Team 3 Synthesis

The 'Technium' is a very difficult thing to understand and conceptualize. The class did a good job of helping us out, but I wish that people would have referred back to the text a little more with some of the discussion. I tried using the text and video as my sources, but also include what I think Kelly is trying to say. I do not think that I did a very good job with helping the class understand that Kelly wants to help us understand technology's behavior. In order for us to do this we must decide how to respond to technology and then use this response to figure out what technology wants. Some members of the class had their own opinions about 'wanting' my problem with their opinions were that they had nothing to back it up with. I could have maybe been more understand and let it go, but arguing is much more fun. Information is always changing because we as humans are always creating it, deleting it and using it. As a member of the group I feel like I could have brought up my questions more and discussed the classes answers to them. Overall, for how abstract the text was I am very pleased with the discussion. I think the class understood that 'We' as a generation have choices and we can make the changes needed. Kelly really focuses on the human-technology relationship and is arguing for technology to be the seventh kingdom of life. I don't know if I buy it, but none the less it has offered a different view of technology and shows the importance of being informed. We have choices not control and these choices can be based off the character of technology and where it is going

David Kistler

The chapters our group was assigned to discuss were probably some of the hardest chapters so far in the semester simply because the concepts were hard to grasp and conceptualize. Because Kelly essentially makes up the idea of the 'Technium' it is hard to reconcile it as a serious topic. The class did not really grasp the idea of the technium and as a result it seemed like the conversation veered off course a little. Even though the conversation in class did not go exactly with the text, I just liked that there was at least conversation going on. When we first started our discussion, I was very nervous because the first things we brought up as a group did not elicit any response from the class, just dead silence. I knew that the chapters we were assigned were not the most interesting or relevant readings we have had and that made me wary that it would be hard to spark a really productive conversation. It was hard to get everyone to focus on the fact that Kelly really pushes his biology metaphor for technology and the creation of the technium. The basis for all of Kelly's ideas in the first couple chapters relies solely on his definition of technology as an ever evolving part of biology, 'the 7th kingdom' as he calls it. That idea is very abstract and I figured it would be hard to get the class to focus in on any of the possible merits of the ideas Kelly presents. Overall I think we eventually got the class engaged in conversation, even if it wasn't really focused on Kelly's core arguments from the chapters. Going from reading Turkle to reading Kelly is a big change from the pace the class had been going. Turkle's book introduced more relatable ideas about social media and other things so I do think that I will take a few more chapters to really get into Kelly and his albeit different ideology.

Anne Cunha

The class definitely seemed to have a lot of issues with what Kelly had to say about the technium in the first four chapters. We’re not at that point where we can consider technology to be wanting anything. A good portion of the discussion revolved around what it means for technology to ‘want’ anything, and there was a lot of focus on that rather than on the idea that technology is a form of life in that it continuously evolves with us, which I think is the main point Kelly was looking to get across. Personally, I wish I had the chance to ask the class what they think the point of Kelly talking about all of human history was, because there was absolutely a purpose to it, but I think a lot of people didn’t know what to make of 2 or 3 chapters of just history. However, I feel like he’s trying to show us that technology is as natural an instinct to us as getting food or water. This is why I asked the question about language on the wiki; Kelly observes that language is the foundation of almost all of our technologies, and that it is actually a technological innovation itself. What I’d be really curious about moving forward is how the class feels about the naturalness/unnaturalness of technology, if there’s a line between what’s natural technology and what’s unnatural, and who actually gets to decide where that line is. Most of the class agreed that it’s going to be on our conscious decisions to determine how we use and view technology in the future, and which are the “good” and “bad” ways to use technology, so it seems as though they think we have a say in where technology goes.

Sarah Groat

Although this book was harder to discuss, I think a lot of good things were said. However, I think there could have been more things said as well; especially related to the questions we had posted earlier. I was glad we got to talking of the ""Technium" and come to explain it in our own terms - because Kelly's use of the word was a little harder to understand at first. Granted, so far the book is rather difficult to understand. I think that's why we had trouble bringing the discussions back to the book; the book was just beginning and the first couple chapters were difficult to really discuss at length. I was pleased to see that many people had answered my Amish question, but displeased that many of the other questions remained unanswered. I was glad we could figure out things to say that inspired people to converse, even if the first couple chapters were mainly a long introduction. I liked that the class felt they could argue their points, especially when it came to the idea of technology "wanting". I believe we came to the conclusion that humans want for technology, technology doesn't want for itself. I wanted to get more in depth of contradictions that people experience with technology, specifically what the class thought of the contradictions Kelly made. For example, I'm personally interested in how much technology Kelly uses these days, now that he is a published author and fairly well known speaker. How does he feel about the technology it took to write his book, or perhaps the technology his children (grandchildren) use. I was amused and concerned when a classmate said "I, Robot" was a possibility, because up until this class I thought it was just fiction. I'm interested in reading the rest of this book because I want to find out if Kelly has an opinion of this. Perhaps robots thinking for themselves is possible, and then finally we can figure out what technology "wants".

Juliane Preisser