Technology is more than computers…

I know this. Really, I do. However, like so many people today I still get caught up equating the term “technology” with “computer technologies.” Or, I know that they are not the same; however, I am very guilty of saying “technology” and meaning “computer technology.” This last week in NYC, I had the visceral reminder that “technology” DOES SOLELY NOT EQUATE to “computer technology.” Because the conference hotel was ridiculously expensive, I stayed at a hotel on the upper West side. This meant that I took the metro/subway to get to my hotel as well as back and forth between the conference everyday.

Now, I grew up in the suburbs of L.A. I now live in the suburbs of Phoenix. Although this is not my first trip to NYC, this is really the first time that I hunkered down and really used the metro. I loved it. It is completely a different way of interacting with the people and the place. I have to admit, I felt very empowered figuring out the metro system. And although people talk about New Yorkers being abrupt, mean, or cold; I got nothing but sincere help whenever I finally conceded I was missing something and asked for assistance.

Back to my technologically mediated epiphany! On Thursday morning I was at Columbus Circle switching from the 1 to the B train. The tracks for these trains are on different levels. As I galloped along with the rest of the crowd, I had to pause mid-flight of steps (I did get dirty looks then). At mid-flight I could see multiple trains, on both levels, going opposite directions. These metro trains are the arteries and veins of NYC (and I think I could continue the metaphor to say the buses are the capillaries…maybe taxis fit in this metaphor as well—and this fits to well for someone else not to have already used it?). NYC is a cyborg city. And it has been that way a long time…long before my computer addiction; hell, long before I was born. And although all these systems have been updated with computer technologies to make them run better, faster, more efficient; these powerful technologies…and need to be remembered as such.

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