Reading the Technotexts

There are two types of Knowledge. One is instinctual and the other is categorical. Instinctual is operationalized by the movements of our body and the categorical Knowledge is codified in our cultural doxa and is produced and circulated by educational institutes. There is a lag between these two kinds of knowing. The digital world and AI technology have taken us into instinctual knowing. Our bodies were technologized over our social evolution. But today we are accelerated. But we don’t know that we know. This is the Knowledge that exceeds the boundaries of knowledge in terms of categories.

We are constantly reading technotexts in the digital techno-environments. We have computers, smartphones, emails, video games, network chatrooms, network archives, digital banking and commerce. Embodied Knowledge, therefore, has begun to take control over us even without us knowing it. It is surprising that we easily assimilate these new technologies and swim with them like ducks in the water. Several scholars think to draw on the findings of neuroscience to explain it which teach that we know what we see and do through emotions, kinesthesia, and proprioception of the lower brain or the limbic system of our central nervous system. New technologies expand our capacities as well as transform the way we experience our world, others and ourselves.

We are not viewed as islands but live through continuous loops of feedback with our immediate surround. Today, thanks to the digital revolution, we are facing visually arresting, aurally charged, bewitchingly igniting signals producing profoundly rich sensorial experiences. This is why our instinctual knowing stands beyond categorical Knowledge. The lag between the two forms of knowledge seems to be the reason why we cannot critically respond to the technotexts that have invaded our life in full freedom. We are already in an unreflective fashion at ease with the digitality of our life.

The experience of interaction with the technotexts is unique. It offers us a sense of generating or producing them. These technotexts are instances of digitization for the production of signals for sights, sounds, and,/ or movements. These technotexts are produced using machines that use codes and algorithms to mediate possibilities of permutating of our digital experience. Hence, the original creators as well as consumers of the technotexts co-create the new experience in the digital world. This is why reading and consuming of the technotexts calls for an ethics of responsibility.

Engagement with The technotexts leads to the production of the self. This is why we may have to follow what Foucault calls care of the self. The care of self being ethical position cannot lead to self solipsism but has to lead to the care of other humans as well as that of the earth. This is why the digitality of life cannot make us mouse potatoes. It should enable us to reach out to the material aspects of our life and thus be able to embrace the care of the others and our planet earth. Maybe to come to this embrace, we have to develop the phronesis or practical wisdom of Aristotle.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao