”  As Ridley points out, things don’t continue as they are going.  They change through the ongoing exchange of ideas, through innovation and information sharing.  We will solve the problems we face today through additional progress.  Since we know from experience that this is true in the technological realm, it seems obvious that it would be true in the sociological realm as well.

For those who believe society’s morals are in free fall, remember that doomsayers always cherry pick the negative to make their case.  As Socrates said:  “Our youth now love luxury.  They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in places of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

  • Is the church anti-modern or is it just a few cranks with a microphone?
  • Is the world in a state of moral decay or are we deluded about the rosiness of the past?
  • Is the story of the Tower of Babel disturbing?  Do you interpret it differently?  If so, how?
  • Do you see progress as a threat to morality?  Do you yearn to live off the land by the sweat of your brow?


Tags: , , , , , ,

23 Responses to Are Mormons Anti-Modernists?

  1. Jack Hughes on October 1, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    In one recent example, the Church decided to remove broadcast restrictions of the priesthood session of GC, so we can watch it at home–at the same time, they released a statement advising priesthood holders to still get dressed up and watch it at meetinghouses anyway, ostensibly for the sake of tradition. Too many Latter-day Saints get stuck on tradition; in other words, doing something for no other reason than “that’s the way its always been done”. And the whole idea of dressing up in our Sunday best to watch a closed-circuit video feed of people who can’t see us watching them, that never sat well with me. Just who are we trying to impress?

    Sometimes, I think we fail to embrace advances in technology or society because we feel obligated to push back against “the world”.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  2. fbisti on October 1, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    The “church” (read: its 70-90 year old leaders) has fostered a mindset and culture (at least from the time of Brigham Young) that is clearly “anti-modern.” Constantly touting ancient stories (as contrasted with ancient events–the Tower of Babel and all of Genesis is a story), and ancient teachings (including all of the Standard Works) naturally generates non-modern, non-innovation, anti-science pressure on the culture and worldview of we Mormons.

    However, it is exacerbated (“enhanced” would be the better description if I were of a contrary opinion) by the simple chronological age of our primary speakers. “The good old days” were an enormously long time ago (with regard, especially, to the second half of the 20th Century). They grew up with, at best, the telegraph and radio as the pinnacle of technology. We (current adults) have grown up with, TV, computers, moon landings (much to the chagrin of Joseph Fielding Smith), the Internet, cell phones, and social media. And, using technology comparisons as a generalized proxy for a comparison to most of the world’s attitudes regarding women’s rights, civil rights, homosexuals, ecology, etc., vs these so-called inspired by God leaders you see the disparity.

    So, our current Mormon “culture” cannot help but be anti-modern. These two enormous influences may explain most of the current state of our culture, but they don’t excuse it. God didn’t suddenly (in just the last year or so with regard to homosexuals and only in the last 20 years or so otherwise) wake up and start inspiring the General Authorities that it is wrong to be bigoted and racist. It has always been wrong. The big question is has God really wanted us to be taught all this wrong-headed doctrine and culture (and I would include polygamy and its promises for higher and bigger kingdoms as wrong and false doctrine) all this time?

    The vast majority of Mormons (and, since college, I have lived in 5 different states, including Utah–briefly) in my experience, are quite non-curious, and closed-minded with regard to church doctrine and history. How could they fail to be anti-modern?

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 6

  3. Kullervo on October 1, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    Many churches use this story to keep their flock’s upstart pretensions in line.

    What? Which churches? Be specific. Give examples.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  4. Jeff Spector on October 1, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    How funny. The Church that has embraced modern technology for all its worth is considered anti-modern. We have the largest private satellite network, where conference is now broadcast in real time in multiple languages to the world rather than have to wait two or three months for the Ensign to show up to find out what they said, who uses social media, YouTube, the web, blogging/chatting missionaries to get out the gospel message, who built apps for the handheld devices we carry for scriptures, gospel library, ward directory, etc and who is at the forefront of modern genealogy technology so that I do not have to spend hundreds of dollars and hours hunched over a microfilm reader or stomping through a graveyard in search of my family is anti-modern because some traditional values not embraced by the world?


    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 4

  5. hawkgrrrl on October 1, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Kullervo, the most common Christian interpretation of the story (if you search on line, the majority of sermons will be this interpretation) is how dare man put himself on the same plane with God; it’s a story designed to keep the believers from thinking they are like God or should presume to think so. For a religion like Mormonism, based on theosis, the idea we are God’s literal offspring, that interpretation doesn’t jibe, so instead the story twists around to be more like trying to claim our birthright by our own effort and possibly deceptive means rather than through righteousness.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  6. Jeff Spector on October 1, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    “When we idealize the 1950s or the Victorian era, we are being anti-modernist, reaching back into a fictitious nostalgic past that was not nearly as rosy as we remember or imagine.”

