Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Digital Technology


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(photo courtesy of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell--in connection with a lecture by Prof. Stine Grodal, Boston University, on “The Nanotechnology Label Across Communities: Categorizing a New Field.”)
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Digital Equipment

This digital equipment changes daily, rearranging
how technology's pointillism delivers the itsy-bits
which represent what's seen and heard. Our calls
are screened. Our screens are called something
different and become much bigger or much smaller,
as if designers were torn between an impulse
toward sky and one toward earthly atoms:
storm-large screens vs. nano-invisibility.

Among the demotic, consuming herd, I buy
what I must to keep within mooing-distance
of what's new. True, I could have been happy
with tubular black-and-white TV and stone-heavy
phones forever. It's all magic to me. I liked
the charcoal of Old TV, the clumsy heft of phones
bolted to walls. I sit beside a Heraclitan

river of research, development, manufacturing,
and marketing. Periodically, I reach and pick
something from the surface of mass-production.
I learn its basic applications without enthusiasm.
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Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
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