Existential nihilism is by no means ①restricted to existentialist thinkers and it cannot be. In his defence of scientism, Alex Rosenberg who is the Professor of Philosophy at Duke University, well known for contributions to philosophy of biology and philosophy of economics ②make the case that many of life’s persistent questions can be answered by science – among them; “Is there a God? No. What is the purpose of the universe? There is none. What is the meaning of life? Ditto. Why am I here? Just dumb luck.” It is no coincidence that these answers closely mimic the diagnosis ③provided by (the atheists among) existentialist thinkers. When Nietzsche proclaimed that “God is dead” we are supposed to view science, if not as the murderer than at least, as the tool that was used ④to kill God. Even though Nietzsche is often given as an example for a nihilist, most of his work is directed against the destructive consequences of nihilism, once God has been replaced by science or more accurately ⑤where science left a hole after getting rid of God. This line of argument is common in at least the atheistic tradition of existentialism.
실존적 허무주의는 결코 실존주의 사상가들에게만 국한되지 않으며 그럴 수도 없다. 과학만주의를 옹호하면서 생물철학과 경제철학에 기여한 것으로 잘 알려진 Duke 대학교의 철학 교수 Alex Rosenberg는 삶의 많은 지속적인 질문들이 과학에 의해 대답될 수 있다고 주장한다. 질문들은 다음과 같다; 신이 있습니까? 아니오. 우주의 목적이 뭡니까? 아무 것도 없습니다. 인생의 의미는 무엇입니까? 같습니다, 내가 왜 여기 있습니까? 운이 좋아서 그런겁니다.” 이러한 대답들이 실존주의 사상가들 사이에서 (무신론자들이) 제공한 해과 밀접하게 유사한 것은 우연이 아니다. 니체가 “신이 죽었다”고 선언했을 때, 우리는 과학을 적어도 살인자보다는 하나님을 죽이는 데 사용된 도구로 볼 수 있다. 니체는 종종 허무주의자의 예로 인용되지만, 그의 저작 대부분은 일단 신이 과학으로 대체되거나 더 정확하게는 과학이 신을 없앤 후 빈자리를 낸 곳에서 허무주의의 파괴적 결과에 대항하는 것에 초점을 맞추고 있다. 이러한 주장은 적어도 실존주의의 무신론적 전통에서 공통적이다.
In his defence of scientism, / Alex Rosenberg / ⓐwho is the Professor of Philosophy at Duke University, / ⓑwell known for contributions / to philosophy of biology and philosophy of economics / makes the case / that many of life’s persistent questions / can be answered / by science – / among them; ~ 그의 과학만능주의의 옹호에서 / Alex Rosenberg는 / Duke 대학교의 철학교수인, / 기여로 잘 알려진 / 생물철학과 경제철학에 / 주장한다 / 많은 삶의 지속적인 질문들이 / 대답될 수 있다는 것을 / 과학에 의해 / – 다음과 같은 질문들 중에서;
ⓐ 주격관계대명사로 선행사인 ‘Alex Rosenberg’를 후치수식하고 있다. 이 절은 ‘~ of economics’까지 이어진다. ⓑ 과거분사가 명사 ‘Alex Rosenberg’를 후치수식하고 있다.
Otafuku, one of the oldest oden restaurants in japan, has been heating up the same batch of broth every day since 1945, only adding more water to it as it evaporates. It may sound gross to most westerners, but it apparently makes oden stew taste amazing. With a history spanning over 100 years, Otafuku is the oldest oden shop in Tokyo, and its 65-year-old broth is nothing short of legendary. Just like the beef noodle soup at Wattana Panich, in Thailand, which has been simmering for 45 years, the broth at Otafuku is never thrown away. Instead, every night it is strained and removed from the copper pot it usually simmers in so the pot can be cleaned. It’s then put back in the pot and covered overnight, but not refrigerated. The next day, it’s heated again, with fresh ingredients and water being added as needed. According to Wikipedia, a master stock could be preserved indefinitely if great care is taken to ensure it does not spoil, and some restaurants in China – where the master stock is believed to have originated from – claim to have preserved their broths for hundreds of years, passing them on from generation to generation. However, these claims have never been validated so they could be nothing more than marketing. The age of the oden broth at Otafuku, on the other hand, is well documented.
