Monday, October 17, 2005

Manufactured Lifelessness : How Technology May Empoverish Life

Beethoven's Paper Trail - New York Times:
I had to spend a few weeks earlier this year looking down from my window at Christo's orange hangings in Central Park, and got back from them nothing but a sense of manufactured lifelessness.

"I worry that further withdrawal of the body will increasingly depersonalize creativity in our computerized age. It is already a given that many young architects can't draw, relying on circuitry to do their imaging for them. Nor can many of them model, never having built things with their hands as children, and felt the pliancy and fragility of structures, the interrelationship of empty space and solid mass. Recently my wife and I bought a country house designed by just such an architect. It looked great until we discovered that the main floor sagged in the middle because it lacked the kind of central support that a child, 40 years ago, would have sensed was necessary in the foundation.

Writing does not, of course, rate high on the tactile scale of things. But a screen of glass impregnated with pixels now gleams in front of practically every young person who wishes to commit words to - I was going to say paper, but will avoid the anachronism. Today's words, dit-ditted downward, flash off somewhere at the speed of light and assemble themselves in electronic limbo. Seen through the glass darkly, they look seductively perfect, every character proportional, every paragraph in alignment. Why mess around with them? In any case, if their orthography is not quite correct, a default 'word processor' (ghastly phrase) will alter them to its liking."
Arquitecs who cannot draw, teachers who can not think, students who cannot write or add. Children who can not imagine. Is there anything in common among all the above?

Yes, technology is ready to provide the crotch that may keep us all artificially producing above the mediocrity line under which we thrive. But there is a price to pay, a chunk of life, the beauty of the soul will be diminished.

At the end the most important things in life will not be blogs, emails, Power point presentations, jpg or doc files. Rather, It will be things like, the hand written diaries, the poems, the drawings, the music, the great meal, the conversation with a friend, the thoughts flowing from a loving heart living at its fullest.

Technology is great as a tool, but a tool is only as good as the purpose it helps to achieve. Let technology be the servant not the master, do not let it impose artificial limits to your life, rather put it to service to open new doors that lie beyond technology itself. An imitation may be a good thing, but it is never as good as the real thing. Let us go for the best.

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