As detrimental and as terrible as war is, it can be said that war brings about technological advancement. Carr may argue that this is detrimental since the cold war brought about the birth of computers, but I think this is one of the few upsides of war. The government flushing researchers with money allows for advances that were previously not thought of. I believe that these atrocities had one small positive in that it produced innovative men and gave them the funds to pursue unique ventures that would change the way we thought of technology and ultimately our approach to life. One great man who arose during this time is Vanover Bush who envisioned the Memex – microfilm reels storing information. Though some may say this idea undermines authority and changes how we perceive information and authority, I believe it is instrumental for completing a more efficient society. I also think that this approach which may seem less organized is more realistic to that of the human brain. The human brain does not function like a book it seems to jump around more and the perfect example is when you day dream or have thoughts come into your head that you either think about or dismiss in order to continue what you’re currently working towards.
In reading Carr’s book, there were certain things that did make sense, and I do think the internet has taken away from our ability to focus and develop a deep knowledge of certain topics. I believe people today have some knowledge of a myriad of things; but also, lack a deep knowledge of certain topics. There is no denying that the internet offers a large amount of distractions, but is it the internet’s fault for human performance and knowledge declining as Carr believes? I believe it is much more of a psychological effect that the internet may play a role in, but the blame should ultimately fall onto the individual. For me, the fundamental problem is the lack of discipline. Some may say that the internet is to blame for this, but I believe that by blaming the internet we avoid being accountable and looking at ourselves in order to become more disciplined. It is not fun to sit down and write a paper or read a book for class, it requires discipline. This skill, I believe, can be learned by doing things that we want to avoid each day. I do believe the internet may encourage distractions, but I think that blaming the internet is the easy way out. We should not blame the internet and technology for why we can’t concentrate, this action avoids accountability. I think the proper way to correct societal issues is to work individually to accept the problem and encourage tasks we want to avoid in order to build discipline.
In class we compared early silent films to those of more modern cinema. In the silent film shown, the director only shows scenes of separate action creating a static perspective for the viewer. We then contrasted this with a more recent film, Saving Private Ryan, where the perspective of The D Day scene seemed to be constantly changing. This provided the viewer with the feeling that they are omniscient and provided a sense of realness while at the same time illustrating the impossible. The constant change in perspective is something that I had never noticed when watching movies until this class. The constant changing of camera angles and perspective always made me feel like the movie was more realistic and I never figured that the changing perspectives provided an unrealistic feeling. The change in perspectives of films today, compared to films in the early 1900’s may illustrate societies short attention span, but I believe it also illustrates outside the box thinking. Today, society is more distracted than ever and film presents the perfect metaphor for that, but we also live in a society of incredible ingenuity. The stagnant perspective of early films may present a lack of distraction, but I also believe it presents a lack of ingenuity. Yes, there is no denying that there were still incredible men and women that pushed society forward, but I think these figures were less abundant than today. I think our cluttered society filled with distractions has encouraged alternative thinking and produced an abundance of entrepreneurs.
Between the 1840’s and 1920 immense technological change brought about innovation in the U.S., but it also brought about massive confusion for much of the population. Sure things like the Railroad and Telegraph made connecting to others easier, but technology was advancing at such a rate that many people struggled to keep up with it.
I think that the invention of electricity shifted humans lives so rapidly that it created temporary disorder. Prior to electric light humans operated around the sun and once the sun was down not much occurred because what you could do in the dark was severely handicapped by candle light. In the course of a few years, people’s daily activities are shifted because they can now work or enjoy leisure activities at night that could previously only be done during the day. The invention of electricity creates a paradigm shift in society and would almost cause a sense of paralysis initially. The way in which people viewed the day completely shifts and while electricity does allow for more possibilities it also changes peoples schedule. It is tough to go from having your life completely centered around the sun to having light at will. Electric light creates a sense of confusion for many individuals as they now feel lost in the disorder.
An argument can be made that compression has tainted the overall quality of music. Compression has taken away from the individuality from certain instruments and can affect the quality of a singers voice when heard. This does not mean that compression is necessarily a bad thing for all people, and it has proven to be very popular. Pop music today involves compression and all the chart leading songs involve compression, so to say it’s bad, is a tough claim to make. Another tough thing to do is to differentiate between good and bad music. There is no universal standard for what is good music. The fact that there is not one standard to compare everything to creates a situation in which nearly everyone can favor a certain song over what other people believe. Why there is a preference for certain music seems to be an unanswerable question, but there are possible reasons for why society prefers compression in music. Compression at it’s core allows for a level sound that does not fluctuate. No fluctuation means that you do not have to change the volume, creating for a more simple and easy listening experience. Another possible reason for the preference for compression is the how the listening experience has changed over the years. Music used to be a primary source of entertainment, but as the popularity for television increased music became more of a background noise and music that didn’t fluctuate helped provide the background music.