*oden 오뎅 **simmer 끓이다
① Otafuku는 1945년부터 매일마다 물만 채우는 식으로 같은 육수를 끓여왔다. ② 대만의 Wattana Panich의 소고기 국수는 45년째 끓이고 있다. ③ Otafuku의 육수는 매일 밤 여과과정을 통한 뒤 냄비에 넣어 보관한다. ④ 간수는 세심하게 주의를 기울이면 무기한으로 보존 될 수 있다고 주장하는 사람들이 있다. ⑤ Otafuku의 오뎅 국물의 나이는 잘 기록되어 있다.
일본에서 가장 오래된 어묵집 중 하나인 Otafuku는 1945년부터 매일 같은 육수를 데워왔고, 증발하면서 물만 더 넣었다. 대부분의 서양인들에게는 징그럽게 들릴지 모르지만, 그것은 분명히 오뎅 국물을 놀라운 맛으로 만든다. 100년이 넘는 역사를 가진 Otafuku는 도쿄에서 가장 오래된 오뎅 가게이며 65년 된 육수는 정말 전설이다. 45년째 끓고 있는 태국 Wattana Panich의 소고기 국수처럼 Otafuku의 육수는 결코 버리지 않는다. 대신, 매일 밤 그것은 걸러지고 구리 냄비에서 제거되어 냄비가 청소될 수 있도록 보통 끓는다. 그리고 나서 그것은 다시 냄비에 넣고 하룻밤을 덮지만 냉장되지는 않는다. 다음 날, 그것은 신선한 재료와 물을 필요에 따라 첨가하면서 다시 가열된다. 위키피디아에 따르면, 간수가 상하지 않도록 세심한 주의를 기울이면 무기한으로 보존될 수 있으며, 간수의 기원으로 여겨지는 중국의 일부 식당들은 수백 년 동안 육수를 보존하여 대대로 전해왔다고 주장한다. 그러나 이러한 주장은 검증된 적이 없기 때문에 마케팅에 지나지 않을 수 있다. 반면 Otafuku의 오뎅 국물의 나이는 잘 기록되어 있다.
According to Wikipedia, / a master stock / could be preserved indefinitely / if ⓐgreat care is taken / to ensure / it does not spoil, / and some restaurants in China / – ⓑwhere the master stock / is believed / to have originated from – / claim / to ⓒhave preserved / their broths / for hundreds of years, / ⓓpassing them on / from generation to generation. Wikipedia에 따르면, / 간수(卤水)는 / 무기한으로 보존될 수 있다 / 만약 세심한 주의를 기울인다면 / 확실하게 하기 위해서 / 그것이 상하지 않는 것을, / 그리고 중국의 몇몇 음식점들은 / – 간수가 여겨지는 / 기원으로 – / 주장한다 / 보존해왔다고 / 그들의 육수를 / 수백 년 동안, / 그것들을 전해오면서 / 대대로.
ⓐ take great care of 의 수동태로, great와 같은 형용사가 care를 수식할 때는 주어와 great care의 위치를 바꿔서 사용하기도 한다. ⓑ 관계부사로 China에 대한 부연설명을 하고 있다. ⓒ 현재완료로 계속의 용법으로 사용되었다. ⓓ 분사구문으로, ‘and they pass them on from generation to generation’로 바꿔 쓸 수 있다.
폐교가 이루어지는 장소는 대학까지 확장되어 수많은 지방 대학들이 줄도산에 이를 전망이다. 특히 지거국으로 불리는 주요 지방 국립대조차 매년 정원 미달과 많은 자퇴생들이 생기고 있으며, 서울교대 다음으로 인기 있는 교대인 경인교대는 올해 수능 전 과목 9등급 학생이 1차에 합격(결국 당사자는 면접을 포기하긴 했다) 하여 엄청난 파문을 일으켰다. 10년 전에는 상상할 수 없던 일들이 이제 현실로 나타나고 있다.
