Thursday, March 24, 2005

Living Wills-- Very Powerful Information

I had a friend (don't we all) who needed a will, a living will, and a medical power of attorney as preparation for a difficult divorce in an abusive marriage. No gory details, but let's just say that she needed to protect her assets and herself just in case tempers got out of control. While not the same circumstances as the current news story about Terry Schiavo-- a battle between a husband and parents over the life of a fairly young woman-- this friend's story highlights how important certain documents--information--can be. Both stories also point to that green information--money and its power to shape reality. We'll have to address money and end of life issues another time starting with the basic will. Reminds me that I need to update all these documents.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Searching Self-Part 1

What is the Searching Self
Some years ago I wrote a brief article on the searhing self. I'd been in a course in Cognitive Psychology working from the writings of Ulrich Neisser. What a rich body of literature. More on that later. In any case, I'm surprised that no one has picked up on the idea of how our identities are being shaped by all of the searching activities now part of everyday life. The practices of searching fit nicely into ideas about The Technological Self as articulated by many philosphers. (See Rafael Capurro--Information Technologies and Technologies of the Self; see and Rafael's own site).
Let's begin-- Think about how automobiles and related technologies (the highway system, fast food industry, and shopping malls) as technological artifacts have shaped our society. Now think about how our time and space are shaped by the computers we use. Think of how searching has shifted our engagement with computers, laptops, mobile phones, pdas. etc.
What does all this mean? More to come.....