Friday, April 15, 2011

Technology affecting our lives unexpectedly @LeightonEvans & @EvgenyMorozov #4sq4m

Last night at #4sq4m I met @LeightonEvans, a PhD student studying "Philosophy of Technology" - reminded me of @EvgenyMorozov, though the latter has more of a focus on what's technically called 'dystopia,' what happens when the technology nirvana becomes a nightmare!

Leighton's thesis sounds interesting as he's exploring the relationships we're forming with our gadgets. Shame I have to wait until the end of the year before it's published and I can read it!

Update: Strange how often I find the BBC reporting the same thing I write about each day - I know they're not reading me! Today I've just found this. "Friends, family and birthdays top the list of things that UK children say make them happy, a survey suggests. Computer games came in above chocolate, while social networking websites languished below both..."

So, for Leighton and all the others watching unfolding changes on a daily basis, I spotted this in this week's edition of one of my favourite publications, The Economist,

"Like so much else under Heaven, repression in China has often seemed to go in cycles. Every now and then it has suited the country’s leaders to relax their steely grip on the country and allow a modicum of political liberty."

The article explores more than merely technology's dark side - it's about the much broader political agenda in this massively influential nation. But, like in Sudan and elsewhere across the Middle East, it's clear that those who frolic with the choices and capabilities of each day's new tech offerings should remember those elsewhere in the world where the same geekery can lead to costly difficulties. And very often, as WSJ reported, it's Western companies that shout about Internet freedoms that are providing the monitoring technologies to repressive regimes.
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