Techno-affection

A widespread finding from JISC research into learners’ experience with  e-learning is that learners feel emotionally attached to the technologies they own. (Other commentators view this phenomenon as a symptom of post-humanism, cyborgism or brain outsourcing.)

Last night I resumed use of my iRex Iliad after a spell without a charger during which it lay lifeless with dark lesions of e-ink all over its poor screen.

The new charger arrived recently so I resuscitated my little machine and we’re up and running again.

I wanted to get Alan Johnson’s Global Politics After 9/11 – The Democratiya Interviews, and so I went to its spot on the Democratiya site expecting to shell out £9.95.

But the PDF from the Foreign Policy Centre was free. Once again I was wracked with gratitude. This model, which you still can’t count on, makes so much sense when you’re trying to disseminate ideas – charge people for any physical containers (DVD, book, etc) but make anything freely reproducable freely available.

E-readers are the best way to take advantage of these new forms of dissemination. They avoid the musculo-skeletal problems which are associated with reading from a computer but unassociated with holding something like a book. In their low energy use (although the iLiad could improve on power management) they also avoid environmental problems associated with using large amounts of paper and ink.

So within moments I had Global Politics After 9/11 – The Democratiya Interviews on my iLiad and was in bed with Michael Walzer followed by Saad Eddin Ibrahim. I do like that e-reader.

I recommend the interview with Ibrahim. His account of Islamists who win support on social issues, come to power democratically and subsequently find themselves subject to democratic pressure is very helpful if you’re attempting to make a cool assessment of Hamas and Hesbollah.

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