Humans tend to move forward. Most of us do not move backwards in life’s roles because there is a clear progression from birth to death. In the opening paragraph of chapter three, Carr writes, “Our intellectual maturation as individuals can be traced through the way we draw pictures, or maps, of our surroundings. We begin with primitive, literal renderings … we advance to ever more accurate and more abstract…”(39). In speaking about humans in our early form, he draws a connection between how a child’s drawings of the sun and house may not be perfect but as they grow older those images may become a measured blueprint.

Technology has progressed in a similar way to how humans evolve.  A baby is planned and thought about before it is born just like the creation of the mobile phone. There may have been a rough plan at first but eventually that technology has evolved to being a computer in a child’s hand.

As we have advanced and so has technology. To live in this world, one must adapt to their environment to allow for future progress. Technology has to adapt as well so it can progress to the future. Where some elements may disappear overtime, they are usually for the better. Throughout history, humans have evolved to adjust to the ever changing world. A New York Times article speaks to this idea of technology extinction. It mentions how technology can avoid becoming extinct if humans learn to interact with it appropriately. Manjoo writes, “technologies have always gone belly up, but tech extinctions may become even more common over the next few years.”

While, yes, some tech companies are not going to have as great an understanding of their customers, Manjoo discusses how the top 5 companies will out last the others. To be a part of that, he suggests, “the point is to minimize the danger of getting locked in to any one company’s ecosystem.” By having a stake in most of these five companies, the chances of your technologies staying relevant are much more likely.

Carr uses this comparison between human development and technology development to express how some traits will come and go and others will continue to develop through our life. Because technology isn’t run on its own, as humans adapt so does technology. With these changes, the brands are what need to continue to change to not become extinct.


Author: Mackenzie

With a mix of knowledge, I strive to compile English, psychology and advertising to enhance the digital world.

5 thoughts on “Progress”

  1. I think the idea of technological extinction is interesting- I haven’t come across it before. It is true that humans have always changed to adapt to their dynamic environment, but now it’s interesting how technology, a huge part of human life, must adjust to adapt to human changes since it is not evolving on its own (yet, haha).


  2. It’s crazy to think that the technologies I am so used to using may actually become extinct by the time I’m 60 years old. It’s hard for me to even fathom what other types of technology could push out the competition, such as Apple. Will technology become so advanced that we no longer even need the use of a physical phone? And with this evolution, will classic items such as a book become void? Carr’s evidence of the evolution of writing does help me better understand how the objects I’m so used to today, will become trivial things in the future. Let’s hope that technology doesn’t become so advanced that it wipes out the need for human beings as Carr talked about on page 46. “Our essential role is to produce ever more sophisticated tools— to “fecundate” machines as bees fecundate plants— until technology has developed the capacity to reproduce itself on its own. At that point, we become dispensable.”


  3. I liked that you describe the process as a natural evolution. It’s a lot less depressing, like computers are the downfall of man (although I some times fall into that perspective). When you think about it as just moving forward and things advancing as we do, it makes sense. I also thought that your article was interesting, that someone really went through so much effort to compare different software and technology when I usually just think of turning on the computer and hitting google chrome.


  4. Thanks! I hope most technologies don’t go extinct but I know many are being replaced by other, more advanced technologies. Keyboards have even changed from one key for three letters to replicating a computer keyboard. Where this change may be for the better, a technology still falls behind. I don’t think technology as a whole will become extinct but elements will be surpassed by those advancing faster.


  5. Mackenzie, Thanks for posting the Manjoo article. I really liked it. Could you also post it to our Twitter feed or Facebook? I’m struck by how both he and you basically shift the discussion away from Carr’s what are these machines doing to us? towards something more like how can we learn to use these things better? Good stuff! ~Joe


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