Sunday, October 11, 2009

on technology

So I've been reading a lot about technology recently, mainly in regard to teaching and literacy. I get really tired of people bad mouthing technology, it's grating. Whether its cell phones or the internet or ipods, eventually everyone is going to use them, and it ends up just making the complainer sound crochety and out of touch most of the time.

I think the one problem I have with technology, is that it has created a world where, for the first time, in the past 50 years or so, we are unable to really feel kinship with people who lived in previous centuries. I might be totally wrong on this, but I feel like, maybe pre-WWII, and almost certainly pre-1870's, people didn't really feel that they were so different from those who lived 200 years before them, and in a lot of ways, they were not. Now I'm pleased as punch that the world I live in is the world of today, and not of 100 years ago, but I do think that something is lost, and that is an inability to relate to art and literature that was created more than 50 years before we were born.

Most people I know have been able to do that, but I know that for me at least, it didn't come naturally, I had to sort of train myself to enjoy things written before 1935, for example.

I suppose I'm sort of rambling here, it's just something i was thinking on.

3 comments:

Adam said...

I disagree with your idea, basically because the majority of people didn't know anything about history before technology.

Sure you had a tiny class of wealthy people that did, but is that tradeoff worth it?

That class of wealthy people was wealthy in a very unique way, again because of progressing technology, so I find it hard to believe that Thomas Jefferson could really relate to the everyday life of a royal during the Renaissance...at least relate better than we to Thomas Jefferson.

ben said...

I definitely agree that that tradeoff was not worth it, I just think there is something sort of strange in the feeling that no one born more than 20 years before you can really understand the world in the same way that you do, I feel like that is a newer thing.

ben said...

that tradeoff worth it comment may have been confusing. I definitely would rather have history open to the masses is what I was trying to say (obviously) than limited to a privellaged few