Sunday, February 09, 2014

Weather and Technological Determinism

The wind is powerful too.

I've been away from the allotment for most of 2014 so far largely because of the weather (it was raining) or because  the plots were very
Before the flood
muddy (as it had been raining).
Yesterday I popped down to take some material from composting, largely tree trimmings that had been mulched), what I found on my plot was a damaged "lean-to" green-house, a hole I'd made for an Apple tree full of water and some very muddy ground, nearby other plots looked even worse with several having large areas of water on the surface.
Nearby water-logging on paths

Now I suppose this is all very parochial to my patch, but if you think about how bad it is here and how it'll impact on the few vegetables I grow scale this up for the farmers of the UK - this is not going to make food cheaper that's for sure.
Is this change 'in the weather' down to what  we're (that's mankind) doing to our environment or is it factors outside what we're really affecting that are giving this wet terrible winter ? I suppose to some extent the question should be moot we should act responsibly with regard to our home planet at the very least.

Determinism as reported by the media.

For one of my postgraduate degrees I studied Mass Communication and one of the concepts we covered was Technological Determinism, I suppose it's not too surprising that with my background I have a bias towards this.
This morning I watched (via BBC iPlayer) an old version of Click which was heavy on the issues of Security Versus state snooping and also covered the buzz around Google Glass and the like - it all looked very now and exciting, I felt very much of the now.

I then went and performed my ablutions (and felt much better for it), I listened to the BBC radio 'A point of View' it was by Adam Gopnik who I'm not really familiar with  but his perspective offered a very timely rebuttal of the idea that we live in times that are wholly shaped by the technological developments which we can take advantage of.
What Gopnik said was (to summarise heavily) was a lot of the the things we do are what we'd have done despite technical advances and uses such things as the work of Dickens as examples of things that would not really be improved in quality or quantity by the use of todays' modern aides.

Having said that do be careful of what you choose to share on-line and if you think it's applicable use something like PGP (or others) to protect (to some degree) your privacy, check what it known of you on-line  and do find out how Google Glass will change your life. (also note how powerful Google Location is)

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