The artificial world of technology does not allow one to see the world as it really is. Even though it might look and taste the same, people are naturally wary of genetically-modified food as a substitution for the 'real thing.' Furthermore, when you think about it, a lion on display at the circus is not really a lion but is, instead, a caged animal travelling around the world being fed to do tricks. A lion, in reality, is an animal in Africa which hunts down it own prey. When the lion is put into a cage to be observed at moments notice, it becomes another animal all together. Society is only slowly starting to realize how its need for order only props up a make-believe world. Eventually, order always shows itself as a form of madness.
Heidegger is afraid man is the next animal to be captured by enframing and warns how "he comes to the point where he himself will have to be taken as standing-reserve." In the desire to control everything, we can never control this very insatiable desire. Even any attempt to stop this desire is, alas, just another whim of desire or as Nietszche writes "The will to overcome an emotion is ultimately only the will of another, or of several other, emotions." Heidegger notes "Meanwhile, man, precisely as the one so threatened will, exalts himself and postures as lord of the earth." Ironically, the reverse is true and we are the ones who are the possessions of our possessions. Even in the very beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, Marx recognized how labourers became merely appendages to the machines they were assigned to. Eventually, one could say we become robots, in a sense, never questioning our existence. Kafka profoundly observed "Man is caught in continuous cycles." - Art tries to break these cycles while the repetitive nature of modern technology simply perpetuates them.
Heidegger does find hope when he writes "destining is never a fate that compels. For man becomes truly free only insofar as he belongs to the realm of destining and so becomes one who listens, though not someone who simply obeys." Heidegger borrows the term 'saving power' from a poem by Holderlin and cites the passage - "But where danger is, grows The saving power also." Heidegger sees enframing as a danger and questions "might not an adequate look into what enframing is, as a destining of revealing, bring the upsurgence of the saving power into appearance?" According to this logic, poiesis might still be concealed within technological disposing because disposing still remains a type of disclosure. "To save is to fetch something home into its essence" and, accordingly, poiesis is what remains there as a 'saving power.' If technology is inevitable, then Heidegger suggests the only recourse is that "the essence of technology must harbor in itself the growth of the 'saving power.'" and optimistically "The closer we come to the danger, the more brightly do the ways into the saving power begin to shine and the more questioning we become."
What exactly is the danger? The worst imaginable form of danger must have been realized in World War II with the advent of the Atomic bomb and the horrors of the Holocaust. T. W. Ardono, however, tells us poetry is impossible after the Holocaust. By this, Ardono must have meant that such excessive things like art are impossible to enjoy in such grave circumstances as those found in modern times. But Heidegger would argue the opposite - in the face of the emminent danger of systematic violence, we need now, more than ever, poetic art as the only way to come to terms with this irrational order and as our last hope to show us a new path. In 'The Poet,' Emerson described this complex relationship between art and technology when he wrote "What if you come near to it, - you are as remote, when you are nearest, as when you are farthest. Every thought is also a prison; every heaven is also a prison. Therefore we love the poet, the inventor, who in any form, whether in an ode, or in an action, or in looks and behaviour, has yielded us a new thought. He unlocks our chains and admits us to a new scene."
Most ironic of all is that science has 'proven' many of Heidegger's insights correct. Niels Bohr tells us that, much like Heidegger's Being, it is not practical to think of the microscopic level of atoms, protons, and electrons as objects or things. Also, Einstein's notorious surprise was when Gamow told him that Pascaul Jordan discovered a star could be made of nothing because at the point of zero volume its negative gravitational would precisely cancel out its positive mass-energy. In Heidegger's thinking, this actually sounds a lot like how a being can come into the clearing. This idea, that the negativity of gravity precisely cancels out the mass-energy (E=mcc) in a lump of matter (or the universe,) is still mind-boggling to physicists today. Indeed, Gamow writes "Einstein stopped in his tracks and, since we were crossing the street, several cars had to stop to avoid running us down." Another philosopher-scientist, Karl Popper, attacked the ultimate futility of science when he harshly points out "Science is perhaps the only human activity in which errors are systematically criticized and... in time, corrected" and "all we can do is search for the falsity content of our best theory." Indeed, Einstein agreed with this final assessment and concluded, himself, that "Only daring speculation can lead us further and not accumalation of facts." Daring speculation happens to be the primary realm of the artist.