On the Internet (Thinking in Action)

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On the Internet (Thinking in Action)

Unread postby musicmonkey » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:22 pm

On the Internet (Thinking in Action)

Amazon wrote:On the Internet is a sharp and stimulating discussion of the promises of the internet. Going beyond the hype of the cybercrowd, Dreyfus, a celebrated writer on philosophy and technology, asks whether the internet can really bring humanity to a new level of community and solve the problems of mass education. Drawing on a diverse array of thinkers from Plato to Kierkegaard, On the Internet is one of the first books to bring philosophical insight to the debate on how far the internet can and cannot take us. In discussing recent studies on the isolation experienced by many internet users, Dreyfus shows how the internet's privatization of experience ignores essential human capacities such as trust, moods, risk, shared local concerns and commitment.

kpg and i chatted about it:

kpg and musicmonkey wrote:musicmonkey: i agree with the issues brought up in the book description above, including isolation, but i also think that the internet can do two good things: (a) supplement the physical world i.e. people you are friends with who lead busy lives can be part of your life even when you're both not available (b) help bring rare groups of likeminded people together, even if they never meet in person, and this can be an encouragement and teaching tool

kpg: I don't deny those things. The fact is, the whole world knows how many great benefits the internet brings, otherwise we wouldn't use it. The benefits are real, and I don't deny them. But what the world doesn't do is evaluate those benefits. they are good, but HOW good are they? what are their limits? and what are the corresponding problems that they introduce?

musicmonkey: sure there's limits, especially with strangers
musicmonkey: or people who live far away
musicmonkey: and ultimately we have to live our lives in human form
musicmonkey: but i don't think mentoring is limited to face to face only
musicmonkey: and i believe we can all mentor one another

kpg: it's not just that. it's what marshal mcluhan said: the medium is the message. how does the medium of the internet fundamentally change the nature of the relationship?

kpg: anyway, I plan on writing my thesis on the area of technology. actually, on its use in the church.
I'll keep you posted.

musicmonkey: well the nature of the relationship could be (a) purely online and never in person and thus non-physical; but it can also (b) supplement things, i.e. facebook lets you stay a little bit more connected to people that you know already that you probably wouldn't make an effort to phone as often

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