Whether I’m beginning to reach saturation point in regards to absorption of theories and ideas on network media, or perhaps this week’s symposium was just a bit less comprehensive than others but this week I found myself, and I hope I’m not alone, struggling to take in all that was discussed my Adrian, Elliot and Jason. Maybe I’ll just put it down to the abstract yet vague nature that governs the concept of ‘neutrality’ of which was discussed for majority of the symposium. What is ‘neutrality’? According to the discussions that have unraveled both in the symposium and in class this week it is the term that describes the notion of an something being uninvolved and unmotivated by other surrounding objects, circumstances, cultures or people. Naturally stemming from this, the question was raised, ‘How can anything live abstractly by itself?’ Of course, from what we know at this moment, nothing can. Perhaps it could have 200 years ago when everything we know now was still undiscovered, invisible to the world and various cultures but right now, everything must exist in relation to something else. This concept is certainly something that takes a few goes to wrap your heads around, but as abstract as it may seem, it does make a lot of sense. How can a pen exist as a stand alone, individual object? It exists because people need to communicate and because it needs a smooth surface, ink, and a literate person to operate it.
Nearing the end of the class in a quick wrap up Adrian threw a final thought provoking concept at the group regarding the idea of speeds of technology. Referring to Jason’s laptop, Adrian pointed out that although he was holding a piece of state of the art technology, he was also holding something that included technology that dated back 150 years. I laughed at this, realising how right he was and how silly I felt that despite spending so much of my time on my laptop, not once had this thought crossed my mind. Even though Jason’s laptop was the newest edition mac book air, most likely equipped with retina display and the highest speed processor, it still possessed a keyboard that mimics almost exactly that of the keyboards from typewriters. Additionally, it also contained a camera built into the screen, despite the fact that cameras have been around for over 100 years. Looking at technology like this really does reflect the old saying ‘some things never go out of fashion’, and that even though the speed of technological development is faster than its ever been before, we are still very much dependent on the technology that has been around longer than any living person.