Monday, November 24, 2008


I'm not worried about Luddism.  In fact, in order to be a functional Luddite, you'd have to already be pretty sophisticated in your approach to science.

What worries me more is that too often we make ourselves willfully ignorant of the science and technology that have such an immense impact on our lives and culture.  This is sometimes called a 'magical re-masking' of technology back into the wondrous.  Which is a great thing to do for children and for literary suspension of disbelief.  But when raised to a lifestyle, it becomes a dangerous philistinism.  

Carving out new alchemists, high priests and hierophants of technology lets too many people off the hook for understanding the complex and nuanced world around them.  Some people are calling for a reversal of this almost as a form of civil rights movement.

What can we do to make all citizens of a 'digital democracy' into 'media alchemists'?  Can we design a system of education to bring all people to the understanding of what had been esoteric gnosticism a few generations ago?  What responsibilities do we need to hold ourselves to in order to remain aware of the creation of ideas in a distracting world of cultural spectacle?

Granted, there are no easy answers to these questions.  But by asking them, at least we can have a thoughtful dialogue on how we want people to think for themselves in the near future.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

gender & politix:

thinking about gender and politix:

What does it mean to "queer" something when you're philosophical tradition is reasonably conservative?

Pardon the pun, but it can make for some pretty strange bedfellows:,M1