Hi, again, everyone!
You may be wondering why I am displaying this beautiful flower to illustrate a blog about technology. To me, though, this photo encapsulates my thoughts on the subject almost better than anything I could write.
(A picture is worth a thousand words, right?)
This cactus is one of the famous glass flowers that the father/son team of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka created for Harvard’s botany classes back in the late 19th – early 20th centuries. When I was in grad. school, I got to process the contents of their glass making studio for one of my internships. It was awesome beyond belief! I loved learning about the Blaschkas, who practiced a traditional craft (technology!) with consummate skill, in a way that perfectly combined science with art.
(I hope you can all follow me here — there is indeed a point to my ramblings! Well, let me continue…)
SO… thinking about this assignment made me think about the Blashkas again, because it made me realize once again how inseperable technology of all kinds is from human existence.
To digress just a little bit further. ….For me, one of the most eye-opening experiences I ever had regarding technology occured in high school. I was in a history class, and we were reading primary sources on English history — The Anglo Saxon Chronicles, etc. One of the books we had to read was “The Making of the English Landscape,” by Hoskins (I think this was the book). Among the many things we discussed in that class was the invention of the horse collar, and how that revolutionized farming, transportation, and building, and completely transformed the land. And I started to realize that even the most “natural” landscapes are often essentially “man-made.”
BTW, is it time for another picture? Here’s a nice one of an ox team. You can see how the yoke works — and how it wouldn’t work so well on horses!
OK, so I’m travelling very far afield here. Now to relate all this back to our assignment.
By musing on technology, I came to an important realization: I am a geek! It’s true! I might seem like some kind of nature-girl, luddite-type-woman-person. But I am indeed a geek. In fact, I am a librarian — and that means I am an UEBER GEEK! (or rapidly becoming one, I hope).
And what I’ve learned so far from this class is that technology=human inventiveness. And you really have to explore it thoroughly in order to exploit it to the best advantage.
For me, the most illuminating exercise so far has been “Bloglines” and RSS feeds. In the past, I’ve used these only to get information OUT. (Podcasts, for instance). But, like streets, feeds go both directions! Now, for the first time, I’m using them to bring information to me — and this really does save me time!