Thursday, June 28, 2007

Emerging techonology

I am in New York for a couple days and, silly me, I left my cell phone charger in Boston. I am therefore using my phone less frequently than I normally might and turning it off at night. Just now, I emailed a friend and responded via email to something she asked me in a text message a couple days ago. I told her that because I am without my charger down here I am going without texting for a few days, except in case of emergency.

Then I laughed to myself and noted how silly that sounds--an "emergency" text message. And yet, I thought, isn't that how technology evolves? What starts out as a luxury -- car, telephone, television, airplane -- can become something absolutely essential (so we say anyway) in case of emergency -- ambulance, 911, we interrupt this broadcast, scrambling the fighter jets.

Luxuries emerge into essentials. The words "emerge" and "emergency" come from the Latin "emergere," which means to rise up out of. An emergency was an unforeseen occurrence that rose up. And someday there will surely be an occurrence that I do not now foresee in which I absolutely positively must send a text message.

1 comment:

jnap said...

Remember when you were in Korea, and you did not have ready access to some things, especially at first. It is important to revisit our reliance or dependence on things.