Let’s think about ‘progress’. To give you some context for this discussion, remember the guiding questions for this course:
- What is a human being?
- What is our place in the environment?
- Are we a part of nature, or apart from nature
- What is our appropriate role in relation to the environment?
Many of the articles that you are studying this week directly or indirectly consider all of these questions, but particularly they seem to focus on questions three and four. For example, Jerry Mander writes about how we are alienated from nature – even though we actually are part of it, we have become dislocated from it, and acted as if we are apart from it. Similarly the question of what counts as ‘progress’ touches on these questions. Is our role to improve upon nature, to transcend its limits? That seems to be what Greg Easterbrook thinks when he envisions ‘the new nature’. Or is this sense of transcendence merely a fool’s paradise, leaving us feeling alienated and disconnected with those things that truly nourish and satisfy us, as many of the writers in Module Four seem to imply?
What do you think? For your discussion posting for this week, please reply (in the same message) to both of the questions below. Then in a separate posting, reply to one of your classmates, either in writing or by using the audio function in discussions. Remember, you won’t be able to see what your classmates have written until you have posted yourself. Ten points are available for your posting and response. Please click here (Links to an external site.) for my grading criteria and to find out what I am looking for in your discussion postings.
1.What do you think counts as ‘progress’? How have at least two articles (and/or the Zizek video clip) this week challenged or contributed to this view? Explain why you have the opinions you do.
2. How do you think that the writers we considered this week might critique the whole concept of a fully-online web class? Do you think it is a symptom of our social isolation and dislocation?