In Edward Tenner’s ‘The Technology of Shoelaces’ he talks about the idea of how little a shoelace has changed since it was first invented. Sure it has been tampered with and improved a lot but for the most part it has always remained the same shape and form. This is not the case with something as simple as a hat. Something we wear on your head can distinguish who we are. When we look back on one of the most important things in both the reading and lecture, technology and technique. The hat itself is a technology “it’s a thing you use to do something with,” (John stated in the lecture).
You wear a hat to hide your hair, protect your face from the sun, and in the olden days to store things. On the other hand in today’s society we wear hats for totally different reasons. Why is it something as simple as a hat that can define us? A hat can define many things about one person. Just by taking a glance at a person with a hat, depending on the hat we can assume interests, religion, class, and everything else. This is because our minds are programmed to stereotype. With hats there is many different shapes and sizes.
The interesting thing about them is you can relate it to about every aspect of a person’s life. Technique is the reason that makes the hat special. Hats can also show culture in many ways. Edward Tenner refers to this type of technique as a symbolic meaning. In Religion we have hats modified to show a persons beliefs such as the Yamaka for the Jewish faith. It’s not like anyone chooses to wear the hat because it looks good on them or suits their outfit. This article is a display of faith. It displays their beliefs and way of life.
In other words culture. The hat in someway affects what type of person we want people to distinguish us as. On a much smaller scale we see people on the streets with a Toronto Maple Leafs hat and right away assume they cheer for the team, these people are the team’s fan base and also a very clear example of group identity. Techniques can be seen in every style of hat. With a shoelace, the technique involved is the game plan, how you’re going to tie it. With a hat it is a matter of which hat you choose to wear and how you wear it.
Edward Tenner states “Fashion can make unexpected demands on technique” . Many people wear a certain type of hat a certain way to maintain a stereotypical fashion. There is a big difference in how people perceive you if you have a baseball cap tilted to the side then just straightforward. It is easy to put a label on someone that wears a specific type of hat. Take Obama, if he didn’t wear a suit and tie would we look at him the same way? If he decided to put on a trucker hat backwards, this would immediately change our opinions on him.
In his position of power people would not take him seriously. The way we choose to apply technique to technology will result in how people identify our interests, our image and our power. Stereotypes relate back to everything in our lives, clothes, illness, race, hair, cars, etc. Whenever there is a technology you can usually connect it to stereotypical technique. When Edward Tenner talks about the shoelace and how we learned to tie them. I learned to tie laces in the most stereotypical way, ‘the bunny ears’.
And most people around the world learned the same way. When we wear a hat it places us in a stereotypical group or culture. It is a way of displaying hundreds of beliefs. We wear hats because we want our society to see us in a certain way and the hat is another piece of clothing that can define us. Hat also known as cap, bonnet, fedora, panama boater and sun-hat has its own subculture aligned to it. And that doesn’t even bring into account the wearing of a ball cap with a special insignia identifying you with a sports team, brewery or music star.