Thursday, March 26, 2009

Technology--Good, Bad, or Both?

Way back when I was musician (I was once a songwriter--my songs sold well under one million copies), to be good enough to make a living at it, you had to have good rhythm so that you would be "tight" with the others playing with you. Otherwise, it was a mess. Then, technology stepped in. All you'd have to do is play your part into the computer, press the "quantize" button, and voila, your mistakes and sloppiness would disappear.

I'm not a graphic artist, but I have an agency full of them. In the old days, an artist actually would draw or sketch things. The artist would also have to know how to use a razor blade to cut up and paste the various parts of a layout. Today, the computer can draw for you and all you have to do is press "cut" or "paste" and the computer takes care of that, too.

Due to technology, things can be lost: accuracy in musicianship or artistic skills. By the same token, it can allow creativity to be focused on even more because the value on performance skills is no longer at a premium.This does a number of things. It opens up fields such as music, the arts, and even aviation to people more skilled in computers than in those fields themselves. It also allows people with those old skills to be valued for their old-world knowledge at companies that get it.

Ideally, a performer will have both the old world skills and a great grasp on technology. Fortunately, a good song still needs to be created by humans and a good ad still originates in the minds of the people creating it.

I like technology, but when a plane I'm flying in is experiencing bad weather, I hope my pilots have more than computer skills to fall back on.

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