The intersection of technological advancement and achievement

17 Dec in Computers, Music Technology, Technology

We live in a time of change, an intersection of technological advancement and achievement. During such times there is often a tendency for people to take sides. On the one side you have the people embracing the change and on the other you have people clinging to the old ways. Sometimes it is fun to see the two worlds clash and other times it is outright painful. Of course I fall on the side of modern techie given my trade, but I actually think my profession came about because of my philosophy rather than the other way around.   

I am an ardent believer in new technology. Not necessarily every whim or fad, but in the general advancement, and certainly in seeking out that next big advancement. Some people lament the change. I keep reading editorials from people who think children are getting dumber because of the internet, or they don’t know how to write because of txt (oops). Update: Cory Doctorow has a good post discussing this same topic...I encourage you to read it. Of course these are just silly examples. In reality children have access to way more information, right at their finger tips, than I did growing up and exponentially more information than my parents growing up. I know some people, even young people, who repine “e-books.” They think that technology will destroy books as we know it…or that somehow books will stop being written as a result. It is true that technological advance is a disruptor, but what it destroys it often replaces with something far better or opens up worlds of possibilities that weren’t there before. If books disappear something will replace it, and likely in 100 years books won't be missed. In reality I don't think books will disappear anytime soon, but they may take a slightly different form perhaps.  

The prime example of technology as a disruptive force is the printing press. This was a huge leap of advancement. It was quite disruptive, but at the same time it opened up worlds of possibilities that weren’t there before. Its advancement was so great that it lasted for hundreds of years. One has to imagine that at its inception there were doubters and detractors just like there are today of the modern “computing” society. But generally speaking it all worked out for the better of society. It is an advancement that we now take for granted and don’t even think twice about.  

That is why in modern day I try not to judge. In fact I view new technology as a good thing. The first time I saw Facebook I scratched my head and wondered why. I started to use it and eventually saw its real worth (the same goes for twitter). I have friends, only a few years older than me, who would have conversations about how “dumb” Facebook was and how they would never use it (those same people are using it rather regularly now). For all the opining of  how bad technology might be the people that embrace it they find a tool that opens up worlds of opportunities.

In general my philosophy is that most technological advancements will work out for the better. I believe we are at a crossroads. As computer technology becomes even more pervasive and more and more “digital natives” become adults we can expect some great things in the near future. Eventually all the fighting will calm down and we’ll embrace the future that is digital.