1. Hello all! I’m Ahmad Ali, and I’m a computer engineering student here at City Tech. I have a wide variety of interests, ranging from the seemingly obvious, such as diagnosing and repairing computers, to reading and writing poetry. I also love to spread the word on issues and events that I find to be of importance all over the world. The syllabus seems to be a standard syllabus, no surprises here. I’m only really taking this class for fun, plus I had Dr. Leston as a professor last semester and his Into to Journalism class was enjoyable, even if it was mentally taxing with the work load at times. I’m really just looking to have good discussions and hear other people’s perspectives on topics that matter to me in this class overall. One thing I’m still wondering is how the class will mesh and what sort of ideas will emerge from my classmates on a general level. I’m looking forward to all the intelligent ideas that will be presented on various topics and the overall class response to what’s being presented. Everyone loves a little debate!
2. There are many things that Postman speaks about in this essay. One of the first of which is the story that Plato told of his teacher Socrates telling a story about a king names Thamus. He provides an excerpt from Plato’s writing and then goes on to give his analysis of it. He states that it is obvious that Thamus’s theory on how writing would only have negative effects on society as a whole is incorrect. He then continues to compare various other people thoughts on how technology can effect society in general. As well as how different technologies have effected us as a society throughout history. One person’s outlook on history is that of Sigmund Freud’s. He states that Freud was aware of the negative side of emerging technologies such as the telephone. Freud speaks about the toll that emerging technologies can take on society, and how people seem to overlook the negative sides in favor of being blinded by the innovation itself. Postman also goes on to speak about how new technologies change our language and the way in which we communicate. He speaks about how new technologies often create new words in and of themselves, such as “VCR”, “software, and “Walkman”. He also speaks about how technology changed the meaning of words that already exist as well. Postman later also speaks about how living in a certain time period drastically changes the way in which we interpret things.
I felt that many of the things that were discussed in the passage very interesting. The story that the essay is focused on is absolutely enthralling for a person like myself who is fond of many of the works of Plato that I have come into contact with. I absolutely agree with many of the things that Postman speaks about. One of which is the concept of how technology changes the way in which we speak as well as the way in which we write due to the fact that new technologies have a direct effect on our language as a whole. One way that this can relate to the society of today is how many people that it’s okay to speak or write for that matter in “texting English”. This is something that bothers me to no end, and in many cases that I simply don’t understand, and the only reason that this exists is the invention of smart phones and of course the SMS technology. Another thing that has drastically changed society is the invention of social media. From small things as one of my classmates pointed out, being that many people will only get information on day to day life from Facebook as apposed to the mainstream media. It doesn’t end there though, the introduction of social media had created a huge plus and a huge issue for many people in that the things you put online are permanent in some ways. People have to keep in mind that what they’re talking about could be transmitted to anyone, anywhere in the world, as soon as they make a statement. However this new wave of media has also helped some people get the social recognition they deserve, completely reinventing the types of people that we might call famous. Another example of a direct change on our society, as well as our interpretation of an aspect of language. In today’s day in age I think it is more important than ever to keep in mind the effect that technology will soon have on our lives, in more ways than one might think.
There are a few very interesting videos that people interested on how technology could potentially effect the world and subsequently our lives that I’d like to share, feel free to watch this one :