onsdag den 30. januar 2013

Week 1. Utopia, dystopia and technological determinisn

After 3 days studying movies, discussions and articles, I feel ready to share my impressions from the first week in EDC_MOOC.


The film festival.

Of the 4 videos, Beneditos Maschine III was for me the one outstanding. In addition to the thunder, the gloomy fire- or warlike background and the black silhouettes, the story was catching.

It fascinated me how the evolving machines caused more and more evilness, killed people and destroyed the buildings. And still the only solutions for the humans seemed to be newer and even more powerful technology.

Using the concepts fra Daniel Chandler I would claim the people in the Benedito act as they believe in reaching utopia though techno-evolution (regard progress as inevitable). And it becomes such horrible scenes because for us, the viewers, as it is obvious, that the technology is evil, autonomous and anthropomorphic. The autonomy even makes the technology evolve despite the people gives smaller gifts (first a beautiful music box, then a stone or a handful of dirt). In the end the humans not even climb the mountain or ask the sky for help.  Humanity seems like completely having lost control.  This is so dystopian.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xiXOigfDb0U
But then in the last scene the surviving human being turns around and runs. Before the machine harms anything or anybody (except for the things it landed on) The question is why is he running away? Is he's leaving the techno-evolutionary idea? Or is he running back to the mountain to ask the sky for a new machine? I'm tempted to say this could be a droplet of voluntarism. But due to voluntarism as opposed to technological determinism the film can not claim both.

So where does Benedittos Machine leaves me? It's like the film claims, that IF we have a choice, it's only between technology or no technology.  If we choose the technology, the technology will end up controlling and harming us. New, better and less harmful technology is not an option here.


Utopian and dystopian stories about technology told in popular films

I really enjoyed that part. I contributed to the Wallwisher started by one of the my fellow students (sorry I forgot the name). It was the flipped class room unfolded for me. When I went to bed, there was about 12 notes on the wall. Next morning a lot, lot more. A fantastic feeling to work on a product with so many and for me unknown collaborators. And I certainly got many ideas to films, I would like to (re)view.





The discussions and foras

All in all I  really enjoy having the possibility to dive down in discussion threads in the EDC forum as well as Google+, Facebook and Twitter and leave a comment here and there.

This course has given me my Twitter debut and it was with a smile on my face, I posted my tweet no. 10 yesterday :D  I just have to learn the special Twitter language, so my tweets can have a little more content.

Margherita Maes tweeted a link to a picture about dystopian books. Very interesting, so I'll repost it here:


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