Homo sapiens digital and Zadar sea organ

There was much debate last week at the LIDA conference about digital natives and immigrants. Marc Prensky, who started this debate in 2001 with a rather simplistic view of the extremes of digital natives – young people supposedly born with a silver laptop in their hands, and digital immigrants – so called ‘older’ people who were not brought up with ICT. In a more recent article , Prensky discussed the concept of homo sapiens digital. His argument is that increasingly sophistical digital technologies will make us think differently in the future and that our brain power and our wisdom will increase if we use these technologies effectively. It’s an interesting article but needs to be read with some scepticism. Technologies have always developed e.g. the wheel gave us a much better chance of moving on from cave-living to agriculture. So we have to be careful in arguing that digital technologies are somehow very different from previous technologies. Wisdom is wisdom and I would argue that wisdom relates to what we think and learn. Digital wisdom is a questionable concept for me. Read the article and decide for yourself.

While in Zadar, one of the pleasures was to walk along the new promenade and listen to the sea organ. This is an ingenious idea and I’ve yet to meet anyone who has seen another one, although they may well exist. The sea organ is made from pipes laid under the promenade and the ‘music’ comes from the air pushed into the pipes by the sea. It is very peaceful and you can see people sitting/lying next to the pipes being entranced by the sounds. The picture below shows the setting of the sea organ on the steps near the end of the promenade.

Zadar sea organ


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