Dennis Baron’s From Pencils to Pixels, discusses the importance of the advancement of writing technology and how each new technology takes time to be learned and accepted. He uses the invention of the computer to highlight the steps that new technology has to undergo to become widely used, while comparing it to the former invention of the pencil.
I found Baron’s statements in the reading to be very thought provoking. I was born into the computer generation and consequently never really thought about the controversy the computer brought. I have always valued the computer and its many benefits for efficiently completing tasks. Baron mentioned that in the beginning of the computer’s release, many people were critical and hesitant to use it. Authentication and security were big concerns as well as the ability of the new technology to mimic the preexisting, familiar forms. It’s eye-opening for me to discover that there was a period of time where people preferred a pencil and it makes me never want to take a computer’s abilities for granted.
Baron also touches upon the idea that a pencil is considered a form of writing technology and how even it took a while to become accepted too. Traditionalists and philosophers, such as Plato, strongly believed that having written records would affect our lives negatively. For me, this strengthens the concept of how everything new seems to be rejected at first. People turn away from change, even when change has a history of improving life. The pencil is basically wood with a piece of graphite, yet it still surfaced concerns and problems.
It’s strange to think about how dependent we are on computers for communication. I am curious to see the future of technology. Will people fear the new so much that we will be stuck with what we already have? Or will we be able to accept technological progression? Like Baron’s opinion, I believe that the computer is only the latest form of technology and that there will be many advances to come that we can’t even imagine.