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Weird tech levels

January 14th, 2010
tech  [html]

Last night Julia and I watched Mongolian Ping Pong, a very slow moving but visually stunning movie set in rural mongolia. It was not at all the point of the movie, but the degree to which there were weird combinations of technology really interested me. Take transportation. The three main characters are boys about 8 years old. Two of them ride horses, the third rides a small motor scooter. Not clear why. Then there's a dance troupe that dances both to chinese violin and western piano accordion and to recorded music. There's some use of electricity (attempts at getting a television signal, electric razor, flashlight) but they are clearly off the grid. Most of their tech, though, is centuries old. It's weird how ingrained my sense is that technology has a specific order, a sense that is very strongly jarred by nomadic herder children on motor scooters.

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