Should Oscar Pistorius’s Prosthetic Legs Disqualify Him from the Olympics?

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Should Oscar Pistorius’s Prosthetic Legs Disqualify Him from the Olympics?

Scientists debate whether prosthetic legs give Pistorius an unfair advantage in the 400-meter race
By Rose Eveleth on July 24, 2012

Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Erik van Leeuwen
Tags: #mscedc
January 24, 2017 at 12:46PM
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I came across this article this week and it started me thinking about when technology use crosses the line to becoming an enhancement. As a forty something, I remember not being allowed a calculator in a maths test because calculators were seen as an “enhancement” and not fair on those using their own ability. These days, however, the school provides calculators for use in exams. So are they now seen as tools and no longer an enhancement or something which belittles ability? Or are we now used to these tools and what they allow us to do that we now expect more and therefore the tools have become essential?

As someone with a learning disability, I have heard a lot about “equalising” opportunities, in other words using tools or behaviours to give someone with a disability an equal chance to those without. For me this means I wear coloured glasses or use coloured filters to help me read but could this also be viewed as benefiting from technology and not getting by on my own skills or abilities? With me, it’s a bit more subtle than a paralympic runner wearing blades. Clearly, they would not be able to compete and in some cases even run without the aid of technology so I’m hesitant to accept this technology labeled as an enhancement but if we take this same concept into the classroom, one student with access to an iPad during class and another without. The student with the iPad would clearly have an advantage if they could search the internet, electronic libraries etc to access information where the other student didn’t have access to anything other than their own memory and notes.





definition of homo faber given by wikipedia





Is the only difference that humans can control their environment, apes can’t?

This, in turn, led me to think about the new movie versions of “planet of the apes” and I do genuinely wonder, if apes could communicate across their species and mobilise, would they compete against the human race if the situation arose? Give an ape a gun and let them see a human use it, I bet they’d use it to become dominant in their tribe/group. So how different from humans are they really and what is special about humans, or were we just lucky that we progressed onto technology first?



TWEET! – Film Festival

During the film festival we all commented on how there is always a corporation behind any “future tech” and I wondered, do we consider Mark Zuckerberg and facebook as matching this corporation image of do we not see him as sinister enough?

TWEET! – is a digital culture changing us for the better

I have to ask, is this a good thing? Is a digital culture changing our behaviour for the better or worse?

This urge to photograph and film so many things which we would never have before, all for the sake of sharing. Is it a good thing or are we too busy recording things to “live” them and missing the moment?


TWEET! – posting in lifestream

The idea of the lifestream blog is troubling me a little. It feels like we are posting for the sake of posting rather than because we have something genuine to share. It goes against my digital footprint ethos.

TWEET! – BBC news item on legal status of robots

In the same week that we read about Googles A.I. learning, there are news stories about Google developing a kill switch for rogue A.I.s

This is the first time I have genuinely felt the dystopia of Sci-Fi, genuinely.