이런 현상들은 대입을 준비하는 학생들에게는 그렇게 부정적이지는 않다. 대학 문턱이 낮아졌기 때문이다. 아직까지 최상위권에게 체감될만한 일은 아니지만, 어정쩡한 위치에 있던 친구들은 대학 가기 용이해졌다(눈만 낮춘다면). 하지만 그런 위치에 있는 학생들은 대학교 진학을 진지하게 고려하는 분위기는 아니다. 아니 가기도 쉬워졌는데 왜 고민을 하는 걸까?
대학을 나와야 혜택이 많았던 과거와는 다르게, 대부분의 학생이 대학에 진학하는 요즘은 평범한 일반 대학교를 졸업해서 얻는 수 있는 메리트가 적어졌다. 블라인드 채용이나 고졸 특채 등 대학 졸업과 연관되지 않은 이점들이 존재하고, 전공과 관련 없는 일을 하면서 잘 살고 있는 많은 사례들이 있다. 대학을 나오지 않아도 취업하는데 큰 지장이 없는 시대가 된 것이다.
일반적으로 사람들은 쉬운 방법을 택하는 것을 선호하는 편이다. 다른 사람을 판단하는 일과 같은 중요한 사항도 예외는 없다. 한국 사회에서 사람을 판단하는 가장 쉬운 방법이 바로 대학 졸업장이다. 비난받을 만한 똑같은 행동을 하더라도 서울대생이 하는 것은 이유가 있다고 생각하기도 하고, 저학력자들은 아주 말로 담지 못할 취급을 받기도 한다(심리학에서는 이런 현상을 귀인 이론으로 설명하기도 한다). 어떤 사람의 능력을 넘어 공부와는 연관이 없을 것 같은 인격까지도 대학 간판이라는 녀석이 자동으로 그 사람을 보정해 주는 것이다.
그렇기에 나는 대학을 가는 것이 아직까지는 유리하다고 생각하는 사람 중 한 명이다. 나는 삶을 피와 땀, 혹은 운으로 카드를 얻고, 얻은 카드를 적절한 상황에 사용해가며 한차례 한차례 버텨나가는 생존게임으로 빗대는 것을 좋아한다.
쉽게 예를 들어보자. 지인 소개로 마음에 드는 이성을 만났다. 이 상황에서 나는 외모, 유머, 능력 등 살아오면서 만든 카드를 적절하게 사용할 것이고, 그 결과로 역경을 극복하고 이성의 마음을 얻을 수 있을 것이다. 반대로 낼만한 적절한 카드가 전혀 없다면 결국 이성과 맺어지는 일은 없을 것이다. 좀 더 심각한 선택이 필요한 경우, 즉 부모님이 큰 병에 걸려 큰 수술이 필요한 상황이라면? 이 상황에서 내가 낼 수 있는 카드가 전혀 없다면..?
와일드 카드로 아무렇게나 사용가능한 조커
많은 트럼프 게임에서는 이런 상황에서 극적인 재미를 주기 위한 장치로 와일드카드가 존재한다. 보통은 조커로 불리는 카드가 이런 역할을 맡는다. 내가 불리한 상황에 아무렇게 써먹을 수 있는 카드인 셈이다. 대학 졸업장도 마찬가지다. 인생이라는 생존게임에서 언제든지 써먹을 수 있는 카드로 바뀔 수 있는 것이다. 비록 대학 졸업장이 만병통치약은 아니지만, 내가 정말 내세울 수 있는 것이 아무것도 없는 참담한 상황에서 구원의 가능성을 조금이라도 열어줄 수 있는 카드가 될 수 있다.
나는 대학교에 꼭 가야 된다고 주장하지는 않는다. 그러 본인이 스스로를 돌아봤을 때, 자기 자신에 대한 명확한 비전과 소명 없이 앞으로 무엇을 해야 될지 모르겠다면, 나는 대학에 꼭 가야 된다고 이야기해 줄 것이다.
WHEN HIGH SCHOOL English teacher Kelly Gibson first encountered ChatGPT in December, the existential anxiety kicked in fast. While the internet delighted in the chatbot’s superficially sophisticated answers to users’ prompts, many educators were less amused. If anyone could ask ChatGPT to “write 300 words on what the green light symbolizes in The Great Gatsby,” what would stop students from feeding their homework to the bot? Speculation swirled about a new era of rampant cheating and even a death knell for essays, or education itself. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is literally what I teach,’” Gibson says.
