Technologies Taken for Granted: An Homage


(moment at 2012 unbelievably fantastic Edmo Paul McCartney show at Rexall Place–sound and light technologies to produce maximum personal pleasure and mass media enjoyment)

Where would we be without? No question many technologies have contributed to the development of civilization and to our daily lives. I am grateful for each one listed below and the people that created them to make life more bearable, comfortable, convenient, fun, and healthy. In no particular order:

Communications: (reading, writing, pleasurable listening and viewing, teaching, film classification, school, university–all would have been impossible without)

papyrus, paper, pencil, pen, word processor

movable type, printing press, printers

books, newspapers, magazines

telephone, e-mail

radio, tv

phonograph, CD, DVD


wagon, cart, buggy, bike, train, car, bus, mass transit (also electrical)

Construction: (what would we live, work, and holiday in without)

nail, hammer, screw, screwdriver, drill, saw, tape measure, ladder

houses, buildings

furniture–chair, table, couch, lamp

flooring, carpet

windows, doors, locks

architecture, bridges arenas, stadiums, churches


internal combustion engine: early factories, machines, trains (19th century on travel)

Gas & Oil:

gas and oil furnace heating (where would Edmo, Canada be…)

motor vehicle mobility (travel, increased personal mobility and freedom)–including planes


light bulb, battery

electric sewing machine (for mass making clothes)

stove, dishwasher, microwave, vacuum cleaner

electrical appliances: toaster, mixer, kettle

car radio, the other electrical communications devices

airplane (basically so)

lawn mower (also gas)





Food and Beverage Technology:

fork, knife, spoon, cup, mug, glass, containers

processed food

many types of beverages and food–tea, coffee, juice, pop, bread, yogurt, cereal, fruit, vegetables

alcohol–wine, beer, etc.


plumbing, toilets, sinks, toilet paper, paper towel, tissue, hand sanitizer

pasteurization and food inspection system

garbage removal


syringe and vaccination



The Pill

Prozac and all the other wonder drugs

Transistor and Wireless:

portable devices–transistor radio (my 2 transistor radio that brought me music from the U.S. late at night and accompanied me in all seasons while delivering newspapers), cellphone

microphones, amplifiers (also for mass communication) for speeches, music

performances (where would I, as conference presenter, performing musician…), modern mass sound systems

A Long Vital Miscellaneous:

Early Heating–match

Early Clothes–needle, thread, thimble

Cocks and Watches–mechanized, electric, battery (how could anything get done in an organized way, how could anyone predict without)

Plow–imagine all early agricultural development without)

Boats–life on water unimaginable without; all the harborfront cities would not have developed without)

Aids to Daily Living–wheelchairs, glasses, contact lens, hearing aid

Internet and WWW–as an instant mobile information source via computer

Musical Instruments–(as a performing musician to many thousands, where would I…)

Credit Cards–allowing us to buy and bank anywhere

Delivery Systems–newspapers, mail, UPS, Canpar, Amazon and other online systems

Reproduction Technology: camera–still and moving, photograph, photocopier, fax, scanner; recording equipment–tape, cassette, CD recorder                               

Children’s Toys                                                                                                       

Technologies that Develop/ed and Sustain Flowers, Plants, and Trees 

Road-Building Technologies–streets, highways to facilitate travel and access

Technologies that Support and Develop/ed the Arts–painting, sculpture, painting, architecture, film, photography, music                                                                 

Mosquito Repellant–(could one survive in most of Canada without?)


Our lives are dependent on many technologies (and tools). The above would be the most basic and vital for daily survival, functionality, and convenience. But, as Thornton Wilder suggested, we not only got here, but survive personally and as a species, by the skin of our teeth.

One is blind if one is also not aware of the many things that could threaten and slowly or suddenly end our technology, our planet and us: wars, nuclear warfare, resource depletion (e.g., forests hewn down, water sources disappearing in dry places, pesticides leading to reduced butterfly population and decline in human food sources), melting ice caps, mysterious diseases resisting antibiotics and rapid potential plague mobility, failure of economic and banking systems, increased natural disasters, failure of power and electrical systems, to say nothing of living in a random meteoric bowling alley.

Every day I am thankful I and we are still here and are able to live and enjoy our lives with various realized technologies that intelligent, creative individuals and groups have made to truly advance our societies, cultures, and civilization. Technology-wise alone, it is all a lot to take in, comprehend, and appreciate. But technology does define who we are and how very far we have come. Simply put, we owe it a lot.

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