Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Technology and expectations

“Papa! No working! No work!” an exasperated Zack exclaims.
His stuffed bear, dizzy from its recent shaking, refuses to produce technology.
Zack has expectations. And they’re based in technology. Deeply seated expectations: movement, light, sound, even voice recognition. He’s come to expect it. And this stuffed piece of quasi realistic bear is falling short of the mark. Patiently, his dad explains, “Zack, it’s a stuffed animal. It doesn’t do anything.” A pause. Then, “Papa – not working!”

What is the value of technology? Can we only assess value when the technology is missing (or not working properly)? I share Zack’s exasperation. There is a bit of Wi-Fi saturation at school, and at home.
Devices that responded as quickly as I could type are now lagging.
It feels like the rapid expansion of technical complexity is folding in on itself – making mischief among the devices.

Complexity is wondrous. It can be as captivating as the patterning of a barrel cactus bloom. With layers of symmetry inviting your speculations about geometry.
And equally challenging.
I know one thing though: I want to go forward.
Like Zack, I have expectations.
-Mrs. Eldridge

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