web and technology
Here's a rough transcript of the Panel of fictional characters we had in class on Wednesday.
First, we went through forum postings from the previous week:
merlin: Imagining yourself doing activities actually changes the brain. For instance playing the piano. People who imagined themselves playing, but didn't actually know how, their brains appeared the same as those who were actually being instructed.
watson/vgaffney: Close reading is still a very important skills in the humanities. Particularly english and philosophy. The complexity of the writing requires it.
In the film and in our readings one theme kept reappearing, the quest for greater transparency in the exchange of information. Each new form of communication comes with the promise of less filtering through experts and greater access to aggregate data and facts. The internet seems to fulfill that promise. We disassemble the world around us into disconnected facts and images and make them searchable. But ultimately, to sift through the amount of information, to make meaning of it, we must rely on new filters. New filters would include individual search criteria, a primary site that gathers and presents you with information it thinks you want, or another person's summary.
In Hayes' article "How We Read: Close, Hyper, Machine", there is much discussion of two points that seem contradictory to me:
When I think of historical and contemporary examples of technology that have significantly impacted the human race, the first things that come to mind are computers, cell phones, mp3 players, cameras, radios, cars, and airplanes. While looking at this list I noticed an interesting pattern. Most of these “pieces” of technology somehow directly relate to the idea of communication. Human beings are social creatures, and it is no wonder that our attitudes toward technology reflect this.