Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The "digital" in technology has given us an unprecedented degree of freedom and control over how we receive and use information. However, the ease this technology gives us to 'lift' data-- whether it is music, art, or literature--from its context presents a clear and present danger of running the risk of shortchanging our perception and understanding of how our world has come to be. After a while, we will no longer be interested in the "how" and "why" of things, only our consumption of it. This in turn will lead to our ignorance of how our world is put together, and the knowledge of maintaining it and/or rebuilding it, if need be. In our indolence, we will ask ourselves, "Why should I waste time and energy using my mind and getting my hands dirty when my precious machines can do these things for me?" By this time, the machines will rule, and it may very well be too late for us to reclaim the very thing that makes us human, which is our free will.