MC Hawes - Manifesto

1. We should stay rooted in reality.

This statement means that as a society we should all value our reality and not let technology overwhelm our every day life. Real life is more than just an experience. I think this normative statement is really important today when technology’s place in our life is steadily increasing. With video games and virtual worlds online, it is easy to become distanced from reality. As a society we should not allow technology to take over our lives. I feel strongly in maintaining a close relationship with the real world.

I think that it would be very beneficial for everyone to adopt this statement in his or her lives. People will be more connected not only to their actual life but also to the people in it, which is such an important aspect of life.

My source for this statement is the article “I don’t want to be a superhero.” In this article, Chaplin talks about video games that teach people to do chores. What kind of world would it be if people started neglecting real life responsibilities and start doing them online or in video games? Another source is the article “Can Young Students Learn from online classes?” This article talks about teachers being replaced by online classes. I think that interactive education is still more effective for some people.

Readers should take this norm seriously for the manifesto because it will keep people from being too involved in a virtual reality and more connected to actual life.

Source: “Can Students Learn from online classes?” Room for Debate. The New York Times, 05 April 2011. Web.

Chaplin, Heather. “I Don’t Want to be a Superhero: Ditching reality for a game isn’t as fun as it sounds.” Slate. Slate, 29 March 2011. Web.

2. We should always value older technologies like books and records.

This statement means that even though older technologies may be out of date, we should always value them and how they came to exist. With new technologies like the Kindle and eReader, books are quickly becoming obsolete. There are so many wonderful things about books that can not be replicated by and eReader: the smell, the feel of the pages, the way the binding bends while you are reading it. Records are the same way. Even with CDs and MP3s, some people still like listening to records because of the action of putting a record on the player and hearing the pops in the tracks.

Society should never forget how groundbreaking these technologies were at the time they were created. The printing press was an amazing new invention at the time and its products (books) still exist today. If people were to accept this statement, books would continue to be a source of enjoyment and bookstores would not be closing as much. We would all learn to appreciate things of the past just as much as the things of the future.

My source for this is Nicholas Carr. His views about books and their evolution really inspired me to adopt this principle. I love books and will never lose my appreciation for them. Carr seems to be on the same page.

Readers should take this norm seriously for the manifesto because it emphasizes the value of older technologies even as new ones arise.

Source: Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2010. Print.

3. We should maintain a balanced relationship between nature and technology.

Something we have talked about extensively this semester is how our relationship with nature has changed because of technology. This statement challenges us to not push nature to the wayside and vice versa. I believe a balanced life is the best choice for people. Living with one extreme or the other disconnects us from society.

While I enjoy technologies like computers and my iPod touch, I still value the beauty in nature and the natural world. I want everyone to be able to appreciate the things that we cannot create, but at the same time also appreciate the things that man has made.

If people accept this statement, they will be able to live a balanced life within society. They will be connected with the technical world around them as well as the natural world. That type of balance seems really harmonious to me.

My source for this norm is Kelly. Kelly views technology as something beautiful, which I think means he no longer recognizes true beauty. I don’t think that any technology can be viewed as beautiful as the natural world. Kelly also seemed to go to both extremes and I just think that a more balanced relationship is the healthiest.

Readers should take this norm seriously for the manifesto because it is really important to keep a balanced life in the natural world and technology. I don’t think that veering towards one extreme or the other makes for a healthy life.

Source: Kelly, Kevin. What Technology Wants. New York: The Penguin Book, 2010. Print.

4. We should remember that we have a choice about technology and how we use it.

No one forces technology upon us. We always have a choice whether we want to adopt something or not. Even though most schools require a laptop or computer, a person could choose to go without one and use public computers. I don’t have to get an iPhone or a blackberry. I can choose to use my old flip phone that lights up when someone calls. Sure, there will be times when a workplace requires a blackberry but for my own personal use I can still use the flip phone. This statement is meant to remind people that technology does not own them—they have the ultimate say.

I chose this statement because I don’t think people should feel pressured by technology. There are so many upgrades and new technologies that emerge on a daily basis. It can be overwhelming to people. But if we all remember that we have a choice then we are still in control.

If people accept this statement, they might be less overwhelmed with all of the technology available to them. We won’t give in as easily to the media’s aggressive marketing for each new upgrade or update made to an existing technology.

My source for this is Kevin Kelly and the section on Amish living. The Amish youth get to decide whether they want to embrace the Amish lifestyle or not. I believe that type of choice is extremely powerful. Not only that but the whole community decides what technologies they should adopt and which ones they disregard. I don’t think that as a society we will ever reach that point, but we can certainly make decisions on a personal level.

Readers should take this norm seriously for the manifesto because in a world where new technologies are always being created, people can get easily overwhelmed. This norm reminds people to see that they have a choice about what technologies they use and how they use them.

Source: Kelly, Kevin. What Technology Wants. New York: The Penguin Book, 2010. Print.

5. We should use technology to strengthen our relationships, not weaken them.

In the age of Facebook, Twitter, Skype and other instant messaging programs, personal relationships have become a lot more superficial. Having 100 “friends” on Facebook does not actually mean that a person has 100 people they would truly consider friends. Friendly interaction via social media revolves around responding to tweets and commenting on statuses. The old fashioned friendship were you actually see the person often for meals and conversation is not as highly valued today. This statement urges people to reconnect with an old fashioned friendship.

This statement could be really beneficial for society as a whole because it will reinforce the value of connecting with people outside of technology. Instead of a conversation limited to 160 or 142 characters, people can have unrestrained conversations. Face to face contact can be extremely intimate and I think people have lost sight of that. People will also be able to get to know each other better.

My source for this statement is a conversation we had in class branching off from Carr. In class we discussed the concept that we no longer know what friendship really means. This concept resonates with me, only because I am a firm believer in personal relationships outside of social media. I think that all relationships could be stronger if they use technology as a supplement, not the main aspect.
Readers should take this norm seriously for the manifesto because relationships are one of the most important things in life. Using technology to strengthen relationships is something that everyone can adopt in their life.

Source: Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2010. Print.

6. We should be open to new technology and recognize the value of a digital environment.

I think this statement is pretty self-explanatory; as a society we should not always reject new technologies and respect the new digital environment we are in. As Shirkey says, the digital environment is a revolutionary break from older environments. This type of environment is not going away and can change our values and how we think. I think this is important to recognize.

It takes a lot of effort to resist a change. People will not use as much energy if they readily accept that we live in a digital environment now and that brings lots of good things. Accepting this could make people more open to new technology and more informed about new technologies that are created.

My source for this last statement is Shirkey’s novel and his ideas about a digital environment. I think it is really important to accept the fact that our environment has changed and see the positives of this new environment. Like how finding information is easier, how we can communicate with people all over the world a lot easier, or how we are now capable of interacting and coauthoring things without ever meeting each other.

Readers should take this norm seriously for the manifesto because it emphasizes the changing world and encourages everyone to accept our new environment.

Source: Shirky, Clay. Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age. New York: The Penguin Group, 2010. Print.