Thursday, October 5

Technology Myth: A Preface

For those outside GC, here's the first article in my newspaper column, The Technology Myth.

A Preface

I never liked news. So it comes as great surprise to me that I ended up writing a news column of all things. A couple years back I took some time off from college in the woods of Wisconsin and, equally surprising, I started reading the news, mostly technology news. It was a good time-filler, but I never stopped. I began to realize that what I was reading intriguing not because it was factual or that I was obsessed or bored. It was, in fact, a myth.
But let me explain first, because this part of the story confuses people. In plain speak, a myth is just a false statement. However, in religion, literature, and anthropology, a myth is much more, so listen up. A myth is story that communicates deep and timeless truth for every person. Thus, a myth is always true. Myths attract us by metaphors, adventure, extreme characters, and fantastical events. Myths in American culture usually appear in books and movies. A few examples are The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. They may not be historical, but their themes resonate with us deeply enough that we realize the facts don't matter.
A myth can be historical, though. September 11 and World War II were myths because their obvious lessons profoundly impact us. Similiarly (hold your cries of blasphemy) every narrative in the Bible is a myth. C.S. Lewis remarked that the Gospel is the point where Myth intersects History. On a smaller scale, family histories often contain myths, like the death of my grandfather. Through my experience, I think technology may be yet another myth wherein we can glean meaning for ourselves.
Over the coming semester, I intend to continue exploring the possibilty that technology is a myth. I say possibility, because I admit I'm not thorougly convinced that the fear and awe born from Darth Vader and Hitler can be replicated by Bill Gates, nor the juxtaposition of humanity and divinity of Hercules and Jesus matched by cloning DNA. However, the giddiness of my prof today as he learned to use the Smart Board gut wrenching while watching An Inconvient Truth about carbon dioxide emissions kindles my curiosity such that I cannot discard the interplay between technology and psyche.
Our Information Age culture so disregards the ancient myths and ceremonies and leaves individuals to struggle to define purpose beyond their own wants. Read Jameson's column, [insert name of column here], for excellent, related insights. I hope that as we hurdle farther and farther from the old symbols and meanings that we can reach out and discover new meaning - or else discover that we need to turn around. And I hope you travel with me and email your thoughts.
Oh, I also might report some news. Maybe.

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