Technology is what, again?




Technology is what, again?

Originally uploaded by anselm23

Via Flickr:
Here, on one coffee table, is about 12,000 years of history. the iPad (on which I was writing this morning’s tai chi journal entry) is a few years old, but based on technologies that date back (in some cases) to the dawn of the computing era, in other cases only 5-10 years. The iPad is in a synthetic rubber case (late 1800s AD), on top of a formica(1950s)-and-plywood(ancient Egyptian) table. NExt to the iPad is a ceramic plate (a tech dated to the 3rd century bc) with a paper (150 BC) atop that, filled with coffee (1300s AD?).

And surmounting all of those is the knife my friend Mark brought to show me this morning, made using 50,000y years of stone age technology — how to shape flint, how to bind it to a bone or antler hilt, etc.

I love taking pictures like this because it’s an indicator of just how far we have come as a species, and the full range of possibilities of tool use we’ve learned to explore.

But to me, it’s also a signal of just how wide a range of ideas is represented by the words "technology." I mean, everything in this photo was once high tech — even my hand in the lower left. Everything here was once something impossible to do or even conceive-of, until we broke through the barrier: of heat, of miniaturization, of flint-knapping, of plastic-manufacture… what’s holding you back from learning the current technology? Regarding it as alien?

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