Re: [xmca] Don C about the "epic" googlization film - a bit of mca history

From: Emily Duvall <duvalleg who-is-at>
Date: Thu Jun 28 2007 - 03:23:42 PDT

Mike and all,
First of all apologies that I haven't read the relevant article yet. I'm
dong rewrites on my dis chapter 2. I'm up for a bit of air.
It's interesting to think about these possibilities in a favorable
light. I'm not convinced that the type of tools we're talking about
are going to allow for a form of internalization that will result in
higher psychological functions. I guess the element of mastery or
control becomes confusing for me when the tool is still subject to the
management of others. I guess there's distributed cognition and then
there is the illusion of distributed cognition.
As well, going back to Naeem's post and the book Feed, what is
problematic is not simply the ongoing amassing of information about me
as a consumer and then feeding back to me information / advertising that
is consumer specific (now I'm thinking about those Target commercials),
but it is the also the issue of who is able to afford what when it comes
to the surgical implants. This was the crux of the problem in Feed.
On a less sci-fi, futuristic level, in the book 'Another Day in the
Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside' the author
Firlik discusses about getting 'brainlifts' - when we'll be able to get
'cognitive tune ups' that involve these metal plugs with electrodes and
batteries effecting the nodes to stimulate memory and increase
functioning. However the issue of cost remains the same - and thus the
issue of who can afford what remains problematic.
This doesn't mean I'm not in favor...I'm just concerned about the
consequences. I don't have a problem with technology changing what it
means to be human, but whether these changes will be"showing us the way
forward" and whether they may exacerbate the stratification of our
neoliberal world need to be considered. What do you think?
~ Em

Mike Cole wrote:
> No one picked up on this and I should probably just drop it but the
> continued discussion on ZOPED prompts me to ask, could a computer
> algorithm be a "more knowledgeable" partner? Adaptive testing is another
> example of an artificial intelligence that tries to move people into a
> zone of maximum response. If the vision in EPIC 2015 were actualized,
> might not the algorithm be a sensei, showing us the way forward? I
> understand that the notion of _forward_ is problematic, but is that not
> also true of a human sensei......or any teacher? And why should the goal
> in a zoped be the ability to act independently? Most of the things in my
> life that have expanded my capabilities are things I have come to rely
> on and are now a part of me. I can't imagine how I ever wrote anything
> of value when I wrote in long hand, had a poor (now nearly blind thanks
> to me) secretary type it up, correct, edit, repeat, and so forth. Here I
> link with Donna's contribution where she mentions natural born cyborgs.
> Can anyone doubt that within my lifetime (and I'm OLD) that things like
> MP3's and cell phones will be available as surgical implants?
> Mind you, this all scares the beejeezes out of me..........djc
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He only earns his freedom and his life, who takes them every day by storm.
-- Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Emily Duvall
Doctoral Candidate (ABD) / Graduate Assistant-Instructor
Language and Literacy Education (LLED)
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
College of Education
Penn State University
256 Chambers Bldg.
University Park , PA  16802
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Received on Thu Jun 28 04:19 PDT 2007

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