Same Fears, Different Technology

The world is constantly in fear in the future, weather that be in today’s world where we are terrified of the possibilities of AI or virtual reality, back to the early 1900’s when phones were first developing, there are many instances throughout time where we are scared of the potential future. In both of this week’s readings, the technology that was being developed posed a “threat” towards society. The first of the week’s readings being the Kaleidoscope reading called The Forgotten Kaleidoscopes Craze in Victorian England , written by Jason Farman. In this reading, Jason states how Kaleidoscopes use to be some crazy form of technology in which literally everybody was doing it. And it wasn’t like they were doing it secretly in their rooms or houses, no, they were wondering around the street with these metal/plastic toys fixed to their eyes. As you can probably predict, this could cause some problems and I’m sure a lot of fear for the future of this piece of technology.

In the second reading for this week, When Old Technologies Were New: Thinking About Electric Communication in the Late nineteenth Century, written by Marvin Carolyn, we see that the new technology to be feared are telephones. In the article Carolyn states, ” In their (electricians) journals, which monitored the official and unofficial worlds of electricity, and wherever they spoke to one another about what they observed in both realms, electricians gave anxious voice to the possible loss of the world they idealized, a world threatened by new modes of electrical communication and put at risk in the very act of their aspiring to it.” (65). As we can clearly see, this upcoming form of telephones had an appeal, however, there are always some who fear how it will change the world as we know it.

(An overview of all the technology over the ages that could have led to fear.)



The Forgotten Kaleidoscope Craze in Victorian England, written by Jason Farman, November 9th 2015

When Old Technologies Were New : Thinking About Electric Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century, written by Marvin Carolyn, December 1988

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