Technology Defining Us

My PowerBook G4, circa December 2003.

I recently applied to teach a class about technology and society. In my cover letter, I argued we shouldn’t let technology define who we are. And two days later I start a blog called This Old PowerBook. Do as I say, not as I do.

The blog’s title is somewhat ironic, and it’s my hope to further this discourse on technology, and our incessant desire for “the shiny.”

But I’m also a comedian, and supposed to be a funny guy (hell, I’m teaching a class on Sketch Comedy in July), so I’m hoping this discourse will be lighthearted and humorous while making its points. Or it could completely fall off the rails, which would be fun too.

I do own a PowerBook, it’s a first generation aluminum model. There’s a picture of it on the front page in its shipping box from Apple. Yes, I put that sign on it (I worked for a reseller at the time), and was prepared to take a lesson from my cat in defining territory.

Currently, the PowerBook is my main computer. It saw me through two Masters degrees (just defended my MFA in April) and generally gets the job done. I’ve had the option of moving to a newer machine (and I have a Mac Mini at home), but I can’t bear to retire it. The old girl’s still got some life left in ‘er.

What about the rest of you? Are you desperately holding on to an antiquated piece of technology? Let me know in the comments.



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About Ryan

I'm a writer-performer originally from Montreal, Canada where I performed stand-up and sketch comedy. These days I'm an Instructor in the New Media Department at the University of Lethbridge where I indulge in my fascination with creative media and technology. I've written and directed two web series and always seem to have a new project lined up. Busy is good.

2 responses to “Technology Defining Us”

  1. shandilliahosen says :

    I have terrible luck with technology. I really have to wonder if it’s some magnetism in my blood or something, like that old myth. I could never keep a wristwatch without it breaking in a few weeks and every cellphone or laptop I’ve ever used has died prematurely. I’m really not hard on them, just standard use, but even the computer I was habitually using at the office started bugging out after a while of me working there. The rest of them are still fine.
    However, I can’t help but always think back to my first laptop, which I named Pedro. I still have the darn thing and I wonder, if I could just get it repaired, if it might not be better than anything I’ve since replaced it with, and then replaced again…

    • Ryan says :

      My mom could only wear Swatch watches because they had plastic backs. Now the battery’s exposed and she shorts them out. No idea if there’s a scientific basis for it, but if it was shown, I wouldn’t be surprised if some people naturally interfere with electronics.

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