Day three of the E-Learning and Digital Culture course and I wonder where this is leading. I don’t understand the point of considering whether technology is utopian or Dystopian. I am doing the philosophy course to ask difficult questions and this one to learn how to use digital technology in an E-Learning environment.
Anyway. I watched a film called Thursday.
Thursday depicts a tension between a natural world and a technological world, with humans caught between the two.
My opinion on the film.
For me the humans were not caught between the natural and the technological world. Both nature and technology co-exist in this film. Nature has a much smaller surface area than everything else. The humans seem to pretty much ignore nature as they are absorbed with the technology. Only when the fledgling hit his window did the man even notice the birds.
I like the theme of the birds through out. Even the computers and other devices echoed the sound of the birds. The mother bird almost shouted at the female figure to notice her song but was ignored in favour of the mobile phone or device. That device tweeted like a bird. Also when the female sent a message by email the animation was a bird.
Another part I liked was when the man couldn’t get through the barrier for the transport. A controller breathed on his hand and rubbed it against her as we would now with a faulty credit card.
It looks as though the pair went for some sort of date in space on Thursday after work. I didn’t understand the significance of them moving around. Maybe a futuristic planetarium with real stars.
What message is the film presenting about technology?
The message is not totally clear for me. On the one hand technology has totally absorbed human concentration to the cost of nature and the surrounding environment. Unless nature splats itself against the window it is ignored. Although the bird has the ability to actively disrupt technology humans only affect the birds passively – with barriers.
If there is a higher message in this film then I missed it.
What losses and gains are described?
Nature had lost a signification amount of space in both physical area and human concern. The nature of relationships seemed to have lost intimacy and communication. Work had also lost human contact, the film showed only contact with machines. When the power cut the people didn’t communicate put sat and waited patiently or impatiently.
There were not many gains portrayed in the film. The only one was the space trip to watch the stars. Communication and technology appeared no further progressed than it is today. The cubicles that people worked in are the same as can be seen in large corporations. Mobile and SMS technology and emails. The power system was wired which is much as it is today and required human intervention when there was a fault.
Who or what has ‘agency’ in this film?
The humans in the film didn’t appear to make many choices about their day to day activities. Both characters worked on a computer. The man worked at home and the woman in the office. It is not clear if this was through choice. We don;t have enough information to determine the nature of the relationship between the man and the woman. She was communicating on her mobile throughout. Was she seeking a mate all that time, communicating with many potentials? We only saw that is was the other person when he accepted her message.
The birds on the other hand appear totally free to act in whichever environment they chose. The use the small green space but also go into the space reserved for technology at will. The only restriction for the fledglings was their lack of ability to fly at the beginning.