I’m sure it started before Socrates, who thought that once everyone learnt to write we would stop relying upon our memories. Looking at the Maori people as an example of a culture who have lost the ability (or the want) to memorise and pass on poems of great length, Socrates was probably right. Yet few would argue for pre-literate era.

socrates and the written word

 

 

Then there were doubters of the Gutenberg printing press.

It was thought that novels would corrupt the minds of young women: Many young girls, from morning to night, hang over this pestiferous reading, to the neglect of industry, health, proper exercise, and to the ruin both of body and of soul. …The increase of novels will help to account for the increase of prostitution and for the numerous adulteries and elopements that we hear of in the different parts of the kingdom.

Initially, many people were opposed to talkies, in the belief that they sullied the purity of silent film.

Then there was opposition to colour talkies:

I hate technicolour. Everybody in a technicolour movie seems to feel obliged to wear a lurid new costume in each new scene and to stand around like a clothes-horse with a lot of very green trees or very yellow wheat or very blue ocean rolling away for miles and miles in every direction.

– Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

There was — and still is — doubt about the decision to have a television set in the home. My parents tell me that TV antennae were colloquially referred to as ‘skite sticks’ in New Zealand, when only the richest could afford them.

Douglas Adams said once:

“I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

So, how’s everybody feeling about the Apple Watch today?