The “Spirit” of Technology

Samuel Holiday’s Under the Eagle, pp. 76-156 (chapters 3-5)

What future problems can learning of the Twins’ story help solve? What harms are Holiday warned about and therefore better able to negotiate? Be as specific as you can.

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Holiday comes to terms with the modern technology of the communication radio by placing it in a larger religious tradition, and understanding it all as a form of prayer. “Just as the Holy Wind was a voice of warning as the Twins went through many dangers, telling how to escape, the radio used the wind to give messages… when I pray, that, too, is just like a radio. All these things are the doings of the Holy People” (p. 93). As the narrator writes on our last page of our reading this week, “the emphasis Navajo culture placed on religion certainly encouraged recognition of a spiritual side to what was encountered” (p. 156). Holiday appears to bring his spiritual side to modern technology and therefore transforms the “cold” technology into something more meaningful.

What other kinds of modern technologies does Holiday see differently than other people around him? How does technology get transformed by what you bring to it? Give examples. Let’s also take a look at the online classes you’ve been taking this year. How have people around you transformed the space for better or worse? (Let’s not be too specific by calling anyone out or making anyone feel badly.)

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