Technology and its Impact on Scholars.
Try as I might, I cannot imagine what it would have been like to travel through time and live during Ralph Waldo Emerson's era. The lack of modern technology such as the television, computer, and internet would send me into a complete state of shock, from which I would probably never fully recover. Undeniably, technological advances have impacted today's society immensely. With the exception of a diminutive few, who still rely on old-fashioned methods, modern technology influences us on a daily basis. During Emerson's era, one of the greatest influences on a scholar was the book, which had both indispensable and dangerous qualities. The technological advances that have come into existence since then, such as television, computers, and the internet, have greatly impacted our use of books as a scholarly influence.
Emerson was a huge advocator of books, when they were used correctly. He felt that the most important quality of books was the act of creation. During Emerson's time, and even in today's society, the act of creating a book is consideredsacred? and can even be linked with divinity. Emerson stated, .
Genius creates to create, is the proof of a divine presence. Whatever talents may be, if the man create not, the pure efflux of the Deity is not his: - cinders and smoke there may be, but not yet flame (Emerson, 298). .
Many people thought that writing a book was the act of God talking through an author or poet's pen (Emerson, 298). .
To Emerson, a book is the tool used to transform our thoughts into enduring theories and ideas that can be read by the masses. It came to [the author] life; it went out from him truth. It came to him short-lived actions; it went out from him immortal thoughts. It came to him business; it went from him poetry? (Emerson, 297). What the author leaves behind is intended to inspire readers to consider different areas of thought that they had been unable to see previously.