Hall of Records

Hall of Records, N.Y.C. (LOC)

This is nothing like the image I wanted. The image I wanted had two major parts. A man and a commodity. As it was, that commodity was a record or record store bag containing vinyl records. I am somewhat caught up in the resurgence of this ancient technology. What attracts me most is tactile familiarity. I enjoy holding a heavy, cumbersome disc, making sure not to touch the surface where it counts, carefully cleaning off the lint, lifting the arm, placing it in a way to get adequate scratchy goodness before the music takes over. This, however, is an annoyance. A luxury that is reserved for special occasions when I want to listen to music, not just put something on.

Technology in education seems to mostly go for convenience. The entire year’s notes wound up in a clear plastic overhead scroll. A Powerpoint (my friend made) for every class. Someone else’s YouTube video. These all seem to take teacher and student away from the process of learning, of creation. Used in this way technology seems to give people a chance to relax and read it later.

My base definitions of text and technology are similar to a product and the understanding and skill to create that product. Records allow me to interact with the music,  and never get the same experience. Something that isn’t possible with the usual content delivery systems. I’m excited by the direction of computing as it becomes more intuitive. We are able to interact with computers in more natural ways that lead us away from mindless consumption.

A young person with a bag full of old technology reminds me of a desire to participate in the creation and enjoyment of life, not to merely copy and paste. My major problem is this picture was taken 100 years too early for my subject to be wandering around.

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