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Erik Duval

I concur - and I miss the Pixies too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debaser

Martyn Cooper

I have long argued that technologies are neutral it is how we use them that can either be edifying of "debasing". We need to take responsibility for our actions - we have choices - we are the moral agents not the technologies.

Alan Levine

I have an objection about the quality and standards of this blog post ;-)


@Eric - have you seen the Pixies documentary (loudQUIETloud)? Haven't myself, must track it down.

@Martyn - I don't buy the technology is neutral argument myself. Sure, technology can't do anything by itself and on a basic level requires people to be a moral agent, but technology has an impact. To take an obvious example, guns are designed to kill people, that's their purpose, so more guns in society roughly equals more violent crime. To take it to extreme, imagine I am an evil genius and have invented the 'world death ray'. There's not much 'neutral' about this.

@Alan - oh, don't worry, I can go a lot lower than this ;)

Scott Leslie

You may want to run down the etymology of "debase" even further as it has some interesting origins, originally referring to the practice of lowering the value of currency by gradually removing some of the metal content from coins. I don't know *exactly* where to go with that, but it's always been a term of interest for me.

And the Pixies are Dead. Long live the Pixies.


@Scott - yes, I saw this. I guess I could argue that in educational terms we are seen as lowering the currency of education by altering the basic composition (of the curriculum, undergrad degree, only academic produced content, etc). Would need to find an example though of how this debasing wasn't just robbing by other means and had some democratising function?

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