The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

The Original Technology

Hands, originally uploaded by Weird Beard.

We typically view technology as something separate from us. Technology is a process or an instrument we employ apart from ourselves. Yet, just look at our hands.  They are some of the very first instruments we see and use as infants.  Our minds never stop employing our hands. The paradox is that we see technology as something separate from ourselves even though we are inherently technological.  We say that we are one thing and technology is another. But doesn’t technology really start from our imaginations employing our bodies to fulfill an idea or a need?  All machines and processes are manifestations of our thoughts.  We give birth to technology.  We have a deep kinship with it and more…   McLuhan took this notion to its extreme when he said, in relation to our harnessing of electricity, “electricity may be said to have outered the central nervous system itself.”

We are the original technology and we have a deep and organic kinship with all the technology we create.

Marshal McLuhan, Understanding Media (reprint, Cambridge, Mass: MIT, 1994), 247.

1 comment

1 Svetlana Gibson { 09.12.09 at 2:04 pm }

I agree with this comment, and found it very illuminating as I had never considered our bodies to be technology. I have an eight month old at home, and love watching the process of exploration and early technology development.

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