Nugget #1 As We May Think

“Machines with interchangeable parts can now be constructed with great economy of effort. In spite of much complexity, they perform reliably. Witness the humble typewriter, or the movie camera, or the automobile. Electrical contacts have ceased to stick when thoroughly understood. Note the automatic telephone exchange, which has hundreds of thousands of such contacts, and yet is reliable. A spider web of metal, sealed in a thin glass container, a wire heated to brilliant glow, in short, the thermionic tube of radio sets, is made by the hundred million, tossed about in packages, plugged into sockets—and it works! Its gossamer parts, the precise location and alignment involved in its construction, would have occupied a master craftsman of the guild for months; now it is built for thirty cents. The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it”

I really like this passage’s description of technology. It breaks down computer in a very logical yet somehow artistic description of computers and technology. It made me actually think about how fragile computers and other technology are. For example if one little piece of a computer is out of place the computer will cease to exist, everything is very precise and computer creators and like logical artists. Not only, are computers a piece of art but a person can also create art on a computer. The possibilities with technology are endless, constantly growing, and technology creates new and better technology. It is amazing how computers can seem so simple yet so complex like a puzzle. The world is in the midst of a technological revolution in which we have cheaper technology that everyone will soon be able to afford. It brings in a new level of understanding and education to a higher amount of people across the world.  AFRICA Baby on computer

The two pictures above show how internet and technology is coming to be available to everyone, including children.

Save me internet


 “Note the automatic telephone exchange, which has hundreds of thousands of such contacts, and yet is reliable”

People have begun relying almost completely on the internet and other technologies to save them in school, work, and household problems. Luckily technology is generally pretty reliable, so people do not have to be helpless.


9 thoughts on “Nugget #1 As We May Think”

  1. I couldn’t imagine a world without my phone. For instance, it reminds me to wake up in the morning, it tells me how to dress for the weather, it helps me to communicate with my boss, friends and family, it keeps me entertained, I check my email on it, it captures moments in time you’d never want to forget. There’s really nothing it can’t do except feed and bathe you. I’m wondering if there will be a time when we won’t have to be so reliant on things like this now that we have been exposed to such convenience and luxury.

  2. I agree that technology is very artistic in design. If you look at the world through that lense, even traffic jams are the result of a fragile artistic design breaking with so many intricate parts creating so many patterns that one operational error can cease movement for hours. However, I believe there is a problem that results from societies immersion and reliance on computers and other technologies. The part of our brain used for reasoning is being used less and less because a technological creation does it for us. If we do not exercise and develop that part of the brain for reasoning, we might become incapable of critical thinking among other things.

    1. I agree with everything that you said. I feel that technology is taking over our daily routines. Before we had so much of a personal touch in everything and now we don’t. For this reason I also believe it plays a role in our thinking skills as well.

  3. I think technology could be a potential threat to the future. While technology might be reliable, people are so dependent on technology that the potential downfall of technology could result in chaos. In every aspect of our lives; home, work, school, we oftentimes use technology as our crutch to fulfill our tasks. This type of dependency is fatal to the human population because we have too much access to such cheap, complex devices that cripple us in advancing our knowledge. Perhaps there is no potential threat to human kind, but being prepared for the worst is better than not being prepared at all.

  4. I totally agree with your post. Computers and internet have become the necessity of life. Almost, everything is done on computer and i believe if we destroy computers then we would not be able to do anything. Wherever we go and wherever we see, we find computers and internet.

  5. I’m amused (in a very good way) at the difference in how we each perceived the content of that nugget. I saw that description of the telephone network as quaint and obsolete, because I studied Electrical Engineering and have significant knowledge of how the network has been re-implemented using solid-state circuits, switching computers, and packet-switched network technology. Current reality is so different from the description in the nugget, yet you are quite correct that the nuggest is both a logical and an artistic description of the technology. Not everyone needs or requires the same “mental model” of any given thing: we each require “mental models” which best support what we are trying to accomplish.

    “berniers” view of her phone described above is radically different than mine, but highly appropriate for how she uses her phone. Her “mental model” primarily involves the user interface and how to use the phone to facilitate her activities and interact with other people (just as it should be!). Mine includes the CDMA radio frequency signals the phone uses to communicate with the cell towers, how the cell towers communicate over fiber and microwave links, and how analog voice (sound) is converted to electrical pulses, and then into network data packets, sent to the other end, and then reconverted into electricity and sound so the listener can hear. All that “how it works” is valuable to my needs, but essentially useless to “normal” users.

  6. Quite a few posts seem to be gravitating towards this thought, which only magnifies the importance of the issue. I think it is time for the world to begin considering a plan of action in case of a technological fallout.

  7. I think that the technological revolution you acknowledged is even bigger than some of the commenters realize. With todays VERY EASILY accessible 3D modeling software and increasingly affordable and accurate 3D printers, so much of the technology around us and to be created in the future is on the verge of being mass produceable at home in effect. Do you need a new valve cap for your bicycle or a wall hook? With a 3D printer, you can make practically anything you need to (including, to some unknown benefit, firearms). With that and the “Internet of Things”, Universe knows where we’ll be in 50 years.

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