Our Common Senses
More or less I think we are driving this virtual society, where our common understanding in this real world is getting confused or misinterpreted.
Generally speaking, our common sense( or etiquette) as to what we feel good for or bad for about are our sharing concerns or views, and nothing would be inapplicable to this digital society. Anything ethical matters among our human-beings are unchangeable no matter how evolving we are meant to be as long as we have emotions in ourselves. Basically wherever/whenever/however you live in this world, you have the same fundamental feelings as human-beings. We know how you feel happy/unhappy, pleased/sad, calm/angry and sick/healthy. Such emotional status or even those adjective definitions would not change at all even if we are involved in the cyberspace, where digital format dominates this society.
Human Brain Computation
Being responsible digital citizenship therefore refers to being responsible analog citizenship(,about which one of YIS COETAILers mentioned at the workshop held on Nov,2011 although I could not remember who s/he was), and the ethical attitudes of human beings should not be affected by this digital world although it could distract people from thinking what it is/n’t real on/offline due to the technological advancement just like a virtual and an augmented reality, where we live.
No matter how developed all digital facilities/equipments such as 3D visual aids, interactive communication tools and games are, they could not compete with the mechanism of our brains. According to Yoichi Sato in his book ‘Introduction to Reading in Scientific English’ by ALC press in 2007,
‘Computers consist of a large number of fast, simple devices. Each device follows logics and works reliably and consistently…..Human brain computation is very different from the precise, logic-driven computer systems. It is performed by a large number of nervous systems called neurons. The neurons form slow and complex nervous systems that make computations through electrical and chemical interactions. The performance of the biological computation results from billions of neural cells and the highly parallel system. Though the full story of the human computation process is not known yet, it is certainly not binary logic.’
We can infer from those quotes that human brain’s system is far from computer’s one, which relies on its simpler binary logic than the parallel mechanism of human-brain. It is still mystery part of our body for even scientists to uncover all unknown areas of human-brains, thanks to which we can be ethically thinkable organisms.
I think such inherent characters of computing system affect our misunderstanding that what we believe in this real world get mixed up with what we trust or not in this online world, which particularly refers to side-effects or risks of cyberspace( such as ‘identity, privacy, authorship, credibility, and participation’ in Our Space: Being a responsible Citizen of the Digital World). If we could not believe ourselves in this real world, there are nothing we could trust each other online world as well. That is to say, the computer is just another tool, which would not affect our own ethical values and its trustworthiness reflects on the offline one too. Hence our ethical issues (over the social network sites) such as copyrights; intellectual property; cyber-bullying cannot be separated from the regime of offline world since they have not been caused by the technological development of cyberspace.
Who is responsible for this digital society?
Moreover as I remember the computer programmer’s quote on TV news ; ‘a computer is initially a fool tool so that you have to re-make it available to be efficiently used for you’, it is something that human-beings could make it more responsible item in all aspects. To put it another way, it is our responsibility to control this cyberspace, with which our continuous self-educating efforts for those subjects should be engaged so that we could not misinterpret that it is not digital society but ourselves that run this virtual/real society.
Since we owe so many benefits or indispensable possibilities/potentials (, which refer to ‘affiliations, expressions, collaborative problem-solving, circulations’ written in an occasional paper on a digital media and learning )to such development, they will certainly serve our community timelessly unless any other replacements could appear. All discourses (including collaborative ideas, innovative thoughts and problems solving conversations/interactions )expressed/created on line will be more valued and more represented as we become more conscious of or pay attention to being responsible for what we do online.