Technology and the Future of Human Nature

John Dotson, instructor
October-November 2001
University of California, Santa Cruz, Extension in Cupertino


Session One

Transformative learning model
In these sessions we will follow a transformative learning model. All participants, including the instructor, share responsibility for this mutual learning experience. Many, many resources are available to us. Our goal is not any specific, linear "covering of material," nor will we necessarily experience a sense of closure when our six sessions are done. Our goal is to encourage one another in our ongoing learning processes, to maximize participation in serving the growth of all our awareness, and to cultivate the benefits of this class that we can share in our personal lives and as members of the planetary community.

Personal introductions

Discussion of course description:
Today's generations are facing magnitudes of change without precedent in human experience. As we face these changes, we must deal with numerous questions concerning the complex transformations brought on by technology. These questions voice concern about technological forces that seem as unfathomable and uncontrollable as they are inevitable—with positive and negative consequences for us as individuals and as a global community. Discussion topics (indicated below►)

In-class writing and discussion—on technology and human nature

Integral structures of consciousness
The text consciousness map, ontogony and phylogeny
Origin
Archaic, magical, mythic, mental, and integral consciousness


Session Two

Pre-class writing—integral consciousness

Integral structures of consciousness

Religious contemplations and prophecies
— Hinduism and Buddhism
— Taoism and Confucianism
— Judaism, Christianity, Islam;
— Religions of the First Peoples


Session Three

Pre-class writing—religious consciousness

Religious contemplations and prophecies

Philosophy, from the invention of the alphabet to deconstruction
— Idealism and materialism
— Rationalism and mechanistic determinism

Evolutionary historicism

Existentialism
 

Session Four

Pre-class writing—rationalism, evolutionary historicism, and existentialism

Philosophy, from the invention of the alphabet to deconstruction

The latest models of science, communications theory, and aesthetics
— The physics of relativity and quantum theory
— Morphic resonance, molecular biology, and neuroscience
— Cybernetics and information theory
— Chaos and complexity theory
— Media studies and aesthetics


Session Five

Pre-class writing—science and modernity

The latest models of science, communications theory, and aesthetics
Magnitudes of change: how technology reflects and affects human nature


Session Six

Pre-class writing—technology and the future of human nature

Magnitudes of change: how technology reflects and affects human nature