TED Conversations

Asha de Vos

Marine Biologist, The University of California Santa Cruz


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Technology doesn't kill the magic

I had an interview yesterday with fellow TED fellow Sanjana Hattotuwa and he asked me if I thought technology (citing the example of James Cameron's first solo descent) kills the magic. Does finding out more actually take away from the magic so to speak. I don't believe it does because the more technology allows us to delve into the unknown the more unknowns we find and therefore the more the magic grows. What are your thoughts on this?


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    Mar 29 2012: Great question Asha, and maybe you can post the video of your response once it's available on the web. What I was interested in, more broadly, is in the contest between - as you say - technology making the what's outside our immediate experience and imagination that much more accessible, and the risk, as I see it, of making the unknown somehow ordinary. The first compels us to engage. The ordinary makes us disengage. Technology at its best fuels curiosity and learning. Yet how many of us have visited the Nelson Mandela Digital Archive, seen the Google Gigapixel images of the world's rarest art, traversed the most scenic route on Swiss railways through our browser and gone on to read more, check out a book from the library, download content off the web, speak with our children about it, and beyond our social networks, spoken about it? My submission is that technology doesn't necessarily take away the magic of discovery, but that there is always the risk of assuming that access and consumption is the same as engagement and learning?

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