When we say we’re digital we mean what exactly?

What connections, implications, parallels, assumptions, conclusions, etc can we make between the ways global culture is evolving and the modalities of the computer?



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6 responses to “When we say we’re digital we mean what exactly?

  1. boursier

    Our primary assumption about digital living is that it is pervaded by digital media; what people mean by digital is anyone’s guess. I’m not sure that there is a broad understanding of what it means to be operating on a digital medium, but there is the suggestion present that there is something to do with computers or something to do with modernity, but the mode of digital media is by and large ignored. This may be due, in large part, to the basic understanding of what it means to be educated in Western society. Sounding knowledgable and having a quick answer is more important than actually knowing something, and the talking-head culture seems to speak in circles, picking up whatever freshest soundbite rolls off the tongue quickest. ‘Digital,’ outside of the context of computing is one of these buzz words that originated in late 80’s digital boom-towns whose language was quickly co-opted in the hopes of sounding intelligent and having a quick answer for talking heads to explain how the structure of society was changing. Bear with me while this is tacked onto the question at hand.
    It’s not really that society and ‘global culture’ is growing to resemble our ‘digital’ media, it’s that we are experiencing a period in history that has few real precedents. As gestalt animals, man looks for the pattern which resembles best any future experience, as to make sense out of it.
    “Lay flat,” the blind man says to the painting on the wall, “so I can eat off you, placemat.”
    Just because the structure is one we do not understand does not mean man becomes more digital in its wake. Our emotions are not binary. LOL is not a sign of emotive apocolypse, and man’s means of expression are constantly expanding and changing. This is more a dilation than a winnowing. The portal to experience becomes wider with each step in this direction.
    The computer can express man’s intentions as limited by bandwidth, but there is no reason to see this as a modality. The only limit on infinity is that its means of expression are limited only by its creator. If media appear uncreative or disinteresting its the byproduct of a wide cultural depression that comes from having limitless possibilities. There is a reckoning that happens when you come to terms with the idea that this is it.

  2. aldan

    To be digital…

    We’ve come to a point in our society when very many, if not all of us are directly affected by something… digital (in one sense being artificially calculated, translated, mapped out, etc). The constant progressive link between humans and computers isn’t slowing down, to say the least. It’s almost like a team effort – we humans build better machines, which function and carry out whatever tasks their designed to perform, ultimately making our lives… easier. For all the hard work technology does for us, we give back to it upgrades – research and development, better, faster, stronger…

    For the most part, I think humans strive for efficiency. In our quest, we’ve created this tool that just keeps getting bigger and bigger; its various tasks becoming ever more complex. This tool makes it easy for us to get things done, if not simply doing them for us. This tool is becoming more and more intuitive – constantly learning and growing. We on the other hand, are becoming more and more comfortable.

    Better technology, less stress, more efficiency. I think that’s the digital lifestyle.

  3. jasonP

    I think when we say were digital it simply means we use digital means in place of old methods. Writing a letter is just as effective as an email(depending on your modal). Why pay cash when we can use a credit card just as effective.

    Uh, its just easier to work in a digital mode. Less formal(as seen in my posts), quicker response, less time devoted to one task, multi tasking.

  4. Native1

    More and more people are using the digital tools made possible by the computer to do more and more tasks in their lives. It is easy to note the progression in computer users throughout the decades. In the beginning, only computer engineers, programmers, gamers where the main targets the digital market. With the advancement of digital technology, more and more people have uses for the computer. Now business men use the computer to do paper work. Entertainers use the computer as a tool to network. Everyone uses the computer to advertise and promote themselves or their business. With the growing number of tasks the computer has been able to take on, everyone’s jobs which require or would benefit from digital technology change and become easier. It is a two way process. When people’s jobs become more advanced or when new tasks arise, there are new computer technologies that are created to help complete the task at hand. Not only do these new technologies make jobs easier for people (following the anthropotropic principle), they create new jobs. People find themselves creating digital art, making digital music, using the computer as their only tool to run their business. At this day in age, people and computers work hand-in-hand with each other to complete the complicated task in society.

  5. Maurice

    Why are we restricting ourselves to computers per se. Have not seen what iphones, ipods and digital cameras and camcorders have done. This is the age of citizen journalism. Living digitally has made it possible for people savvy in the digital superhighway, to drive somehow on auto pilot, pausing just once in a while to take a breather like answering natures call. Otherwise the keyboard has replaced the pen, email replaced post office and the goat hearders can order goat grass from wallmart on a cellphone. What a self suffficient way to live!

  6. Rebecca

    It’s still devolving through history.. you can go backward and forward into time, and create history through a representation of it.

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