söndag 27 december 2009

Homo Computans of the Read-Write-Execute Society

The recent book Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford sings praise to the happy productive engaged craftsman and repair mechanic in direct contact with realities in his shop filled with useful tools and spare parts, as compared to the unhappy unproductive alienated bureaucrat imprisoned in his cubicle filled with useless documents. 

This is Homo faber  = Man the Smith or Man the Maker or the working man using tools.

Homo faber is the craftsman of a pre-industrial society using tools in an inventive fashion according to his own inspiration, as compared the worker at the assembly line of the industrial society repeating a prescribed set of simple routine tasks without inspiration. Homo faber would then connect to Homo ludens, the playing man, while the worker at the assembly line would associate with Homo tristis, the sad man.

If now Homo faber has largely disappeared as production has become mechanized, one may ask if Homo faber may reappear today as the computer wiz using the computer as a tool in an active inventive way, as compared to a Homo consumans passively consuming whatever is presented on the screen. The modern Homo faber could then be 
  • Homo Computans =   the working man playing the computer.
Other possibilities are  Homo musicus  or Homo coquus = the cooking man.

Homo Computans would be representative of the interactive read-write-execute society now emerging  as the interactive web expands with blogs, youtube and facebook, as compared to the passive read-obey society of the 20th century with state-controled uni-directional radio and television channels. 

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