EDTC 6101 Module 6: Digital Wellbeing (Borgmann, Contemplation in a…
EDTC 6101 Module 6: Digital Wellbeing
Borgmann, Contemplation in a Technological Era: Learning from Thomas Merton
Task (p. 4): fit Merton's view of contemplation viz. modernity to"theory" of current technology. ?
Merton's "challenges" to modernity
technology creates/reinforces human ambivalence
intertwining of glory (nearness of God) and misery of human condition (sense of inadequacy before God).
Parable of Sower: thorns make it difficult to "hear the Good News" (re-interpretation)
modernity/technology "withdraws vitality from institutions and customs" (p. 5)
The evolution of Merton's "challenges" to modernity
embrace monastic contemplation but this still is "rejection and not the redemption of the technological culture" (p. 6). interpretation of M
yet M's contemplation at heart "communal, doctrinal, and active"
move past "stark contrast between the technological culture and the grace of redemption" (p. 7)
"real contemplation" (p. 7)
author: "the contemplative life should not be the strenuous clinging to an idea of sanity, but the celebration of the resurrection and creation" (p. 7)
"such moments of grace are the redemption of Aristotelian contemplation" 's 2 major defects
yet Merton's 2 commonalities with Aristotle
proximity of divine
disclosure of the cosmos cf natural philosophy)
I'm still unconvinced that this alignment of Merton with Aristotle is fair to Merton. I still think it serves Borgmannn's assumptions/end
2 more items...
that assaults contemplatives is in the technological world a "fog," and endless mist that normalizes itself (check)
1 more item...
see modernity as unreality, distracting (cf. C.S. Lewis' bus) and reject it as vanity
result: "scornful individualism", emptiness and despair, glorious misery
(p7) most simply experience this tech world as mindlessness/meaninlessness rather than like M as a problem
Aquinas' channeling of Aristotle: this contemplation to be realized in heaven (Also Neoplatonic notion?)
yes, if it creates division between active life of engagement and passive life of contemplation
mechanized/commodified life reinforces dichotomy
Borgmann ignores figures such as Luther and Edwards who did not reinforce this dichotomy OR "downplay pleasure"
equates to Aristotle's
, or highest function/happiness of man
Borgmann's historiography shortchanges history of Christian theology of contemplation. Why?
Conclusion: "Contemplation today has to be celebration" and engagement without understanding similar to Obama's
"The crucial feature of the technological culture is the insertion of machinery between humanity and reality" (p. 4).
life in the combine cab is disconnected
analogy to church: confession within community vs outsourced & commodified psychotherapy
But it alters the community; and
= detachment of things/practices from context and conversion into commodity (p. 5)
Use of the technology (tractor instead of plow) is reasonable
= replacement of contexts/competencies (p. 5)
influence of tech affordances and culture/adults
music: illegal downloading justified by blaming music industry for exploiting musicians
fatalism (p. 66)
sympathy with musical friends/family but continued illegal use
accounting for blind spots
we need to respite to legal/ethical gaps by "cultivating sensitivity" (. 66)
yet individual, social, and cultural factors are present (me: primary)? (p. 67, 68)
new technologies continue to property disconnects
3 influences from peers, adults, and society:
self focused rationales for piracy are normative
academic pressure to be successful
everybody does it
wikipedia is go to source for info because of convenience and coverage (p. 47) and is largely youth authored and collaborative
youth response to dilemma: 8 percent would use as if "theirs"; 33 % would disentangle and 60% would use as starlit point not turn in as paper:
yet most youths "insensitive" to scenario's ethical dilemmas (p. 49)
vs. wiki contrib. is "fr=or the common good"
some understand academia as realm of trust and respect and collaboration; not "simply theirs"
reasoning: "why do work twice"
You contribute to wikipedia then use it for your research paper
all works are remixes?. This issue predates internet
legal concepts of fair use and transformative use (p. 54)
competing views of property
need "more nuanced conversations"
access and attribution
easy to breach copyright laws
sharing as "protest" vs as pragmatic: difference = purpose
sites are various: illegal, open source, pay for access, etc.
