If the messages embedded in folklore mean anything, then until very recently humans were terrified of the natural environment. In many cases, the scariest part of folk tales involves foolish individuals–often kids, in order to emphasize the cautionary nature of the tales–who wander into situations where they fall prey to the many terrors that lurk [...]
Racism is a socially-constructed disease of the mind. Racism is an infectious disease that is caused by a specific form of ignorance: a groundless, pre-scientific belief that race is based in fundamental biological differences among humans. Nothing could be further from the truth. When it comes to biology, humans are all like (Gregor Mendel’s) peas [...]
Of interest to Sociologists and students is the possibility of technology to break down class barriers. Here’s an interesting paper from the journal IRRODL that discusses the revolutionary potential of “technology enhanced learning” in developing nations. Food for thought, especially considering the revolutionary potential of Moodles, Moocs, and so on. Check it out.
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine. No, really I do. I know a lot of people might be a little anxious and nervous, but I see mostly good things ahead if, that is, we can put aside our differences and learn to exploit the revolutionary opportunities now emerging together, as a global family, and not separate, as a bunch of warring class, ethnic, and gender factions.
As Darwin pointed out in the The Origin of Species (1859), species often exhibit enormous variation. Darwin was a pigeon breeder and described at length the astounding variation that, with the help of artificial selection, pigeon breeders had succeeded in cultivating in an otherwise humdrum bird species. Similar forces operate on Canis familiaris and, if anything, have [...]
The word “social technology” is a bit of a contradiction. Social technologies connect us like never before, but at the same time the superficiality of our social world, and our isolation, seem greater then ever. We are embarrassed by the rich emptiness of our world. Then again, maybe all you need to do to make rich connections is pick up a copy of BF3 where we can experience rich, genderless, race-less, class-less connections with others. It may nor be idea, but the contradictory and confusing brave new world of social technology is definitely something to think about.
Here is an assignment/essay by a student in my Sociology 460 Technology course. I’m including it here because of the great way this student highlights the ambivalent impact of technology on our lives. As he clearly identifies, it is not all wine and roses. Many people are impacted negatively. In fact, when you consider it carefully, the overall impact may be decidedly negative. As evidenced by the growing gap between rich and poor, and as Warren Buffet has recently admitted, technology has allowed the rich and powerful to win the class war.
Albert Einstein believed that the universe was created by a rational god; a god who would never presume to play dice with his precious creation. Einstein’s belief in a rational, knowable universe was rooted in a “clockwork” scientific philosophy that comprised the very bedrock of Enlightenment science. This perspective was most famously summed up by [...]
The topic of sexual labour is complicated. It intersects economic and political discourse, touches on the exploitation of women and children, and links directly with Marxist and feminist discussion of exploitation and oppression. Yet despite the problems associated, the workers themselves are breaking their status as “object” and speaking out for themselves about their choices, their needs, and their rights. Social and legal concern aside, if we want to talk about the sex trade we should at least be listening to the people involved.
If the messages that are embedded in folklore mean anything, then until very recently humans were terrified of the natural environment (Grimm, et. al., 1915). In many cases, the scariest part of folk tales involves foolish individuals–often kids, in order to emphasize the cautionary nature of the tales–who fall prey to one of the many [...]