Have we always, sometimes or never been human?

That is the great question on third week on #edcmooc. I have taken ‘being human’ so granted that I had forgotten the question: Have we ever been human? Only a small part of mankind lives human live or we can define it? Global dignity could be the aim of mankind, there is a community for it and it is nice to be a member. So what?

On the left you can see my edc file in my Google RSS reader. I added already one,  JuBo , he is a digital viking. The writers of these blogs are human people in many ways, I am sure about it. It is fine to work with them and find new dimensions of digital world.

What does it mean to be human within a digital culture, and what does that mean for education? In the moocs it means sharing and caring, exploring jointly. But it is good to know more than one’s experiences; many processes are going on near technology:

– biomedical developments in cloning, genetic and tissue engineering, transplantation and reproductive medicine

– advances in artificial intelligence and the promise of seamless brain-computer interfaces

– the increasingly mundane and unnoticed embeddedness of digital technology in our everyday lives

– ‘posthumanist’ and ‘anti-humanist’ philosophy which has challenged some of our often taken-for-granted assumptions about ‘human nature’ .

I have been over optimistic and believed that every human being is good and wants to do good to others although I was born after the Second World War. Fear was near in my childhood in Europe.

Human nature and human ways of being are under threat by scientific and technological advances, and that this is dangerous for us because it undermines the basis of who we are and how we define an ethical and fair approach to living. Could that be true? I have believed that sciences and technology help in many problems.

‘the human’ is something that has been made, by history, by politics, by language, by our relations with technology. In other words, ‘the human’ and ‘human nature’ are social categories, not absolute truths. —especially for those who, because of their gender, race, or other characteristics, have historically fallen outside the ruling paradigms of ‘the human’.” The lecture from Steve Fuller threw some more light on this view. It is good to open one’s eyes or is it better to say: mind.

Fuller claims that ‘you can only be morally credible’ if you are addressing issues of human freedom and equality. Thinking about education specifically, might we see MOOCs as an example of an ‘old humanistic project’, particularly in the promise they appear to offer for democratisation, equality of access and so on? I am sure that this is the argument why I am interested in MOOCs. They open global possibilities. How could this be understood better in our countries? Nowadays open courses are considered as enemies to national institutions, dangerous competition going on.

Does  vision of education count as one of Steve Fuller’s ‘old humanist projects’ – the kinds of projects we need to ensure our ‘moral credibility’? We might find it quite easy to agree with his statement that young people should be helped to ‘think about, not just with, technology’, but do we need to depend on an oppositional relationship between the human and the technological to do this?

I have used many copy-paste sentences in this post, because I am tired – I wanted to write this any way so that I’ll remember this week’s studies. Meaningful week. Moral credibility seems to be true on #edcmooc, both facilitators and participants. I am learning, really.