|Early Radio Receiver|
|Morse Code Printer|
You see the same sort of devotion evident in technical drawings created by my great grandfather, mentioned in an earlier blog posting, and soon to be on display in our gallery. In them you notice infinite attention to detail and an obvious effort to create something of beauty as well as utility. Nowadays that sort of sustained creative attention has gone into hiding, at least when it comes to the design and production of the throwaway technology we use on a daily basis. A vestige of it survives in the arts. For example, Edward Burtynsky's startling images of enormous piles of junked cell phones and other castoff electronic equipment remind us of just how little enduring regard we now have for the the physical equipment and related technology that graces our daily routines.
|Power vacuum tubes|
An allied discomfort I feel about the current thrust of scientific research, leading to technical innovation, is that it no longer seems motivated by a quest to understand the mysteries of the universe, as was the case 100 or more years ago, but now seems propelled strictly by commercial interests. . . which in turn use the technology as a means to spy on us and sell us more junk that in two or three years will end up being subject matter for Burtynsky's photographic work.