Floridi: Information revolution – impact on our behavior

The idea that there is a projection that is made possible by ICTs, information and communication technologies, and then that fires back to tell us who we are and who we can be, and therefore our role in our society or in the Universe in general, is important and insightful. It reminds us of a phenomenon which is widespread among children: When they look at things and they try to see how the world perceives themselves, by for example thinking that they are the chair that is looking at themselves. This is a completely normal phenomenon, indeed it is quite healthy, this capacity of the young human being to put him or herself in different shoes and look at him or herself from a different perspective.
But is also immensely delicate. It is happening at that stage when we are very malleable, flexible, and depending on the sort of feedback that we receive from this external perspective, we may change the way in which we adapt and transform ourselves. Now we have to remember that we die, unfortunately, and new generations are born. They are born as completely malleable individuals, that is one of the fundamental characteristics of Homo Sapiens: they adapt to what they find around themselves.
Now, if the technology allows much more easily and much more regularly and also at later stages in life, this sort of external perspective which feeds back into the individual, it can be enormously healthy. Or it can mean that the individual becomes the subject of external pressures from him or herself, the social group, the society in which he lives at large. How do we cope with this construction of the self by interacting through technologies in a sort of mediated way with the world and others? Since we are so flexible that we can easily be shaped by those interactions, that is a major issue that we can find in educational context as highly problematic. As I said, there is good news and bad news. It is just that it’s an open question that we haven’t yet addressed, because it’s something happening under our eyes as we speak.

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09.01.2014 · 20:21

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