Category Archives: Block 1 – Cyberculture

TWEET: enhanced humans

via Twitter
January 29, 2017 at 10:44AM

Well this elicited a few responses and some strong feelings from my fellow students that centred on the question of whether the Paralympics should be a separate event.  I do see some merit in the point they’re making, as one could see this as a form of segregation, however, I believe the question I raised is still valid.  In the same way that we specify criteria for examination conditions, such as open book, calculators allowed etc., will we need to specify similar conditions such as enhancements must be declared, switched off, put in airplane mode etc.?

TWEET: trying to figure out IFTTT / Twitter triggers

Apologies for spamming, just trying a different IFTTT trigger

via Twitter

January 28, 2017 at 10:42PM

Edit 06/04/2017 – I won’t clean this post up as it just shows what some of us went through trying to get their lifestream updating automatically.

TWEET: IFTTT frustrations

via Twitter
January 28, 2017 at 10:12PM

Edit – I’ve since trawled back through my automated posts and embedded the tweets – less IFTTT more OCD!

To be fair IFTTT is a clever idea, enabling a myriad of on-line activities to trigger other activities or entire chains of activities.  From an education perspective it could be useful for helping students understand cause and effect, or the basic principles of coding .

I use IFTTT along with Amazon’s Alexa voice recognition to trigger home automation activities, although I’ve discovered that these too can yield undesirable results.  For example, at one point turning on my TV and Amp would turn off the lights!

TWEET: Chimeric bio-tech futures

via Twitter
January 26, 2017 at 09:14PM

Michael Spectre, writing in National Geographic Magazine raises the following question:

“The ability to quickly alter the code of life has given us unprecedented power over the natural world. Should we use it?”

Frightening statistics from the USA show that every ten minutes someone is added to the list of people requiring an organ transplant and every day twenty-two people from that list die without receiving the organ they need.  If you’re on that list, or a family member or friend of someone on that list, your views about altering genetic code and human-pig chimeras might be influenced by the potential to grow the organ you need inside an animal from another species.

Considering that we already farm the same potential donor animals for food the moral and implications might not be so difficult for people to deal with, unless you’re already opposed to the way we treat other species .  Either way the ethical considerations feel like an even bigger issue.   We know that random mutations already occur in all lifeforms and that they are the basis of evolution through natural selection.  But do we truly understand the implications of introducing genetic information into the human gene pool that has resulted from thousands of years of evolution of a different species? The effect could be more immediate than one might imagine – what if doing so were to hasten the development of drug resistant bacteria?

At first sight none of this might seem relevant to digital cultures, so why have I linked this to my Lifestream?  Well initially it was just the serendipity of reading about chimeric bio-futures (a term I have to admit is new to me) on the day the announcement linked above was made.  But, having reflected further, I think a similar moral question can be put to the technologies we apply to education and learning too:

“Just because we can, should we?”