A Satirical Look at Knee-Jerk Reactions to New Technology - blog by Dagny


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A Satirical Look at Knee-Jerk Reactions to New Technology
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Posted 07-Sep-2010 at 03:27 AM (03:27) by Dagny
Updated 05-Mar-2011 at 10:02 PM (22:02) by Dagny

So a couple weeks back, my mom handed me a cutout from The Boston Globe. She explained that she had saved it for me because she knew it would really piss me off. Here's the article: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ed...the_first_gps/

I spent the next hour or so sputtering and tearing out my hair. I won't go into a line-by-line explanation about what irritated me about this article (hint: all of it); suffice to say that it hit many of my buttons.

Aaron Diaz, the author of "Dresden Codak," brilliantly parodied the way people react to groundbreaking technology here: http://dresdencodak.com/2009/09/22/c...ience-fiction/. I certainly can't dream of producing anything that hilarious, but I've nevertheless decided to write and upload my own take on reactions to very early technology.


The Dying Art of Bashing Heads in With Rocks
**** by Thogg

As I'm sure you know, bashing in the heads of gazelles with rocks is vital to our way of life. This sacred task provides us with meat and marrow to fill our stomachs, skins to cover our bodies, and good old-fashioned exercise.

Of course, at the heart of the bashing tradition lies the humble rock. Fitting snugly in the palm, its extra weight allows us to deal more vicious blows, while its hardness provides a valuable layer of defense between the skull of our prey and our comparatively fragile hands. Few sights are more inspiring than that of a proud hunter and his rock moving as one, his powerful arm bringing the weapon down in a deadly and purposeful arc.

Yet with the rise of a recent and unsettling trend, this glorious tradition seems destined to go the way of hitting things with one's fist. I'm talking, of course, about the newfound technology of smashing a rock against another rock in order to sharpen it. With the resulting "knife," a man can more efficiently slay a gazelle or enemy humanoid by stabbing or slicing it, causing it to bleed to death. Sure, it's easier and more reliable than the old bashing method—but at what cost?

Ponder, if you will, the beauty inherent in a good bashing rock. We've all had the experience of finding the perfect rock, as if Nature had designed it especially for us—hard, not too big, with a pleasing texture and a nice heft to it. Perhaps it was smooth and dark; perhaps it was rough, and sparkled like a thousand tiny diamonds in the sunlight. Perhaps it was round; perhaps egg-shaped; perhaps asymmetrical and jagged. The poetry of a rock lies not only in its functionality, but also in its uniqueness.

These unnatural knives are a threat to our most valued traditions. My favorite bashing rock has been in my family for generations. My father bashed in heads with it, and his father before him bashed in heads with it. I know the grooves of its surface like I know the lines on my own palm. The very thought of smashing it into some cookie-cutter shape appalls me. To do so would be to rob it of its soul.

But put aside, for the moment, what this disturbing trend is doing to our rocks. Consider what it's doing to our children. While once our men possessed the strength of arm—and, dare I say, of character—to bash in skulls with rocks, our knife-wielding youth are being trained simply to stab their prey and slice chunks of meat from the corpse. Unlike the countless generations before them, they have never learned to wield a blunt object effectively. Some have argued that this decline in skill is irrelevant; after all, a hunter in possession of a knife has no need to bash in skulls. In response, I offer a thought-provoking hypothetical.

Imagine that a young hunter, having grown up in a society in which bashing rocks are obsolete, sets out in search of prey. Imagine that he finds himself face-to-face with a slavering leopard. Imagine that he tenses, readying himself to fight. Imagine that he raises his weapon...and discovers, to his horror, that the point has broken off.

Imagine his mother's wails of grief when he never returns.

But who am I to complain? I suppose I'm just a stodgy old hominid, set in his ways. Progress will happen, whether we like it or not; trying to prevent it is like trying to hold back a river with your hands. Still, there's one thing I know for sure: When I go out hunting, I'll be bringing my trusty bashing rock along.
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  1. Old Comment
    Makbawehuh's Avatar
    LOL. Good, funny stuff!
    Posted 07-Sep-2010 at 03:32 AM (03:32) by Makbawehuh Makbawehuh is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    Ooooooooooooooooooooooo. Many thanks, Dagny!

    Gonna tweet your and Maku's posts tomorrow, and hopefully 333 will also blog on transhumanism and technolove too.
    Posted 07-Sep-2010 at 04:01 AM (04:01) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Dagny's Avatar
    Yay! Awesomeness!
    Posted 07-Sep-2010 at 04:03 AM (04:03) by Dagny Dagny is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Makbawehuh's Avatar
    Oh, thank you!

    Shit, better look over the Wiki for stuff I don't want people to see, LOL. *compulsively starts to look for stuff that's copyrighted... then realizes the d20 stuff is under a gaming license and free to use* *stops stressing so much*

    On subject, though, I liked the post. Very to the point, and very effective. Also, you have her tone down pat... As I pointed out in chat.
    Posted 07-Sep-2010 at 04:15 AM (04:15) by Makbawehuh Makbawehuh is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Never's Avatar
    That was very well done - a good read. Thanks Dagny.
    Posted 07-Sep-2010 at 04:28 AM (04:28) by Never Never is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Dagny's Avatar
    Posted 07-Sep-2010 at 04:35 AM (04:35) by Dagny Dagny is offline
  7. Old Comment
    lifelinking's Avatar
    me laugh
    Posted 07-Sep-2010 at 10:47 AM (10:47) by lifelinking lifelinking is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    Tweet going out soon:

    Satirical Look at Knee-Jerk Reactions to New Technology, by Dagny http://bit.ly/dkb1uH #transhumanism #technology #technophilia
    Posted 07-Sep-2010 at 03:39 PM (15:39) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Dagny's Avatar
    Yay! Many thanks!
    Posted 07-Sep-2010 at 06:04 PM (18:04) by Dagny Dagny is offline
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