Posts in Internet
To an increasing extent, social movements such as those ongoing in Spain –and elsewhere in Europe and the world- are becoming a conscious opportunity for exploring new paths for democracy. These explorations seem not to be the result of any technological fate, but rather a feat of sociotechnical change, with some concrete antecedents.
You may have not heard about it yet, but you´ll probably hear about it soon: there are civil protests going on in Spain, and they’re getting bigger and louder each minute, on and offline.
The internet looks different in different places. We think of it as this universal resource, but it’s not. Its ethereal contents change depending on where you are physically and politically. I’ve been experiencing this a lot on my last few international trips.
A friend of mine in Singapore believes my work on anticipatory governance of emerging technologies barely cloaks an ingrained hostility to science. Science is science, she thinks and, like Max Weber argues in “Science as a vocation,” democracy doesn’t have much place in it – unless it is perhaps through do-it-yourself approaches like garage synthetic biology.
Several weeks ago, a colleague and I discussed what constitutes technological determinism and why it is problematic. I argued that, colloquially, technologically deterministic arguments are often implicit and subtly erase human agency from social interactions with technology.
To tell you the truth, my biological clock exploded a long time ago, and I have no desire to reproduce. But after the explosion of weddings in the last couple of years, most of my friends are becoming parents. Inevitably, our conversations turn toward child-rearing, and linger around the host of anxieties that accompany the prospect of bringing new life into the world.
I recently read Neil Postman's excellent Amusing Ourselves to Death. Postman offers a critique of the corrosive effect of television on American discourse, education and culture.... What does Postman’s theory imply when extended to the defining media of the 21st century, the Internet?
I’m co-teaching a class this semester at the Law College, entitled “Governance of Virtual Worlds.” Similar courses have been taught at Harvard’s and Stanford’s law schools, but ours is the first that we’re aware of to take a graduate, interdisciplinary approach to the subject. We’ll be holding course sessions in World of Warcraft and in Second Life, a popular game and social virtual world, respectively.
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