July 13 Conference Call Readings

Hello, all–

Great thanks to Werner for forwarding the pictures (I look forward to
scrolling through them all!) and to Carlo for his sweet message.

Attached are two readings for a July 13 call, though I don’t think the
exact time for the call has been scheduled (Bruce–?).

The readings are “The Vocation of Being,” by the poet and linguist
Robert Bringhurst, from his stunning book of essays “The Tree of
Meaning,” and the chapter “iGod,” from Nicholas Carr’s recent book “The
Big Switch.” As you will see, Bringhurst concerns himself with the
relationship between language and being human; Carr, with the
relationship between technology and being human. The contrasts between
the essays are striking; the questions we might address in a conference
call are many and could include:

Given the ubiquity of computer technology in our society and in our
educational system, how can we think about teaching “being” in the
classroom–explicitly and implicitly, by word and by example? How do we
approach the question of idolatrous values when our students see their
values as “normal” and validated by social conventions? What is/should
be the role of language in the development of technology, and what
is/should be the role of “meaning”?

And so on.

I’ll be using these two essays, among others, as springboards for a
panel discussion among my second-semester comp students during our
(newly-named) university’s annual fall “Ethics Awareness Week.” Will
look forward to your input!

Further word will be coming, I’m sure, about the time of the upcoming
conference call. A happy 4th of July holiday to you all.

Julie J. Nichols, Ph.D.

email: degeorgeb@gmail.com for information on how to receive these readings in advance of the call.

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