The Educational Challenge in the Post-human Situation #edcmooc

2 دسامبر

Preface: The following post beside to a number of other media complements are packed together to form a digital artifact as the final assignment for the EDC (E-learning and Digital Cultures) MOOC powered by Coursera platform and presented by a talented team of scholars from the University of Edinburgh. a

Primary interrupt: You may neglect this interrupt and read just the second sequence of the package I have provided here and therefore, all of a sudden, fall into the argument of post-humanism. Or on the contrary, you would go back to the first sequence of the package and begin from a tangible discussion on the quality of humanity in our «brave new world»,i where I have reached to a conclusion about the persistent need for humanistic education. a


Sequence 2 – Plan A

According to Whitehead’s idea and concluding from Alder’s words, the human right to education and the will to change for a human life as good as it can be in all its manifestations, regardless of any philosophical or socio-political approach we choose, make us adopt a practical pedagogical tenet toward «enjoyment» (+). On the other hand, being totally critical of technological determinism, one can not interpret the metaphors of «1984» and «Brave New World» pointing to the modern humanistic situation quite meaningless. Therefore, it won’t be far from understanding to claim for a post-human situation, as Fukuyama suggests pessimistically in his well-known book, «Our Posthuman Future». (+) Now, putting together the proposed ideas here, we reach to the challenge of education in the post-human situation to satisfy the human right to enjoy. a

And what is exactly the post-human situation? I will not go through a theoretical discussion about the existential idea behind post-humanism, but rather I prefer to put forward an objective approach. Thus, without any further argument let us have a look at an illustrative digital artifact, below: a


Multimedia interrupt: May you like hearing my voice talking about an aspect of the post-human situation regarding some personal experiences, at my Raur profile, «@shahab.m» ? However, you can easily drop this interrupt and keep on the semiotics of the above image as follows in the next paragraph. Besides, it would be fun to visit my Instagram profile, «@shahabmobasheri» , and check one of my recent uploads that shows my handscript on a piece of paper with a few notes prior to prepare this artifact. Don’t forget to read the 5th and 6th comments. a


Sequence 2 – Plan B

The background theme of the image is an original photograph of my friend showing her alone watching the movie «Her» on a big screen. She vibered it to me as a reminiscence that we were to watch it together, although we did not ever. She is unrecognizable now as the photo is digitally processed and her face is covered with an avatar sticker of a dreaming «young love in space». ii a

The other major theme of the image is the movie being watched: «Her», a brilliant visionary sci-fi art by Spike Jonze (+). iii It provides a futuristic and pseudo-realistic perspective of the human life style that could be quite explicated as a dystopian occasion of post-humanism, in which unhappy lonely humans become close and intimate friends with their intelligent and adaptive talking personal operating systems. Such human-O.S. encounters grow to mutual virtual relationships, featuring all satisfying expectations everybody seeks for, even with verbal sexual experiences during which the human touch could be felt by the O.S. partner. With no more references to the movie in order not to spoil its story, due to the inevitable consequences of technological autonomy and singularity, the complex plot of the situation leads to an unpredicted abandonment leaving behind overwhelmingly desperate human entities in the final station. a

Putting these themes together, imagine the «young love» wearing her space helmet listening to the human character of the movie, seen in almost real dimensions, who talks about his curiosity for the quality of a fantastic relationship between a human being and another creature from a different world. And concurrently, despite an inner consciousness for a dehumanized quality of relationship, she wishes for the possibility of answering him back, maybe vibering him, by utilizing intangible metaphysical signals that realize a communication channel between them, far beyond the real situation of a human just sitting in front of a screen watching a movie produced in the past. Maybe, there is still hope for salvation from loneliness. a

Finally, I don’t want to put forward any concluding remark, but rather to ask a few questions about the human right to enjoy in the post-human situation. Is not it really challenging to think for education processes in service to the isolated human entity who is dehumanized by being captured by technology and distributed in media? How would a post-human wanderer find hope and enjoyment in the channels between the scattered and simultaneously interlinked units of digital memories? a


should be continued, sometime later … a


i Mentioning the title of Aldous Huxley’s fantastic novel as an allusion for the status qua of humanity. a

ii «Viber» is a mobile application for instant messaging and voice calls through Internet (+). I have used it as a verb for referring data transfer by using this application. Also one may use a «sticker» (an illustration more figurative and developed in compare with simple emoticons) to communicate more emotionally with others. a

iii He began his directing career in 1999 with a masterpiece: «Being John Malkovich» (+), which is itself an exemplary digital artifact, telling a story with a deep challenge to humanity proposing for the post-human situation. a


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