Technology and cultural value

Jun 23rd, 2014 | By | Category: Blog

The past fifth day, I had an opportunity to listen to Rob Kingsolver’s lecture about the Economy and Food system in the United States. He showed the statistic data about the number of farms in United States that exponentially decrease and farm size in past 60 years that exponentially increase. He suggested that the average farm size has increased because farmers start to use more technology in farming and having a bigger farm which allow the farmers to meet the idea of economy of scale (the more products one produce, the less money he will spend on each unit).

The technology obviously helps the farmers to work more conveniently. However, this also decreases the number of employees that the farm needs.


“They limited their use of technology so as not to displace or alienate available human labor or available free sources of power (the sun, wind, water, and so on).”


This principle makes me think of my family’s life. For my mom, technology is almost like my mom’s enemy. She doesn’t like to use the computer, cellphone or even air conditioner. I rarely see her look for the stuff from the Internet. When she needs to look up for the recipes for cooking, she will look up in the books. When she needs to use coconut milk or tofu in any of her dish, she will make them by herself. In my opinion, I think she is very patient to do all this work, because she loves to do it and she cares the food that will go into her and her family’s member’s body.

I think I am very lucky to have her as my mom. I have learned to do stuff from scratch. Because my mom doesn’t like to use the electrical stove and she has a belief that using clay firepot makes the food taste better, I got a chance to learn how to use clay firepot.

This relate to the principle of Amish about preserving domestic arts of kitchen. Since my mom learned this cooking skill from her grandmother and her mom, my siblings and I are also learning about this skill and will preserve it to the next generation.


I think what can I do now is starting from myself by paying more attention in my valuable culture because I believe that anything that I would like to change cannot be changed if I can’t change myself first. I would like to learn more and pass on these valuable tradition and culture to the next generations. Moreover, more power can increase more impact; so I would like to encourage people in my generation to get involve more to make the impact to the society.

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