Benefits of Technology


I generally tend to be critical of the negative effects of technology in our lives (especially with the proliferation of iphone use by youth today) and the book I read below by Neil Postman about a year ago is along those lines.  The book was written in 1993, but many of his observations about the dangers of uncritical acceptance of new technologies into our lives are very prophetic.  Mr. Postman wrote another book that many of my friends in college read about T.V. called Amusing Ourselves to Death which was assigned reading in one of Dr. Greg Spencer’s communications studies classes at Westmont College, where I attended.

In order to better consider the positive elements of technology in our lives, I decided to read the book above by Clive Thompson.  So far, it is very good and thought provoking.  I will write another post about it soon but for now here are two quotes that I liked from his chapter on The Art of Finding, “Though we may assume search engines are used to answer questions, some research has found that in reality up to 40 percent of all queries are acts of remembering.  We’re trying to refresh the details of something we’ve previously encountered.” And, “…it’s hard to know what to trust in a world of self-publishing.  To rely on networked digital knowledge, you need to look with skeptical eyes.  It’s a skill that should be taught with the same urgency we devote to teaching math and writing.”


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