Friday, September 16, 2005

The Politics of Technology

Since its election day tomorrow I had better say something political; Mmmm
I am not going to vote for the Greens tomorrow. They want to stick up dozens of wind farms around the country, in the name of protecting the environment. I cant see how these are so clean and green. Firstly the inefficiency of them requires acres and acres of giant rotating blades to create enough energy for a small town. Besides the noise (I've been to Holland; they make noise) it ruins the landscape for farmers and property developers alike- they are just plain ugly and intrusive!
One maybe wondering why I should bring up such a point in a techno-media blog, well think about it from this point of view; We are film students who one day might want to make a film in this clean green country. What offshore investors will pay to come here to shoot on supposed untouched landscapes- with windmills in the backdrop? The NZ film industry certainly won't benefit from this ridiculous scheme.
I imagine one could argue against this from a technological determinist viewpoint; This technology imposed upon us will shape our lives and media. So like the mobile phone (wich probably causes cancer, and a few years ago was regarded as an intrusive social gadget) these giant wind farms will become part of our everyday lives. They will be incorporated into the backdrop to all those southern man Speights ads. They could even stick webcams on the top and invade the privacy of the sheep grazing underneath - since no-one else will want to be around them.
I do realise this is a rather extreme argument, but what the hell I'll post it anyway.


At 7:19 PM, Blogger Andrew Cozens said...

So what would you suggest instead of wind power? Because we most certainly cannot rely on oil for much longer, the only thing that i don't like about the Greens are how anti they are about Nuclear Power.. while i am in wholehearted agreement over the nuclear weapons issue i see nuclear power as a short term soulution to the coming oil crisis, while uranium is also a non renewable resource we have much more left than we do oil.

Personally i don't mind some aesthetic pollution if it means a decreased reliance on non renewable resources which are totally destroying the planet.

Other stuff i like about the greens:

> Improved public transport system
> Commitment to combat climate change
> Electrification of rail system
> Their student loan policy (debt write-off - one year for each year you work in New Zealand, UNIVERSAL STUDENT ALLOWANCE!, adequate government funding for staff salaries etc

Ok, this comment was in noway related to technoculture and new media but we will let it slide :p

Something sort of related though is the idea of fuelless flight that i have been reading about today, which could see a huge reduction in travel costs and no need to worry about rising oil prices affecting the cost of air travel.

Can't remember the technology exactly but something to do with using inert helium to create a lighter than air effect so that the plane effectively floats.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger Andrew Cozens said...

There has also been a lot more coverage online in this election i think, what with party blogs and all that, video streaming, webads and all that jazz. Giving voters a chance to be a lot more informed than perhaps otherwise.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger mags said...

the stand against nuclear power is one of humanitarian principles and in a world where so few countrys take such a stand, we should be proud that ours does so.
Also, movie makers are not going to want to film in a country where the land and ecology has been destroyed, where rivers are polluted and the land ripped up due to mining. Windmills can always be dismantled and disposed of if they cause too much trouble.

At 6:58 PM, Blogger richard said...

Its not a debate about choosing either nuclear power or wind power! There are many other ways of getting energy! Even hydro-power can be tens of times more efficient by developing the technology of the turbines (i read an article on it, a scientist from Otago uni developed a horizontal turbine- but have no source to quote).
My post was more an observation on how modern technology effects a medium's form- in relation to film. I was thinking along the lines of how sets/ mise en scene have changed over time (but can still have a similar storyline). After just watching "Some Like it Hot" I realised what the character's accepted normal use of a telephone in the 50's I found to be very foreign and odd! I was simply taking this a bit further and thinking ahead- will windmills or dirty nuclear plants be accepted as the backdrops to NZ film? And thats everything I will say about windmills!


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