"Over the past months we've seen other destructive aspects of the 'net. From death threats tweeted to female MPs and journalists, to the tragic suicides of cyber–bullied teens. Growing concern about the web is understandable and reviews into safeguarding must continue.
Yet alongside healthy caution it's crucial that the technology itself does not become the focus of the blame. Technology is a tool and we get to choose how we use it. When we blame the tool we take the moral onus off ourselves, the user.
From the ability to control fire, to the invention of the wheel or the printing press, each has the potential for great good, or great harm. No tool is completely neutral of course – but we shape them far more than they shape us. That perspective is crucial & empowering."
(Vicky Beeching, 24 October 2013, BBC Radio 4: Thought for the Day)
"Fifty years after Richard Hoggart established Cultural Studies with the founding of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Laurie Taylor takes a personal look at what this new discipline has given us –– taking cultural studies out of the academy to ask: has it really narrowed the separation between high and low culture, or just been an excuse for soap fans to write dissertations on Coronation Street?"
(BBC Radio 4)
First broadcast: Monday 07 October 2013
"If it is the case that mobile devices, with their specific social and technological structures and attendant cultural practices, have become an integral part of everyday life, then the educational field has to react. But how and who? Fact is that mobile devices have reached and become fully integrated in everyday life, worldwide and across social milieus. This development is 'ubiquitous' (e.g. Haythornthwaite, 2008, Beale 2007, Nyiri 2002) and is accompanied by an increase in individualisation enabled and necessitated by a variety of mobile devices characterised by media convergence. Education must ask questions about the impact of these irreversible trends on the personal development of young people and about its role in mediating them as well as about their impact on individual agency of young people in the context of emerging socio–cultural structures (see Stald 2007)."
(Ben Bachmair, Norbert Pachler and John Cook, 2009)
"Social networks such as Facebook and on–line gaming are changing people's view of who they are and their place in the world, according to a report for the government's chief scientist. The report, published by Prof Sir John Beddington, says that traditional ideas of identity will be less meaningful. ... It states that the changing nature of identities will have substantial implications for what is meant by communities and by social integration.
The study shows that traditional elements that shape a person's identity, such as their religion, ethnicity, job and age are less important than they once were. Instead, particularly among younger people, their view of themselves is shaped increasingly by on–line interactions of social networks and on online role playing games.
The study found that far from creating superficial or fantasy identities that some critics suggest, in many cases it allowed people to escape the preconceptions of those immediately around them and find their 'true' identity. This is especially true of disabled people who told researchers that online gaming enabled them to socialise on an equal footing with others."
(Pallab Ghosh, 21 January 2013, BBC News)
"THE BIG PICTURE is the theme of the [August 30 to September 3] 2012 Ars Electronica Festival ... Occupying the focal point is the effort to identify all–encompassing images that capture the world that's coming to be, Big Pictures that do justice to the progressive globalization and interrelatedness of our world, ones that capture its contradictions and flaws as well as ways in which people are coming together. By showcasing inspiring best–practice examples from art and science, this year's festival is a call for a new, open–minded way of considering the development of a viable vision of our future – how such a Big Picture ought to be composed and how it might become reality."
(Ars Electronica Festival, 2012)
Fig.1 work of Seiko Mikami "Desire of Codes"