Christina Haas’ Writing Technologies closes in a rather spectacular fashion. Chapter 8 consists of an account of historicizing technology- both how and how not to- and the final chapter consists of a theorization of technology that seeks to provide some closure to Haas’ “Technology Question” and push for further research.
Chapter 8 represents a great deal of informational manipulation. Haas referenced not only ideas and concepts that she had established in earlier chapters, analyzing them with a different lens, but also takes time out to address counterarguments to the notions of historical analysis. Chapter 8 served to stand against the ideas of “revolutions” brought about by print, mainly because these ideas were commonly utilized as a means of historical comparison towards technology. Haas went into such a lengthy counterargument, namely against Elizabeth Eisenstein’s The Printing Press as an Agent of Change in an effort to illustrate why historical comparisons between printing technologies and the new digital technologies may be ineffectual or inaccurate. Haas, however, does not discredit the historical lens in its entirety, and provides different conceptions, such as the validity of the Historical-Genetic method used by Vygotsky (who was mentioned at a length earlier in the book).
Chapter 9 acts as a conclusive chapter that attempts to frame Haas overall arguments by analyzing effects and suggesting the future of technology studies. Though Haas’ claims overall may seem somewhat “silly” or “outmoded” by some modern scholars, one cannot hold doubt over her thoughts in the moment, which are fairly well constructed. In fact, the main point of contention with Haas’ piece is her lack of reach, which she could have no real way of predicting.
In terms of how Haas’ study may effect mine, I think back to her section of Chapter 9 on how the material world may influence the mental. This is essentially the primary aspect of my study- investigating changes to cognitive processes, namely memory, based upon the materiality of the writing tool. However, I find Haas more useful as an exemplary of proper technique, rather than concept. Haas’ handles her ideas well, attempts to provide wholesomely objective arguments, and makes effective use of the ideas of other researchers, without leaning upon or diminishing her own ideas. These are attributes of a good piece that can be replicated in the final paper.