Monday, September 23, 2013

Accepting New Technology as Tradition

After today’s lecture from Dr. Wickman, I got thinking about how traditions are often reasons why some people are not as willing to be as explorative as others.

In chapter 69 on page 278, it describes what happens to the whale after its carcass is let go in the ocean: "When the distance obscuring the swarming fowls, never the less still shows the whit mass floating in the sun, and the white spray heaving high against it; straightway the whale’s unharming corpse, with trembling fingers is set down in the log—shoals, rocks, and breakers hereabouts: beware! And for years afterwards, perhaps, ships shun the place; leaping over it as silly sheep leap over a vacuum, because their leader originally leaped there when a stick was held. There’s your law of precedents; there’s your utility of traditions; there’s the story of your obstinate survival of old beliefs never bottomed on the earth, and now not ever hovering in the air! There’s orthodoxy."

As Dr. Wickman pointed out in class, this relates to religion. But I would like to postulate that this idea of blind following that is being suggested is not only pertinent to religion but to technology as well.
People don’t like there to be a lot of changes in their lives. Throwing changes into a normal and structured life, at least for people like me, can give a “you-threw-off-my-groove” kind of vibe, and it takes time to accept the change. We are creatures of habit.

Courtesy of  Mike Licht,,

So how does that work when we have new technology coming at us at incredible speeds? How are we supposed to keep up with all of that? Unfortunately, I think a lot of new technology that has been recently released has a bit of a taboo on it for a while. We read a bad review or hear from a friend that is supposedly tech savvy that it’s kind of pointless. So, the technology is dismissed for a little while until a few brave souls decide to venture into the waters of this new technology for themselves, and they discover that it is not as bad as they had originally though; in fact, it’s better. Suddenly, this new technology starts catching on, and it becomes more accepted as people decide to try it for themselves. There was really nothing to fear after all. 

I do think that as time goes on, we are more able to adapt to these new technologies faster than ever before. It is now becoming part of the tradition to accept these new ideas instead of shying away from them at first.