Thursday, May 31, 2007

Too Much Technology

I had a chance to visit the Wright Brothers museum at Kitty Hawk recently - the literal birthplace of aviation. A Bengali compadre who was also visiting took it upon himself to explain to me why I should be overwhelmed at what I saw.

Had it not been for the airplane the modern world would have never happened - we would still be in the Dark Ages. Though he did not mention it, but for the Wright Brothers my forefathers would still be living on rent collected on their vast tracts of farm land in Bangladesh and I might have been completely illiterate and married with a couple of dozen children.

While I understand all that in theory, I found it hard to get excited about the museum itself. It did not inspire wonder and awe like I thought it would. Maybe it is a case of information overload - there was nothing in the museum that could not have been dredged off the web via Google. The artifacts were not antique so there was no real sense of travel in time.

I think what I missed was the intimate, human feel. For a museum about two people, there was very little about them as individuals that did not relate to aviation like personal effects, letters and memorabilia. The focus being aviation, a technology which not easy accessible to the common person, someone like me feels rather lost and wonders when they can head out to Nags Head where the sand and the surf would not challenge them in any way.

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