Final assignment: Transhumant technologies and Disability
I chose to create my artifact on the theme of transhumanism, which is part of week 4 –Redefining the human.
Bostrom (2002) contends that “Transhumanism does not entail technological optimism. While future technological capabilities carry immense potential for beneficial deployments, they also could be misused to cause enormous harm, rangng all the way to the extreme possibility of intelligent life becoming extinct.” Despite his opinion, I chose to look at the positive aspects of transhuman technologies that have the potential to help disabled people and augment human capabilities (e.g. lifespan, intellectual capacity, bodily functionality). However, I agree with Bostrom’s worries that transhumanism may widen social inequalities, may be a slippery slope with negative consequences for meaningful human relationships and ecological diversity. The material concern is a valid concern, but material inequalities are present anyway and will ever exist. I do not envision a more just world; I see a transformed world populated by cyborgs and transhumans where responsible use of science and technology creates choices and alternatives. Hailes (2011) states that there are many versions of transhumanism. According to Bostrom (2005) some conditions need to exist in order for transhumanist project to take place. These include:
- The technological means necessary for venturing into the posthuman space should be made available to those who wish to use them, and that society should be organized in such a manner that such explorations can be undertaken without causing unacceptable damage to the social fabric and without imposing unacceptable existential risks.
- Global security is the most fundamental and nonnegotiable requirement of the transhumanist project.
- Technological progress needs to continue.
- Wide access – everybody should have access to become posthuman.
Following the assessment criteria, I used thinkling.com, a picture of a transhuman and created links to documents, YouTube videos, my glogster and my blog.
Anonymous (n.d.) image-machine-interface-transhumanism.jpg. Retrieved February 19, 2013 from Mind Machine Interface, Mondolithic Studios (2010).
Bostrom, N. (2002). Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards. Journal of Evolution and Technology, 9.
Bostrom, N. (2003). Human Genetic Enhancements: A Transhumanist Perspective. Journal of Value Inquiry, Forthcoming.
Bostrom, N. (2005). Transhumanist Values. Retrieved February 22, 2013 from http://www.nickbostrom.com/ethics/values.html
Bostrom, N., et al. (1999). The Transhumanist FAQ. http://www.transhumanism.org/resources/FAQv21.pdf
Hayles, N K (2011) Wrestling with transhumanism.
These are the elements peer markers will be asked to consider as they engage with your artefact. You should make sure you know how your work will be judged by reading these criteria carefully before you begin.
1. The artefact addresses one or more themes for the course –transhumanism (in the context of disability) and digital education
2. The artefact suggests that the author understands at least one key concept from the course –the importance of digital literacy in educational settings
3. The artefact has something to say about digital education – YouTube Disrupting Class: Michael B. Horn at TEDxManhattanBeach. Being an educator in comparative and international education, I added to my artifact the article “System upgrade: realising the vision for UK education” (2012) EPSRC Technology Enhanced Learning Research Programme. http://tel.ioe.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/TELtaster.pdf
4. The choice of media is appropriate for the message –thinglink, glogster, YouTube, Internet sites on transhumanism, education, and my blog
5. The artefact stimulates a reaction in you, as its audience, e.g. emotion, thinking, action Please leave comments.