I’m learning a lot in this course. Being forced to figure out computer programs and reference systems on my own helps to hard-wire the processes in my brain; surely some of these research skills will be valuable to my future academic and library career.
I just thought I’d start by saying that, since the mandate for this blog is to write about my “technological evolution.” I recently got to thinking about the juxtaposition of these two concepts, technology and evolution. What could it mean, 1), that technology is said to “evolve,” or 2), even if this is clear, that a student is to undergo a “technological evolution” as part of her instruction? In ancient Greek, “techne” meant something like an “art” or “craft,” while “logos” was the word, and came to mean a systematic study. However, the word “technology” wasn’t coined until the late 19th century. Does that mean that what we call “technology” itself didn’t exist until then, or was technological evolution occurring all along? If the latter is the case, what sorts of processes could be occurring right now that we don’t yet have words for?
Meanwhile, the phrase “evolution” glosses over what may actually be happening: there’s no clear analogy between “evolution” proper and anything that happens in technology, since the former points to a natural process whose goal is simply survival and reproduction, while the latter has no such analogy. Or does it? Can machines be seen to exist for their own ends? I’ve already mentioned in an earlier post the way it feels that machines are reshaping our brains. Might we see this as simply an extension of biological evolution? Are humans and machines involved in a sort of co-evolution, or is this something else entirely?
I’ll continue to think about such questions as I “evolve” over the course of this class.