In the reading The Annihilation of time and space by Rebecca Solnit, the time when Muybridge was born was a time where schedules and time management were not considered an issue. People were more focused on the time of year and the seasons.  However, when the industrial revolution progressed and factories bloomed, the need for faster productivity was necessary. Workers had to make a certain amount of products at a certain amount of time, which launched the issue of time.  Machines were built faster and easier. She argues that the technological advances are a result of capitalism.”To use the railroad terms, the engine of this cultural and perceptual change was economic (18).”  Therefore, she poses the question  whether our technological advances are our downfall or not,  when Solnit says, “ before the new technologies  and ideas, time  was a river  in which human  beings were immersed  moving steadily  on the current, never faster than speeds of nature—of currents, of wind, of muscle.  Trains liberated them from the flow of the river, or isolated them from it (18).”  Is technology isolating us from nature or is it saving us from it. By continuing to develop technology, we are going against nature.  What we knew in the past deteriorates and all which is focused on is our present and future. If technology was taken away from us, will we be able to survive without it? We wouldn’t be able to know how to handle things like we did in the past.  “We see much they did not, and can never see as they did.” With the disregard of our past and reliance of technology, we become less substantial beings because everything is being done for us. We are not doing anything for ourselves.

                Muybridge launch of motion pictures presents to us that our consciousness is not continuous. We see the same image over and over again, which is what Muybridge’s pictures represent.  They represent images in a repeated sequence. James would respond in opposition to Muybridge’s theory.  James believes that we do not see the same image twice.  Therefore, even though we are given the same image over again doesn’t mean we see a exact replica in our consciousness. When we see a scene, our conscious produces a broad outline of it.  Therefore, when we look upon the same scene again we realize that details were missing from the first time we saw it.  Yes, we see the same image, but we might be focusing on different details that we missed before.  The repetition of seeing an image just makes our conscious develop stronger inferences about what we know about that particular object or scene.

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One Response to Technology

  1. Dominique says:

    Good selections from Solnit — and a well-observed and well-stated final sentence, Jessie.


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