My response to the 1st Video: Bendito 3, on EDCMOOC #edcmooc

1st YouTube Inbox – Short Film called Bendito 3
This film is an ideal film for displaying technological dterminism and its negative connotations.

In answer to the questions posed for this resource:

1) The ecological implications are such that the technologies destroy the environment as they are non degradable and
therefore form a refuse heap that is an eyesore and a danger to the environment.

2)The social implications are far fetching- the newest technologies are to figure at the centre of society, to be worshiped and to be taken into use without any further thought or critique.
Choice is not given the people who are part of this community, in the sense that the routine of finding new technologies and replacing the old is deeply ingrained into their way of life as if it were the circle of life itself – birth, life and death. . The technological artefacts take on a divine presence it would seem, and are placed on a platform to be worshiped and stared at with awe.
Thus made worthy of worship, these objects are then brought into centre of the community`s life.
They become in fact the very purpose for that life. The technologies are considered as all knowing, inerrant, indeed
The technologies in themselves seem to be imbued with an almost malevolent essence or presence. They beguile with visual and audio entertainment and with their weird alien like constructional designs.
It is as if a sentient being or civilisation has constructed the technologies. But I think that the assembly of people present deifying each technology have made up their minds that each one is i fact of itself a sentient being capable of giving direction.
The characteristics of the crowd are such that there is a group think collective consciousness – they follow and obey unwittingly, they respond to each new technological invention that is given them as if it is god come down to them, they never break out of their circle of being bewitched, of worshipping and then discarding the old deity for the next new thing= deity.
Theirs is a life of complete slavery to this. There is no display of agency or free thinking.

3) My take on this
If we take this little tale and put it in the light of technological determinism, which is an orientation that sees technologies as causal agents and that they have a pivotal role in social change, we can of course concur that that is exactly what these technologies are doing – they are greatly impacting this particular society of individuals, dumbfounding them ( the people) to the point of elevating a box of gadgets with lights and sound to the position of a deity to be worshipped.
Technologies in this clip are indeed portrayed as instruments of dominance that impact or determine use, bringing trivialities ( here shown as the chaotic but entertaining audiovisual clips on the tv screen of the technologies ) to a world that becomes beguiled by it, to the expense of reflection, engagement and depth.
Regarding education, it seems that one can legitimately argue the above point, if this is the technology philosophy of choice, however there are other tech ology philosophies – uses determinism and social determinism.
One could argue, if we decide not to adhere to this negative connotation put forward by technological determinism, that technology can do a lot of good…bringing together people into a community such as here on this course and facilitating communication, metareflection and the building of an online community of practice.
I believe either tangent is possible.. as a person involved in creating e-learning environments or at least facilitating e-learning through existing environments, one must be aware of what is being facilitated ( is there freedom, space, encouragement to learn and communicate and build community in a free and autonomous manner) and what is being setup that might hinder and affect the social structures negatively – in that a certain meaning is being inscribed or a certain chain of limited choices are availed to students, impacting upon their choices ( only the ones given!)and robbing them of their autonomy.

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3 thoughts on “My response to the 1st Video: Bendito 3, on EDCMOOC #edcmooc

  1. Rajiv Bajaj

    Interesting observations there, specifically about lack of agency. In my opinion, utopia and dystopia are two sides of the same coin. It is up to us as free thinking individuals to decide which side we want to see, and as free thinking individuals, we also need to be responsible in our use of technology.

    Reply
    1. Maria O'Donovan

      I do agree Rajiv…the challenge comes of course when larger players are the ones to decide what technologies are used and how they are used, we need in fact to ensure facilities for involvement..BEFORE implementation. Did you manage to read the Envisaging Digital Europe 2030 document? Any thoughts on that? πŸ˜‰

      Reply
      1. Rajiv Bajaj

        Unfortunately, no. I barely managed to get through this course as I also had to travel for work in between, and will again be doing a fair amount of travelling over the next two weeks, so I guess I will only be able to do it after that 😦

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