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December 9, 2006

Fab Following

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Gershenfeld propose an idea of a new product called a personal fabricator. This device is an appliance you would purchase for your home. However this one is unique in the fact that it can produce products. A personal fabricator would be a sophisticated device that would incorporate several other tools, (welder, cutter, miller, etc...), that are necessary for the fabrication of our desired products.
In comparison to Kahn’s text Essential Text, I view this product of one of desire. According to Kahn man has a natural desire to learn. Gershenfeld explains how the students had compassion to learn how to fabricate their own products. Why do we have such a drive? This could relate back to the meaning of life.
Mankind has always had an obsession to know why we are and what it all means. Our desire to learn very well could be our attempt to answer these questions. The more we know the closer we come to understand these questions; this is unlikely. How does the personal fabricator come into play? This allows us to become creators. To take it one step further than learning. It empowers us to become enlightened and it becomes our religion.
Science has become a religion for some. It affects their perception of the universe and beyond through their desire to learn and create. Perfect examples are scientologists and Christian Scientist. Both incorporate scientific facts into their beliefs of human existence. In fact I heard a very interesting comment today “how can an astrophysicist be religious?? I thought hard and still haven’t come up with a different answer than faith. However, that isn’t the point. The point is that science has been in fact became a religion.
Will these personal fabricators become alters of our worship?
I think Kahn made a good point in his discussion. He speculates that the sun is the giver of all presence. Without light, shadow can’t exist. I think it safe to say that we wouldn’t exist. Is the sun our fabricator?

December 1, 2006

Technopoly

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Technology has always existed; it is just more noticeable now with its blinking lights and honking horns. It has transformed from simple levers and cutting utensils to self automated robotic arms and food processors. This is because, as our understanding of the world around us increases, so does the complexity of technology.

The technology that most of us take for granted today serves little if any purpose in the past. What good is an ipod 80 years ago without a computer or cell phone without the network? As we continue to make new discoveries about the order of nature we are able to harness it and develop more sophisticated devices. These discoveries give our new technologies a life expectancy or a death sentence of obsoleteness. However, technology as a whole, not devices, evolves while our needs typically stay the same.

We have seen several changes in technology through-out history. A reason why we are able to see and recognize these evolutions is, because that is precisely what they are, evolutions of solutions to our needs.


Communicate:


Writing: letter, telegram, fax, e-mail
Voice: phone, cell phone, web-cam

Transportation:


Short: walking, horses, buggy, bicycle
Long: Boat, hot balloon, automobile, Plane, Helicopter, Space shuttle


Music:


phonograph, record, 8-track, cassette, cd, mp3

While examining these evolutions we might think of the “advancements? we have made in technology. But with each of these technological evolutions we need to be aware of the unspoken affects they have on us. The e-mail lacks the personality of a letter. Cell phones may give us the ability to reach anyone at any time but you lose out on personal privacy.

Technology makes are life’s easier while adding complexity. Transportation is available at miraculous speeds but with increased transportation fatalities. The portable MP3 player allows vast amounts of music to be listened to anywhere but there being listened to everywhere. People are not getting to know their neighbor, classmates or that person you sit next to everyday on the bus.

Granted, one can find faults in anything. True, and that’s just it. We need to be aware of these faults and let the unspoken be spoken. When we do this we are able to way the odds and make better decisions. So, the next time you’re out buying a new gadget, ask yourself what else are you buying besides a faster and smaller unit.