Inventing with hypotheses (3)

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Inventing with hypotheses (3)

  1. 1. Inventing with hypotheses writ 1133
  2. 2. Inventing with hypotheses writ 1133 technopoly Some notes on Neil Postman’s Technopoly <ul><li>Tool-using culture: Technology serves cultural institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Technocracy: Culture and technology compete for social supremacy. </li></ul><ul><li>TECHNOPOLY: Technology wins the competition, becomes ultimate social value. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology no longer a means to an end but an end in itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Continued technological development is absolutely imperative, regardless of consequences. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology is sovereign over us; we aren’t sovereign over it. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Inventing with hypotheses writ 1133 technopoly Second Life From the Second Life Wikipedia entry: “ Second Life (SL) is an online virtual world . . . launched on June 23, 2003. A number of free client programs called Viewers enable Second Life users, called Residents, to interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore the world (known as the grid), meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another. As of 2011 [Second Life] has more than 20 million registered user accounts.”
  4. 4. Inventing with hypotheses writ 1133 technopoly Second Life <ul><li>At any given moment, there are around 40,000 people on SL. </li></ul><ul><li>Many government agencies, libraries, nonprofits, and schools have an SL presence (for example, scientists at DU have created a nuclear power plant there). </li></ul><ul><li>You can find art galleries, live music, and live theater on Second Life. </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life has its own economy and currency, the Linden dollar. In 2009, SL residents earned 55 million dollars. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Inventing with hypotheses writ 1133 technopoly A hypothesis Because (according to Postman) technology tends to diminish — even destroy — human cultural values, I expect that fully technologized communities like those formed in the world of Second Life will be. . .
  6. 6. Inventing with hypotheses writ 1133 ethnography Ethnography <ul><li>Purpose: to understand culture on their own terms . What do a community’s practices, beliefs, rituals, values, etc., mean to the members of that community . </li></ul><ul><li>Tools: </li></ul><ul><li>careful observation; </li></ul><ul><li>occasional participation; </li></ul><ul><li>gentle, respectful, but probing questioning of members of the community. </li></ul><ul><li>Tips: </li></ul><ul><li>Always be asking yourself: “What does this mean to the members of the community? ” </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage community members to tell their own stories in their own terms. Avoid questions that demand that they think about their experience in your terms. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Inventing with hypotheses writ 1133 ethnography Some questions to ask in Second Life <ul><li>Why do you come here, and what do you do here? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>How did you choose your avatar ’s look? What does it mean to you? What does it communicate to others? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the “people” around us doing? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>What ’s the coolest thing you ’ ve ever seen here? What’s the strangest thing you ’ ve ever seen here? </li></ul><ul><li>How is Second Life different from your “first life”? What do you like best about it, and why? </li></ul><ul><li>How are your relationships in Second Life different from those in your “first life”? What do you like best about them, and why? </li></ul>

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