Thursday, May 31, 2007


If H.R. Giger had read "The difference engine" and worked at Jackson Guitars, I think something similar to "The Villanizer" could have been the outcome.

The Villanizer, worth $2275 on eBay.

"The difference engine" by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson is a good novel by the way, well worth reading. The story takes place in an alternative 19th century where a technical revolution of huge mechanical and steam powered computers (i.e. Charles Babbage's difference engine) has happened, and of it's social and political consequences. There's a whole genre apparently, called steampunk.

As I see it, it gives a kind of outside view on how technology affects societies, since it describes a scenario the reader hasn't been part of.
How easy is it for most of of us to envision a world without electrical light, cheap local and global transportation, realtime communication all over the world and everything that follows in its footsteps?

Now there's an ongoing change in Africa and Asia enabled by cell phones.

As Buckminister Fuller put it, even relative poor people have access to drugs to cure illnesses that earlier were fatal and fast, comfortable transportation not available even to the richest and most powerful earlier in the history. "Four billion billionaires" he called the humankind, even if one might think he was a very optimistic technocrat (in a good sense). The problems of the world isn't necessary of technological nature...

(Listening to while posting: Sunn O))) - Etna)


PP said...

cool guitar..reminds me of the watch I sent you(O.K.)which now I can't find on my work computer...

about social change...its interesting how seemingly insignificant things change the course of development. Rarely is it understood at the time. The "thing" is hearalded as some great new invention and then off we go in a new direction. For example the Brooklyn bridge, changed the course of development of Brooklyn, the city, to a suburb of NYC. Until that time it was its own place which was even more populated and developed(industrially) than New York.
There is a whole body literature exploring the relationship of technology and culture,this
journal is but one example.

LS said...

Wow, wow, wow. Question is - does it play well too? It looks like something out of a star wars movie, or some other futuristic movie.

O.K., have you read Parable of the Sower? It is a future book too, after a big war between the US and other countries, global warming has set in and destroyed agriculture, and the US is an anarchy and there is no food and water for people. The border to Canada is closed, they don't want the American people. In that book there is also this mixture between stone age and modern technology - they make bread from acorns and when they get captured they have to wear necklaces that the guards have wireless devices to hurt the people that misbehave. It is worth reading!

O.K. said...

PP: You like it? I wasn't too sure you would.

I think it also is very interesting how technology isn't always utilized by its users as it was intended or thought of originally.

One small example is SMS (text messages) in cell phones. It was basically a hack thrown in in the last minute, but no-one thought it would be used by the end users. According to wikipedia "SMS text messaging is the most widely used data service on the planet", in South Korea 30% of the students average than a hundred or more messages a day.
Not bad for a hack no-one would use.

I looked at the T&C web site, unfortunately there's not much content online. I did find a lecture/discussion about cars and transportation in the future (in an american perspective) that I am listening to now.

O.K. said...

LS: Its creator claims it "plays great, and is light as any other guitar."

Read? You mean like on paper? Nah, I don't do that anymore, that's so 20th century...;)

It sounds really like mixture of earlier written stories, isn't the title from the bible?

Olle said...

That point of things not used for they were intended for is interesting. It shows very clearly that there is very little determinism in technology - much (not all) depends on what people do of it.

The example that was given in a discussion I took part of many years ago was the old car that the hens used for a hatching house.

O.K. said...

Olle: Reminds me of the old ice cream car (hemglassbil) that stands on the island Fejan in Stockholms archipelago. How it got there is a mystery. Its current use? Hen house. :)

LS said...

Maybe they drove the icecream truck there on the ice in the winter?

LS said...

Parable of the Sower really has several items from Biblical stories, and the main story is a group of people lead by this young teenage girl with a vision (from God, or someone else, can't remember). A lot of the book is about good people become bad. The author is Ovtavia Butler, and she has written other science fiction too.

O.K., it is worth reading on paper. There is a sequel too, but the first book is the best.