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Jul 29

My Irrational Technophobia

Posted by: Mark Solon        
 

Given that a good deal of my life’s work consists of discovering cutting edge technologies that will make our lives more efficient, improve our health and make our planet a better place to live, I find it incredibly ironic that I have an irrational fear of the convergence of man and machine. Generally, I’m optimistic almost to a fault.  However, a movie like Minority Report can send me into a tailspin where I start stressing out about my unborn cyborg grandchildren.

Earlier this week, the New York Times ran an article with the headline “Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man” that pushed all of my technophobia buttons. After reading it during the day, I came home and my wife Pam, having read the same article during the day said to me “you read it, didn’t you?”

I’ve done a pretty good job over the last few days managing my quirky machine vs. man issues. This morning though, I had a real breakthrough. At home, we keep a coffee table book with the entire history of cartoons from the New Yorker magazine, dated chronologically, in our bathroom. Thumbing through it as I often do, I came across the following cartoon. It wasn’t until my eyes drifted towards the top of the page where the year of publication was listed that I felt the impact. This cartoon ran in the New Yorker in 1946! Some things never change…

The more things change...

The more things change...

 

4 Responses to “My Irrational Technophobia”

  1. avatar Kami says:

    Hilarious items in this post:
    1) your phobia and your admission to it
    2) that Pam knows that look on your face so well as to guess what you had read and how it was bothering you
    3) that you told us what you read on the toilet and what it is…very interesting factoid.

    Hope Pam is doing well – I served on the Block Fest Board with her years ago…

  2. avatar Chris Kilmer says:

    I'm not as worried about having to hide from cyborgs that look like Arnold after Skynet becomes self aware as I am about the social repercussions of globalizing technology. Sure, I'm meeting people from all over the world, but what is happening to my ability to interact on a physical level. Will I be able to talk face to face without signing emoticons in a few years?

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