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CIEIR Open Question #1: Did we take technology for granted?

Posted by CIEIRMusic - June 17th, 2021

I decided to do an occasional segment. Something I'd do once in a blue moon. I call it CIEIR Open Question. I ask a question and leave the floor open for everyone reading it to answer. Whether they follow me or not, all are welcome to answer in their own way. Everyone's entitled to their opinion and I welcome clashes so long as they don't get violent. By that I mean you're welcome to debate and try to convince other parties that your own opinion on the subject matter is right and they to you. I myself will express my own opinion on the matter on this page.

Now the first question in case no one can read the full title is what follows. "Did we take technology for granted?"

What inspired me to ask this question was what follows. I was watching reruns of one of my favourite shows growing up called "Boy Meets World." There were a lot of amazing moments, such as knowing that George Feeny was played by the same guy that voiced K.I.T.T. on Knight Rider, the iconic "Hot Stuff Dance.", Feeny and Alan violently protecting Shawn from a cult leader and Topanga and Cory finally getting together. It was so popular it even created a continuation called "Girl Meets World." Which revolves around Cory and Topanga's daughter and her circle of friends. With Cory being the Feeny of that role. However in terms of the main show, none was so great an episode than "Quiz Show." The show revolves around Cory, Topanga and Shawn being invited to a High School Kids show. Initially the show was meant to cater to intelligent kids, so Topanga was a dead ringer for it, but when Cory and Shawn proved to be popular, the show got retooled and the questions got dumbed down to little more than pop culture questions so that Cory and Shawn could stay on TV. Naturally like most sitcoms in the 90s to 2000s, the fame goes to their head and they consider their knowledge to be more important than getting a proper education. To the point where during a history lesson, Cory and Shawn pay more attention to signing autographs than focusing on schoolwork.

Feeny whom has tolerated this bullshit, until now, finally snaps. The subject matter he was trying to teach them ironically was about the beginning of the wonders of technology and how it was used back then, in comparison to how the kids in that generation have it in abundance. With specific mention to Johannes Guttenberg, inventor of the Printing Press. As well how each generation treated said technology. The following dialogue occurs.

Cory Matthews: Mr. Feeny. The show's proving that we're absorbing the right type of knowledge right? I mean that's why we're the champions.

George Feeny: Hold on hold on. Wait a minute wait a minute. Champions of what Mr. Matthews? Of a generation, who's verbal and mathematical skills have sunk so low, when you have the highest level of technology at your fingertips. Gutenberg's generation thirsted for a new book every six months. Your generation has a new web page, every six seconds. And how do you use this technology? To beat King Koopa and save the princess. Shame on you. You deserve what you get. Sit down. Stay where you are. For the first time, I choose to walk out on you.

Now as a kid I never really understood what he meant and just thought he was just some grouch that hated video games. But as an adult re-watching the show, I got it. For starters he doesn't hate video games. Otherwise he wouldn't have even bothered to take the time to use that analogy. What he was getting at was the following:

During Guttenberg's time, the common person, had no access to text. In order to get your information, you'd either have to write it down yourself or be filthy rich enough to afford someone who made text pages. Guttenberg did what he did, because he wanted everyone to have the chance to read the very books only a select few could afford to read, whether it's fiction or educational. If not for him, that technology wouldn't exist or snowball into the very text you're reading from here on this page.

If you watch the scene again, you'll notice other names as well as the tech they were responsible for. Such as Alexander Graham Bell and the Telephone. Whether you believe that value or like many known inventors, believe he stole it from someone else, it doesn't matter. The point being that without the Telephone, we'd have no internet, nor the ups and downs that came with that too.

Without Marconi, there'd be no Radio and thus, no Celluar Phones, No Smartphones, No WiFi. The list goes on.

Point being I believe what Feeny was trying to say is, that we have technology in abundance thanks to these people, yet we scoff at them while ironically wasting our time with said tech doing dumb things, when we could have used it to better educate ourselves. Over the past 17 years, I've seen this world become overtly reliant on posting pointless things on social media. People looking at their phones almost 24/7 instead of looking around and enjoying the beauty of a now dying world. Caring more about the celebrities we follow rather than caring about what we should do with our lives and how we should shape our future. We have more of an abundance in tech, than even what they had back in the 90s to 2000s when that show as made and we've wasted our time and our lives being dependent on it for things we don't even need.

In a way, George Feeny predicted the future and how it would turn out. His main worry was that his students were wasting time and technology on only Video Games and Pop Culture References. If he were still teaching when Social Media became all the rage, he'd laugh because he was proven right. If we don't show appreciation for what came before, then we don't deserve this tech and I think we take it too much for granted.

What do you think? Much like myself, do you agree with Feeny or do you think he's blowing this way out of proportion?



Comments (3)

The way technology impacts the way we live (and the world around us) it's a huge subject that has been continuously dsicussed for thousands of years, and certainly will continue for thousands more.
The misuse and/or vanalization of science and tech (usually related to profitable applications) it's a reality. Most of us do take technology for granted.
Here's an example :
As a musician ; If you ask to all the self proclaimed "producers" how many of them knows how to play properly a physical instrument, even something as basic as a drum, plenty of them will answer they do not. So even if they have knowledge about digital audio processing, truth is, they know very little about what music really is, where does it come from and what is like to create it.

inb4 electronic music is real music ;)

Ya but the sad thing is even if we're aware of what Tech is doing to us in the negative, we still continue to use it like that. We as a species are more at fault than the growing tech itself. Not one of us even dares to try to break that cycle.

It's really hard to break away from the undeniable comfort tech gives to us.
Pair that with our inabillity (as a species) of long term perspective and its a recipe for trouble.
Some people even theorize that may be a very likely cause of our demise.
Has happened to several civilizations before :(

That is true. It wouldn't be so much of a problem, if said people didn't gravitate towards the dumb and dark side of technology.

I think to some extent we have to take things for granted based on how amazing and intricate the structure of everything is but that we can't always go through and become familiar with all of those structures, like assembly language and binary code is pretty interesting and part of computers but most of us wont be able to be specialized in that

That is true. You'd think more people would be interested in working on said tech, just to see how they managed to simplify it for the masses.