Symposium 5.1 – Protocols and Social Systems


This week’s symposium focused on the subject topic, ‘Protocols and Social Systems’, with members discussing the academic texts ‘Culture and Technology’ by Andrew Murphie and John Potts as well as ‘How Control Exists after Decentralization’.


Elliot opened the dialog between the symposium members and the classroom by gathering opinions as to what culture, technology and the term theory means. Elliot’s exercise exemplified how open-ended definitions on the mentioned topics can be and how we can go around in circles all day and still be puzzled by our supposed meanings.


Interestingly Elliot told, “The less applicable a theory will be, the more precise it is”.


Elliot proceeded to stimulate the class in proposing the question – is technology dependent? The conversation quickly altered to an in-depth discussion. Peers compared human behavior to how technology behaves – strikingly realizing strong similarities between our conduct. I shared my non-technodeterminist opinion with the class, stating that technology is not independent. My case being that technology is created and modified by human beings and that it wouldn’t exist without us. I gave a familiar example of technology and its dependency on humans by noting ‘Benders’ character in Futurama. Whilst Bender has his own quarters, has established friends and pretty much does whatever he feels like, generally in an obnoxious manner, Bender is ultimately controlled by his mother. This is notable on Mothers Day when Bender’s mother utilizes her remote control that she keeps in the bra and turns all her robot spawn evil.

Bender's momImage sourced from

Some thought-provoking ideas brought about in the dialog involved how humans are also somewhat programmed by institutions, regulations, customs, educational systems etc…

It was also spoken of how we can behave in certain ways due to our upbringing, disciplines and social values.

A class member eventfully speculated “Are we technology?!”.





It’s not all rotten Apples for Generation Z

While there has been a lot of concern aroused about Generations Z’s dependency on digital technology and their lack of quality mediums, it’s not all rotten apples.


Although this is pretty horrifying….


 ‘A magazine is an iPad that does not work’

It may be rare these days to spot a book by a child’s side. At first sight, this seems seriously alarming. However, some odd 20 years ago, new literacy was coined around the emergence of the World Wide Web. Along with it came a new delivery of information and new learning means, of which are now in full force and are prevailing traditional methods.


Children and toddlers of today are riddled with technical gadgets and when children are using these devices, they are learning and at a hyper rate. What is presented on these online devices is often ‘hyperimmediated’ – containing literature, sounds, graphics, symbols and the list goes on. Essentially online devises contain a heap of frenzied media – giving users the opportunity to absorb an assortment of information at once.


And you know what? World wide literacy is at an all time high. When kids are Facebook-ing, instant messaging, sending SMS’ and Googling they are writing and reading, relentlessly.


Although it is expected that the following generation will experience social difficulties due to their lack of first hand communication along with the saturation of technology they’ll encounter throughout their whole lives, these kids will grow-up amidst extreme amounts of information and literature that they are actively engaged with… all the time.


It mightn’t be so bad yet.