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Technology: what are we losing? Does it matter?

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Such is the scale of change wrought by the current Digital Age that it is being compared with the profound changes that occurred as a result of the invention of printing in the 15th century, and the industrial revolution of the 18th century. Every new wave of technology produces changes. Some of these changes are immediately welcome, and their benefits obvious. Some changes are easy to see and predict. Other changes take time, are less immediately obvious, and are not always welcome. With each change, with each gain, there is some loss.

We are clearly in the middle of massive technology driven change. What then are we losing? Is this loss an inevitable consequence of change? Should we be trying to identify practices and values that ought not to change, or has that horse already bolted?

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Technology: what are we losing? Does it matter?

  1. 1. DOES IT MATTER? WHAT ARE WE LOSING? TECHNOLOGY: Education and Technology Meetup Adelaide Feb 6th, 2018
  2. 2. ABSTRACT/DESCRIPTION Such is the scale of change wrought by the current Digital Age that it is being compared with the profound changes that occurred as a result of the invention of printing in the 15th century, and the industrial revolution of the 18th century. Every new wave of technology produces changes. Some of these changes are immediately welcome, and their benefits obvious. Some changes are easy to see and predict. Other changes take time, are less immediately obvious, and are not always welcome. With each change, with each gain, there is some loss. We are clearly in the middle of massive technology driven change. What then might we be losing? Is this loss an inevitable consequence of change? Should we be trying to identify practices and values that ought not to change, or has that horse already bolted?
  3. 3. WHAT’S THE TIME?
  4. 4. “If I can’t take a photograph or film it I’m not interested.”
  5. 5. SELFIES AND ME TOURISM WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? (borrowed from Alec Couros) Being seen by your peers in a photograph somewhere exotic is for some more important than the place itself. Some people are travelling to places not because they want to be there, but because they want to be seen there.
  6. 6. ARE WE LOSING OUR SENSE OF PLACE?
  7. 7. PHONE A FRIEND We are never alone with uncertainty. We are in constant contact with others at all times. The mind is never free to wander aimlessly…..
  8. 8. EMPATHY
  9. 9. FACEBOOKISTAN ARE WE OWNED BY GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK? DOES PRIVACY STILL EXIST? DID IT EVER EXIST?
  10. 10. DISINTERMEDIATION/INDIVIDUALISATION UBER FACEBOOK FEED EXPEDIA AIR BNB
  11. 11. GREATER PERSONAL AGENCY – but at what cost?
  12. 12. FRACTURED REALITY – no longer shared
  13. 13. 24/7 NEWS CYCLE MEDIA STANDARDS Where have all the experts gone?
  14. 14. GOODBYE (LONG DISTANCE) TRUCK DRIVERS America has approx. 3.5m professional truck drivers Australia: trucking industry employs at least 300,000 people Is it time for a UBI (universal basic income)? WILL WE ALL BE ABLE TO WORK? DO WE NEED TO WORK?
  15. 15. DISCUSSION FOCUS • Disintermediation • Fragmentation • Increased Agency • The 24/7 news cycle • Narcissism: selfie tourism • Are we owned by Google and Facebook? • Do we need to work? The UBI • Is privacy dead? • Is the mediated self real? • Are we losing the sense of place? • Loss of Empathy • Living with uncertainty
  16. 16. USE YOUR OWN PRE-INSTALLED APPS Boredom is your psyche doing you a favour. It’s a sign that you’re not working hard enough! Johan Norberg: Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future
  17. 17. IS IT TOO LATE FOR GLOBAL META-AWARENESS? No notion of coherent ethics in technology development. Nobody in a position to question the wisdom of propriety of a particular direction. Radical Technologies Adam Greenfield
  18. 18. ADAM GREENFIELD: • “It is exceedingly hard to outright refuse something that has become part of you – and made you part of it.” • “Current radical technologies have the power to transform the very ground of our social being … and it is difficult to imagine that any choice we make as individuals or small clusters can do much to undermine the prerogatives of the institutions of scale that are interested in seeing this transformation made real.”
  19. 19. THE EDUCATIONAL CONTEXT? HAVE THIS CONVERSATION
  20. 20. FEEDBACK • Great show this evening (Stav Morris) • Michael spoke from the heart and caught a breeze of agreement Opened up a conversation about what we want ... for ourselves and for our future ... thanks Michael (Mark Keough) • Insightful. Ironically gave me reason to pause and reflect (Tracey Johnson) • Thanks Michael, not the usual blind tech euphoria. Pause for thought! Very worthwhile. (Leo Gaggl) Michael Coghlan michaelc@chariot.net.au

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