It’s a Hammer, It’s a Screw

BY GAREN YEGPARIAN

Here’s a “rant” for you, to use the jargon of today’s technomaniacs, since it’s about them I’m ranting.

I’ve had my fill of people raving over every silly nuance of “innovation” (or scam), that comes by to make people money, not necessarily making life any better. I mean, “Twitter,” really? Those utterly taken by these blips are whom I describe as technomaniacs.

A little bit of context is in order.  Non-biologically powered machines, the wheel, and now coming to the fore nano- and bio-technologies all have given or will give humanity just as much benefit as improved means of data management and communications.  Yet I know people who now avoid contact with other humans by hiding behind their iPhone or other toy-de-jour.  Plus, the usurpation of the term “technology” by the electronic/information/data realm is annoying.  Building the pyramids required technology, too.

I read a fascinating book some years ago, One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw.  I suggest all those who are in run-away electronics-loving mode read it.  Our computers, souped-up phones, and ancillary gadgets are nothing but tools.  They are valuable to the extent they enhance or lives- work, family, recreation, thought, association, or any of the other myriad aspects thereof.  When the tools start being intrusive (e.g. three people simultaneously texting while sitting at a meeting) or when they start being inutile (e.g. e-mails barely get read anymore, so the sender has wasted their time typing out a message, same with voicemails—just hit delete and reply to the call, right?), it’s time to scrap or modify the tools.

A hammer driving a nail is good.  A hammer pounding on a surface for no purpose is a problem.

While some of these problems haven’t penetrated quite as deeply into the Armenian community because of a language-caused lag, it’s only a matter of time.  At least we know what’s coming and can perhaps develop a better way of using what are otherwise valuable tools in humanity’s arsenal.

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