thoughts from last night

October 18, 2008 § Leave a comment

I’m getting closer to the purpose of this work, my purpose, separate from the purpose that got this work SSHRC funded three years ago. I realized my project is not about ICT per se, although it figures largely in the scheme of things, specifically culture and technology. Yes, that is important. That is the essence of the contradiction of post-modern life, the havoc wreaked on the environment, society, government, and the economy by our uses of technology (the unintended, unplanned outcomes). The flip side of that contradiction is the fact that we human beings need technology to survive, so there is this continuous tension between the technologies that ensure our survival and the technologies that threaten our survival. Apparently we never know which way our technological innovations are going to go, ahead of implementing them. I think we understand today, as we have never understood previously, how complex our relationship with technology is. Consciousness, languague-use, learning, culture, identity – these facets of our humanity seem inetricably bound to our uses of technology. I think this is leading me into the “‘Tools’ for Thought” paper. Our thinking, the development of our capacity to think, our ability to imagine something other than what we have, or where we are, is also shaped by, and shaping, our technology use.

My project is not about ICT specifically. It is about learning cultures and dislodging colonial mindsets about learning, teaching, and the production of innovative thinking. There is no doubt of a need for innovative thinking. Our best thinking has gotten us into a situation where the most powerful leader on the planet could be an anti-intellectual xenophobe.

I’m thinking my way through here, but this is an important key to my struggle with this research and my own purpose in putting so much of my life work into it. I do think it has to do with dislodging the colonial paradigm. We may talk about post-colonial, post-structural ideas and positions, but if we don’t address the legacy of colonial, structuralist mindsets, we are not going to be able to implement change in any significant way. This is why the research I am looking at, how we actually change our minds as theorized in cognitive science and cognitive psychology, is so important. Well, I am finding it is working for me. I am making new choices on what memory systems I am accessing and that is actually changing my day to day experience of stress. I am changing my actions, I am enacting new agency, through changing my uses of my mind.

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