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Blog Post #3

For my third blog post, I decided to complete the third prompt, which is as follows: “Foucault describes discipline (in the way he is using the term) as something new (in the 18th century) and calls it a ‘“physics” or “anatomy” of power, a technology” (p. 7 of the pdf). Explain what this idea could mean and illustrate it with a contemporary example.”

To me, calling discipline an anatomy/physics in power dynamics is a great sort of definition or ideology of how it applies. Discipline can give power, it can remove it, it can decide whether or not one has it, and for how long they do – allow me to get a little deeper into it. Generally, to get into a position of power, one needs discipline. They have to be disciplined to start somewhere where they don’t have much control – say a politician. If one wanted to run for president some day, they’d need to start as, perhaps, an intern at their local court. Not much power – they’d follow orders, and do busy work, and likely need a lot of discipline on this first step of their journey to more power. They’ll continue needing discipline, but in turn, having discipline, patience, etc, will propel them to the top much quicker than one without it, as well as keep them there much longer than one without it.

Without discipline, there often isn’t much power, but without power, there can still be plenty of discipline.

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Mini-Project 1

For my mini-project, I’ve decided to use the first prompt and apply it’s questions to one of my favorite concepts of existence – perspective. Next to that, I’d like to explain how the relation between the Holdinger piece and perspective is an answer to why we no longer view things, like the Rhine, with the same amount of beauty and grace as it was described with in the hymn. Allow me to explain.

Essentially, we’re looking at how one thing can be assessed, viewed, etc from a technological point of view, vs. how it can be assessed from an artistic, or in my case with perspective, more humanistic point of view. Heidegger, in his work, asked the reader to compare the Rhine in how it is used in today’s society, vs. how it is used in Holderin’s hymn. There are some obvious differences between the two. In Holderin’s hymn, at points the Rhine is spoken of like a human being, and given human traits, in lines such as “his word is a jubilant roar” and “the voice it was of the noblest of rivers, freeborn Rhine…” It seems that in Holderin’s work, the Rhine is a beautiful, almost humanistic being. It has a voice, it has goals – but when compared to today, in it’s current use, it’s just another thing used by humans to fulfill our needs, generate power for us, and so on. It’s another technology that humans have brought to the point of primarily being known and used for our own benefit.

I believe that the comparison between these two – that being Holderin’s piece, and the current use of the Rhine – indicates a lot about how modern technology is created and used, and it relates to the ideology of each of our individual perspectives as I mentioned before. The way these pieces can be compared to the way technological uses have evolved is somewhat obvious. As time has gone on, and industrializing has become more common, often times humans attempt to find the best, most efficient way for technology to work – oftentimes at the sacrifice of it’s beauty, or it’s meaning, or so forth. In this case, the Rhine, once viewed as Holderin has mentioned, as a beautiful, rare part of earth, is now looked at and used as a hydroelectric dam.

This relates to our perspectives now – an important phrase that I learned is that, “Our perspective is our reality.” So, oftentimes, we shape our perspectives to meet our physiological needs so that we can continue to live in some sort of peace. In regards to our perspectives on other things, like the Rhine, we view what was once a beautiful piece of nature as now, just a helpful source of power. The reason behind that, though, is because it is what our perspectives need to live a good life. Our physical technological advancement has been incredibly rapid, but our mental technologies lag behind – we are often too quick to adjust things so that they fit our perspectives, instead of thinking about adjusting our perspectives to see and make the world as a better place.

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The Most Important Technology

One of the most interesting things that I ever read was within a book called, “Your Duality Within,” a philosophical piece by Anderson Silver. The book mainly pertains to our inner duality, that being the daily battle that goes on between our subconscious, and conscious minds. While there are an abundance of interesting pieces in the book, one that stuck out to me, and one that pertains to our class, is the technology that caused homo-sapiens to actually be able to survive to this point.

In layman’s terms (which are also the terms that I use to understand this process), way back, thousands of years ago, there was something of a “hominid war.” Essentially, all of the various families of homogeneous creatures were fighting to continue to live, and for their species to survive on earth. Now, obviously, at this time there were no guns – everyone had the same general knowledge of making tools, hunting and gathering, and using fire. However, what set homo-sapiens apart and gave them the ability to win the hominid wars was their ability to use what has become the most important technology to human life – communication.

While most hominid groups had access to the same basic technologies, homo-sapiens were able to evolve their forms of communications from basic signs or noises so to organize into larger groups, and plan their moves out more specifically in order to win the hominid wars. Communication is incredibly important, and is a cause to almost anything that happens in the world, if not everything. At it’s core, it was the technology that, through it’s use, gave our species the best opportunity to survive in their earliest days.