MD3 – Rhymes of History Technology

apple-watch-6_1 AT-550 Watch

Hello all,

On the subject of “Rhymes of History” technology, Dr. Thornburg used an example of runners going from village to village to send messages as well as the use of drums to get messages to the people who lived in the villages during ancient times. The use of email, messaging, chat, and other technology in the present, is similar to the ways that messages were carried from village to village during the ancient times. The only difference now is that the availability of the newer technologies make it easier and quicker than a messenger traveling to deliver the messages, and the use of drums to signal that a message is being delivered. Dr. Thornburg made the point that the concept of the tool that is used to accomplish a task is the same, no matter what method or tool is used. For instance, while Dr. Thornburg provided an example of messages being delivered by people, the delivery of messages through the use of technology such as email, instant messaging, chat, etc. produces the same outcome, and that is access to the messages that are being delivered.

Two things that I found interesting that were discussed by Kelly in his video are: our need for transparency, and our co-dependency on technology increasing. Personally, I believe that as technology becomes “smarter” and more advanced, we’ll continue to become more dependent on it. I believe that we are currently very dependent on technology. For instance, we have become used to programming phone numbers in our phones. Now that we can program the information for our contacts, we rarely remember their contact information. However, not having a backup method for recording information can be dangerous. Technology can crash, and if information isn’t backed-up properly, we can lose that information. Further, if traveling with acquaintances separately, we lose track of each other, and our battery is dead on our cell phone, how would we contact our acquaintances? I know that there are technologies that make these scenarios less likely to happen, but in providing an example of our co-dependency on technology, these examples support how much we rely on technology to function in our everyday lives.

With those insights in mind, an example of a technology that represents a rhyme in history is the tactapad. The tactapad caught my interest because it is a technology that never made it to the consumer market (Cohen, 2011). Related to the tactapad are a few other touchscreen technologies that are similar to the ipad, iphones, smartphones, and touchscreen computers. Those technologies are: Fingerworks, which was developed in 1998. When Apple purchased Fingerworks in 2005, that purchase contributed to the development and creation of the iPad and the iPhone (Cohen, 2011). In 1984, the AT-550 Watch was created. Recently, the Apple watch, similar to the AT-550 Watch, was released into the consumer market. See the link below:

The First Multitouch Device and The First Multitouch Screen are two more technologies that were developed in the 80s. These two devices had characteristics that were similar to those of the iPad, which is a very popular technology in the present. The existence of the present day technologies support Mark Twain’s quote used by Thornburg, “History may not repeat itself, but it rhymes a lot” (Laureate Education, 2009).


Cohen, N. (2011). Timeline: A history of touchscreen technology. Retrieved from

Kelly, K. (2007, December). Kevin Kelly on the next 5,000 days of the Web [Speech]. Speech delivered at the EG 2007 Conference, Los Angeles. Retrieved from

Laureate Education, Inc. (2009). Emerging and future technology: Rhymes of history. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Responses to blogs:

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One thought on “MD3 – Rhymes of History Technology

  1. Hi Kenyatta,

    You have highlighted a very interesting post. As humans become dependent on technology, and as technology becomes “smarter” do you think computers can be trusted to make decisions and move beyond its use as a tool?


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