My favorite quote of the week: about what we actually do with technology

Every week I publish a “My favorites of the week …” blog posting in my company internal blog where I feature my favorite comic strip of the week, my favorite video, favorite photo(s) published on flickr under a Creative Commons license, my favorite quote I found that week and my favorite blog posting. Sometimes I also add my favorite bookmark, my favorite piece of surprising information – I call it “my favorite ‘I did’nt know that’ – or my favorite IT hint or tip.

Today I decided to “re-use” some of that stuff in my external blog. So, here we go with my favorite quote of this week I found on “The Quotations Page”:

Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn’t have to experience it..

If you think about it: Max Frisch is so right with this quote. Think about cars or airplanes: they allow us to get from one location to another within some hours, may be one day to get to the other side on the globe. We get there without actually experiencing what real traveling means, without experiencing the distance between places and all the places between our departure point and destination. When traveling we stare at our mobile computer and plug in our earphones without grasping what is going on in the world we are traveling through. People drive by car everywhere, even shortest distances. They don’t know anymore what it means to walk with their own legs and breath some fresh air. To experience walking they visit gyms and use some machines there to help them making that experience,

Even when we work in our cubicle office landscape we are isolated from all the other people next to us as we communicate via our computer only.

Think about steam engines and machines: they allowed us to move heavy parts without letting our muscles feel what it means to move those weights or to produce a particular amount of energy. Think about the industrial revolution: it allowed us to get much work done and produce many goods without actually working hard. Information technology allows us to communicate with people without actually interacting with them as human beings. Virtual worlds allow us to totally escape reality and live and work somewhere else, while our body is just parked on a seat in front of a computer. It allows us to change our appearance and even gender with a mouse click. Computer games allow to be a hero and fight for the good ( or the bad ) without the need to experience any pain or fear. Modern medical technology even allows us to breath or eat when our body already gave up in doing this.

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