*rampant 만연하는 *death knell 종말의 전조
But amid the panic, some enterprising teachers see ChatGPT as an opportunity to redesign what learning looks like—and what they invent could shape the future of the classroom. Gibson is one of them. After her initial alarm subsided, she spent her winter vacation tinkering with ChatGPT and figuring out ways to incorporate it into her lessons. She might ask kids to generate text using the bot and then edit it themselves to find the chatbot’s errors or improve upon its writing style. Gibson, who has been teaching for 25 years, likened it to more familiar tech tools that enhance, not replace, learning and critical thinking. “I don’t know how to do it well yet, but I want AI chatbots to become like calculators for writing,” she says.
*amid ~가운데 *liken 비유하다, 견주다
Gibson’s view of ChatGPT as a teaching tool, not the perfect cheat, brings up a crucial point: ChatGPT is not intelligent in the way people are, despite its ability to spew humanlike text. It is a statistical machine that can sometimes regurgitate or create falsehoods and often needs guidance and further edits to get things right.
*spew 뿜어내다, 분출하다 *regurgitate 되풀이하다
Despite those limitations, Gibson also believes she has a responsibility to bring ChatGPT into the classroom. She teaches in a predominantly white, rural, low-income area of Oregon. If just the students who have ready access to internet-connected devices at home can gain experience with the bot, it could widen the digital divide and further disadvantage students who don’t have access. So Gibson figured she was in a position to turn ChatGPT into, to use educator-speak, a teachable moment for all of her students.
Other educators who reject the notion of an educational apocalypse suggest that ChatGPT might not be breaking education at all, but bringing attention to how the system is already broken. “Another way of thinking about this is not how do you find new forms of assessment, but what are our priorities in further education at the moment? And perhaps they’re a little bit broken,” says Alex Taylor, who researches and teaches human-computer interaction at City, University of London.
Taylor says the bot has prompted discussions with colleagues about the future of testing and assessment. If a series of factual questions on a test can be answered by a chatbot, was the test a worthwhile measure of learning anyway? In Taylor’s view, the kind of rote questions that could be answered by a chatbot don’t prompt the kind of learning that would make his students better thinkers. “I think sometimes we’ve got it back to front,” he says. “We’re just like, ‘How can we test the hell out of people to meet some level of performance or some metric?’ Whereas, actually, education should be about a much more expansive idea.”
Olya Kudina has used ChatGPT as a tool in her own classroom at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on AI and ethics. In December she gave her undergrads a debate-style assignment using ChatGPT. Groups of students first presented three arguments and two counterarguments, supported with academic references, to the class without AI assistance. Next they fed the same assignment to their choice of either ChatGPT or its predecessor GPT-3, then compared the chatbot’s answer with their own organically made text.
The students were dazzled by how quickly the chatbot rendered information into fluid prose—until they read it with a closer eye. The chatbot was fudging facts. When students asked it to back up an argument with citations from scholarly texts, it misattributed work to the wrong authors. And its arguments could be circular and illogical. Kudina’s students concluded that, contrary to fears of a cheating epidemic, copying from ChatGPT wouldn’t actually net them a good grade.
Kudina says that teachers should neither ban ChatGPT nor embrace the technology without question. She advocates for her profession to “critically appropriate” the technology and find more creative ways to collaborate with it. For example, students might use the chatbot to spark new ideas or arguments. (One of her students likened ChatGPT to a superpowered Google search.) Kudina thinks ChatGPT might also spur educators to get more creative with assignments, for example by designing them to draw from students’ personal experiences, information that ChatGPT couldn’t have picked up from its training data.
That’s not to say ChatGPT won’t be at all disruptive to education. The bot emerged at a time when many teachers are experiencing burnout after emergency remote learning during the pandemic. Now another technological phenomenon threatens to upend their entire approach to teaching, creating more work. And the student privacy implications of ChatGPT, particularly at the K–12 level, are unclear. OpenAI does collect some data on users and says it reviews conversations with ChatGPT; the company’s terms of service state that users must be 18 or older, although the bot doesn’t attempt to verify age.
