I decided to make a second post this week because there is a topic that deserves at least an entire discussion. It is also about questions asked in our “syllabus”: what did you learn about technology? how do you research technology? The last question in my opinion deals with our ability to look forward and anticipate what a technology will create and cause in our society.
So, first, probably the most important thing we learnt about technology is that is not only science. It is not immediate, it won’t show itself right away, at once, so we need to research, to reflect about it. Actually this is something most people forget and we make big mistakes. We take and use a software, a system because “it is easier, it is user friendly” and other stuff big companies think we need (or make we think we need) but actually we are wrong. I think that developing the wrong means we are losing a part of our richness (cultural richness).
For example I started this reasoning thinking to the digital photos, we could print them, but we don’t, Why? Because we developed most the digital storages for them then fast printing systems. If I want to print them at HEMA I have to go there, try to upload them (and it is not easy thanks to their crappy machines), wait for some time and go to take them after a while. Why we didn’t developed a cheap, easy and fast way to print them? (I should buy an EXPENSIVE photo printer, the EXPENSIVE photos paper, etc…) We didn’t because it was easier to store them in a Hard Disk. However how many times we lose some of these photos when we move them from an HD to another? Or we think we won’t need them anymore because we need more space, etc etc… And what’s the result? We are developing a future without memories. I can still watch pictures (printed) I have at home taken 15 years ago but it is hard to find pictures of 4-5 years ago!
So that’s another thing I learned about technology, don’t take the easy way, often it is not the best one! Think! Think before deciding how to do something, before deciding software, computer, system, etc… We would have so much more if we would have thought about what we were doing.
Another personal example? Ok, when I was a child (like 20 years ago) I used to listen to my grandpa’s old vinyls. They were really old and the authors of these songs were not famous, I can’t find them on Youtube. Well, I lost part of my memories because we changed through cassettes, discs, etc… without thinking to a cheap and easy way to transfer data, we just thought about an easy way to use them, spreading products that required them. Only in the last transition disc-USB we had computers that could transfer music (but I am almost sure it was a coincidence).
Here is the second answer to "how do you research?". Well, there are many means but the most basic and important one is reflecting. Just reflect. Use Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo answers, whatever you want but after you have enough information just stop and reflect: “is that the best way? What will happen if I use it? Can I use other means?”.
We had many generations just acting without thinking and now we have environmental pollution, Israel and Palestine, economic crisis. Each of these generations destroyed part of our culture in a different way (also improved it but we need to start to think improvements that are not devouring our world). Our generation, is struggling to clean our planet, to fight wars but is creating another problem: we created technology addictions, we erased and gave part of our life and our brain to computers (that are not reliable, did you see Windows 8? Would you really trust it?).
On the other hand we was born in a society that changed quickly and easily, we adapt, we know how to change. Well, let’s change, let’s think about what are we doing, let’s think not only to opportunities of technology but also to its limits. Here is the final thing I learned from this course, I will write it and just finish like that the post, because it is resuming everything and it is better to reflect on it.
I learned that technology is powerful, that it can completely change the world for the better and the worse and I learned that is humankind that will lead this change.