Techno vs technot

Never thought I would ever get a smartphone. I never thought I would need one or want one. I also wondered if I would manage to use it. Just a little over a day have managed to use your voice function to compose texts, memos, e-mail and the like. The quality of the word predictions has also helped a great deal and been a pleasant surprise. I had no idea that this kind of technology was so easily available on such a mainstream phone.

Accessibility aside, I have managed to easily download applications including twitter facebook and skype. I’m even managed to use skype to talk to my parents. So lovely to see them even if only on screen. This too has been a surprise I thought I wouldn’t like it.

I love this technology already. However while love letter writing making cards just as much. I love receiving them even more. I love that I can have both.  I am mostly house bound  as many of you know. Little things wake me make such a difference to my week.

And tomorrow a friend is visiting who I haven’t seen for a few months. I am so excited to see her and hear about her forthcoming wedding. I have been just as excited to email friends in America to set up skype dates. I am loving the way my world has suddenly opened up. Long may it continue!

What do you think,? Please write letters it’s a dying art form. After all, aren’t an e-mail and a letter different forms of the same thing?  I would love to know what you think.  I’m  ow off to bed,  but will keep for my smartphone and a notebook beside me because the best ideas are meant to come to you during the night. Not prepared to let any of them escape however I note them down!

‘New door has opened’ with robotic exoskeleton – Channel 4 News

 

 

 

Paying a premium to feel ‘normal’

I’d like to encourage you to follow the link below to the video and article by Sophie Morgan, one of the presenters of Channel 4’s paralympics coverage, as she trials something called an exoskeleton. It’s incredibly moving, as you might expect, but also shows both what can be achieved through technology and also what it’s limitations are. It highlights the limitations of most ‘specialist technology, such as prohibitive cost.

 

New door has opened’ with robotic exoskeleton – Channel 4 News.

 

However, the freedom that this robot provides raises interesting questions, as for people with an aquired disability it gives people something of what they had lost, albeit primitive, until the technology develops. One of the dangers of this type of technology is that is reinforces current stereotypes, that to walk is normal, and to wheel is an inadequate alternative only suffered by those who have no other choice. This is something which Morgan herself alludes to.

 

what has happened, in effect, is that a new door has opened to a world where, despite my disability, I can still have the freedom of standing and moving, but that the condition I have adapted to doesn’t need to change.

 

This approach highlights the potential problem, as standing and walking equate to freedom, despite Morgan being “comfortable” with being in a wheelchair. The potential dander then is, that to be in a chair effectively means your body is in a prison, or at least that to use wheels is the poor cousin to walking, and therefore being independent, and ‘normal’, although it is interesting that Morgan denies some of this.

 

The final quote from Morgan immediately brings more than one Bible passage to mind. (Apologies to those who consider me to be bible-bashing!) Morgan says that perhaps one day “ill [sic] be jogging down Brighton beach with an exoskeleton robot under my trousers and my wheelchair in the skip!!” The truth is of course, that for those who turn to Jesus, one day we really will be jogging, and our wheelchairs will be in the skip. We will have a freedom far beyond what any robot can provide, however ‘advanced’ it is. That said, this is an interesting development which I look forward to following.