We perceive something to be technology only when it is still new and, like most new things, not quite working the way it’s supposed to. Nobody thinks that the wheel is technology, though it’s as important a piece of technology as humanity has ever invented. . . .
It is when people stop thinking of something as a piece of technology that the thing starts to have its biggest impact. Wheels, wells, books, spectacles were all once wonders of the world; now they are everywhere, and we can’t live without them. The internet hasn’t quite got to that point, but it is getting there.
from A bigger bang | Weekend | Guardian Unlimited
I am old enough to remember watching black-and-white television and playing music on a phonograph, when a map was something you unfolded from a glove compartment and searching was something you did with a flashlight, looking for socks under the bed. I feel like I stand over a gap, one foot planted on each side, and I’m always looking for ways to narrow that gap, to bring the two sides together. The older gardeners, the ones with the most experience and knowledge to share, often just don’t see the point of the internet and all that has become available through it. Yet I have read many garden blogs, written by gardeners of a certain age, who say, “I never dreamed how many friends I would make, and with people from all over the world.”
If you are one of those gardeners, you should read the essay I quoted above. The world is changing, and we all need to be thinking about how it is changing, and what that will mean for us, and our children, and our grandchildren.The automobile and the television both changed life in the United States dramatically, and how much thought did we devote to anticipating how life would change?
I do look at my own life to see how accessing the world wide web every day has changed it. I garden less and write more. I read more on my computer screen but fewer books. I have more friends but know less about them. But still, I am wary. I mistrust myself. Is it merely a tool, or has it become a crutch? Has it taken away more than it has added?
I just learned that the primary creator of WordPress, the software that runs this site, is 22. Twenty-two. Incredible. You can learn about Matt Mullenweg and the other people behind tomorrow’s taken-for-granted technology, (including Blogger, Wikipedia, and Flickr, among others) by reading the interviews on this page.
I generally try to stick to gardening as a topic, but I found The Guardian’s whole report on Web 2.0 to be fascinating and thought-provoking. I hope you do, too. I’m interested in your thoughts.
About the image: I went to Websites as Graphs and entered my website address. The abstract image above was the result.
What do the colors mean?
blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags
Thanks to Hank of Lake County for pointing the way there. I discovered his blog when he commented on Garden Rant, and I’m still exploring his Garden section.