Are you the process or the product: reflecting on Siva & Gardner

November 7, 2012, 6:37 pm

Last week I heard Siva Vaidhyanathan speak about the googleization of everything. This post isn’t really about that. While I think he’s a great presenter and a fine writer  — we live on different ends of the spectrum: he fears Google, I love Google. When I read his book last Spring I found myself disagreeing with him page after page. I’m more in favor of the In The Plex version of Google. But that’s a topic for another day…


Something Siva said though really stuck with me. This is totally paraphrasing but it goes like this:

 The digital divide was initially about the have and have-nots related to web and technology access. That is shifting— now the divide is about those who understand the data being collected and who know how to manipulate that system vs. those who are unaware of this process and who are simply objects being used.


This sparked a memory from the New Media Seminar that I am participating in this semester. A few weeks ago during Alan Kay Week Gardner Campbell made a comment—again, totally paraphrasing:


Higher Education, moving forward, is going to be a lot like a 3D printer. Some students will use their educational experience as the printing platform where they learn to craft and shape items while education for others will just be an object that is printed and handed to them.


 These concepts have permeated my worldview lately.  Are you the process or the product. Are you the 3D printer or the thing printed with the 3D printer? Are you the designer of your experiences or are your experiences designed and packaged for you? Do you manufacture or are you being manufactured? Product or process— are you aware of it either way.

That’s what’s been on my mind lately.

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