Wednesday, February 3, 2010


“In the beginning, there was nothing. Then God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was still nothing, but you could see it.” -- Groucho Marx

How do you define technology? Our formal definition probably will not agree, but the word technology will probably conjure up the same images for the majority of us. PDAs, MP3 players and iPods, laptops, digital cameras, and game consoles like Ps3.

Though these may be some of the flashiest and most recent examples, we often overlook many other examples of technology working in our daily life. The National Academy of Engineering, ( a private institution that advises the federal government and conducts studies concerning advancements in engineering and technology, defines technology as “the process by which humans modify nature to meet their needs and wants.” By this definition, technology encapsulates so much more than flashy LCD screens on devices we can conveniently shove in our pockets. Technology made the novels we read, the medicines we take, and the cars we drive. Technology powers our homes,

Many objects that we use and take for granted today had a simple predecessor. Even our textbooks are - in some way, shape, or form – technology. At one point in time, we all had to study oral tradition. To pull from my very limited historical background, I remember oral tradition as: the process by which stories, information and ideas were passed from generation to generation by word of mouth. Just recently in #info3pt0, a journalism “I” course, we discussed the newest piece of technology released by Apple, the iPad. Apple is hailing the iPad as “our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.” That unbelievable price, by the way, is a mere $499. (Unbelievable!) Anyway, a long long time ago, in a galaxy far away, no one would’ve cared about the iPad, because books did not exist. Something so simple, yet so revolutionary, is a piece of technology that we overlook everyday.

Obviously there are much more exciting advancements on the market today in 2010, and the speed with which these items have been and will continue to be adopted into society is alarming. I want to repost some information that Professor R. Yaros presented in class the other day concerning the spread of technologies.

It took newspapers more than 100 years to reach 50% of American households.
It took the telephone 70 years.
Cable TV reached Americans in less than 40.
The Internet took a seemingly microscopic 7 years.

How many years will it take devices like the kindle or the iPad to take over? Will people throw out books, newspapers and magazines to make room on their shelves for these devices? Will new technology be the old technology killer? We’ll see.

On a side note -- I’d be interested in knowing how many households today own an iPod. Let me know if anyone stumbles across that information, I tried my hardest, but the numbers were nowhere to be found!

‘Til then, Happy Wednesday :)

1 comment:

  1. Here's a starting point: