02 October 2012

Technology isn't good or bad. It's powerful.

Last week I showed up for my Wednesday class and the first thing the professor did was to have us divide up into groups to discuss the documentary Digital Nation that we were supposed to watch before class. So we divided up and it quickly became apparent that only about 5 people in the class had any idea what he was talking about... Anyways, he ended up showing us a trailer for it and we managed to still have our discussion. But it looked pretty good and so today I took part of my morning and sat down and watched it. It was thought-provoking. I feel like technology has so many sides to it that it's hard to tell what's good and what's bad and what just takes getting used to.

I've found that the more I think about technology and the issues that surround it the more I feel dissatisfied. I definitely can see the usefulness of technology, but I'm just not sure that the application is the best it could be. But hopefully with time we'll learn to balance it better and adapt. Anyhow, here are some of my take-aways from the film. It's definitely one I'd recommend. And you can watch it online.

Studies done at Standford show that people who multitask are actually really terrible at it and they are significantly slower than when they do one thing at a time.

South Korea is the first country to treat internet addiction as a psychiatric disorder.

“Over the past 20 years the internet has changed from a thing one does to a way one lives.”

“That was the first time it occurred to me that my children’s education might have a different purpose than mine did.”

“The world that we’re preparing them for isn’t going to require of them that they have to remember a bunch of information that someone tells them. The world is going to require them to do stuff, to build stuff, work on things, and that’s what we’re preparing them for.”

"I don’t know of any jobs in the world that require people to stay in their seats and keep quiet. But that’s what we require of them in schools…"

"To me there should never be a question as to whether or not students should have access to technology. Technology is like oxygen."

“It’s instant gratification education.” The short attention span makes people get bored faster.

Some surveys of college professors are showing that student’s basic skills (writing especially) are a lot worse now than they were 10 years ago.

People confuse the best ways of doing something once with the best ways of doing something forever.

Sure we’ve lost things. When we gained writing we lost memory. Now we lose attention and focus and become distracted. "That’s just the price of gain."

“Millions of people are inhabiting the Net as if it were a real place, satisfying the urge to connect to others in online games, virtual worlds.”

“The technology wasn’t isolating them; it was giving them a new way to be intimate.”

“What does the virtual world look like? It looks like the average of all the things we dream about.”

The part about military drones reminds me of Ender’s Game.

“A drone can’t dig through the rubble of that building and see what the results of that hellfire missile are.”

“That game world is equally rich to many novels, I would argue.”

“Technology challenges us to assert our human values. Which mean first we have to figure out what they are.”

“Technology isn’t good or bad. It’s powerful.”

“but most of all, I love being able to turn it off.”

Frontline’s DigitalNation

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