mindsets: both show little "sensitivity to the moral and ethical issues than one might hope" (p. 71).\
understanding of authorship and "I might be punished; must cite sources" mindset
to blame: unclear relationship between legality and ethical connotations of a practice (p. 62)
free for all mindset
adults take a largely penal approach
call for "better education" (71)
privacy as "in your own hands"
is this in fact a " blame the victim" mentality? (p. 36) cf. Rep Joe Barton fall 2017
this is the fallback when youths criticize peers ( p. 36)
Is this only a youth phenomenon?
paradox: awareness of risks yet enthusiastic participation
main strategy = "do not disclose online"
"files so clearly in the far of the deeply social nature of online spaces--and the limited amount of control one can actually have over one's digital footprint" (p. 37)
: "failing to see how one's actions and fate are intertwined with those of others and to assume the associated social and moral responsibilities" (p. 37)
ink to "those of individualism'" (p. 37)
privacy as forsaken online
by participating one forsakes privacy
this mindset can lead to prudent behavior OR excuse for invading others' : do it if it is technically possible
awareness that "privacy can't be achieved through an ethos of social and moral responsibility" (p. 38)l
: Ravi's apology for "thoughtlessness" vs failure to acknowledge motive
another version of failure to consider if we should od what e can do: "to be clear, digital media do not cause youth to believe that privacy is forsaken"... (p. 40)
privacy as social
largely expectations of friends/intimates
: however, tenuous rather than explicit moral agreements
expect friends to change or adjust privacy/tags/feeds
hinges on trust, respect, Golden Rule
influence of messages from adults
little counsel p. 43
reinforce "forsaken" mindset
reinforce "in your own hands" through fear tactics
prevalent responses are self- and consequence-focused: control audience rather than repent or reconsider conduct (25); little moral regret (29)
offline choices get publicized online without our consent
tagged on fB breaking team rules
we all have a role as an audience as well as as an object
embrace sharing though because it is" essential for participation in peer life" (31); risk benefit assessments (32)
conventional notions (right to not share) but understand that online world compromises privacy
strategies: withheld info or customize privacy settings
accounting for blind spots
perpetual invitation to share (p. 42)
need for identity development
concerned about own but not ethically obligated to protect others' privacy
possibility of creating world of no second chances (p. 44)
dominance of individualized mindsets and consequence oriented thinking contributes to moral/ethical blinds spots (p. 45)
approach is "a matter of character"
influence of tech affordances and culture/adults
abuse of free speech
public servants engage in hate speech
school message: stranger danger
adult/parent ambivalent mindsets similar to those of youth
sell the gems
50%: it's a game so there are no ethical issues
50%: principles of fairness and kindness apply
participation defined by MW includes both individual agency and connection to larger whole/society
this relates to Dreyfus' concerns: "to what extent do our habits of connectivity coincide with an inclination to pursue our own agendas rather than increase our sensitivity to the perspectives of others and our attachment to communities?" (p77)
optimist response: participatory cultures will form as affordance of web
critical response: digital tech will diminish relationship and encourage narcissism
James: highlights tensions with other dilemmas
gaming the internet: e.g. use Yelp or other crowdsourcing to tag business as closed
online speech, broadly constituted and with few editors: high stakes of going viral
innocuous content cn be damaging when decontextualized by malicious user
cruel or hostile speech as normative or ubiquitous
"it's a community"
consider impact of hate speech and bullying on community and norms
"it's just the Internet"
"isn't real" and "doesn't matter" (p. 90), "just a joke" (91)
fatalism about insensitivity or harmfulness: Peter: turn it into a joke as strategy!
most online content is just for fun and can be trivialized (91)
John (p93): distance
"reduces one's responsibility and efficacy"
"All told youth exhibit multiple and sometimes conflicting mindsets about conduct on the Internet": "it's just the internet" vs "play nice" (p. 93).
"The narrow sense f responsibility many young people reported in relation to the Internet reflects an ethical blind spot: a failure to consider how their own participation, as well as their responses (or lack thereof) to the actor of others, inform the norms, integrity, and character of larger communities on the Web" (p93-94)
recognize the ability to post info as a responsibility to show empathy and ethics but don't see it as required