This summer two colleagues, Marina McCoy (@MarinaMcCoy) and Adriel Trott (@AdrielTrott), asked me if I had a short video about my use of technology as a professor of philosophy. At the time, I didn’t. But their requests encouraged me to think about how I might frame the issue of technology and the practice of philosophy.
In this five minute video, I begin by recalling the myth of Prometheus and Epimetheus (as told by Socrates in Plato’s Protagoras, 320d-322d) to illustrate how technology has long been thought to be intimately bound up with what it means to be human. Freud gets at something of this when he calls humans “prosthetic gods” and insists that we become magnificent through our auxiliary organs–the technologies we create to overcome our limitations. 1
From there I connect the revolution in literacy through which we are currently living to the radical transformation of literacy through which the ancient Greeks lived as they made a transition from an oral culture to a written one. Finally, appealing to my picture of the day project, I suggest how, by using technology to put certain values of mindfulness into practice, we can explore what technology is doing to us and what is possible to do with it.
Thanks to Casey Fenton, a.k.a., @cfenton83, for putting this together with me.