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 Technological Somnambulism

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PostSubject: Technological Somnambulism   Mon 11 Jan 2010, 4:39 pm

Technological Somnambulism

Technological Somnambulism is a concept used when talking about the philosophy of technology. The term was used by Langdon Winner in his essay Technology as forms of life. Winner puts forth the idea that we are simply in a state of sleepwalking in our mediations with technology. This sleepwalking is caused by a number of factors. One of the primary causes is the way we view technology as tools, something that can be put down and picked up again. Because of this view of objects as something we can easily separate ourselves from we fail to look at the long term implications of using that object. A second factor is separation of those who make the technology and those who use the technology. This division causes there to be little thought and research going into the effects of using/developing that technology. The third and most important idea is the way in which technology seems to create new worlds in which we live. These worlds are created by the restructuring of the common and seemingly everyday things around us. In most situations the changes take place with little attention or care from us because we are more focused on the menial aspects of the technology (winner 105-107).


Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, is a sleep disorder belonging to the parasomnia family. Sleepwalkers arise from the slow wave sleep stage in a state of low consciousness and perform activities that are usually performed during the day. These activities can be as benign as sitting up in bed, walking to the bathroom, and cleaning, or as hazardous as cooking, driving, violent gestures, or even homicide. Other activities that may attend sleepwalking include: moaning, talking, gesturing, and grabbing at apparently hallucinated objects.[1] Sleepwalkers often have little or no memory of the incident, as they are not truly conscious. Although their eyes are open, their expression is dim and glazed over.[2] Sleepwalking may last as little as a 30 seconds or as long as 30 minutes.
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PostSubject: Re: Technological Somnambulism   Sat 16 Jan 2010, 5:30 pm

Junk food + physical inactivity + watching TV endlessly will get a person into this vegetative state.

On the other hand, the Internet allows for a much different experience, allowing one to engage all parts of the brain. Choice of content and moderation are important. I suppose it could go into either direction (positive or negative) with the 'net, depending on how it evolves overall, and on which choices an individual makes regarding his own life.
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