Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Living In A Shared World' keyword pg.1 of 1
26 JANUARY 2016

Interview: Zygmunt Bauman: 'Social media are a trap'

"Q. You are skeptical of the way people protest through social media, of so-called 'armchair activism,' and say that the internet is dumbing us down with cheap entertainment. So would you say that the social networks are the new opium of the people?

A. The question of identity has changed from being something you are born with to a task: you have to create your own community. But communities aren't created, and you either have one or you don't. What the social networks can create is a substitute. The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it's so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with. Pope Francis, who is a great man, gave his first interview after being elected to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist who is also a self-proclaimed atheist. It was a sign: real dialogue isn't about talking to people who believe the same things as you. Social media don't teach us to dialogue because it is so easy to avoid controversy… But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face. Social media are very useful, they provide pleasure, but they are a trap."

(Ricardo de Querol, El País, 19 January 2016)


abandonment • armchair activism • being-in-the-worldclicktivismcomfort zonecommunityconnection made to measurecontroversydifferent perspectivesdigital lifedigital technology and human relationships • dumbing down • echo chamber • Eugenio Scalfari • feeling in control • identity performanceindividualisation • individualist age • insular communitiesliving in a shared worldloneliness • opium of the people • performativityPope Francis • real dialogue • sensible interaction • social fragmentationsocial interactionsocial mediasocial networks • social skills • sociologistspectatorship • trap • Zygmunt Bauman


Simon Perkins
23 DECEMBER 2013

Engagement with the world

"To be human is to be engaged with other people in the world. Yet, there has been a dominant strain of thought, at least in the West, which directs attention primarily to the isolated individual as naked mind. From classical Greece to modern times, engagement in the daily activities of human existence has been denigrated. Plato (340 BC/1941) banished worldly engagement to a realm of shadows, removed from the bright light of ideas, and Descartes (1633/1999) even divorced our minds from our own bodies. It can be suggested that this is a particularly Western tendency, supportive of the emphasis on the individual agent in Christianity and capitalism. But the view of people as originally unengaged has spread around the globe to the point where it is now necessary everywhere to take steps to reinstate engagement through explicit efforts."

(Gerry Stahl, p.12)

Stahl, G. (2011). "Essays in Computer–Supported Collaborative Learning"., Gerry Stahl.


being-in-the-worldcapitalism • classical Greece • Computer Supported Collaborative Learningengagement • human existence • individual agent • individual experienceindividualisationindividualismisolated individualliving in a shared worldlone geniusminds divorced of bodies • naked mind • objective realityobjectivismobjectivist epistemologyPlatorational self-interest • realm of shadows • Rene Descartessocial construction of knowledgesocial interaction • to be human • Western philosophy • Western tendency • worldly engagement


Simon Perkins
25 JUNE 2011

What Does It Mean To Become A Master?

"In the 1960's and 70's, the advent of computers not only reinforced this notion of man as a rational animal, it also led many people to predict that we would soon have machines that could think and act just like human beings. In 1972, however, Hubert Dreyfus's seminal and controversial book What Computers Can't Do anticipated the failure of what came to be known as 'artificial intelligence'.

In the book, Dreyfus explains that human beings are not at all like computers. We do not apply abstract, context–free rules to compute how to act when we engage in skilled behavior. Instead, Dreyfus argued, the fundamental thing about humans is that we are embodied beings living in a shared world of social practices and equipment. In the end, it is our skillful mastery and our shared practices that not only distinguish us from machines but allow us to assume meaningful identities."

(Tao Ruspoli, 2010)



19722010 • a sense of wonder • a world full of meaning • abstract thoughtAlbert Borgmannartificial intelligence • Being in the World (film) • Charles Taylor • context-free rules • craftsmanshipcreative skills • embodied beings • exemplary figures • existential phenomenologists • existential philosophers • existentialism • flamenco master • godsheroes • Hiroshi Sakaguchi • Hubert Dreyfushuman being • Iain Thomson • jazz master • John Haugeland • Leah Chase • Lindsay Benner • living in a shared worldmachines • man as a rational animal • Manuel Molina • Mark Wrathall • Martin Heidegger • master carpenter • master chef • master juggler • masters • masterymeaning • meaningful identities • modern day masters • musical genius • rational animal • sacred • saints • Sean Kelly • shared practices • sinners • skilful masteryskillskilled behaviourskillful copingsocial practicessports stars • Tao Ruspoli • Taylor Carman • thinking machines • unique situation • What Computers Can't Do


Simon Perkins

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