Gleanings of Wheat: A Blog dedicated to cooking, kids, and Christ

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Next Story: Chapter 3

Chapter 3 of The Next Story is a great history lesson. Tim walks us through what he calls "Digital Prehistory" - think pony express - right on through our current place in history as far as technology goes. It's a lot of ground to cover, 200+ years, but you certainly come away with a feel for how fast the digital revolution happened.

I feel silly rehashing this chapter, so just go get the audio book and listen to it for yourself. I will, however, leave you with a few really interesting quotes.

Though they [Americans in the early 1800s] lived eighteen hundred years after Jesus, they could make their way across America no faster than Jesus made his way across ancient Palestine. (pg 48)

Until the telegraph, information was valued for its ability to assist in understanding and solving particular problems...But in the age of telegraphy, information became an end in itself and was increasingly disengaged from context or local....Its value was not in its usefulness or applicability but in the speed in which it could be communicated and the level of human interest it contained. (pg 49)

By the late 1990s, the average American home had a television on for more than seven hours per day, and individuals averaged between three and four hours a day staring at that screen. (pg 53)

The television image is extraordinarily stimulating to the brain, and not in a healthy, 'this discussion about politics is so stimulating' way - more like the sugar-is-stimulating-the-body way. (pg 54)

As we began to give our thoughts and our memories - our very identities in many cases - over to computers, we allowed them to do more and more things that could have been done in other ways. We found that if we could have it done by computer, we wanted it done that way. (pg 58)

My Previous Posts on The Next Story
Chapter 1
Chapter 2