How Computers transform Education, Work, and International Development in Ways that are Ecologically Unsustainable
The sketch of the water fountain in the Alhambra in southern Spain, the totem pole of a Northwest indigenous culture, and Michelangelo’s painting of Jonah in the Sistine Chapel may all seem incongruous with the main themes of a book critical of the digital revolution. If the cover of the book were larger I would have included the iconic images of other cultures’ moral and conceptual world views. But these three iconic images are enough to make the point of what is being overlooked by the combination of computer scientists, corporations, and the military that are pursuing their goal of creating a global monoculture that relies on super-computers to make data-based decisions about how people should live their lives. The architectural beauty of the Alhambra is representative of one of the high points in the development of Muslim culture, just as the totem pole is representative of indigenous cultures that achieved an understanding of how to live in sustainable relationships with their bioregions. Michelangelo’s painting is a reminder of the Judeo-Christian traditions that are still very much alive. The central place it occupies in the sketch is not meant to suggest that it as more important than the other two iconic images.
These current worldviews, as well as those of cultures in other parts of the world, led to the development of languages that enabled people to understand relationships, make moral decisions, acquire a sense of self-identity, and to engage in activities that are the source...
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