Daily Archives: October 16, 2009

Week 4 Digital Artifact

As I type this I am working on my digital artifact (almost done but a few tweaks to make tomorrow before I am happy I think) but I’m finding the process of creation is changing what I want to talk about in the artifact and how I develop those ideas. I wanted my artifact to talk about how utopia and dystopia in views of the future and technology are really convergent concepts – we find scary what we don’t know or use, we find fantastic what we think would enhance or extend or open up our lives. But I’m sort of modifying that a bit and thinking about adoption curves of technology and the fear of change.  I think it still reflects on how dystopic and utopian concepts are not of technology and are not of the future but are of the present, the political and the ideological.

The most fruitful time for sci fi movies was during the cold war and the space race and aliens stood in for communists in morality tales: a lot of our fears about technology are just plain fears. Our hopes about immortality and peace are just our hopes. I think technology just continually provides an unfamiliar lens through which to see our worst fears or our greatest hopes reflected and that our visions of dystopic or utopian outcomes of technology overlook the fact that, at least until we create some sort of fully sentient machine, there is no morality or ethics of the machine that we do not ourselves dictate.

Anyway, hopefully the artifact will give some sense of those ideas. And it’s almost ready…