In the last thirty years a view of embodied consciousness has emerged that challenges us to rethink completely the traditional views of personhood. Beginning, perhaps, with Benjamin Libet’s experiments and the Color Phi study, and continuing in the philosophical work of Daniel Dennett and others, as well as research into memetics, this view argues in effect that we have no central consciousness, no “I” that controls our thinking and feeling, but instead we consist of stories all the way down.
Through their very design digital tools often present us with a series of problems. Developers often create tools that serve part of a process rather than the whole, leaving users to work out which tools work best together. This kind of development privileges the solution of a technical issue over the satisfaction of a human need. We intend to begin addressing this through two practical projects.
This theme explores the nature of digital social media and asks how we can make social media that act as a convivial tool to enhance communication between autonomous persons. We aim to develop a practical tool – a prototype site – that offers an alternative to the broadcasting model of consumerism and data surrender that has come to characterise most “social networking”.
This theme will investigate the possibilities inherent in designing a computer infrastructure capable of lasting fifty years. It will generalise from the lessons learnt in the development of the Fairphone, with its modular construction and its commitment to making the hardware (and eventually the software) amenable to repair by its user. It will look at what it might mean to reconceive home computers in the spirit of the VW Beetle.