From stone-axes to mobile phones, throughout history people have given birth to a wide range of technologies. Today, it is almost impossible to imagine a world without technology. Every human being on the planet employs technology of some sort, and every human has to cope with technological change at various points during his or her lifetime. Yet, despite our deep-rooted relationship with technology, most of us are still relatively unaware of how new technologies are introduced, accepted or discarded within our society.
In this talk at TEDxGhent, our own Dr. Van Mensvoort shows how technology becomes nature in seven steps and what engineers, inventors, designers and entrepreneurs can learn from that. The talk is based on the essay Pyramid of Technology, which is also available as a booklet + poster.
Sarah van Sonsbeecks Anti Drone Tent is a small construction of emergency blankets that blocks infrared sensing, making it invisible to drones.
Isn’t it ironic. While originally humans started employing technology to emancipate ourselves from the forces of old nature – think of a roof above your head to withstand wind and rain – these technologies over time caused the rising of a next nature. And we now need to emancipate ourselves from the forces of technology.
The Anti Drone tent is currently on display at the Drone Camping at Mediamatic.
They are called excavator mulchers, but that’s an understatement. What they really do is swallow trees. The video is 3 minutes, but you really only need to see the first 15 seconds, which is the time it takes the mulcher monster to consume a 9 meter-tall, mature spruce – starting at the top, landing at the bottom.
The tree that was, suddenly isn’t. Technosphere vs Biosphere: 1-0, it seems. But then you calculate how many trees need to be burned to provide the mulcher with enough energy to swallow one tree. Not entirely cradle to cradle. We wonder if the monster mulchers also do Antenna Tree masts.
Regular readers of this blog know we closely monitor razor technology as a symbol of our co-evolutionary relationship with technology. This basically means that, like the bees and the flowers, people and technology are intertwined in mutual dependence: we serve our technology as much as it serves us. And just like humans, technology wants to prosper, propagate and grow. The blindness ‘innovation’ of shaving razors, with more and more blades, strips and grips, exemplifies this development.
The latest subspecies in the Razorius line is the Razorius Gilletus Flexball. While the Gillete Corporation proclaims they have reinvented shaving, others argue Gillette’s new razor is everything that’s wrong with America.
This retro-futuristic postcard was produced in the 1930s by a German magazine.
In this vision of the future, they got a few things right: mobile video calls, kids able to use technology and flying cars.
The most fascinating aspect is that, 80 years ago, they correctly envisioned our Society of Simulations culture: two people sitting at a table, eating a meal and ignoring each other while looking into their phones. Via Retrofuturism
Face-recognition technology is arriving. Surveillance cameras can already pick out individual faces of suspects, and soon even smartphone app may allow you to identify strangers on the street and look up their Facebook page.