How Being Wired to the 'Net Poses an Existential Threat
Philosophy professor Santiago Zabala argues that using online identities to mediate our communication is a threat to our autonomy, but what is the best way to get our liberty back?
What's the Latest Development?
Communication is increasingly mediated through the World Wide Web. The amount of Twitter of activity, for example, surrounding the 2012 London Olympics on its second day had overtaken the amount of Tweets posted during the entirety of the Beijing games, which occurred just four years ago. And it goes without saying that communication is no longer just picking up a telephone receiver. Online identities communicate with other online identities, which simulate the real people behind them. In exchange for the liberties that ubiquitous online communication give us, we must accept the constraints imposed on our autonomy by technological barriers.
What's the Big Idea?
Santiago Zabala, ICREA Research professor of philosophy at the Pompeu Fabra University, identifies two kinds of Internet users: the connected and the wired. The wired are those people who communicate via online identities (LinkedIn, etc.), which necessarily restrict the scope of human personalities. Online communication is therefore, says Zabala, a threat to our autonomy. "The better our ability to interpret autonomously, the better our chances to live a distinct life, but who is capable of overcoming the web’s existential consequences? The online moderate or the wired enthusiast?"
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and things that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way.".
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.
I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.