Envisioning nanotechnology: New media and future-oriented stakeholder dialogue
This article focuses on how to deal with the future of possible technologies, in this case, nanotechnology. Even though it applies to this specific field, the questions, concerns, and methodologies addressing the application of preparing for and visualizing the future is relatable to all disciplines. On that note, it can be safe to say that nanotechnology will be a dominant technology of the future because of it’s application, size, and functionality. The entire approach is through the project titled “NanoFutures” where it is a website designed to spark debate, dialogue, and discussion regarding the possible futures of nanotechnology. The article states that collaboration and participation from external sources (such as non professionals) is extremely beneficial in the development of any field. Where people generate their own respective responses which may give some more insight than if simply professionals were working amongst themselves. Also, technologies are not limited in being shaped by functionality, they can be designed with success through social values. To visualize the future, according to the article, a constructive method would be to come up with many plausible scenarios and see what the impact may be to certain audiences. When it comes to technology, it appears that the future of it may rest on “themes of of human identity, enhancement, and biology” (Selin, 175). NanoFutures posted several possible future technologies on their website (such as a scanner implanted in the body to monitor protein levels to then report if any possible diseases will develop), and the public was able to discuss it. The responses from these users were able to generate dialogues regarding the ethics, costs, applications, and much more without leaving it strictly to the professionals.
New Media, Culture and Society
This article deals with the relations between various forms of media and their impact on different cultures. While this article mainly focuses on statistics relating to India’s development with the media world, the concept of media is challenged as a whole. Because of mobility and the internet, information can be access across the entire globe. This results in the convergence of many cultures into one dominant cyber culture. As with any reaction, the consequences can be that of positive or negative, depending how you look at it. While information becomes centralized into the virtual space of the web, societies and cultures are beginning to witness a decentralization of commercialization, technology, and control. The article has a great way to explain this, where current humans, homo-sapiens, will eventually evolve into “robo-sapiens” (Ravi, 485). Where the controversy behind the advancement of technologies and media is, will technology in time turn against us? That being said, who or what has done the damage (if it so happens) to culture? Would it the technology itself, or the humans who developed that technology? The continuous growth of internet participation gives identity a whole new meaning. New media is literally destroying unique identities, where anyone can be anyone posting anything to the world. This article ends on a pessimistic note, suggesting the future of new media might not be as beneficial as we expect.
These articles both deal with the possible future and impact new media may have on the world. One looks at the development of technology as open-source, where the public is in control over it’s application. On the other hand, the other evaluates that media will develop into something humans will not have control over. Which may incidentally be true, if you were to really analyze the nanotechnology futures. Most of the plausible technologies addressed in the article by Selin deal with control over human resources with the help of artificial intelligence. The other article would define this as technology advancement we are no longer able to keep up with. However, both articles address the issue of the person, the individual. Because these media technologies are developed by us, we do have control over their function for the time being. That being said, it is our responsibility to produce technology that will achieve a responsible and constructive future. Giving power to the people, allowing the public to collaborate with visions and possibilities for the future have time and time again proven beneficial towards the advancement of technologies.
Ravi, B. K. “New Media, Culture and Society.” Academic Research International 2.2 (2012): 479-94. ProQuest. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.
Selin, Cynthia, and Rebecca Hudson. “Envisioning Nanotechnology: New Media and Future-oriented Stakeholder Dialogue.” Technology in Society 32.3 (2010): 173-82. ScienceDirect. Web. 19 Oct. 2013.