First thoughts on week 1 of Coursera’s #edcmooc

Change is meant to be a good thing. Change means progress. We change equals we evolve; oh but wait , is that always so? 

Society grows impatient of tedious problems and thus tries to implement solutions – we try to “fix” things, to make our world a better place (a utopia perspective). Man didn’t like raw meat and got cold during the nights – fire was invented. Man wanted hygiene and clear water to drink – aqua-ducts were invented. Fast forward to the present -> Technology covers a variety of inventions created to make our lives easier nowadays. Man needed to expand his social circle: Facebook was invented. Endless chat rooms, date onlines, etc just to talk to a girl. But what happens really after he has found that one girl via the use of magical technology?

And let’s pretend for a moment man has all he wanted in his life: the girl, a decent job, a place to live with fire and clear water. Bonus the technology. Is he satisfied?

You see, we humans like change so much that sometimes we get engulfed in it. Sometimes we forget that simple things in life basically derive from our human selves, our intrinsic emotions and the environment we live in (nature). That is probably why a rock music lover who has loads of cds and mp3s will cry like a baby in front of a Led Zeppelin vinyl record and cherish it like a treasure. That is why antique furniture is actually more expensive than contemporary one (well unless we are talking about Philippe Stark chairs; those are way too expensive).

Pop culture has shown us one too many times that although we like technology we are actually afraid of it; we tremble the addiction to it, we fear the fact that one day change will bring about huge reprecussions, perhaps even catastrophe (dystopian)! Computers run our chores,our communications, our security systems; they run a country’s defence systems, nuclear power plants, anything important actually. Would it be far-fetched if they ran humans as well in the not – so – distant future?

If you don’t believe me, check out Arnie, cause he will be back one day, he promised :p

So considering utopia and dystopia, I would conclude that people believe that things in the past were downright more difficult yet somehow better (more simple if you prefer). Especially the older generations, the ones with “technophobia” cling on to the innocent days of yore. Some embrace technology but only as far as it gets a certain job done. Others mock tech – addicts as “no-lifers” (we are bound to see a lot of new terminology over the next few years to come). These might sound as old-fashioned thoughts, I understand, and coming from a techie and an avid gamer seems a bit odd. But they are there, out in the world, trust me.

Conclusion…  a utopian past, a dystopian future?

ps. more on technological determinism on later post …

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