What the social impact of technology should be: my essay in the ‘Asteroid Belt Almanac’

An essay called ‘Share Something Greater’ I wrote on the social impact possibilities of consumer technology was published in the Asteroid Belt Almanac, an anthology from the Head and the Hand Press, a small publisher based in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. I was fortunate enough to also be included in their Rust Belt Almanac as well.

AsteroidBeltAlmanac_lowerres-582x800Along with my good friend Eric Smith and two other talented writers, I was asked by young, savvy founding publisher Nic Espisito to read my piece to 75 or more people crowding the gallery space of Old City Philadelphia coworking space Indy Hall.

Espisito is doing some exceedingly clever work in the desperately challenging world of startup literary publishing, and I’m endlessly supportive of his efforts.

I submitted another piece of flash fiction to  Espisito for the Asteroid Belt, like I did for Rust Belt, but it didn’t flow as nicely. So given my reporting work, he and I discussed the idea of the anthology needing something that set the stage for what the book was meant to convey: the creative power of the sciences. That’s what sparked this work.

Below, find the first paragraph of my essay. Then go buy the book.

“Some time after one in three humans on the planet started using the Internet, the speed with which we changed our lives began to slow. Widespread solar paneling and 100 mpg automobiles are still nobody’s normalcy. We can’t seem to look up from that text message we’re writing on our increasingly crowded smartphone to look toward bigger horizons.

What I’m asking you is to set aside your crowdsourced social network spin-off. Put down your daily deals discovery mobile app. A generation bred in a transformative era for communications needs to chase new challenges. So why are we still so focused on the ones we’ve already solved?

This is nothing new, of course. Technology follows a predictable path…..”




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