Archive by Author

Technology and Me

29 Jun

Looking back, I think that I’ve never been a person with a particular fear of technology. Sure, we had our differences and misunderstandings – there were times when I was not far away from smashing my stupid something against the next best wall, but then again there were times when my technology and I lived in perfect harmony. You see, my feelings for technology fluctuated somewhere between a happy and an angry face – never reaching the level of horror as seen at Eduard Munch’s “The Scream”, though.

And as far as I can remember – I knew that technology was fun. Basically, because I knew that TV was my friend (since it showed ‘Tom and Jerry’ and other neat stuff on Saturday mornings) and because I knew no better purpose for my dad’s PC then to play ‘Lemmings’ on it. With passing years my collection of useful technology grew:  I had several video game consoles, a few digital cameras (I passionately lose whenever I get the chance to), and a little assortment of ‘handheld magic’, called cellphones. There were different shades of emotions I went through while growing up with technology, but even on the day, that I’ve lost every file that was saved on the hard drive of my first PC (because of some viruses that tricked my firewall and my anti-virus software), I have not felt terror.

Feeling respect for technology (for being a worthy opponent) – that was ‘das Höchste der Gefühle’, as Germans say, for me.

Consequently there was not much ‘fear’ to overcome with a little help from Bruce. However by being a good girl (aka doing the boring blog-homework-stuff) I learned something that’s as natural and important as the use of technology for human beings: The use of language. Continue reading

Who rules the WWW?

23 Jun

The World Wide Web has grown dramatically, since it was established by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Today, the ‘uber network’ contains at least 18 billion pages, connects numerous networks around the globe and is populated by an estimated quarter of the earth’s population. In case we have not noticed before, it was last semester that most of us learned (from the BBC documentary Mr. Müller showed us) that the web reshaped, is reshaping and will continue to reshape all kinds of media and by that influences our perceptions, our attitudes and the way we think – that makes overall pretty much every aspect of human life being reshaped!

reshaping

I do not intend to bore you with facts you already know. This blog post serves the purpose of taking a closer look on relevant facts and opinions on governance of our lovely, digital, parallel universe, in order to give a satisfying answer on the lead-question. Continue reading

OMG!!! DINOSAURS WITH LAZERS!!!

11 Jun

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“BB” – Before Bruce…

7 Jun

BB, there was only little I knew about weblogs.

I came across a few & I soon developed a kind of aversion against them. The sound of the word ‘blog’ made me shiver. Not only, because to me it was a portmanteau of the sound-of-vomit and frog – but also, because I knew that ‘blog’ meant: bad poetry, blurry pictures and boring diary-tales. Continue reading

Perception

31 May

If I had to name one thing, that interests me most in people, it certainly would be perception. Despite all of us use somewhat the same tools; sensory cells (designed specifically to detect some aspect of the surrounding environment), a series of neurons (that transmit the perceived information to the brain) and a segment of the brain (for receiving and analyzing that information); in order to observe the environment, the outcome (the picture of the world we create in our heads) usually differs dramatically.

Have you ever heard the expression “We don’t see things as they are – we see them as we are.”? It is a well-known quote by Anaïs Nin that allegorically sums up, what to me is the most interesting part of the whole perception process, the fact that subjective perspective is not only created through perception, but also vice versa influences what we pay attention to and the way we evaluate our surroundings.

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Cyborg Revolution

19 May

It was Johann’s nice comment on my post about robots that inspired me to think a little further – about the literal fusion of man and machine, instead of simple coexistence.

For those of you who do not happen to be familiar with the term “cyborg” from science fiction or something, I’ll give an explanation (If you are an ‘insider’ you’re welcome to move on to the next paragraph!): The term “cyborg” was coined back in the 60ies by M. Clynes and N. Kline in their article “Cyborgs and Space” (which deals with the advantages of altered human beings in extraterrestrial environments). The word itself describes a being that is both biological and artificial. Going by that it is actually enough to have some (medicinal) implants in order to claim the cool title. (Referring to your grandmother as cyborg might provoke some funny associations though, since they are commonly portrayed in Sci-Fi as something like this, this…or that)

A cyborg as pictured in the cartoon "Ghost in the Shell"

Last time I was telling you about robots stepping out of fiction. Guess whose turn it is today? Continue reading

Digital Divide

14 May

Ever heard of “Digital Citizens”? Well, according to our favorite online encyclopedia, most probably YOU are one of them. In fact, so is the majority of the developed countries’ population.

And despite that it sounds kind of offensive to be called like that (since it reminds us of the negative connoted transparent one), there is just as much to this status as having access to and participating through Information Technology. Using a cell phone or having an E-mail would actually be enough to fulfill these criteria. (Not even mentioning the use of social networks, e-commerce or blogs.) And even though I find being connected pretty annoying at times, overall I really do appreciate the luxury of being able access this giant resource of data, knowledge and nonsense called internet. After all today’s economy is commonly described as knowledge-based, this gives those who have access to information an important (potential) advantage. Continue reading