[Research] Cool workshop: technologies of enlightenment? ubiquitous computing and religious practice in Asia and beyond
This talk seems crazy! I found it here: technologies of enlightenment? ubiquitous computing and religious practice in Asia and beyond (Genevieve Bell, Intel Research). Slides downloadable here. An incredible topic: mixing religion and ubiquitous computing, this is cool for a sci-fi novel !!!
In the "West", there is a long and complicated relationship between technology and religion. After all, Johannes Gutenberg's printing press produced the Bible in the 1450s. It was the first book to be thusly mass-produced. Today, the largest online genealogical service is run by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, Christian radio and televisions stations are flourishing, alongside religiously inspired blogs and chat rooms in the United States. Thus, it should not be so far fetched to imagine that new information and communication technologies (ICTs) are being re-purposed to support a range of non-secular activities. Some of these re-purposing have been well documented (Brasher 2001), and some has been theorized (Muller et al. 2001, Zaleski, 1997). For the most part, however, religious or spiritual uses of ICTs seem to exist in the realm of technological oddities, fodder for offbeat columns and stand-up comics. Here I want to revisit some of these instances of techno-fied spirituality, with an ethnographic sensibility. In particular, I want to draw on recent fieldwork in urban Asian households as a starting point for prising open the discourse around ubiquitous computing. I am interested in thinking about the ways in which religious uses of technology suggest a very different path(s) for technology envisioning and development.