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Musings on technology

I am once more at Uri & Rebeka with Tammy, Oz and Sofie, it is almost noon, everyone is eating and working and talking and laying about. I am in a room writing out the result of a conversation and some musings after it, concerning the merits and dangers of technology.

I watched Nameless (he is with a name but I have forgotten it) work on a stuff for his kid for the coming Purim costume. And we got into a conversation about various technologies and about their goodness/badness (I am missing a name for this which I have on the tip of my tongue but will have to add later in editing).

We discussed making solar panels from first principles, something I am not aware of but imagine has been done since I know of makings of transistors from home lithography, and it seems to be more of the same.

After reflecting about this conversation I realize that having some metrics for technology advances, some ways to understand our relationship with technologies, specific ones, and in general about tools and techniques are in order.

I am sure that once I google this I will find much literature dealing with this. But before I go and do that, I want, after this long rambling introduction, to try to write some rules, notes, understandings I wish to examine in the light of interospection.

About tecnology

  1. We are constant tool makers. Technology is both a title we give to our tools and methods of using them, but also a cover, almost like the word magic, to those techniques which we do not ourselves understand but which have been developed and produced by our kin and are in constant use. For instance Television, Radio, Artificial intelligence algorithms, search engines, cars, refrigerators.
  2. Technology is best when we understand it.
  3. We must strive to understand the technology we use. In understanding it we learn how best to use it but also the dangers (for instance abuse of social networks / television binges / dieting)

Reflecting about "About technology"

I guess the main point that rose was #2. How to do that?

Also I actually came here, I now recall, to try to lay the skeleton of a lecture about technology for the forum of Seven Stones, this being the meeting of the teachers of same done before the gathering.

I want to connect computers, electronics, programming, AI, to people who know all about them as laymen, and like every person cohabiting this decade has a cellphone with all of this in their pocket, and yet we meet in Passover to celebrate much more ancient and especially well understood technologies.

In this yet to be written down lecture I want to connect the basket making, wood working to computers, to make a straight path, to try to understand how come many people understand how a chair is made, or how a basket is woven, or at least are confident of their ability to undersand same, and yet most people do not understand or believe they should understand computers.

Nand2tetris comes to mind. I think I already discussed this with Tammy once: doing a Nand2tetris course for seven stones. Of course I don't know if that would be accepted. And really doing this does not fit in the 5 days of the format give in Seven stones (7S).

Perhaps a much shorter thing where we make a single transistor would work. or a single photovoltaic cell and light some led with it (the LED itself being brought to the gathering).