    What in the word is this fixation with the 1950’s? I realize after WWII, many women relinquished the jobs they had while the men were fighting and dying in the Pacific and Europe and that the baby boom started as well. I think people in general were more honest than today, but, at the same time, more “clicy,” and prejudiced. We traded off that prejudice for less honesty, more children born out of wedlock without fathers in most cases and, a general lack of social skill and work ethic on the part of younger people.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  7. nate on October 1, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    I think the church is both modern and traditional. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were great innovators. And many of the current General Authorities have impressive secular resumes in the tech and innovation realm.

    I think Mormons, like Jews are naturally progressive, but they are confused about how this should manifest itself in their religious and political outlook. They are entirely different than fundamentalists, even if they are conservative.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  8. Will on October 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    In this post there is confusion between intelligence and intelligence. The secular view of intelligence is educational obtainment; or how far one progresses in math, science or literature. God defines intelligence as light and truth; or living by the spirit and seeking truth. This can and does come by trials and tribulations such as the confounding of languages.

    Man studied the Bible for hundreds of years, but Joseph Smith understood more in a few minutes via the first vision than all of the previous scholars combined. A relatively unlearned man gained enormous intelligence by spiritual means. One of the underlying themes of the story of the tower of Babel is the pursuit of worldly (secular) things instead of spiritual. This is what God objected to in this story.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  9. Will on October 1, 2013 at 4:04 PM

    Sorry “Attainment” not obtainment

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  10. ji on October 1, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    In one recent example, the Church decided to remove broadcast restrictions of the priesthood session of GC, so we can watch it at home–at the same time, they released a statement advising priesthood holders to still get dressed up and watch it at meetinghouses anyway….

    There’s no dissonance here — removing the broadcast restrictions is a help to those men who live far away, and we want them to be included — but for those men who live close by, please come. It makes sense to me. There is both an invitation to come join in the brotherhood and fellowship, and also a reaching out to include those at a distance. Beautiful.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  11. hawkgrrrl on October 1, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    My own view is that most of the anti-modernist rhetoric has crept in seductively from the religious right. This is why we should be very wary of these strange bedfellows. I was always very proud growing up that our church was slow to contradict science, quick to embrace technology, and generally interested in participating in the world. These qualities have definitely slowed very noticeably in my lifetime. I was thrilled, however, to hear that all the Q12 got iPads at Pres. Packer’s insistence. Where there’s life, there’s hope.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 4

  12. Jeff Spector on October 1, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    We’re not even showing the PH session in our building, only at our Stake Center. And no mention was made of any letter, so they said, watch it at home or go to the Stake Center, if you want. I meant to ask the Bishop in our meeting and totally forgot. Then one of the counselors made that announcement in the third hour.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  13. Hedgehog on October 2, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    Jeff’s comment #6 reminded me of this:

    I think we are in a period of social adjustment where many are trying to work out their place as an individual. It’s no longer obvious. The former structures may have felt safe to some, and provided a template in the past, which is now largely gone. It was based on inequity, and exploitation for the most part, whilst it may have appeared stable. I think the church encouragement of education, and the existence of the PEF both demonstrate it does favour progress.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  14. brjones on October 2, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    As an aside, I don’t see how anyone could credibly argue against the story of Moses and the Midianites as the most disturbing story in all of scripture.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  15. MH on October 2, 2013 at 8:25 AM

    Hawk, I enjoyed your take on this story. I always found it weird, and hadn’t considered it as anti-modern, but I think that makes sense.

    “Is the church anti-modern or is it just a few cranks with a microphone?” There are definitely some cranks.

    “Do you see progress as a threat to morality?” I think we need to be careful, but as a general rule, no. I think we are becoming more moral despite calls to the contrary.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  16. Howard on October 2, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    What in the word is this fixation with the 1950′s?

    In the 1950s we all watched the same *broadcasts* on the the same 3 networks; NBC, CBS and ABC and talked about them by the water cooler at work the next day except respectable married women of course who were home raising kids because the “pill” wasn’t available until 1962. Broadcasting is one size fits most in a similar way to one gender role fits each sex. Or similar to pull your garmies up if you need to ’cause that’s how they’re made and no there isn’t an air conditioned version for summer! Robert Young ruled (presided?) over his family in Father Knows Best in a way that is still revered buy the church today.

    And business was a tall top down organization that revered control via standardization. In April 1955 the first McDonald’s opened in Des Plaines, Illinois, where they further improved the assembly line process and introduced the golden arches that are now familiar all over the world. While franchises like McDonald’s helped standardize what people ate, some American workers found themselves becoming standardized as well. Employees who were well paid and held secure jobs in thriving companies sometimes paid a price for economic advancement: a loss of their individuality. In general, businesses did not want creative thinkers, rebels, or anyone who would rock the corporate boat. In The Organization, a book based on a classic 1956 study of suburban Park Forest, Illinois, and other communities, William H. Whyte described how the new, large organizations created “company people.” Companies would give personality tests to people applying for jobs to make sure they would “fit in” the corporate culture.

