[Comic strip taken from Unshelved]
The anti-technology curmudgeons are back. Not just worrying about technology in classrooms (for which Dave has a great response), but culture in general.
Nice to see a couple of good responses to the doom-and-gloom crowd.
First we: DIGITAL_NATIVES by Jonathan Imme:
There used to be a time when we would be called ‘nerds’ or ‘techies’. Strange people with a near-obsessive compulsion to embrace new technology, and who’d rather communicate with their friends online than offline. People for whom the Internet itself was the ultimate source of information for solving any kind of problem whatsoever.
However, society is now slowly coming to terms with the fact that a whole generation is growing up that has only ever known the ‘digital age’, and has therefore entirely accepted the digital way of doing things. We call ourselves the Digital Native generation.
Then again, we Digital Natives are not only characterized by our self-sufficient attitude to new technologies. We also have a different concept of the culture of information, communication and entertainment. We listen to music and watch films online. The fact that we also use file-swapping sites comes from the simple fact that we’re not about to pay for content on principle – no matter how exciting it may be.
Looking to the long-term, and in the light of our contemporary grasp of copyright law and our extensive recommendation and exchange activities among our friends, industry moguls would be better off sending us not to prison but to the business development units of the entertainment companies.
Then, in WIRED (also in print, I hear): The Critics Need a Reboot. The Internet Hasn’t Led Us Into a New Dark Age by David Wolman:
When in doubt, blame the latest technology. Socrates thought the advent of writing would wreak havoc on the powers of the mind. Christian theologians denounced the printing press as the work of the devil. The invention of the telephone was supposed to make letter-writing extinct, and the arrival of the train — and later the car and plane — was going to be the death of community.
Now comes a technological bogeyman for the 21st century, this one responsible for a supposed sharp uptick in American shallowness and credulity: the Internet and its digital spawn.
Or consider the Public Library of Science: By breaking the publishing industry’s choke hold on the circulation of scientific information, this powerful online resource arms scientists and the masses alike with the same data, accelerating new discoveries and breakthroughs. Not exactly the kind of effect one would expect from a technology that’s threatening to turn us into philistines.