Our Tools

"We become what we behold. We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us." - Marshall McLuhan

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Demystifying Technology

My final project was inspired by the idea of demystifying technology. In this class, we have learned to use several different pieces of software. Something that interests me in addition to becoming a proficient user of technology is studying how this software works and interacts with the computer hardware to create a finished work for the user. Unfortunately, visualizing how a piece of software such as Premiere or Photoshop works is not that simple and would therefore be a bad example to display how technology can be demystified. A great example of demystifying technology was when we did our circuit bending experiments. We were not expected to know how exactly these toys worked, but the instant the plastic cases were opened, we learned at least something about the function of the circuitry for that toy and became that much closer to understanding how it works. Neuroscience is another example of demystifying one of the most complicated technologies that exists, the human brain. By studying how the brain works and demystifying it, these scientists are gathering more and more information that could open doors to build technology in the future such as computers that may operate in ways modeled after our brains. Another technology I believe most people take for granted is what lies behind the screens we use every day to be productive while using computers or to consume media through as well. I thought it was interesting to create an animation that seems to magnify and go behind the screen to show a diagram I found online. It is a simplified representation of how the liquid crystals are controlled by electrons in order to filter a backlight which produces the colors and light intensity we see on our modern screens.


"Circuit bending." Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_bending (accessed April 23, 2012).

"Human Brain Region Functions Like Digital Computer." Science Daily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061005222628.htm (accessed April 23, 2012).

Tyson, Jeff, and Carmen Carmack. "How Computer Monitors Work." HowStuffWorks. http://computer.howstuffworks.com/monitor5.htm (accessed April 23, 2012).

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