Team 1 Synthesis

On Monday we focused on the discussion questions and responses and did not explicitly discuss our keywords. We especially spent a lot of time talking about question three, which asked about the harmful effects of technology and their impact on our lives. Though we spent a lot of time discussing this topic, I think we could have better formulated the question so that it allowed for more open answers. It might have been better to ask about the effects of technology on our lives in general, since that would probably have affected the discussion board answers less. However, even though our question was a bit biased, we were still able to discuss the effects of technology on our lives, good and bad. A lot of people said that technology negatively affected relationships and kept them from outside activities, but most of us also agreed that using technology makes us much more efficient and that we were not willing to fully sacrifice that convenience for any benefits we might get in return.

We also briefly talked about question number four, which asked if globalization through technology could foster global peace and understanding. A couple people mentioned that airplanes help to connect the world by making it easier to travel from country to country, and that online gaming also connects people in other countries. Not everyone had such an optimistic ideas about potential for global connection though. One person commented that global connection through technology was possible but that it wouldn’t happen because people are too different, and someone else mentioned that the Internet can help hate groups connect just as much as any other group. Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that technology has the potential to aid in connecting people but that people are the problem with this actually happening.

During the class discussion, we did not manage to get to the first two questions that we posted. The first question asked about the relationship between art and technology, and the second question asked about the value of creativity and its value in relation to natural resources. Though we did not discuss this in class, I wanted to talk about how technology enables new forms of art and how it also might control or limit art. I also wanted to ask if something produced by a machine could be considered art. With regard to the second question, I wanted to talk about creativity as a resource. In the online discussion, some people talked about creativity at the expense of natural resources; however, Hughes talks about how creativity itself is a resource on page 104, and I wanted to talk more about this idea.

Amy Gay

The majority of our discussion was focused on Question 3, which asked about the harmful effects of technology on our lives. I think this was a very good jumping off point and we touched on both the good and bad results of technology as it appeals to our lives in a broad spectrum. There was a lot of discussion concerning computer and cell phone technology, which everyone pretty much agreed might limit our lives in some ways (such as our relationship with nature) but ultimately provides efficiency and support through constant availability and unlimited resources.

We also discussed Question 4, which asked about the possibility of global harmony through advances in technology and information. The idea about how airplanes have done so much to connect our world really struck me because even though it is a relatively new technology, we have grown so incredibly accustomed to it. But before airplanes, it took months to travel around the world, and so that technological advance completely changed the way we as humans viewed the world; it became much more finite. But in the end, the class basically reasoned that technology alone could never bring about world peace because the underlying question will always remain just how humans will use any new technology. For example, nuclear technology has been responsible for both catastrophic bombs and miraculous power generators, but it all depends on the user.

It was unfortunate that we did not really discuss Question 1, which asked about the relationship between art and technology. My question is whether we can still consider something “art” if it is not individual or unique. How individual can something be if it is “created” by a machine as opposed to human hands? Also, what are the definitions of creation which might apply to the artist and to the machine? For example, an artist may have created the machine and designed its purpose but if the machine does the manual production, who has truly created the finished product? The role of the creator, as opposed to the user, loses its primacy in an age where machines do all the manufacturing, because machines are designed to be efficient for the user.

-Ted Brasfield

I think yesterday’s discussion was a great start for the semester and I am really glad that everyone pitched in their opinions and made it run so fluently. As discussion leaders, it was great to be able to pose our ideals and reflections on the readings to the class and get their feedback and opposing reactions.

The most surprising thing for me was the amount of students in the course who choose not to use advanced technology available to them. There was an overwhelming number of students, almost half the class, that “rebel” against developing technology and prefer to remain set in their ways. This was interesting to me because when I think of people opting away from a new technology, I think of the older generations – not my own. This result made me think a lot about my technology use and how my daily routines differ from my peers based solely on my attachment to technology.

I would have really liked to discuss question one in depth. This question, written by Amy, was a great one that really went into debate on whether machine produced objects can be called art or if art is still the creative mind of a human producing something. I think that, if the class had more time, they would have put up a strong debate similar to the questions we did have time to discuss.

— Carey Bald