Site: Gizmodo- Au
Gizmodo is an awesome place to go if you feel the need to get your geek on. It’s Australian branch – Gizmodo – Au – is the obvious choice for the latest news and discussion on tech, gadgets, geeky interests including gaming and entertainment for the tech minded.
I have spent many a happy hour perusing the offerings on this very polished and informative site.
One of the best features of Gizmodo is the head to head comparisons they run on all sorts of things (mostly gadgets and tech but also cars and other gizmological stuff). That and some of the discussions that go on are a reason to bookmark this site and to visit regularly. Better yet subscribe to their news feed and get your geek fix dropping in via your favourite news aggregator throughout the day. Continue reading
“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”
Carl Sagan was a planetary astronomer, astrophysicist and science educator who was a driving force behind the SETI program. He was also the writer of one of the most influential books in my life. That book ‘Cosmos‘ and the television series hosted by him based upon that book awakened in me a love of learning and knowing and inquiry which have served me well through my teenage years, through my university days and into my professional life. If you can get a hold of the series do not delay. Do it immediately. You will not regret it, not for a moment. Alternatively, or rather additionally, get hold of the book and read it and re-read it and read it to your children and let them read it too.
Sagan is gone but his legacy lives on in the light his work in science and science education has shone on the subjects he has touched for the generations privileged to be touched by his genius during his lifetime and through this illumination for generations to come.
The quote I have extracted above is indicative of the concern he had for the state of the balance of power and understanding in the world. Where politics is a cult of personality where those in power are not versed in the technology behind the power at their disposal and where vested interests have interests in keeping the method and mechanism behind the technology and science which is the engine of their success mysterious, esoteric and the exclusive province of the narrowly focussed. The powder keg is primed and the fuse is lit and unless someone has the will and the power to shine an illuminating light on the way in which the wheels that power the engines of industry, society and innovation turn then someone is going to press the button marked ‘idiot‘ and let the genie out of the bottle. Once the bottle is unstoppered and the genie is out then there’s no way to get it to return to the bottle.
“As a technology, the book is like a hammer. That is to say, it is perfect: a tool ideally suited to its task. Hammers can be tweaked and varied but will never go obsolete. Even when builders pound nails by the thousand with pneumatic nail guns, every household needs a hammer. Likewise, the bicycle is alive and well. It was invented in a world without automobiles, and for speed and range it was quickly surpassed by motorcycles and all kinds of powered scooters. But there is nothing quaint about bicycles. They outsell cars. “
Sometimes we forget, as the pace of life quickens and the technology available to us accelerates, develops and evolves wonders undreamed of twenty, ten even five years ago and blinds us to what we have already achieved and what is already available to us – even necessary to us even in the face of even greater advancement, that sometimes the simple things in life really are the best and newer faster shinier and more advanced is not necessarily better suited to the task at hand.