01 Jul Welcome To The Course
Just a quick announcement to welcome you to the course. My name is Jason Harding. I am the Primary Convenor for this course and will also be your Lecturer.
This course is focused on technology. And you. In a few different ways.
It is focused on the evolving relationship between technology, business, and most importantly us (humans). We discuss technologically driven shifts in industrial, cultural, and social paradigms, the subsequent impact, and the potential futures. Over the first five weeks this course will challenge you to take a stand on technology. Where you want to take that stand is entirely up to you. But to help I will nudge you in different directions – some extreme – some confronting – some left of centre – some very personal. Just as a brief example I may nudge you in a lecture with angles like, “technology is an inherent component of human evolution” (Kelly, 2005) or simply a slippery slope toward “ubiquitous subservience to giant computers” (Lanier, 2015). And get your opinion on it. I want you to think critically over this period. I want you to 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 to “jolt you out of preconceived notions” (Gallo, 2014). When I do this I am tinkering with your views by way of argument. I want you to take nothing for granted and nothing as fact. These are a series of propositions to be investigated. That is all. This course is a chance to free your mind guys.
Once you have developed and refined your own personal standpoint on technology, you will then get a chance to completely shift how you are thinking and working in 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’ or ‘study’ 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 course is also a chance to be creative.
At the end of it all – 12 weeks down the track – I want you to look back over everything you have done and tell me what you know now. What you have learned. Where you stand. What you built. Who you are. What you want. Why it is you think you are still breathing. I will give you seven minutes to do it. This is public speaking. One of the most important skills you can possess. This course is also a chance to discover and tell a powerful story.
Want to know more? 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. And whilst it may be focused on technology 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, and your story.
Have fun with this one guys. Lectures start soon.
Will be in touch soon. jason.