Craftsmanship vs. Technology
Technology is slowly, but surely creeping into every aspect of our lives. It comes bearing gifts of modern convenience and artificial intelligence. Humans, in the eyes of technology are “dumb” meat things that need to be told left from right by the bright neon displays of their “smart” gadget masters. While we can all agree that life is a lot better with technology, perhaps another angle to look at is the passing of artisan craftsmanship from your gadgets.
For example, no matter how advanced or sleek your nextgeneration smartphone may be, you can be sure that you’re not unique in owning one. With the tech industry now focusing its eye on wearable technology, you will soon count watches and eyewear and even clothes among this category. One cannot help but feel the erosion of the beauty and soul that goes that comes from actual craftsmanship; replaced by the cold, calculating intelligence of a microprocessor somewhere tracking your entire life.
You have walked 823 steps; you have consumed 312 calories; you have 12 unread messages and so on.
Even personal libraries, once the pride and joy of every collector— be it book, art or media—have become impersonal digital lists that one lazily scrolls through with a flick of their finger. And with the ease that we amass content today, most of our digital libraries have probably gotten larger than what we can consume.
Just have a look at your growing iTunes or Steam library. How many albums and games have you bought that you will probably never really listen to or play? Instead of years of carefully curated content that reflects your interests and personalities—a craft in itself—we now gobble up anything we can get our hands on just because it’s another tick in our digital footprint.
But what if craftsmanship isn’t really dead and that we’ve been looking at it all wrong? Technology itself can be art. There is beauty in the engineering that goes into making the components of your gadgets; how microprocessors keep getting smaller yet faster or how they continue to put more and more pixels into a camera sensor. There is also beauty in the cloud; like a great mind map of things that can instantly be recalled when you need it. If anything, the art of technology is just as intricate as a masterwork time piece. To appreciate it, one cannot just look at the end product, but at all the thousands of components ticking away below the surface just to achieve something as simple as telling the time.