Technology and the changes it brings come ever more rapidly. Think about the struggles of newspapers and magazines in the digital age, or the ubiquity of mobile devices and the internet in every corner of the world. I’m at an age now where I can say I’ve lived through these changes as they happened.
Before the internet I used to carry ragged copies of guidebooks around with me everywhere I went. It meant a lot of added weight and often times they were outdated. And, before the digital age, I would haul dozens of rolls of Kodachrome and Fuji Velvia around the world in Tupperware containers, pleading with the security people to not x-ray them.
Despite the profound ways technology has changed life in the 21st century, in many parts of the world, traditions endure. Rather than entirely upending regional culture, I’ve found that technology is more often integrated into the prevailing culture: Masai herdsmen in Tanzania text each other from the bush; A young man on an island off the coast of East Africa learns to fly via online flight simulator programs; a horse packing guide in Cappadocia, Turkey, texts from the saddle; kiosks selling SIM cards pop up on corners in cities on every continent. (more…)