Volume 16(1), 2020-02, 1—5

The axes of the modern age

Jukka Jouhki
Department of History and Ethnology
University of Jyväskylä
Finland

Adapting to new technologies often is a challenge to the hegemony of the experts mastered in the related older technology. In this editorial, the challenge that the smartphone and social media bring to an older and more prestigious technology—the book—and the literati is discussed. Recent technological changes and the associated social consequences are compared to a classical anthropological study about how the steel ax challenged and succeeded the stone ax but, in the process, changed the power balance and social norms in the Yir Yoront society, a hunter-gatherer aboriginal group in Australia.