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December 5, 2006

Gershenfeld and Khan

As I read through Gershenfeld's article it has become very apparent to me that technology in his mind has shaped our past, present and future. The whole article is based on a program at MIT called "How To Make (almost) Anything". Withing this program the main point that has been expressed is how important machines are to create other machines. The Fab program points out that you can make almost anything you want with the new tools that technology has brought us to this point. Although the beginning usually starts off with arts and crafts, it always progresses into advanced engineering. There are definitely alot of emphasis on how computers in general has a lot to do with the world around us. "The universe is literally as well as metaphorically a computer. Atoms , molecules, bacteria, and billiard balls can all store and transform information." I took this as Gershenfeld's strong opinion on how technology surrounds us and keeps us moving foward.

Khan's ideas on technology and the environment around us als talks about technology and how it has shaped our world. The main difference that I saw comparing to Gershenfeld was that Khan seems to embrace nature, thought, and our human bodies in relation to the machine and technology. " Surely the machie is merely a brain which we get as potluck fro nature. But a mind capable of realization can inspire a technology, and humiliate the current one". With this Khan strongly suggests that without the human mind, there would be no new technology. The human mind is the foundation of how we move foward. Our human senses was expressed to be essential to our built environment, that without these senses our world would not be where it is today. Rather than emphasizing that machine is what makes new machine, he actually returns to a more simple approach giving credit to our human minds and bodies as the first step of developing new things.

Gershenfeld and Khan both express their thoughts on machine in relation to the world. I can see and relate to both of these views. The world around me does consists of one machine after another, it is never ending. If something is built, there is always thought as to how to make it better. Reflecting back on both thoughts I would have to agree with Khan more. I think that we forget how powerful our own human bodies as tools. I think that we rely to much on the machine. To be able to move foward we have to use ourselves as tools, it is the foundation to the changes around us.