Monday, October 5, 2009

Gentleman control your thumbs

This is a really interesting article dealing with the issue of the control of technology. Because people are acting in an unsafe way (texting/emailing) within their cars, this article states that the technology of the phone needs to control the individual's use of it. Yhe phone will not work in particular situations so as to prevent the individual from harming themselves or others. This is remarkably backwards. It, the situation, also questions the viability of the truth that development of technology is a progression forward, an evolutionary movement upward. The article makes the very poignant statement that "...drivers value convenience more than safety..." What this situation brings into sharp relief is our distance from our community(ies). Driving already puts the driver into a plastic/metal/glass bubble and texting/emailing and to a certain extent talking on the phone puts that individual into a second bubble, if you will, within the first further removing them from initial bubble as well as knowledge/concern for the other bubbles about them. It's only when these bubbles come into forcibly interact (i.e. crash) that there is awareness of interaction. The issue here is not of control of technology but of our own ability to control ourselves. The fact of this article even being written indicates that the convenience of being able to text, some might even say 'the right to text', is more important than limiting oneself to not texting while driving. As a civilization (D. Jensen) we/I/they are seemingly, universally unable to keep a very small, device, that we can deactivate at will with the touch of a button, from constantly, even imperiously, commanding our attention whenever it vibrates/beeps/rings/plays your favorite obnoxious song.

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