Upgrade culture




What is the true definition of humanness? With the fast growth of technology it is now developing a new definition to the human identity today.
But the real question which challenges the 21st century is the Christian belief that we are supposedly made in the image of God which should not be altered or tested. ( Lewis. C.S. 2006)

Novelist C.S. Lewis famously wrote that although technology seems to have increased the human races’s capability to subdue nature; ‘what we call man’s power over nature turns out to be a power exercised by as men over other men with nature as its instruments’ (Lewis C.S. 2006).

Moreover theorist Petra Rinkel (Rinkel. P 2009) also believes that in the future neyrotechnogies will alter humaness. This interposition may be seen as self actualisation or more so a personal identity. She continues on by explaining that this depends on the simple concept of the relationship between an individual and society; i.e. an individualist vs society aswell as human and technology i.e. alienation vs enhancement.

This moves me on to the point of cognitive enhancement. Whilst it can be said that certain forms of drugs empowers or uplifts a persons own specifics cognitive abilities, intensifying by brain implants interfaces, signifying to construct straight links to the individual’s mental ability.

The way in which cognitive enhancements manipulate the functioning of a human brain and mind means that the individual’s identity somewhat changes. A clear example of this is a mental illness called ADHD characterised be impulsiveness and various amounts of hypertactivity. All these symptoms are part of our humaness as we go through these behavioural patterns from time to time, however there are some people who impulsively suffer from this where by they have no control over their behaviour and taking medication is a form of controlling them mentally and physically. Hence why some might see this as a form of taking away humanness away from an individual! But surely if it helps them to a certain degree it can be justified? Many believe that tampering with what we call human nature can be, meaning if it helps lives then it can be part of what we define as humanness.

Rinkel. P (2009) Governing Future Technologies: Nanotechnology and the Rise of an Assessment Regime: Volume 27 of Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook. Publisher Springer Science & Business Media

Lewis. CS (2006) Mere Christianity . Publisher Harper Collins

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (2014) Wikipedia [online] 30 July. Available from: http://simple.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention-deficit_hyperactivity_disorder [Accessed 19 October 2014]

Herman. H ( 1987) Moral aspects of medial technology

. Available from:http://standardbearer.rfpa.org/articles/moral-aspects-medical-technology-18 [Accessed 19 October 2014]

Ethonography in music

Music over the years has had a changing effect with many, including myself culturally identifying ourselves by the music we listen to. Certain cultural experiences draws me to music as a way of escapism as it calms me and reflects the mood that I’m in at that moment in time. Values and beliefs are also shared in music aswell as memories. Furthermore there is a belief that music effects our ‘opportunistic’ (Vinnini. P 2008) because media being as powerful as it provides an easy solution to social challenges; for example in my experience I’ve seen youngsters from unprivileged backgrounds who don’t see a way of surpassing themselves from their situation, they hence why they ‘volunteer’ (Vinnini. P 2008) theirselves to be influenced by music- most commonly rap music in which rap stars express their anger by cursing and rapping about people, particularly women in a derogatory manner and somehow to them it is seen as socially acceptable because of their unfortunate background.

Moreover theorist Tia DeNora suggests the argument that we use music as technology unknowingly ( DeNora. T 2000). Furthermore she explains that music is a technology of self, that are a set of tools and techniques, some examples being when working out I listen to music in order to motivate myself to push myself harder, when doing uni work music it helps me concentrate and alleviates any stress I’ve had from my day. Music fundamentally helps mould my emotional state, when Perhaps years ago I would of seen it as art; but today it used for specific purposes.

Additionally as many know london is one of the most over populated cities in the world where it’s never quiet! The sound of vehicles, builders demolishing buildings and people chit chatting around me. Thus why I never leave my home without my iPod and earphones. The beats from the rhythm of the music replaces the noisy sounds of the builders building, I feel calm even though their so much going around me and memories of what happened to me whilst in London resonate through my mind. However when I’m in bristol it’s a very different experience as the city is much quieter and there’s less people, so I’m not listening to music to block out everything and everyone around me but I’m listening to it merely for my enjoyment whilst admiring the peaceful city. I feel at peace and I find myself being happier here as everyone is friendly where I go and the streets are less crowded or busy.

Vinnini. P (2008) Phillip Vannini on the ethnography of music. Available from:http://fivebooks.com/interviews/phillip-vannini-on-ethnography-music [Accessed 5 Octobet 2014]

DeNora. T (2000) Music in Everyday Life. Cambridge: Cambridge-Obeikan