Sunday, July 17, 2005

Philosophy of Technology

It is fascinating that, in a society so extremely influenced by technology as ours, there are so few philosophical ideas that deal with what is happening When things get complicated and complex (like digital technology) we need philosophy. We have to use our combined minds to create ways to capture and hold broad ideas on what is going on -- what technology is doing to us. Why is it that technology (and especially digital) is so fascinating for so many people, but seems to draw us into discussions on details, functions and features and not into more foundational thoughts on direction and development, desire and fear. Where are the new philosophical challenging ideas? Ideas that are not only for the professional philosopher but possible to approach by every engaged individual? Is it possible to create philosophical ideas on technology in the same way as environmentalism has been able to construct highly abstract, theoretical and complex ideas on environmentalism in a way that make them intelligible to most people.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Parallell Realities

Heard on the news that the terrorists in London where young guys that seemed just like any other guy. People ask how it is possible to develop extreme ideas in the middle of a suburban English community. Extrem ideas can grow anywhere. With the help of new technology anyone can spend time and communicate with people with similar ideas while excluding everything else. It is also a world that is safe, since you do not have to be challenged by others, just stay with likeminded. You can build your extrem view point over time without anyone seeing it happen. Cass Sunnstein discussed this phenomenon a few years back in his highly insightful book "Republic.Com". A book that is more true today than when he wrote it. Read it!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Borgmann

Even though there are many thinkers that devote their time to explore the transforming grounds, one philosopher is making a mark, and that is Albert Borgmann. In his books he takes the transformation seriously and has tried to reflect upon it in such a way that it is not only defined and explained, but a result of a process, of a mechanism, of a human desire. See, especially his book "Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life : A Philosophical Inquiry"

Even the "problem" of file-sharing can be explained by Borgmann's notions of commodification and the device paradigm.

Transforming Grounds

We are witnessing a profound transformation of the way we experience the world around us. This site is meant to be a place where I can comment on this transformation.

At the very core of this transformation is the foundational change of the basic material that make our reality. When we transform our traditional materials into digital material -- something extraordinary is happening. Some of it is obvious, visible and easy to understand, but still have immense impact. Some of it is slow, invisible, and almost impossible to understand -- but has none the less great influence on our everyday conditions.

The digitalization is not a matter of dealing with information -- it is when matter is transformed into information.

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