Computers and the Russian Soul

The theme of the regional magazine, self-titled Yugra, this month, is technology.  On the first page was the editor’s note, which consisted of a resentful recognition of all the benefits of computers tinged with nostalgia and lamentations about their domineering presence.  Nothing too remarkable about that, it’s a common, normal sentiment.  However, he concluded the article with the following: “Хватит ли места на жестком диске человечества для души?  Духовность.”  “Will there be enough space on the hard-disk of humanity for the soul?  Spirituality.”  I had always considered technology and spirituality mutually exclusive, yet here the Russian manages once again to tie the soul into the conversation.  Sometimes I imagine “the soul” as this respected, patient “best friend” that you pull into the conversation to help make your point. Defending your approval of that movie you saw?  Here, Tanya thinks it was good, too.  Think the sushi smells a little funny?  Vladimir here agrees.  If you can attach the soul to an argument, your statement has that much more backing.  Perhaps this is too trite a comparison for a theme that holds a lot of weight in Russian conversation, buuuuut, it is mentioned so often that I simply had to address my opinion on it.


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