The Emergence of Technology

“So as we flow across the page in the here and now, as you process the words as you read them, remember this: They process you as well. Roam the interstices of globalization as a ghost in the machine as we fast-forward past the middle passage and into the hyperlinks of a database culture whose archives routed and dissolved into almost every format of memory we’ve thought about, and think about how to describe the experience. Is it as simple as flipping open a laptop and joining a wireless network? Is it as automatic as dialing a phone number on a mobile phone in an unfamiliar city? Home is where your cell phone is. An absurd reductionist logic? Plastic, fluid memories run into circuitry and focus our attention on a world where we download ourselves daily. This is a word game of the nonconscious. This is what the idiot tells us, and this is what we reply.”

Interstices: a space that intervenes between things, a gap or break in something generally continuous, a short space of time between events (c/o Merriam-Webster dictionary)

I like this paragraph of Rhythm Science because it is extremely applicable to every-day life. We do not realize how obsessed, addicted, and dependent we have become as a whole on technology. We also do not realize how it changes our view of culture and the world and how we act towards them. I especially like “Home is where your cell phone is” because that is truly how people feel–they feel like they have lost a part of their body (ex. a limb, their brain) if they left the house without their cell phone.

I think it’s important to note that DJ Spooky pulls up the thought that archiving has changed with the emergence of technology. Rather than recounting information and thoughts from memory, we rely on technology to do that for us. He says that “This is what the idiot tells us” because we are gradually becoming dumber and dumber about basic instincts like thinking and memorizing because we are so reliant on technology. Though technology helps us spread information, collect data, etc., it also hurts skills our ancestors succeeded in and perfected. As a result, citizen archives are becoming less and less personalized–regarding memories, thoughts, achievements, etc.–and are slowly becoming generalized, to a point where, eventually, all individual archives will look the same.

Question: Is technology promoting individualism or is it preventing it?


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