2015: The World Unbound
Questions to Consider
- How is a technology different from a tool, if at all?
- Are all technologies liberating technologies?
- Are there examples of technologies that do more to oppress than to liberate us?
- Do technologies come attached to ideologies?
- Do users need to understand the technologies they use?
- What are the implications of the Internet for “liberation movements”?
- Are governments able to suppress liberating technologies?
- Do people ever willingly buy technologies that reduce their own freedom? Have you?
- Do women and girls face extra barriers in their access to technology?
- Would cheap renewable energy be the ultimate liberating technology?
- Have Wikipedia and other online sources freed us from the elite management of knowledge?
Denying the Limits of Nature
- Freedom from Death & Disease: Vaccination, Antibiotics, and Sanitation
- So What if You Were Born That Way?: Transforming the Mind and Body
- The Walking Alive: Prosthetics & New Techniques for Defeating Paralysis
- Seeing What Goes Bump: The Power of the Electric Light
- To Baby or Not to Baby: The Impact of Reproductive Technology
- Learning from Dracula: Immortality and the Science (?) of Transhumanism
- The Lazarus Effect: Pushing the Frontiers of Resuscitation
Defying the Limits of Society
- Read All About It: The Early Legacy of the Printing Press
- Machine Wash Only: Household Technologies and Women’s Liberation
- You Can Get There From Here: The Impact of the Train and Automobile
- The Tweet Heard Around the World: Social Media and Social Upheaval
- Learning.com: The Internet and the Open Education Movement
- The Pocket Veto: Mobile Technology and Democratic Development
Additional Questions & Cases to Discuss (Examples)
- Should governments allow people to vote online? And would online voting be good or bad for democracy?
- Are technological advances the key to making microfinance sustainable?
- Can mobile platforms effectively help free people from basic human needs? Or are they overrated?
- Can technologies liberate us from exposure to disease? Or is something lost when humans are treated by non-humans?
- Is it fair to say that the electric light delivered "liberation from one of the primordial limits imposed by nature on the human will"—nighttime?
- Are transhumanists helping "the human race transcend its biological limits" or are they just transcending the limits of plausible science?
- Does “sousveillance” limit the power of the “surveillance” state?
- Should access to the Internet be equally available to all people?
- Can technology free us from stage fright? Or is this approach just avoiding the problem?
- Does social media really make the power of the people greater than the people in power?
- Are “citizen-driver” technologies freeing us from limits on our access to transportation? Will driverless cars?
- Do people have a right to the data generated by their own senses?
- Should we try to raise the dead?