Unfinished Work: From Cyborg to Cognisphere

[Post from my blog dfl12]

Cyborgs to Cognisphere (Posthuman), this paper very much fits into my ideas around the teacher as translator ‘BableFish’ plugging into the ‘Cognisphere’ the management of information and learning as opposed to the delivery of learning, make the essence of learning transparent through observing activity online ‘informatics’.

“the cognisphere gives a name and shape to the globally interconnected cognitive systems in which humans are increasingly embedded” (Unfinished Work: From Cyborg to Cognisphere).
Hayles reflects on a number issues in this paper that have been bugging me for a while, the contradiction (I think) between ‘means and metaphor’, the use of ‘computational’ as metaphor in relations to eco systems, learning et al, and Means – has value to achieve an end. A practical use of metaphor (semiotics), a contradiction to the logic of sequential processes, where quantification is impossible, a disembodied view of information “a separation between a material body and an immaterial essence” (Hayles). Where does the creativity come from in computational – “what we make and what we think” (Hayles).

“The computational metaphor is potent because networked and programmable devices are so fast, powerful and interconnected; if the technology did not exist, the metaphor would not have the traction it does” (Unfinished Work: From Cyborg to Cognisphere).

The development of language and the sequential ordering of thought (words, sounds), reflecting the evolution of the brain and the production of compound tools, tools that consist of more than one part, the axe to the computer. Is creativity the re-ordering of a sequential ordering of thought, if this is the case then the Cognisphere ‘computational’ and ‘human agency’ may provide infinite answers to infinite problems.

“In highly developed and networked societies such as the US, human awareness comprises the tip of a huge pyramid of data flows, most of which occur between machines. Emphasising the dynamic and interactive nature of these exchanges, Thomas Whalen (2000) has called this global phenomenon the cognisphere” (Unfinished Work: From Cyborg to Cognisphere).

What will the teacher look like in the near future? An application/s that can deliver bespoke knowledge, learning and assessment simply managed by human agency? Will the exam become a relic of of the industrial revolution, in favour of ‘micro’ continual auto assessment… what else?

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2 Responses to “Unfinished Work: From Cyborg to Cognisphere”

  1. Jen Ross March 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    happy to see your digital futures work making a re-appearance here, Phil! welcoming back the babelfish.

    • Phil Devine March 14, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

      Yep! Hayles figured heavily for me in digital futures! Multiple virtual identities, and relationships between types of information and virtual identities. Interesting how I now find Cyborg nostalgic (?)

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