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Twitphilia & Twitanoia: Controlling Technology

By       Message R. A. Louis       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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This brings me to my next point... what is the broad psychosocial effect of this long immersion in these technological systems of media and communication? We can't just assume that the effects of the last 50 years of media immersion will stop being consequential simply because we now sit in front of monitors instead of televisions. For example... the standards of beauty created by the television studios won't simply cease to be our standard of beauty today. And that's a very physiological effect on our innate sexuality. More to the point... the ideological indoctrination will not cease to have an effect now that hordes of Joe Bloggers give us the same ideological perspective that has always been promoted by the corporate state in the schools, history books, and television studious. Sure, you can find ideological niches of liberation and social critique in some online circles but the shallow, the mundane, and the reactionary are still the norm -- even on Twitter.

The Technological Bias on Twitter and Beyond

One ofthe greatest ideological biases of out time regards the blind aforementioned faith in technological progress. Since the aftermath of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and since the widespread acceptance of personal computers into the majority of American homes, technological criticism has become evermore lost in a virtual sea of advertisements for the latest gadget or pill.

One can hardly find a truly qualitative critique of technological advancement unless they look very thoroughly and with formal philosophical studies in their background to guide their assessments (of course why would anyone want to look for such a thing anyway?). Most of the critiques conclude that technology is a neutral tool and if we try a little harder to be moral then everything will be fine with it. Obviously I disagree and find that assessment to be overly simplistic.

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On twitter such discussions are bound to be limited because most of the users have accepted the use of computers in our daily lives and have completely bought into the pro-tech paradigm. But one of my most telling online experiences regarding the technology debate took place around the wikipedia article about technology. There were two pictures on the page which I attempted to change in an effort to challenge the neutrality claims of the other editors. One was of an astronaut floating serenely in space (as the headline image) and the other was a picture of an idyllic old-fashion windmill with a nuclear power plant in the background. Respectively I tried to replace these with a photo of a mushroom cloud and a picture of the melted down husk of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. I feel like I made a strong case for these edits since e=mc2 and it's weaponized results were more significant than high altitude orbiting (and even contributed to space travel) while the Chernobyl image balanced the other benign, neutral, and positive images on the page. Not surprisingly, these edits didn't stick, but I do think they illustrated the lack of neutrality and the positive spin put on technology.

A Closing Look at Twitter

(If you've read this far, congratulations -- I'm surprised your technologically stunted attention span held out for this long. I'd be even more surprised if you retained any recollection of the points I was trying to make. It's somewhat improbable that you found this article at all.)

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Twitter strikes me as little more than a large recorded chatroom. How anyone could possibly read all the links posted from even 100 average users is beyond me (perhaps they're already cyborgs and don't know it). I suppose one wouldn't have to read all the links but then it just seems like one could search more directly for the information they're interested in without having to wait for some to tweet about it. Twitter might serve some limited good in specific situations but, overall, it just seems to be the newest medium for dishing out pop culture drivel (and I don't care what Aston Kutcher is doing today or what CNN says is news). The only thing that would change my mind about Twitter is if this article about it brought 10,000 unique visitors to my blog -- and I dare you tweeters to make that happen! I'd still probably end up being a little skeptical of the whole thing.

Tweet Away,

Nihilo Zero

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Ray Louis is an aging, burnt-out, radical activist. He is of the opinion that most people have no idea how harsh and brutal the government is because they have never really done anything to resist or oppose it. While he doesn't at all engage in the (more...)
 

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