Completely barring ChatGPT from classrooms, tempting as that may be, could introduce a host of new problems. Torrey Trust at the University of Massachusetts Amherst studies how teachers use technology to reshape learning. She points out that reverting to analog forms of assessment, like oral exams, can put students with disabilities at a disadvantage. And outright bans on AI tools could cement a culture of distrust. “It’s going to be harder for students to learn in an environment where a teacher is trying to catch them cheating,” says Trust. “It shifts the focus from learning to just trying to get a good grade.”
In January, at the start of the new semester, the New York City public schools banned ChatGPT on school devices and networks due to “concerns about negative impacts on student learning and concerns regarding the safety and accuracy of content,” a spokesperson told Chalkbeat. Marilyn Ramirez, who teaches high school English in Washington Heights in New York, says that her conversation with WIRED was the first she had heard of the ChatGPT ban in her district and that she was not directly informed by the New York City Department of Education.
Ramirez is the kind of teacher who will do a dramatic reading to get her kids, many of whom are special education and English language learners, hyped up about a Queen Elizabeth I speech. She’s not worried about ChatGPT. She makes an analogy with how she allows her English language learner students to use Google Translate but also helps them see where the technology falls short, and when it’s appropriate to use. *요지She sees ChatGPT similarly: beneficial with a teacher’s guidance but ultimately limited.
When Gibson returned to school in Oregon for the new year, her plans to introduce ChatGPT to her students were thwarted—her school had banned the bot from school networks. So instead, she showed her senior AP literature class ChatGPT using screenshots of the tool.
This semester, students are reading Death of a Salesman, Wuthering Heights, and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. As she explained in a TikTok about her lesson plan, she will have her students write an original thesis statement in class about the text they’re reading. Then, the class will use ChatGPT to generate essays based on that thesis statement. (To sidestep the school’s ChatGPT blockade, Gibson will use her own device to generate the essays.) Students must then take apart and improve upon the ChatGPT-generated essay—an exercise designed to teach critical analysis, the craft of precise thesis statements, and a feel for what “good writing” looks like.
Gibson is hopeful but also recognizes the technology is still new, and its role in education largely undefined. “Like so many things, it’s just gonna be on the shoulders of teachers to figure this out,” she says. At the time of writing, Gibson’s students had just submitted their first round of essays where she allowed them to use AI at home without repercussions. She’s still asking her school to allow students to access ChatGPT.
SHORTLY AFTER TAKING over Twitter, Elon Musk laid off around 50 percent of the company’s staff. On the same day, he tweeted that all those laid off would receive three months of severance pay. But, after two months of waiting for the company to say what kind of severance and benefits will be available, several former Twitter employees say they’ve heard nothing.
*lay off 해고하다 *severance pay 해고수당
As weeks of waiting turn into months, former staffers in the US are filing arbitration suits, while some in the UK are trying to negotiate terms. In other countries where Twitter laid off staff, people have heard nothing.
*filing arbitration suits 중재 소송
Soon after the layoffs were announced, Twitter was forced to backtrack and keep some staff on payroll for longer. California employees were employed, though not working, until January 4 to avoid running afoul of the state’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN. In New York, former staffers will be employed for another month in accordance with state laws. But as those deadlines pass, Twitter’s silence has become deafening.
Seven former Twitter employees who spoke to WIRED said they had not received information about their severance, despite some coming up to or being past their last day at the company. Last month, a handful of former employees announced that they would be filing arbitration cases against the company, alleging that it had violated the WARN Act and that its handling of the layoffs constituted a breach of contract.
*allege 단언하다, 주장하다
One former employee, who was laid off in November, is waiting on legal proceedings to see whether they’ll be given severance at all—and is not confident they will be. Another, who was laid off in early November, has heard nothing from the company.
A third has yet to receive any details of severance, even though they have been chasing Twitter for information since they were fired in November. They had been promised at least twice before that they would be given details of their package—and each time the promised deadline passed without any information.
An ex-staffer in the UK says that they have also not received word about severance but are currently discussing terms with the company on behalf of the some 300 staff based in the country.
