On Tuesday of this week I arrived in Padova. I got off the airport bus and was pleased to recognise a shopping mall I had noticed when researching the area around my hotel on google street view. I stopped for a drink, connected to the free wifi and set about planning my walk to the hotel on my phone. I was surprised when google maps showed a 5 minute walk in the opposite direction to that which I was expecting but it must be right of course! 10 minutes later a kindly receptionist in a different hotel ordered me a taxi to save my sore feet.
Post conference, I am better able to understand this mundane experience. My faith in my ubiquitous device use and reliance on internet access had prevented my critical use of technology. I should have realised that my device had not updated a real time, location specific map. I had seen a cached map from my earlier planning and used it to dismiss my instinct and better judgement (blisters were an unforeseen, unwelcome consequence).
The space in our lives where tech and human intersect is a good space for critical thinking. The "seeing double" described by Sian Bayne. Raising awareness of what goes on "under the hood" of the ubiquitous technology that is now just another everyday tool helps us to think critically. Here's one of the 3 such research activities she described in her keynote.
Entangled fingers (image taken from art installation opposite my hotel - yes I got there in the end!) illustrates our enmeshed lives. Humans are connected, interdependent beings. We inhabit a world where critical post humanism allows us to explore the boundaries between ourselves and our tools. #eurocall2015 brought challenges, stimulation, answers and more importantly questions.