AT&T got it right when they introduced their new slogan telling people to rethink possible. Today we live in a world that is more technologically advanced than anyone ever dreamed was possible. The lines of todays technologies have reached new levels that have proven that technology has no limitations, and virtually anything and everything is possible. However, this was not always the case. Long ago, it used to be simple: you had to have wings to fly and a horse to communicate over long distances. As time has come and gone, not only have we proven these statements wrong, but we have gone above and beyond to make technology better, faster, and easier to use. The video below is a good example of how technology has improved and is still improving today.
Lately in English class, we have been learning about the ideas of the pastoral and how they relate to our lives. Pastoral is an attitude that relates to the country side or pasture life. When you think of pastoral, you may think of pastures and the countryside. You also think of long fields of grass and land consumed by animals such as sheep or cattle and their shepherds close by watching them. In these thoughts, two major ideas of pastoral are brought up. The first is nostalgia, or a longing for the past or a simpler way of life. The second idea is mystification and an escape to a better life. In this post I will discuss how both of these ideas are related to technology.
Ever since the time of the plow, people have dedicated their lives to improving technology. The purpose of improving technology is to make our lives easier and more efficient. As a society, we long for the simplicity of life and want everything to be easier. We have that longing for the life we use to have. This longing is displayed in an example in the ninth of Virgil’s Eclogues when Lycidas tries to get Moeris to sing to him but he refuses.
I remember when I was a boy I used to sing
Every long day of summer down to darkness,
And now I am forgetting all my songs;
My voice grows hoarse; I must have been seen by a wolf. (75)
If you can, think back to your childhood, what was it that you enjoyed the most? When I was younger, the thing that I enjoyed the most, was not having to worry about anything at all. All of the bills, jobs, work, and stresses of life were left up to my parents. All I had to worry about was school. Once that was over, all I had to do for the rest of the day was hang out with my friends and enjoy life. Life for me was simple.
This is what technology does for us today; it tries to make our lives easier. But does it really make life easier? With all the new technologies out there, I belive that technology only makes aspects of our life easier, but overall, has made life busier than ever. But what people have failed to realize is that by making technology better and faster, we have not only done the opposite by making life more complicated, we have made a world where we rely on technology. When we rely on something, it becomes our sense of security and we need that. To demonstrate this, take a look at part of Psalm 23.
Yeah, though I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and they staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23)
In this, David is reliant on God. Even in the “shadow of death” David put his trust in God. Without God, he would have been lost. Also if we take a look at the last line, he talks about how God’s rod and a staff comforts him. For those who do not know, the rod and staff are the main tools of a shepherd. If we look at the definition of technology, technology is simply tools that make our life better. This example relates to how we rely on technology. Think about it for a minute. What would you do if you didn’t have your computer, car, or even your cell phone for an entire day. We have built a world where we would be lost without technology. Technology is our way of communication, information, and sense of security. This is the other idea of pastoral.
In my paper I plan on incorporating The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the pastoral ideal in America by Leo Marx. I have also found various works that will help me with these ideas that I plan on incorporating.