The final project for this Coursera MOOC is to create a digital artifact.
My blog post from Dec. 3, 2013 is my digital artifact. My blog post includes:
Presentation (Google Drive)
- Link to presentation as slideshow
- short introduction video from me http://youtu.be/BWD4OZW1Rvk
- short video clip of a migratory bird http://youtu.be/HzWH_T2KlsQ
- Further discussion of select class themes, select examples from class videos and other examples continue on my blog page below.
Humans, Machines, and Animals
through the lenses of agency and anthropomorphism
I want to share some thoughts on the two videos from the class resources that meant the most to me, "Thursday" and "Robbie".
For "Thursday" I want to explore the idea of the bird as a metaphor for agency and consider feelings of happiness and unhappiness.
In my discussion of "Robbie" , I explore Robbie's feelings including happiness and unhappiness in the context of being part of something bigger than oneself.
I started this blog to explore in greater detail some of the class material for E-Learning and Digital Cultures #edcmooc a Coursera MOOC I am taking. I truly enjoyed the class and appreciate the chance to continue with my education. All the learning tools and resources are amazing, but I do love the use of the short videos. The videos are selected carefully and are extremely relevant. I love how the videos are thought-provoking and how reactive and personalized my response is to what I observe. In one of the class blogs , "Thursday" was that person's least favorite. "Thursday" was my favorite and most meaningful.
I was struck by the connection between agency and happiness. The bird can seemingly do what it wants and is happy (except for the constraints of the street sweeper and limitations of the window of course). The woman is a freer spirit and is happy because she has agency and is adaptable to a situation. The man displays some impatience and is not adaptable because he has less agency. He seems to need routine and structure that is confining to the freedom of spirit. He is greatly annoyed at the limits of technology, but the salvation of his happiness is in the human condition and connection with the woman. I think this underscores the limits of technology and is a great place to start examining being human. There are limits of technology as well as the limits of nature. "Thursday" also cleverly demonstrates the mimicry between nature and technology. The ability to adapt allows limitations of both to be stretched towards utopia.
After watching the Corning and Intel videos in the second week resources, my mind came back to the "Thursday" short video again. I am just starting on this idea, and it might be stretching a little... but looking at the continuum that blurs the line between nature and technology/machines: 1) nature compared to technology, 2) nature through or with technology, on to 3) nature surpassed or overcome by technology and then 4) nature endures.
Examples to further explain or illustrate. In "Thursday" it is this great engineering feat to travel up and float in space meanwhile the bird is seen effortlessly in the sky as a result of nature. For nature through technology, in the Corning video the emphasis on learning about nature and the natural physical world with technology, especially augmented reality, sets up on interesting juxtaposition. In the Intel video and the bridge building I see the bridge as a symbol and possibly a metaphor for overcoming nature and about technology creating the physical (3-d printer).
I see this continuum again in "Robbie" where first Robbie is just a robot, then he is part of the team, then there is just Robbie, and in the end nature endures. Robbie demonstrates all the feelings and behaviors (including mistakes) that we consider human. Towards the end, Robbie tells us it is ok, because he is part of something bigger than himself.
We are all part of something bigger at any given level within a complex and dynamic interconnected system. What do you want to contribute to the system?
Other Interesting Notes
- New York Times article
Racing Pigeons and Smuggling Cigars
- Tommy the Chimp a person?
“This petition asks this court to issue a writ recognizing that Tommy is not a legal thing to be possessed by respondents, but rather is a cognitively complex autonomous legal person with the fundamental legal right not to be imprisoned,” the court filing says.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog post.