A product of our times

How do you bump into the thing you didn’t know you were looking for*
(Seth Godin)

Machines have sped up and lives have kept pace with them.**
(Rebecca Solnit)

I must go more slowly.

When we talk technology, we’re often thinking machines that enable us to do more faster, but Ursula Franklin highlights how, in simplest terms, technologies are processes comprising two forms: growth and production. Here we have a dilemma – we can make things fast but we cannot grow things fast:

Growth occurs; it is not made.^

Franklin offers an example of a growth technology that has been turned into a production technology:

if there ever was a holistic process, a process that cannot be divided into rigid, predetermined steps, it is education^.

Janine Benyus offers another example following witnessing the most devastating hail storm in a decade experienced in a corner of Minnesota:

Today’s farmer in Southwestern Minnesota has a huge, spread, and because the fields are planted in one species, one variety, and one growth stage, the losses, when they come, are catastrophic.^^

Maybe what we hope to find needs to be grown, not made?

(*From Seth Godin’s blog: Organised for browsing.)
(**From Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust.)
(^From Ursula Franklin’s The Real World of Technology.)
(^^From Janin Benyus’ Biomimicry.)

2 thoughts on “A product of our times

  1. Pingback: Vernation | THIN|SILENCE

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