A collection of loops of music which can be accessed by any individual with Garage Band. Scary is not? The shear fact that anything can be digitalized, modified so that it can be used in any location without instruments. Music is a form of art which requires immense skills. Garage band, allows any person regardless of their personal background to produce music. It somewhat devalues “true” music. It trifles with the work of musicians who worked years honing their skills to master a single music form. Garage Band allows any person to manipulate the guitar, drums, saxophone (to name a few) and vocals all at once. This demines the work of musicians all over the world.
The song that I included in the video, is appealing to me. However, I don’t believe it is fair to the musicians who created that loops that I integrated. Could I even call this song my own? The only hard work I did was deciding which loop to add and where. In my opinion, the quality of work and how good it is, is determined by the effort and time placed into a work. Sure the song sounds okay, but I think it would sound better if I had taken the time to learn the instruments within the song.
If anything, one can appreciate the way technology has developed over the years. Garage band embodies the vision of Dr. Vannevar Bush. During his life, Bush argued that true technology should replicate the “bewildering store of knowledge.” In addition, he sought to develop a device that would extend the power of our minds. Garage Band stores a vast amount of information, which during the life of Bush would have been impossible.
Similar to how a sword is seen as the extension of the arm, the internet can be seen as an extension of the mind. The mind works through association operating through an intricate trail of information. We often take for granted all that is around us, as it is a routine part of our lives. Technological advancements in information storage has benefited us in various ways. Physicians all across the country now use electronic health records (EHR). EHR’s allow employees of health related fields to store the information of their patients. Thereby allowing them to access information from any patient in the country. EHR’s have also been developed to work in conjunction with the physician. To explain this further a brief example is described below.
A patient’s culture comes back for moderate growth of streptococcus pneumonia. The physician knows that this bacterium is sensitive to the antibiotic Bactrim and therefore prescribes it to the patient. Prior to providing this to the patient, it is required that the medications be included into the EHR system first. Immediately after, a warning box appears explaining to the physician that the patient is allergic to sulfa drugs. Had the patient taken Bactrim, a sulfa based drug, the bacteria may have perished but the patient would have suffered adverse effects due to an inevitable allergic reaction. Bush dreamt that technological advancements in information storage would be used as an extension of the brain, and one can see how it has influenced the lives of individuals in all professions. A similar example by Bush describes the need for better information storage for people of all different backgrounds. “The chemist, struggling with the synthesis of an organic compound, has all the chemical literature before him in his laboratory, with trails following the analogies of compounds, and side trails to their physical and chemical behavior” (Bush).
Technology in so many ways has improved our lives but it has also made life more difficult in ways. Take for example the instance of Nicholas Carr and his colleagues having difficulties reading and paying attention. He attributes these issues to the internet. According to Carr, our brains are being “rewired” as a result of prolonged internet use that simple tasks such as reading silently become an endeavor. Technology has also caused many social issues to arise. Unfortunately, social gatherings have become a group of individuals fixated on their cellular devices. Similar to the Garage Band dilemma, technology has devalued the very essence of a social events. Returning to EHRs, the patient-physician interaction has also suffered. In an attempt to record all information regarding a patient and the exchange that occurred during the visit the physician, discusses with the patient while looking at his computer screen as opposed to the patient. Of course the quality of care is the same but the experience is not.
Like all things in life, there is a tradeoff associated with technology. One can thing of it like the example provided in class regarding Wonderbread. Wonderbread a cheap tasteless version of French bread is sold in countless stores across the country. Although it cheapens the express of eating true bread, it enriches the lives of countless Americans as a result of its price and accessibility.
Class began with the quote “the life of the mind is a playful one.” However, the mind is also a dangerous thing. We often undermine technology and its history. Jonathan Sterne describes how there is a whole history behind the invention of the MP3. In the pursuit of knowledge man can lose sight of morals and ethics. In his book, Sterne describes an inhumane experiment which aided in the development of the MP3. Two physiologists, Ernest Glen Wever and Charles W. Bray, in an attempt to illustrate the important concepts in acoustics, removed parts of countless cats’ skulls and most of its brain attached an electrode to it (Sterne). As opposed to viewing these cats as living animals, these scientists viewed them as microphones and transducers. The sheer number of cats being killed did not bother them so long as their thirst for acquisition for knowledge was meet.
The ink of the past is already dry, one cannot change what has already been done but we must learn from its mistakes. Technology is here and will be continuously used by people all across the world. We must find a way to discipline ourselves and learn to balance both disciplinary forms.
Music was made using garage band
Video was created using pow toon
Bush, Vannevar. “As We May Think.” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.
Carr, Nicholas G. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print.
Sterne, Jonathan. MP3: The Meaning of a Format. Durham: Duke UP, 2012. Print.