Thanksgiving is the most technological of American holidays. Why is this? It’s not for our advances in turkey technology. No, it’s because it was born in the technological triumph of Western civilization over neolithic indigenes.
When my family gathers around the holiday table this afternoon, we’ll take a moment to express our gratitude for the good things in our lives. In that spirit, then, here’s a Thanksgiving post, enumerating just a few of the technologies for which Gearfuse is thankful.
They’ve come a long way since this model, “Spring Turkey,” was built at MIT in 1994. No, they’re not frying our turkeys for us yet. But we look forward to many happy holidays in the uncanny valley.
2. Backscatter x-ray technology
We’re thankful for full-body scanners because they make the homeland safe—and because they’ve turned security theatre from a sordid, kafkaesque affair into a full-blown vaudeville freakout.
3. The animated GIF
To some tastes, the animated GIF is such a turkey, it comes with stuffing and cranberry sauce. But to my eyes, this token technology of the early web keeps offering up haunting images—like this vision of hell: the eighties metal band Dokken in an airport hangar, magically blowing up a raw bird in Sisyphean perpetuity. Turdokken, anyone?