Extra Credit: (Week 10) by Jessica Amaya

On Thursday of the tenth week, we had a final speech as an ending to the class. It was great to see how everything we have talked about in class has been integrated in society not just now, but in the past as well. Seeing how Michael Century broke down the time periods into waves gave me a huge shock that art, science and technology are more entwined than I had come to accept.  The time periods he talked about were the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and Modern times. To each of these he gave a brief description to what they represent. For Middle Ages he gave the word compartmentalization and its description included “little contact between theory and practice”. The Renaissancewas described as a time for hybrids systems, social fluidity and “close interaction between theory and practice, human contact between artist and scientist”. To this description he gave the word decompartmentalization. Lastly, for Modern times Mr. Century gave the word recompartmentalization and described it as a time for dualism and specialization.  To further add to his analysis of time periods he enclosed the Middle Ages and the Modern times into boxes to represent stability while the Renaissance period was enclosed in  a jaggedshaped object to represent the mixing and coming together of two "distinct" ideas, He, Michael Century, called the threshold. He gave examples of what people in the time of the threshold would do. For example they would have interdisciplinary meeting places, where people like engineers, instrument makers and artist would meet and talk and share their points of view. These groups of mixed field practitioners would often be associated with the term "hunting in packs", because they had a variety of people who wished to join their fields together and have the rest of the people see them and get to know their idea to undue or lessen the division between the fields.  Towards the end Michael Century went on to describe the times we live in today and gave a jagged frame to enclose today’s present time. He said we are in another threshold named the information age and that we are unsure what comes next. He hypothesized that the next stability period might be the political age… To end his marvelous speech he showed various works in which included John Whitney and Oscar Schlemmer. The final thing I wrote down into my notes was a question Mr. Century introduced to us. "What will happen when Bio-tech tools become accessible to the public?" A question discussed by Freeman Dyson in his literary piece titled " Our Biotech Future". This question made me think of a dark future, but maybe its just because I’m not to positive when it comes ot Biotechnology.

 

-Jessica Amaya

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