Ideas about Identity on TEDx

2012 Photos from Julie's iPhone 684      Hi there,

TEDxConstitutionDrive 2012 had a very interesting series of 15 minute talks on Identity in today’s world and into the future. These are important ideas to consider in the early decades of the digital revolution.

For VCE students here in Victoria, Australia, listening carefully to these talks and pondering the ideas presented will offer material relevant to any of the Contexts as well as preparing for citizenship in our rapidly changing world.

John Murray presents some of SRI’s interesting research projects which shine light on identity generally and  in the digital world in “The Future of Identity: New Research Ideas at SRI”:

Duleesha Koolasooriya offers his thoughts about “Identity as a Barrier” in a shifting world. Check out the cheeky message on his T-shirt.                                                                                                                                             

“The Need for Limited Liability Personas” is an informative and challenging talk by Canadian Kaliya Hamlin alias Kaliya Identity Woman. Anyone who has used personas or handles or pseudonyms online should listen to this. Probably be anyone reading this blog 😉

In “Tribal & Scientific Identities”, Chuck Striplen & Laura Peticolas present the development of projects to amalgamate the knowledge of land management from two different paradigms and how the process challenges the identity of those involved and the efficiency model of scientific communities and corporations.  The final message is worth noting. It would be a great process to implement here in Australia with our First Nation peoples. Our Western management model imposed on a tough yet fragile landscape has created some inspiring engineering projects with profound social enrichment through the migrant workers involved but also some enormous environmental problems and terrible alienation of the original custodians of the land.

I clicked on a talk on “Identity Crisis” with a picture of a young muslim woman. It is from TEDxYouth@Cairo and, as I discovered, is in Arabic. Taken in by Menna El Kiey’s passion and energy, rather than just click away, I continued watching and listening for 5 minutes.  I enjoyed hearing the music of a language the semantics of which eluded me.  I also discovered in that time that she seamlessly wove in quite a few English words and phrases. I thought it interesting to note which ones: as long as; radio; comic; biology; trust – mistrust; communication; rules; forbid (?); guys (as an appealing address); emotion; opposite gender; dream (in the visual); achievement; TEDx; research; notes; time. This stirred many thoughts about language, culture, history and identity.

I’d love to hear what you make of any or all of these explorations of identity.





Firewalls of the Mind and Hypertextuality


This link is to beedieu‘s (Barbara Dieu) fascinating photograph of graffiti on The Berlin Wall before it was brought down. Is it really on the wall or is it a digitally manipulated image? See this post by Barbara Dieu:

The ‘graffiti’ reads: “BLOG AND BRING DOWN THE FIREWALLS OF THE MIND”. Dieu references the phrase “firewalls of the mind” within it. Comments follow in which someone asks if Vance Stevens knew his phrase had been used. He replies that he did and gives a reference link to an article referencing both his first use of the phrase in a publication and Barbara Dieu’s photograph in an exploration of the benefits and barriers to using ICT in teaching practice:                                         

This describes a wonderful example of hypertextuality. Moreover, my description of the hypertextuality demonstrated in these posts has links inserted within it which are also a demonstration of hypertextuality.


Furthermore, the photograph and related blogs raise issues about:

1. the credibility of the photographic visual image in the digital era and the implications of this;

2. the context of The Berlin Wall and what leads people and societies to build such walls then, decades later, break them down again;

3. the value of graffiti as valid social critique and commentary or art (or the harm in its anti-social sentiments and anarchistic aesthetic);

4. the effectiveness and desirability of blogging and other internet based social intercourse in changing how people think about things, educational processes and society generally.

Keep your eyes open and your mind sharp.