    Does anyone doubt that the church provides McDonald’s consistency world wide?

    Seeing any similarities yet?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  17. Lonicera on October 2, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Hawkgrrl, you are mixing different ideas in your definition of progress. One type of progress is scientific and technological, in which we learn more and achieve more. The other idea is sociological and/or political progress, which can more accurately be termed change. I once had a history professor who cautioned us to not think of human history as continual progress, but rather change. The word progress implies change for the better, whereas change is a neutral term. Some changes are good (depending on your belief system and lie experiences) and some changes are not good. If you belong to a belief system (a church, for example) but believe that change equals progress, then your belief system pretty much loses its boundaries and loses any distinction from the culture at large. For example, sex outside of marriage is now considered OK. Is that progress? This is not to say, however, that we should not critically examine what we believe and parse out what is of value and what are simply cultural relics. Once while sitting in church, I looked around and thought how very nineteenth century the service was. I decided that was due to the church having been organized in the nineteenth century, and not because God was partial to the trappings of that time period.

    As I see it, chronological snobbery runs both ways and just as it is weak minded to cling to ideas of the past on the assumption that everything was better in the past, it is also foolish to equate change with progress without critical analysis.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  18. hawkgrrrl on October 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Lonicera – the linkage between anti-progress on the technological and economical fronts are often linked to the concept of moral decay by anti-modernists. I’m not inventing that linkage, just disagreeing with its necessity.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  19. Jeff Spector on October 2, 2013 at 1:02 PM


    I would have several comments about your characterization:

    Firstly, most people didn’t have TVs in the 1950s, so they were not watching anything. And, if they did, the programming was very limited to mainly variety and news.So, I do not think most people got their 1950’s mentality from TV. In fact, it was the TV that was probably influenced by society rather than the other way around. Robert Young didn’t exactly rule over his family as you have insinuated.

    And your McDonald’s example has several flaws as well. Ray Krok was nothing more than the Henry Ford of fast food, so those “standardizations” occurred long before Kroc was probably born. Standardization was a cost saving and efficiency strategy, not a way to “keep the man down” or discourage innovation. Or else, we’d all still be driving Model T’s and not Mustangs, etc. The idea of the company town was born in the late 1880s and not in Park Forest, Il. And while fitting into the corporate culture is important, it is not the same as what the military expects from recruits. Having been in a corporate environment for almost 35 years, I know that is not true for our company.

    And even McDonald’s allows for local and regional differences.

    while I might not like all of the Church’s attempts at correlation, it is an attempt to insure that the Gospel (big G) is the same all over the world. Even the Catholic Church cannot say that. One Lord, One faith, One baptism

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  20. Howard on October 2, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    The number of US homes with TVs increased from 0.4 percent in 1948 to 55.7 percent in 1954 and to 83.2 percent four years later.

    Jeff, having served as COO of several manufacturing companies I am reasonably aware of Ford’s assembly line approach and the concept of interchangeable parts and why that was done. The point is these concepts peaked around the 50s and they no longer represent anything close to an ideal model for business. Today’s companies are much flatter organizations many offering high mix low volume products and even custom choices.

    Top down one size fits all is D-E-A-D and has been for a long time!

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  21. Jeff Spector on October 2, 2013 at 3:17 PM


    Then you should know that the auto companies in specific adopted a more interchangeable part strategy in the last 15 or 20 years as they consolidated in an effort to improve margins. They eliminated brands and finally began to share common parts between divisions, instead of having multiple engine models, transmissions, etc. While they often times built on common chassis’, the cosmetic parts were unique, which they still are..

    So I am not sure where you get your notion.

    In the high tech world, PCs generally use the same parts from the same manufacturers across multiple companies and brands. In fact, many disc products will be found in PCs and higher end disc arrays used in enterprise level computing. LCD screens have multiple applications as PC monitors, TVs and other display devices.

    Anything that reduces inventory cost and part counts is consider a good thing.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  22. Howard on October 2, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Jeff wrote: So I am not sure where you get your notion. No? So you have no idea what happened to one’s choice in car styles, colors and options since the 50s?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  23. Howard on October 2, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    How many choices of computer do you have today? Desk top, laptop in a variety of sizes, tablets in a variety of sizes and many, many styles of cell phones. Pick your specifications. One size fits all? Hardly. Any color you want as long as it’s black? No way. Produced by tall top down organizations? You’ve got to be kidding!

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0


%d bloggers like this: