Tails Wagging Dogs


The trouble is we forget what a dog looks like.  
I once attended a wonderful several-day-long conference called Technology and the Rest of Culture.  Like almost everyone else I expected the talks to be about contemporary technology, as some of them, indeed, were.  But the amazing talks were on more exceptional topics: the alphabet, the fig leaves that had clothed Adam and Eve, and comparable evidence of human inventiveness solving basic problems.
The piano, too, is a technological invention.  That it produced magical sounds in comparison with every other household keyboard became quickly subsumed in its power to impose a new generic approach to notation, to sound, to ... the list goes on.
Now we have a culture in which the sound of pianos has been reduced to a single acceptable standard of clean, easily managed, uneventful, unimaginative.
Where has all the magic gone?  
I would rather listen to children discovering the magic than to accomplished technicians who no longer recognize a dog when they hear one. 


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