Friday, September 14, 2012

Machine Thoughts

While poking around the "Mod 1 Resources" section, I found "The Machine is Us/ing Us" and of course, the provocative title proved irresistible. I had to check it out. I was intrigued by the path the author took from handwriting to digital and hyperlinked text. A number of years ago, a tech friend said he was sick of hearing about Web 2.0. "It's the same Internet as before" was his take on the concept of Internet use. I didn't respond. I'm not sure I knew what to say but now I do...

Of course, it isn't the same Internet! Once upon a time, the two way communication of the Internet was reserved for those who knew html. This rarefied atmosphere was occupied by programmers and geeks of all kinds (so he was communicating!) but not the casual user. We had one way communication. We asked for and received information. All kinds of information arrived on our screens but we didn't give any back. Now, that's changed and it's opened to the masses. We talk, we type, we visit via video conferencing, we share information. Bruner (p. 52) made mention of group collaboration as a way of creating knowledge and isn't that what we are capable of doing now?

The less than "sunshiney" side of this new, fabulous fast, everchanging digital communication is that some of us do it without regard to authorship, copyright and citizenship. The author is right when he says we need to rethink. Technology has moved quickly and we have not responded socially as fast. There is no doubt in my mind that the advances have had and will continue to have so many positive implications. Yet, as any sociology/anthropology major could have predicted, there were, and are, bound to be negative and traumatic events due to our inappropriate use of this medium. Two days ago, tragedy occurred in Libya, following a posting of a video and subsequent translation of it into Arabic. Our actions are not local anymore; they're global. We need to rethink...

1 comment:

  1. Hey Tis, Nice blog! I love the background pic...your writing style is interesting and thoughtful. Nice to read. I agree with your comments about the Libya tragedy....time to rethink a lot! Or maybe that's what was supposed to happen.....sad if true. Mike B.

    SP: yea, the "Machine" video was quite cool, wasn't it?