Just To Keep You Thinking

“There is no more powerful force to change every institution than the first generation of digital natives. The world, including business, will hinge on a new set of principles” Don Tapscott

“The internet as a noun has become the internet as a verb. It has become a set of conversations. An era in which user-generated content and social networks became the dominant phenomenon” Philip Evans

“The self as we once knew it no longer exists, and I think that an abstract, digital universe has become part of our identity” Abha Dawesar


“Technology is the seventh kingdom of life. And we have a moral obligation to invent technology so that every person on the globe has the potential to realize their true difference” Kevin Kelly

“If you don’t treat humans as special, if you don’t create some special zones for humans – especially when you are designing [or integrating] technology – you’ll end up dehumanizing the world. And what we have done in the last decade is give information [and data] more rights than are given to people” Jaron Lanier

“The greatest task before civilisation at present is to make machines what they ought to be, the slaves, instead of the masters of men” Havelock Elis

1220HSL | Welcome To The Course 1220hsl
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27 Jun Welcome To The Course 1220hsl

Hi Guys,

Just a quick announcement to welcome you to Griffith University (if this is your first semester) and also to the course 1220HSL. My name is Jason Harding. I am the Primary Convenor for this course and will also be your lecturer on both the Gold Coast and Nathan Campuses.

This course is focused on technology. It is focused on technologically driven shifts in industrial, cultural, and social paradigms, and the subsequent impact on humanity and business. Over the first five weeks it will challenge you to take a stand on whether technology is “an inherent component of human evolution” (Kelly, 2005) or simply a slippery slope toward “ubiquitous subservience to giant computers” (Lanier, 2015). I want you to think critically over this period. And get your head around some key concepts and the opinions of some key individuals. I will use philosophy as a “circuit breaker” (Young, 2015) and extreme viewpoints to “jolt you out of preconceived notions” (Gallo, 2014). This is a chance to free your mind.

Once you have developed and refined your own personal standpoint on technology, humanity, and business, you will then get a chance to shift how you are working on this course. You will get a chance to plan and develop a live fully functional website for a business or an idea you may want to set up in the future. And I really do not care what the business or idea is – so long as it is yours – that it inspires you – that you have a passion for it – and in the words of Gallo (2014) that it, “makes your heart sing”. If you can find a way to give this website assignment personal meaning and purpose you have half the battle won – It will not feel like ‘work’ anymore. And we can help you here. In fact in a large part our job here is to simply help you define what inspires and drives you and then simply show you how to turn that into something tangible. This is a chance to be creative.

At the end of this course I want you to look back over everything you have done and tell me what you now know. You will get just over seven minutes to stand up and put your ideas and reflections forward. This is public speaking. One of the most important skills you can possess. This is a chance to tell a powerful story.   

This course is built upon the idea that truth is a paradox – that “the opposite of one great truth may be another great truth” (Palmer paraphrasing Niels Bohr, 2015), that “our thoughts and beliefs ‘pass’ so long as nothing challenges them” (James, 1907), and that you “do not walk into the lecture theatre as an empty vessel” (Palmer, 2015) – you walk in with a vast amount of knowledge and experience  – and as such are more than ready to enter into the eternal discussion on where the truth actually lies. Massive smile as I type that sentence. This entire course is a chance to show us who you are and what you stand for.

There are no textbooks and no exams in this course. It is focused on technology, however, its real value lies in its focus on philosophy and the power of creativity and individualism. Its real value lies in its focus on you, your epic ideas, and what is essentially your story.

Have fun with this one.  Lectures start this week and workshops start in week three.

Talk soon. Jason.

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