Monday, 28 January 2013

Technology as God

Today is 'officially' the first day of our E-learning and Digital Cultures course.  With around 40,000 people ennrolled in the Mooc it is definitely going to be a fascinating experience.  Not only is it navigating the course requirements that will challenge my thinking but also finding the right niche in terms of expression.  There are a multitude of platforms and personalities... so finding the right mix may be my greatest challenge.

In week one we are looking at digital cultures in relation to whether they create utopian or dystopian experiences/cultures/environments etc. One of our resources this week is from Spain, Zumbakamera’s short animation, Bendito Machine III.

Firstly, I'll just say I LOVE the fact that we experience a mini 'film festival' each week as part of our course content.  Hooray to the EDCMOOC creators you've definitely sparked my enthusiasm straight up.

For a simple animation of 6 minutes there was so much to this film.  However, here's a short synopsis, from my understanding. The idea of technology as God is at the forefront.  Those of you familiar with the story of Moses climbing the mountain to recieve the 10 commandments will recognise the Judeo-Christian association.  We also see how in society it often takes an individual to step away from mainstream consciousness & take a risk (climb the mountain) in order to receive or create the 'sacred'.

Once the enlightened one returns with the gift from the God's we see, in the clip, an identification with Hinduism & how society quickly disses the 'sacred cow' and sends it to the technological scrap heap, or funeral pyre,  leaving a new God for society to worship.  The 'funeral pyre' also highlights the waist associated with technology and how we as a society dispose of it.   It identifies every corporations need for strict guidelines in taking responsibility for the impact (a sobering clip) this wastage has on society, especially in our current disposable culture.  If we don't handle this wisely we could see our advancement lead to our own decline.  In the clip we see people being thrown onto the funeral pyre alongside the technology and real terms due to some of the extreme & very toxic conditions people work under to dispose of this waste we'll see it in a rapid decline in the health of these associated societies.

The masses continue worshiping the 'God' and shaping their lives around it eventually becoming slaves to the technology.  You see this with the children blindly following the 'God' over the bridge and then running in horror when 'it turns on them'.  The technology is in control.  The very 'God' that was developed to serve them has become the oppressor.  We also see this with our current addiction to social media sites and our extreme FOMO.  We become slaves to the very thing that was originally created to serve us.  The ludicrous nature beautifully displayed in this Samsung clip which I came across on a fellow students blog post. It really made me chuckle.

That's all I have time for right now.... although, I'd love to hear any further insights from you in the comments.


1 comment:

Kate said...

Hi Melinda, thanks for your comment on the coursera site thread, definitely up for some cross-commenting etc, my blog (such as it is) is at and I'm hoping to get my first article review up in the next 24 hours. Should be quite fun given I'm only a few pages in and have already managed to make notes tying his commentary to the Gutenberg printing press, Jill Bolt-Taylor's TED Talk, the iPad and Walter Ong (who promptly popped up in a reference one page later!).


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