Technology and Human beings


This article is very interesting. Written in the wake of the VTech incident, the writer cautions us against rushing to to either blame or promote technology overly much (video games or better technological methods of communicating).

To quote - "As a culture, we are very bad at thinking about technology. We look to it either as something to fear or as a panacea for the flaws of the human condition. Technology is neither. It is merely an extension of our own wills and capabilities."

I think this relates back to our readings about how we view computers and technology in context with ourselves and our interactions with it. He warns against projecting fears on to technology and reminds us that we are the sentient beings and responsible for our use of technology.

Mistaken identity


I mentioned earlier in the week how people are using new media to try to piece together a picture and make sense of the person who committed the killings at VT. Professor F. also mentioned how the media were using FB to find the friends and family of those who were part of VT and pursue them for information.

But did anyone hear about this guy?
Basically, he was mistaken for the killer because he matched up a lot on a lot of the same points (was student at VT, Asian, gun-nut, recently broken up with girlfriend, etc...)
And the whole thing got blown up to massive proportions, mainly due to the fact that the news was able to get around very quickly because of new media. At the time, people were desperate for information about what was going on and they would hear about the supposed killer on forums, blogs, youtube and even the news. And they then rushed to view this guy's blog and point fingers.

PC - 'personal' computers


Just to bring us back to the events at VT earlier this week...
We've discussed how those involved have and could have utilized new media to alert others and keep up with what was going on...
On another note, I read on the news about how the police are now trawling the shooter's past online activity to try to understand his motivations. They've gone through his google searches and looked at his profiles on Myspace and Facebook.
I think this brings us back to how much of ourselves is tied to technology. When someone passes away, their personal computer is just as personal and revealing as the room they lived in.

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