Lifestreams and (academic) themes – Week 2

This week the lifestream reflects my conscious attempt to grapple with some of the academic and philosophical themes in the block reading. I’ve been trying on a posthumanist hat. It fits a lot better than it did on Monday.

I’ve used the lifestream this week to draw together definitions and, since then, to test my nascent understanding of these definitions. I found some of the secondary readings particularly impenetrable in places, and I think that is reflected in the speculative tone I’ve been adopting all week. A main theme is binaries: my interpretation of Bayne (2015) concluded with an assessment of her opposition to the abbreviation of complex assemblages. I picked up binaries again in a longer post about some of the secondary readings, a sort of meandering through some of the key ideas I’ve been encountering, and a brief sojourn in what this may mean for educational philosophy and pedagogy.

Another recurring theme in what I’ve written and produced this week has been the postness of posthumanism and its necessary relativity to the dominant ideas that preceded it and caused it. There’s an innate sense of the disruptiveness, the fracturing and splintering of ideas and identities, even the combativeness with which posthumanism takes on its humanistic, anthropocentric predecessors. This sits in contrast with the view expressed in a Desert Island Discs interview with the choreographer,  Wayne McGregor. He argues in favour of a continuum between technology and the body, approbative rather than antagonistic.

So it’s been quite a theoretical week, in many ways, and as we enter Week 3, I’m hoping to switch my attention to concrete examples of the implications of cybercultures for educational practice.


Lifestreams of consciousness – week 1

End of week 1, and the end of a busy old week for me. Work has been less ‘life-stream’, more ‘life-oh-look-the-dam-has-burst’, and it’s left me not only wishing I was at least a little more part-machine but also feeling a little behind in terms of study.

If I had to describe my lifestream activity this week in one word it would be tentative. I don’t really know what I’m doing yet, which is leading to me giving in to the pressure to create content for the sake of it, which is also leading to me having to constantly curate this blog to account for the fact that it’s mainly a random stream of consciousness. Yet too there’s a sense that the lifestream is meant to be a technological extension of my general contemplation on the course themes, and so the randomness of it would seem to fit.

My lifestream this week contains a few tweets about blog aesthetics, reminders of things I mean to read and think about (Donna Haraway), and a lot of Blade Runner. I got the latter off my chest in a blog post earlier today, where I wrote about empathy and what it means to be human, which led me towards the intersection between my consideration of course themes and what’s happening in the rest of the world. “Increasingly the body is seen as the principal site for the exercise of power and surveillance”, writes Miller (p. 209): in a week where the alleged number of bodies attending specific events is dominating the news, and where physical embodiment is seen as being politically relevant, this feels exceptionally well-timed.