Sunday, June 25, 2006

technology as more than meddler

I left this comment at artichoke in response to his technology as meddler entry. I am a thorough going materialist. Human = Technology. Warm and fuzzy? Not yet.

Yes, the tool analogy is hopeless but that doesn't stop School from attempting to lobotomise the computer, dumb it down to the extent that it starts to look like a mere tool. That is the sociological drama going on in School. Curriculum is the vehicle through which Departments attempt to control teachers.

Papert actually conceptualised the computer as a rival to the curriculum, in his book, 'The Childrens Machine'.

Extract from an essay I wrote about this a long time ago:

"Non logical metaphors of the computer create a tension between the computer and the curriculum whereby the computer becomes the medium that carries the quality and the curriculum becomes the technical instrument. The computers becomes an evocative, flexible medium that invites immersion. Computer games are addictive and fun (as the neo-Luddites point out). It needs to be added, however, that some of the best computing software is an invitation to immerse yourself into a microworld where significant learning is likely to occur, provided you have a teacher who understands how the software is meant to be used. Counterposed to the neo-Luddite critique of mindless play is the constructionist idea of hard play."

"Meddler in the middle" slogan reminds me of "Technology as Trickster" in an essay by Jermey Price.

The fundamental question is, "What is technology". I discuss this here.


"My point is that you have to ask the more fundamental, structural question, "What is technology?" first in order to answer the sociologists question, "Is technology progressive?" The latter question is the wrong question because it immediately encourages people to separate humans from technology whereas in reality we are just two different variants of an evolutionary process."

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