More Term-Ending Questions As the semester wind…

More Term-Ending Questions

As the semester winds down in terms of time, it seems to be building up in intensity with a flurry of papers to write and last minute scurrying by profs trying to squeeze in the last bit of their syllabus into class time.

On the one hand, i have the feeling that things should, essentially, be winding down – concepts becoming clear, looming questions being answered, generally, i am awaiting some sort of satisfying finale to my third complete year at university (heaven help me!) Yet, this is not how i feel at all. After said three years completed, i feel like i am just getting wound up. The questions that are flying around at light speed in my head seem to get squeezed out faster then i can write them down. I enjoy being in an environment that makes my head hurt, and forced to think, but is the point to all of this ‘education’ simply to prompt me to ask more questions?? I want answers. I want a definitive answer to what power is. I want ONE interpretation of the post modern. I want to know what good all this technology is bringing us, if we are essentially in the same place as the greeks in terms of philosophy, politics and so much more! I want to hear a prof tell that the girl in the third row, who keeps arguing with him that her opinion is simply that… back it up or be quiet! (sorry – was another aggravating night in my media tech poli class – although i did make an appointment with my prof to discuss some of the issues that have plagued me most of the semester)

I know i know… if i want concrete, definitive answers i should have gone into mathematics or something (although i hear their debates can get quite intense at times hehe)

I truly enjoy having all of these questions in my head, dont get me wrong, but i am frustrated that i cant possibly read and digest all of the books that i want/need to read to understand things people say. Example, the SAGSA conference was wonderful, and i was indeed very happy to know who the majority of the theorists discussed were. (thanks to contemporary theory!) But the fact that, although i have read some Foucault, i was no where near as well read as those presenting papers. I dont mind people knowing more then i do, hell, its even better if they can explain it well, but i took so many notes about books, articles etc that i want to read… when do i get the time to do it? When can i just sit and read book after book after book, immersed in some other thinker’s words, without the hinderance of being graded on my ability to reiterate my understanding of it?

Guess its time to debug my brain – and go watch some mind numbing television before bed…

SAGSA Symposium Conference Information Spent alm…

SAGSA Symposium

Conference Information

Spent almost 7 hours last friday sitting in a conference room (apprx. 100 people i would guess) listening to some wonderful academics talk about issues that surround Foucaultian theories on fear and risk as well as biopower. It was a very interesting symposium, with 7 guest speakers in total topped off with coffee, pastries, wine and cheese.

It was interesting to be in that type of academic forum, although i am still at the stage where i dont feel comfortable to approach any of the speakers. I am not ready for commentaries per se, but I definitly enjoy digesting the knowledge – eventually it will manifest itself in some conversation or other. Actually got to use a quote from Dr. Alan Hunt from his talk “Governing Through Anxiety” for my last poli sci paper, so its all good!

Media/Technology/Politics – Discussion Topics M…

Media/Technology/Politics – Discussion Topics

More questions we are asked to ponder – the thread itself has given quite a few … interesting/long winded answers that don’t quite answer the question per se – but a good exercise for some to work on honing in on key points in their arguements. Unfortunately, the forums aren’t open to the public, but would be good for a smile if they were.

On to today’s topic: Question 1

1.In the midst of a service-oriented economic period, minds produce commodities that are data, information, binary products of all kinds. Can this still be called labor?

If the efforts, whether physical or intellectual, of one man/woman makes a profit for another, then essentially, this is still labor in the Marxist sense. The traditional structure of capitalism and its hierarchies of power are still evident in the ‘wired’ age, regardless of the ‘type’ of work that is being done.

see Barney pg.107/108 :: Ownership of the Means of Power

Thinking Technology While working on research f…

Thinking Technology

While working on research for my poli paper, i came across an article that discusses, among other things, the need for smarter computers to fight the war on terror. A computer that has the ability to reason – instead of simply repeat the data and sequences that has been placed into it’s memory by people. Although some forms of AI appear to have independent thought, it still cannot make rational decisions with consequential actions without some form of human input.

I am reminded of J.F. Lyotard’s work on something of cyborgian theory. The seperation of body and mind – and basically, he states that the one thing seperating man from machine is the inability for computers to truly think for themselves, since the very nature of coding lies in logic.

Crossing this line is potentially very dangerous – man creates machine – machine takes over man – this is a common theme in alot of sci-fi…if only the people pushing for this type of technology would heed a bit of warning from the prophetic nature of sci-fi history.

Slow Connections In this world of hi-tech toys …

Slow Connections

In this world of hi-tech toys and 5 minute meals, i have to say, i have completely lost the patience to sit and wait 20 minutes for a web page to open up only to get a “cannot connect to server” message. I have been working alot from school, and the time it takes for some pages to load is embarrassing for an ‘institution of higher learning’.