Technology and the Self

A reading group for undergraduates at University of Florida and Santa Fe College

Led by Todd Best and Tim Schubert

Tuesdays, 9/19, 10/17, and 11/14, Period 10 (5:10 – 6:00 p.m.)

Meets in the Christian Study Center classroom. Enter through Pascal’s Coffeehouse on 112 NW 16th St.

Description:

Is technology neutral, or does it want to take us somewhere? Where might we take technology ourselves? What is technology’s imprint on our humanity? Are we more than our technology? Are there ways it might be getting in the way? Are there ways it could be harnessed to enhance human experience? Take a moment to consider how newer technologies such as a smartphone, a PC or an e-reader have impacted you in recent days, over the last few years, since you’ve been in school. We often see technology as our friend; it has convinced us of its worth so often and for so long that we may not fully grasp all the ways our individual and communal lives have been altered – for better or for worse. This seminar style reading group will explore some of the subtler impacts of our growing dependency on technology. We will consult with a range of writers, thinkers, and artists using various readings along with podcasts, blogs, and video clips to explore the full scope of several forms of technology on culture, and then discuss how we might use these forms more thoughtfully and responsibly to greatest advantage.

Todd Best (Undergraduate Academic Advisor and Honors Instructor at UF) and Tim Schubert (retired plant pathologist, Florida Department of Agriculture) both bring their love of thoughtful reading and reflection to lead this discussion.

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Discussion content and schedule

Please read, listen to, watch the content below prior to the meeting. We have selected an “anchor piece” to be the main point of discussion, supplemented by one or two supporting resources in the form of a podcast, video, or other media piece. Come ready to share your observations, reflections, and question. All meetings will be during Period 10 at 5:10-6:00pm. Undergraduate students only, please.

September 19

  1. essay: Alan Jacobs, Attending to Technology: Theses for Disputation
    webpage           printable pdf
  2. video: TED Talk – Sherry Turkle – “Connected, But Alone” 

October 17

  1. podcast: Invisibilia – “Our Computers, Ourselves”
  2. essay: Andrew Sullivan – “I Used To Be Human”

November 14

  1. video: Andy Crouch – Q Ideas – “Managing Technology”
  2. tba