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Apple(s) don’t grow up on trees

Once upon a time a quite famous NY musician who said: “I’ve been criticized because I use computers to make my music, hence they said my music is not real music“.
This brings a quite interesting point. It sounds like someone believes guitars are grown up on trees. Can we make a difference between “natural” music and “artificial” music??  If we’re able to define “natural” everything that comes out from nature then this concept definitely does not fit with guitars, unless you really believe that planting a Fender in your backyard could give you some “natural” revenue back. So, we can fairly admit that guitars are technology products as well as computers, hence there is not such concept like “non-technological music”, that’s just an illusion which depends on the fact that guitars existed since long time ago while computers are just a recent brainwave.

That brings another interesting point. The issue with the new technologies (considering their effects from the psychological and sociological point of view) comes from the border that every generation and probably every single man tries to mark between tradition and innovation, exactly in the moment that generation (or that man) lives. The Plain Old Telephone Line, the guitars and, in a while, the computers, are nearly perceived as an extension of the natural world, while everything that’s just been invented (which we don’t know a lot about) goes under the suspicious definition of “new technologies”.

This way of thinking can generate interesting contradictions which are a sort of building block of the contemporary society.  In music as well as in technology the so called “new product” is often overestimated and pushed up only for commercial purpose. Some subversive mind then might create “new” movements against these “new products” so that some band can claim, at some stage, to have made a good record without using (electronic) technology, but they still get their album distributed on CDs. Also, nostalgic people can claim the return of the old vinyl record players, of course revisited with recent technology which double the performances and make them looking cool (at twice the price). Someone often cries the old shiny days of Commodore/Amiga while he probably has PC, Playstation, Xbox and Wii at the same time.

That said, would you call new technology a bear that catches fishes with a fishing cane? It actually is, at least from the bear point of view the first time it uses it, but the problem with technology today is that everybody needs to get it or, to put it in a better way, technology needs to get to everybody. So, in order to achieve that you need:

1) make the people aware of the “new product” and instruct them on how to use it and how to make the best of it and, of course, why they need it
2) bomb them with advertisements that will make the point 1 above useless and overtaken by the “modernity need” everybody uses to feed his technological soul

Once your soul has been feeded you will still complain about the dark side of the technology. You will think about what you’ve got and you will think about what you miss and there you know you’ll never get back anyway. You might not feel so natural after all… but at least you will be up-to-date.

Quotes:
– A new technology is such when everybody can use it (Henry Ford)
– I’m not sure myself what people is going to use the iPad for… (Steve Jobs)

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