Tutorial 13th October

I talked with Maiko about my Seattle talk and how the process of writing down my ideas as a 15 minute talk complete with Powerpoint really helped me focus my thoughts and ideas. The talk was at an open academic conference, so it was done as a public talk without the use of jargon and alienating language.

She suggested I think about how I use ‘inclusive’ pronouns – eg We, Us – in my paper as she doesn’t think everyone lives a ‘digital life’ to the extent that I am describing. I do think, however, that it describes a wide-ranging change in culture, that we are coming close to a time when unless you do have a digital presence, you will not be able to take part in society (eg banks and utilities are moving to online- or mobile-only services, airlines have stopped using paper tickets [1]https://www.iata.org/en/pressroom/pr/2008-31-05-01/ ). The mere act of ‘being online’ changes how we think of ourselves as human beings. So though not everyone lives an extreme ‘digital life’, we all live our lives digitally now whether we want to or not.

She pointed out that we have always been ‘different people’ in different situations and made me wonder why I see our current situation as different. I think because we are observing ourselves being these ‘different people’, so that ‘being us’ becomes more and more performative.

She liked that there was a hopefulness to my paper, though she also felt it was a bit dark. I think it is dark! We have been distracted from the real world and I don’t think this is good for our culture. This is why I connected with Severance so profoundly. I see it as a cautionary tale – another one! – about how our pursuit of perfection in an unreal/fantasy space is ultimately doomed to failure and we will find ourselves happily back in the real world soon.


1 https://www.iata.org/en/pressroom/pr/2008-31-05-01/