Pandora’s laptop

Well fraingers, peeps and other course members I have viewed the film clips and have a tenuous hold on the concept of technological determinism. Here are some thoughts about Bendito Machine III.

This delightful little dystopian clip suggests that worship/reliance on technology for technology’s sake will lead to an Apocalyptic ecological, social and cultural ruin. The film’s characters are mesmerized by the inane images on the television screen. Characters have no choice but to obey his/technology’s commands or suffer the consequences. Look what happens when the non conformist ice cream eater gets kicked out-of-the-way, while everyone else is exercising. NO work is done, no buildings built, just the ever-present machine spewing forth propaganda, silly jingles, and products to buy.When one machine out lives it’s usefulness, it’s carted to the edge of the cliff and dumped into the village landfill.At one point, one villager/Moses climbs the mountain to plead for more technology. This bigger and better machine is equipped with weapons. At one point, one of the machines seems to blast sirens as search lights travel over the community, suggesting the village is a prisoner to the technology. The film clip ends as the god/machine falls from heaven crushing them all. The theory of technological determinism is exemplified in Bendito Machine III.The technology in this film clip did drive the development of its social structure and culture. It drove it into the ground. Because of the community’s worship of the machine, nothing was built, there was no growth, no betterment.One small part of the clip that was interesting to me, was when the automobile ran over the villager,suggesting that all technology, not just the media type communication, will bring doom to civilization.

The second clip, Inbox, appears to be a feel good Boy meets Girl love story.

I believe that technology is not the only factor that brings about a happy outcome in this story. I think technology was the tool used to get the young man and women to finally meet. The shy man is reluctant to approach a prospective love interest in the flesh. The young woman looks with disdain and skepticism at the young men in the boutique. She turns to technology but loses faith even in that. When she is on her computer in a chat room , a too personal “hello dear” appears on her screen, so she slams her computer shut in disgust.In this instance, technology was a hindrance. However, the slow communication and somehow magical post-it notes that appear in her red boutique bag ease the woman’s fears and she begins to connect with her new friend. Their means of communication breaks down just before they set a meeting place.Human nature and hope seem to be the drive here and not technology. For the two young people go back to the boutique where they found their magic red bags.The store is closed and both young people are sad and discouraged but make a connection when they see each other carrying a red bag.If it wasn’t for the human need to make personal connections, the couple wouldn’t have tried to find each other.

I believe The film clip, Thursday, emphasizes the theory that technology is neutral.

Technology co exists with other factors that shape the development of society and cultural values. Yes, technology seems to have an adverse effect on nature when the street sweeper sweeps away the bird’s food. But the bird, thinking that a critical wire in a building’s circuitry is a worm or something to build its nest with, completely shuts down the high-rise and workers are bored with nothing to do because technology has failed. The bird uses a cell tower instead of a tree for nest-building, suggesting that even with the ever-present technology, ecological systems will survive. Another interesting part of the clip was when the man and woman meet for a date. They meet in a tiny park in that huge city. Instead of strolling through the park enjoying nature, they choose an elevator ride to gaze at the city light from high above.Technology and it’s uses are seen throughout the film clip. When the bird flies into the glass window,the man is surprised. The bird and man stare at each other acknowledging each others existence. At first the bird falls down as if dead, but then flies up to the high building to its nest. I believe this suggest that technology will not necessarily determine ecological ruin. This film suggests that nature will survive despite technological advancement.

The last film clip, New Media is blatantly dystopian.

The eerie music is reminiscent of a suspense or horror movie. The clip is filled with images of how the world has fallen into disrepair. Cars and buildings are old and vine-covered. Conduits and cables slither over streets and highways. The image of War of the World type machines roaming over empty city streets with towers of black smoke as a backdrop evoke feelings of desolation and ruin. An image of a man connected to one of those electrical conduits is disturbing indeed. This is a dystopian look at a future where The Machine has won the war.
Well fraingers, peeps, and other course members this is my first blog assignment for the eagerly awaited for E-Learning and Digital Cultures.
Sooooooo…..What do you think?


7 thoughts on “Pandora’s laptop

  1. HI Willa, Love your title and the pick, very catchy! I will come back and leave my thoughts once I have written another post on my blog. So far really only explored Inbox. I am glad you explained the red bag in the way you did, the slower communication. Although I was wondering if it was the one on one and a bit more private that they were trying to convey. Angela

  2. Hi Willa,
    In the inbox film, I think the girl is quite uncomfortable with face to face and direct communication, hence the rolling of eyes and shutting down the laptop. Perhaps she doesn’t like direct advances and wants to be wooed. The anonymity of the post it notes is something that appeals to her and makes her want to explore it further.

    Thursday depicts that even with the advancements in technology, nature will still hold power over humans and will find a way to affect us (the bird cutting off the wire). It’s also a beautiful contrast between humans who have a robotic existence and nature (the bird soaring to new heights while humans watch their technical activities from the tower).

    New media was a very grim and somewhat scary film. It’s the ultimate dystopian future.

    The bendito machine shows our obsession with technology and how we trash the old one for the latest model/version. Someone in the forums compared it to the Apple products.


    • The private / one on one bit only occurred to me when I was thinking about the slowing down part you mention. After our very fast twitter chat the other day, I thought that speed was because of the number of people. When you talked about the bags and slow communication it made sense that more intimate conversations can be less frenetic than the group buzz, in person or online. Lots to think about from that one little movie!

  3. The concept of slow and steady as being something from the past, or an aspect of a world with less technology is rather appealing to me. The fast paced atmosphere of the internet means that we can fall prey to to the temptation to react too quickly or impulsively. This impulsive behavior does not engage reflection and can lead to hasty behaviors. It often leads to regret in terms of the idea that when something is “out there” “it’s out there!” A statement that I posted in my classroom for years was, “There needs to be a pause between the stimulus and the the response!” I liked the pauses in the “Inbox” video segment.

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