The open education community continues to develop towards becoming a proper movement with all the expectations therein, including the human messiness. Still, the technical understanding of the common person lags behind the exponential development of modern technology, leaving many people at risk of unintentionally making decisions that have unexpected and at times dangerous consequences. Early theories of technology by Heidegger, Mumford, and Simondon give us ways to understand the essence of technology and our relationship to it. This presentation will review these early theories and connect their findings to various types of openness, and explore the notion that the most important ‘Open’ things we do may not be technical at all.
The technology we use today is ever more connected and enabling for human communication. Technology allows us to do better what we already do, and explore new possibilities by leveraging existing technology to create new. Certainly our shared values include respect for privacy and the free exchange of ideas, but do the technologies we use reflect the same values? How are human biases built into technology and infrastructure and how do they further marginalize those already on the edges?
Each of us have our own stories about how we fostered our knowledge of what it means to be ‘Open’ and began to further engage with the movement, a process likely to have been facilitated by advanced communication technology in some way. But as the technology we use connects us further to each other and to other computers, we As we engage in the politics of open scholarship, our use of technology only become greater and more complex. How might ‘Open’ help us navigate a more complex relationship to technology?
Heidegger, M. (1977). The question concerning technology, and other essays.New York: Harper & Row.
Mumford, L. (1934) Technics and civilization.London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd.
Scott, F. (2016) Outlaw territories: Environments of insecurity/architectures of counterinsurgency.Brooklyn: Zone Books.
Simondon, G. (1958) On the mode of existence of technical objects.(C. Malaspina and J. Rogov, Trans.) Paris: Aubier.
Weiner, N. (1989) The use and abuse of human beings.London: Free Association Books.