I think I am nearly there….! Ideas still keep popping into my head and distracting me so I am struggling to stay focussed on just a couple of themes. I am fascinated by the whole idea of humanity, our place in the world and the increasingly dominating place of technology. Maybe dominating isn’t the right word? I mean, technology is all around us, and has been since man walked the earth and started inventing tools to make their lives easier, better, richer …. Or maybe I do mean dominating in that there is so much literature about technology taking us over, controlling us, our lives, our thoughts – the videos in Week 4 certainly touched on that theme.
I spent a childhood being my Dad’s “honorary son” (I am the eldest of 4 girls!) since I showed some interest in the many gadgets and hobbies he collected. As a family we spent holidays camping and visiting historic sites such as castles, old lighthouses, museums and steam engines, which I enjoyed. However, I have only realised more recently that it sowed a seed in me of fascination with how technology and the way people lived has affected today’s world.
In the Yorkshire Dales where I lived for twenty years, there is a beautiful historic viaduct that spans the head of the Ribble Valley. To me, it now blends naturally into the landscape but just like many structures around the world it was controversial when it was built. Its construction also had a profound impact on the local community; roughly a thousand navvies came into the area to work and small shanty towns grew out of their settlement. The economy of the area grew and no doubt the families of the workers in Ireland and elsewhere benefitted financially from the money they sent home. Around a hundred were killed in the construction of the viaduct which was a pioneering design of its time.
So where am I going on this trip down Memory Lane? Oh, yes – the idea that old technology gives way to new technology before we know it and at an ever more alarming rate. But somehow we assimilate it into our lives, into our world; the environment adapts and we adapt. However, there is always some fall out, some long lasting effect be it positive or negative and it is cumulative. So I think my message is that we should embrace technology and the opportunities it can offer us to enhance our lives and our learning but we should also treat it with respect and look to how we can protect and nurture our world so that it is there for generations to come.
With thanks to my family for putting up with me being focussed on Moocing when really I should be focussed on them. I have been bitten by the bug….Oh, no!!