Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Change We Are Afraid to Believe In

In history books, certain technological breakthroughs are described as explosions that dramatically change a society. Reading about the industrial revolution gives the impression that one day everyone was plowing their fields with an ox and two sticks, and they woke up the next morning on the 12th story of a New York high rise with a hangover from a night of swing dancing.

The world around the time of the new millennium is progressing much faster than it ever has before. History books centuries from now will make it seem like we were dialing our friends on a rotary phone and marveling at calculators one day, and then we woke up plugged into the world with information and communication at our finger tips.

Technology progresses in such a smooth way that we don't notice how rapidly we are really moving. When I first saw Mario 64 at Toys 'R' Us ten years ago, I fell to my knees and cried, "What sorcery has God cast onto this world!" Now it looks like a drunken developer from EA had access to a computer one Friday night.

I'm still frightened at the idea of where technology is taking us, but if you look at it from an historical perspective, future generations usually see old technology as having brought positive progress, and new technology as being scary and confusing. I don't want to own a cotton plantation or train to become a tailor. I want to press my fingers down a few times and get a t-shirt delivered to my door a week later. I thank Eli Whitney and Steve Jobs for that.


Mene Tekel said...

I've been reading some doom and gloom articles on the future of video games and advertising. I have to admit, I am a little bit worried about the future of technology. However, you're right. We'll look back and laugh.

Not This God said...

Oh yeah, I'm definitely worried about technology. I've read a lot of scary articles lately. I think I'm really just trying to reassure myself that I'm not the first one to feel this way.

Read Future Predictions if you want to be scared.