A former employee from Twitter’s Accra, Ghana, office, which was open for less than a week before its entire staff was laid off, says that they, “like other staff globally, were assured severance but have not heard from them yet.” The former employee says they were not sure what, if any, recourse they may have against the company in Ghana.
Twitter is, however, providing severance to some. One former contractor says their boss received their severance details on January 5. As for the contractor, they were given a box of chocolates by the agency that got them the job at Twitter. All former Twitter staffers contacted for this story were granted anonymity because talking to the media could affect them being granted severance pay.
While some chose to wait until their official status as employees expired on January 4, others chose to take preemptive legal action against the company.
*preemptive 선제의, 선매권이 있는
Helen-Sage Lee, one of the former Twitter employees who filed an arbitration suit against the company in December, says that while she is disappointed, she is unsurprised that former employees are now in limbo over the severance they were promised.
“That’s partially the reason why I wanted to move forward and file my case,” she says. “I assumed that the longer it would take legally, procedurally, for them to give us a severance package, and the more delays there would be, the chances of receiving a severance package would become slimmer and slimmer by the day.”
Lee says that none of the US-based former employees she is in contact with have received any communication from Twitter about their severance packages.
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer who is representing Lee as well as other former employees bringing arbitration suits against the company, says that she has received inquiries from dozens of laid off Twitter employees in recent days. Shannon Liss-Reardon, a Boston-based attorney also representing former employees, told Bloomberg that her team had filed 100 new arbitration claims on January 5.
“It’s been very concerning,” says Lee. “I think a lot of us were expecting severance agreements. So now a lot of us are left hanging. I won’t believe there is a severance until I am able to see it.”
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. Twitter’s communications and public relations staff were among those laid off after Musk’s takeover.
Every moment of every day, courtesy of the neurotransmitter serotonin, your brain is processing sensory information, such as sights and sounds, and synthesizing it into your sense of self and your sense of place in the environment. You experience this self-referential awareness of a coherent whole as a “self” or “ego.” This sense of self feels rather fixed, static, but it is not. It’s constantly being updated by incoming sensory experiences.
*neurotransmitter 신경 전달 물질 *synthesize 합성하다
The psychedelic experience feels as though this self-referential moment-to-moment updating of the ego has suddenly disappeared. The perception of our familiar self vanishes. The name given to this experience is ego death or ego dissolution. This distortion of our subjective experience of self is central to the psychedelic experience. People describe ego-dissolution as a diminished sense of self and an increase in the feeling of being at one with the universe, an experience felt as enriching.
*self-referential 자기 지시적인 *distortion 왜곡 *dissolution 분리, 용해
However, my students also describe losing their sense of being grounded in the present, feeling disoriented, as though everything was unfamiliar. One student complained that she “lost all sense of myself.” This aspect of the psychedelic experience can increase feelings of anxiety and fear.
The psychedelic experience also includes an increase in emotional empathy, the ability to respond to another’s mental state. People report a greatly enhanced sociability, as though they have “taken off the mask they wear around others,” or that the personal “wall” that separates them from others has fallen. Because our ego separates us from others, ego-dissolution causes us to feel much closer to other people, whether we know them well or not.
Some psychedelics enhance visual imagery and the mixing of audio and visual sensory experiences so that colors might give off sounds. One student said that she watched the colors in a rug slowly rise up into trails of colorful smoke rings. Another had a conversation with her toaster one morning. Studies of rock carvings from Central America compared to drawings from modern subjects demonstrate that psychedelics produce geometric imagery of a consistent nature, regularly featuring latticework patterning, cobweb structure, and tunnel or funnel effects with spirals. Images tend to pulsate and move toward a center tunnel or away from a bright center. The brightness intensification most users report is due to the dilation of the pupils caused by the drug.
Psychedelics have another feature in common: They have few negative cognitive effects; intellectual or memory impairment is minimal. They do not cause a stupor or narcosis as alcohol and heroin do. And they do not produce excessive stimulation like that experienced with cocaine and amphetamines.
