Technology Isn't Natural

Pre-existing bias.

We all have it to some extent. What is important is what we do with your biases. Can the unhealthy ones be changed? Fixed? Ignored?

Current widespread bias, I argue, is the notion that technology isn't natural. You hear it in the way words sound, the way we perceive concepts.

Think analog. Now think digital.

Analog is warm, old, stable, and simple. Digital is new, cold, complicated, changing, shifting, something else that we have knowingly removed conceptually from the rest of our natural lives.

Technology in the modern world has made us communicate more efficiently than any other before us, and in the process we have made things more conceptual. We deal in concepts as a society, more so in our modern world. Money, once a physical concept, is slowly morphing into a conceptual one. The economy is shifting into a perception-based entity where it was once the flow of physical trade. This blog is entirely conceptual beyond anything my ancestors ever dreamed of.

This is all tied into the concept of modern technology. And we distrust it.

Think about something analog. An old AM radio. Simple construction, reliable parts, probably aging so that it's getting hard to find replacement parts. It sounds muffled when you turn it on, an age that echoes, from beyond a very long distance.

Think about something digital. Your MP3 player. Crystal clear sound quality. Possibly an unreliable piece of equipment - even the best devices have problems sometimes. If it breaks, it's nearly impossible to fix by yourself, unless you designed it (trade secrets and all that - wouldn't want to give up the money maker!). You assume you'll throw it away when it's done being used. The battery will die, or the screen will wear out, or the headphone jack will stop working. Total life expectancy? Less than a few years.

This concept is not hard to spot once you think about it. Books versus ebook readers. Vinyl versus digital audio. Movie projectors versus a flat screen TV. A card game version of Uno versus an Xbox digitalization.

In so many ways, we as a society distrust technology. We distrust the complications, the conceptualization. We cling to the old ways and never let go, allowing these methods to resurge and amplify.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong. It just is.

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