What we read while reinterpreting Longfellow…
There is a lot of good scholarship out there on the history of invention and technology. What is not as well documented, however, is the history of peoples’ reactions to technology. If recent history is any indication, this is how certain technological developments were greeted:
—The wheel? God, your generation just doesn’t know the art of carrying heavy loads across long terrains.
—Why would anyone ever need a phone? What do you need to say to someone who isn’t there? Don’t you have more important things to do?
—How big of an ego do you have to actually own a car? What do you need to do that can’t be accomplished on foot?
Twitter is the latest luddite lightning rod. People don’t really understand Twitter: What is it for? Why do you need to know what other people are doing CONSTANTLY? What can you say in 140 characters? Continue reading »