We talk about technology a lot here at TAXA. How to incorporate it to:
-design our products and build our products better (CAD CAM CNC!) [see Dell’s video here!]
– make our products useful with other’s techonoligies (from a Subaru’s towing to an Iphone’s watching and charging, to ….)
– keep our products and philosophies forward looking
– be appropriate and flexible
Sometimes we incorporate our technological thoughts by not incorporating technology at all but rather considering where some tech you own already fits in (as simple as a 12v charging station for the phone, or where we think you might put a Ipad to watch a movie).
We also think about those who want to leave technology behind – NOT watch a movie, NOT listen to music, NOT answer the phone. And then we ponder abstract but important questions such as – do these answers to these questions change depending on demographics? Of course they do, just as they depend on mood.
Here is myself as an example – a 52 year old outdoorsy sort with kids 10 and 14, very much pro technology, but seeming not interested in sharing via Facebook or following Instagram posting, interested in the pleasures and terrors of teenagers uses of Snapchat, the addiction to content, …..
Like anyone every one I want my cake and to eat it too. I have guilts about watching a movie if I am camping. I draw small lines in the sand such as – well If I am at an RV campground then a iphone movie, some Bluetoothed music during dinnertime is fine. But if camping all alone then it is only the sounds of nature that ought to intrude and that it is the absence of this sort of technological intrusion that is one of the whole points of escaping in the first place. This sort of thinking has led to my owning numerous musical instruments:
well, three of them actually
I have a strong campfire music dream. I am not skilled at any of the above. Was making progress on the accordion until I got cubital tunnel syndrome. My brother plays the banjo. He learned by stealing my banjo many many moons ago.
Sometimes though, I bring a speaker:
Which is better? which is better when?
Some trips we read books and sit around a campfire and watch the stars. Some trips we watch a movie on a tiny screen camping hard up on an RV where the folks are inside doing who knows what. The beach is nearby (I think we are going tomorrow). One of my favorite nights of camping ever was at Bear Mountian State Park outside of NYC. It was loud! Full of salsa music and big families, happy families. Two dads with sons right next to us who put their kids to bed and then got in their car, smoked, and listened to Jethro Tull really loud. Sarah and I falling in love. There are a lot of campings and tech’s appropriate place moves about ineach one.
We want people to have the choice of how and what technology to bring. We make the gear that holds your gear. Much of your gear, my gear, is technology based – a laptop, a tablet, a phone. We hold that stuff. We charge it up, sometimes with solar power. Those things hold information we want – weather, maps, first aid advice, who knows. In serious wilderness situations one cannot depend solely on this things for safety. Batteries run out, coverage drops. In many outdoor situations these things – these containers of information can be very useful.
I wrote a bit about containers of life last week, now containers of content. The two are related but can never be confused. You gotta put living before information. You gotta place experience above content.
There was a phrase in the 70s – “appropriate technology”. It occurs to me a lot. It has a specific meaning to some – managed and used locally, hand powered, ….. It often refers, say, to the type of water pump the Peace Corps ought to introduce in certain situations – to empower the local and create independence and not dependence. It is also useful simply to make it a generic question – why bring, use, build in, leave out technology in every situation? What design lets people make their own best decision?
There is that outdoorsy truism that if you are floating in a river you are not in control. You have to paddle faster than the current or slower than the current in order to steer your own path.
TAXA says steer your own path.