Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Mill

During the taming of America, the people took a different path to building towns than most others. For instance, they used a grid, where others went with the flow of the land. Also, European towns were build around a church. When traveling from miles away, the first thing a traveler would see was the steeple for the church. However, American towns had mills at the center of their towns. I don't agree with theis decision; however, I can see where many other people would think it logical. The mills were used to help give them food, lumber, etc. It makes sense for them to want to be closer to this place. For instance, if they were too far away from the mill, then their food might spoil.
However, while this might be logical, it seems like a step away from God. God was the center of their life. He was their source of hope, strength, and happiness. Now they are focused more in the material world. God is shoved off to the side along with the church. This can be seen in many western movies. When they show the towns in these movies, they rarely visit the church. Instead, one of the main scene settings is the bar. The town's people frequently go to bars to drown their troubles in whiskey rather than visit the church to pray. Some of the towns didn't even have churches. Giving the impression that God was replaced by the mill.
In Second Creation, Nye is telling about the influences man made when entering the New World. This one seemingly small change of placing the mill at the center of the town, seems to have a strong effect on civilization. Though the mill is not necessarily at the center of our towns today, its effect of having moved God from the center of people's lives can still be seen in today's society.

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