Venn Librarian

Reflections about the intersection of schools, libraries and technology.

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Push or pull?

Posted by lpearle on 1 September 2004

Peering beyond the technology hype: “It is extremely difficult to predict which technologies will become part of everyday life in the future.”

Well, duh. Part of the problem is that technology doesn’t need to be cool to be useful. For example, the alphabet and writing are forms of technology. Not cool, however. Cutting edge and/or better than the competition doesn’t always work, either (can you say “Betamax”?).

The problem I have, and I’ve said this before, is that we don’t always need the technotool, but we’re sort of forced into it. Cell phones, ubiquitous as they are, are not necessary to life but if you don’t have one people look at you cross-eyed. They do help, particularly if you have ever paid $11 for a one-minute phone call on a pay phone. But necessary? Hardly.

Ditto the iPod, the Palm, TiVo and innumerable others. Yes, they make life easier. Do they make life better? I think the jury is still out.

Still, this article has some good points about what does and doesn’t “make it.” As for the Next Great Idea? Still waiting… (via elearnspace)

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One Response to “Push or pull?”

  1. Anonymous said

    i don’t believe it’s always a case of making life better but a good piece is that we live in a society that works on capitalism and, therefore, have to keep cranking out new toys to keep the economy hummimg. the problem is that the pressure of others to “keep up with the joneses” is just too great. i would hope that eventually people will realize that the $200 sneakers, the new clothes, whatever just aren’t filling the old satisfaction tank. this, of course, has been a hope of mine for a long time and am still waiting for people to see the light.

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