Today in my Art & Technology class, everyone had to give a short (5-minute) presentation on a new technology. Some of the presentations were really interesting, on things like 3-D cameras, such as those used to make Avatar, and Paint.net, which is a free, open-source photo-editing software to rival Photoshop. And then there were those that were certainly interesting (e.g. facial recognition software and robotic arms for those who have lost limbs), but don’t really have much to do with art, which the professor said was fine, but still felt a bit out of place, since there are so many art-related (even if not directly) technologies out there that I would have liked to hear about.
But anyway, that is not the point of this post. Instead, I am interested in what is considered ‘new,’ particularly in terms of technology.
The presentation that set me on this path was about Second Life. Now, Second Life has been around for a few years, and I even studied it two years ago in an anthropology class on virtual communities, so it certainly didn’t feel new to me. But the girl who was presenting had only just heard about it this semester.
So what makes something ‘new’? And how long can it hold that designation?
Also: I had a rather difficult time in thinking up a technology to cover myself — was this because I expose myself to so much information every day that for something to be considered ‘new’ to me, it has to have been revealed in the last week? Or maybe since everything that comes out these days seems ‘new and exciting’ that for something to really grasp my attention, it need to be truly groundbreaking?
How much do I ignore or pass over as a result? How much information is too much?
This is partially related to my previous post on paring down my blog reader, so I suppose it’s something that I’ve thought about a good deal recently. Which is slightly ironic, as my college career comes to a close… But that’s something to consider for another day.
So what do you think?
How much information is too much? Or is there no such thing?
What is our definition of ‘new’? Has it changed over the years? For good or ill?