Sunday, July 8, 2007

Shift Happens

I found this very thought-provoking.

I had all kinds of ideas about writing about a simply delightful day I had yesterday, picnicking with an old friend in the Grosse Pointes, which I'd never been to. And yes, they live up to all the hype.

I was also going to write about this fairly perfect Sunday I'm having, reading, writing, and cooking Roasted Tomato Soup, Cucumber Salad, Blueberry Muffins and a peach Tarte Tatin.

But, you know, that all sort of pales when you get a link like this.

I was thinking a lot yesterday and today about the Live Earth concerts. I'm very mixed about them because while I think awareness on this topic is crucial, and while a lot of my summer is being spent trying to rework our lives to be greener, I don't understand why all these resources and this energy was used when fundraising wasn't a part, and the only results were promises for seven rather anemic goals. I'm not slamming Al Gore or the artists and supporters who donated their time, but I just want to see more action and less grandstanding.

And then there was this link! And now I'm wondering if we're misdirected entirely. Is it technology that could be both the culprit and the answer to so much of this environmental warming and destruction? And as a teacher, does what I teach matter?

Currently, I teach literature, especially "classics". The old ideas of worn-out times. And yet, most of these books have stood the test of time. When do ideas become just more information? And what difference does it make if a machine can out-calculate the human mind. What does that MEAN? Does that mean computers can out think us? Out create us? Will they be able to perform Shakespeare with the deftness of a Judy Dench, or paint Guernica, or write like Jane Austen?

And by posting this, am I just contributing to more technological noise?

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