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The University of Manchester
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Samuel Alexander Building, WG16
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
Email: peter.scott@manchester.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)161 275 3064

 @lincolntheol

 LTIManchester

 

What does it mean to exist in complex relationships with machines? What insights can be offered to our understandings of these relationships by the theologically significant theme of ‘love’? What critical assessments can be made of our multiple uses of technologies in shaping our futures, by reflecting on our pasts?

Project blog
Events and Outputs
> Conference: Care and Machines
Useful links 

Disquiet over the prevalence of social and economic individualism has a long history. In a world of mobile Capital and increasingly mobile people, communities of common tradition and locality appear to be under threat from the advent of a fragmented market society. Are these complaints against individualism justified? And crucially, how should Christians respond to them? Digging down into the substance of these questions, this project will consider the theological, liturgical and scriptural resources Christians have for understanding the notion of individualism in relation to issues of education, public life and the formation of democratic citizenship.

Workshop 1 Samoan Circle Notes

 

What is to be done? (notes by Ben Gilchrist – Facilitator)

The aim of the Samoan circle, similar to a ‘fishbowl’, is to “stimulate active participation by all parties interested in or affected by an issue, and allows insights into different perspectives on an issue”.  People are vseated in a circle within a circle.  Only those in the inner circle are allowed to speak.  All have a chance to speak out by simply entering the ‘inner circle’.   

Roughly in the order the points were raised so you can track the flow of the discussion…

  • Symbolic action engaging creativity and being for life
  • Learning to live with less
  • Science and action interaction
  • Not too much!  ‘the art of the great silence’ (story of a couple arguing on the tube about having an empty weekend – then in response booking a flight to Bucharest)
  • Poverty does not mean space
  • The same people are at events – we need to take it outside the normal group
  • Resilience not adaptation but with social justice including future generations and all species – ‘commanding narratives’
  • Movements learn
  • People leave it to the experts – need to de-centralise power – human level science
  • What about population growth?
  • Gender and climate change – little research – we need female communicators   
  • The sea stores less co2 and the land isn’t enough for biomass for heat let along anything else
  • Low carbon won’t address other environmental issues – we have to be holistic, not prolong the agony
  • Ethics is simple – temperance, addressing consumer capitalism, but the science is complex
  • Global perspective – stop flying, become vegetarian, but the oil and coal still in the ground will be used and is too much
  • We don’t have models to deal with this in global history
  • We must tackle the mantra for economic growth
  • It’s not all restrictive, wealth does not equal quality of life
  • Decide what we want, and then how we get it – not being against climate change, but for something
  • What motivates us?  It’s not about climate change, and therefore not about science
  • Science attracts us as a universal
  • What is a society?  This conversation couldn’t happen like this in other countries
  • Climate change to many means reducing possibilities but actually it can be about enlarging possibilities

  

My grouping of the points raised in rough themes…

 

Some specific ideas…

  • Symbolic action engaging creativity and being for life
  • Not too much!  ‘the art of the great silence’ (story of a couple arguing on the tube about having an empty weekend – then in response booking a flight to Bucharest)
  • Global perspective – stop flying, become vegetarian
  • The same people are at events – we need to take it outside the normal group

 

Some bigger issues to address…

  • Gender and climate change – little research – we need female communicators
  • What about population growth?
  • What is a society?  This conversation couldn’t happen like this in other countries
  • We must tackle the mantra for economic growth
  • Ethics is simple – temperance, addressing consumer capitalism, but the science is complex

 

Some big problems…

  • The sea stores less co2 and the land isn’t enough for biomass for heat let along anything else
  • Low carbon won’t address other environmental issues – we have to be holistic, not prolong the agony
  • Problem - the oil and coal still in the ground will be used and is too much
  • We don’t have models to deal with this in global history

 

Some hope/reality check regarding simplicity…

  • Learning to live with less
  • Poverty does not mean space
  • It’s not all restrictive, wealth does not equal quality of life
  • Climate change to many means reducing possibilities but actually it can be about enlarging possibilities

 

Some ideas and comments for the next steps…

  • Science and action interaction
  • What motivates us?  It’s not about climate change, and therefore not about science
  • Science attracts us as a universal
  • Resilience not adaptation but with social justice including future generations and all species – ‘commanding narratives’
  • Movements learn
  • People leave it to the experts – need to de-centralise power – human level science
  • Decide what we want, and then how we get it – not being against climate change, but for something