What gives most psychedelics, including the so-called “classics”—LSD, psilocybin, DMT, and mescaline— their many, and many powerful, attributes in common is that they act on the serotonin neurons and receptors in the body and brain. Although there are only a few hundred thousand serotonin neurons in the human brain, they influence the function of virtually every brain region and thus every aspect of normal waking consciousness. Not only is serotonin involved in processing sensory information, it also influences emotional responses, such as fear, excitement, and empathy. Further, serotonin neurons control heart rate, respiration, and the release of hormones by influencing the autonomic nervous system.
*receptor 수용체 *respiration 호흡
Not all psychedelics produce the same experience because not all psychedelics act on serotonin receptors; the psychedelic experience depends on which neurotransmitter receptors the agent is targeting. For example, extracts of the mushroom Amanita muscaria alter the function of acetylcholine neurons. Acetylcholine is involved in processing neural activity in an area of the neocortex devoted to vision. Users of this mushroom report that normal objects appear bigger or smaller than they truly are—an effect called macropsia or micropsia, respectively. Lewis Carroll incorporated the effects of this mushroom into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Although they have been demonized in the United States since the 1970s, psychedelics, found naturally in a number of plants, have played a significant cultural role since ancient times, notably in religious ceremonies to facilitate communication with the gods. Typically, strict cultural rituals developed around the psychedelic experience. For example, only persons of high religious rank could consume mescaline, extracted from the peyote plant. Those of lesser status were accorded the honor of drinking the urine of these individuals.
*peyote plant 페요테 선인장; 환각성분을 추출하는데 쓰이는 식물
Research into natural psychedelics and a growing array of synthetic variants has been accelerating over the past two decades. The commonly reported experience of increased social connectedness—enabled by a decreased sense of self and the dissociating of attention from personal concerns—and the development of wonder and appreciation for life give psychedelics considerable potential for human transformation in troubled times.
OVER THE WINTER holidays, 16 US states—including Georgia and Texas—banned the popular short-form video app TikTok in work contexts, specifically on any device one has been provided by their employer. Governors from Texas to New Hampshire issued total prohibitions on the app on “state IT infrastructure.” In South Dakota and Georgia, governing bodies of higher education ordered compliance with their governors’ orders on all college and university devices. Other states have gone so far as to ban TikTok use when connected to campus Wi-Fi.
Concerns about TikTok harken back to the app’s parent company, the Chinese-owned ByteDance. The fear is that the Chinese government will compel ByteDance to hand over US TikTok data or force them to manipulate the already highly-tailored algorithm to push divisive content. Accordingly, former President Donald Trump tried unsuccessfully to ban the app in 2020 via potential executive order and divestment requirements. And in December, FBI director Chris Wray gave testimony to the US House and Homeland Security Committee, arguing that the app poses a national security threat.
*harken 귀기울여 듣다 *testimony 증거, 증언
Yet the panic about TikTok is overblown. While some data concerns exist—though none more extreme than those over any US-based social media platforms—policies and discourse around TikTok in politics amount to a modern-day Red Scare. American politicians seem keen to point fingers at China for a lack of data security without holding a mirror up to themselves, as they keep allowing Big Tech lobbyists to quash any meaningful attempts at federal social media regulation. Without a federal ban on TikTok throughout the United States (which remains staunchly unlikely), it is impossible to put the app back in the proverbial Pandora’s box. And when it comes to educating good media citizens in college classrooms, these TikTok bans will do more harm than good.
*Red Scare 적색 공포; 1920년대 미국에서 일어난 반공 운동 *quash 파기하다, 기각하다 *staunchly 충실히, 견고하게 *when it comes to : ~에 관한 한
Social media research and teaching have become staples in academia and higher education curriculums. The app has fundamentally changed the nature of modern communication with its aesthetics, practices, storytelling, and information-sharing.
From an educational standpoint, how are media and communications professors supposed to train students to be savvy content creators and consumers if we can’t teach a pillar of the modern media landscape? While students can certainly still access TikTok within the privacy of their own homes, professors can no longer put TikToks into PowerPoint slides or show TikTok links via classroom web browser. Brands, companies, and novel forms of storytelling all rely on TikTok, and professors will no longer be able to train their students in best practices for these purposes. Additionally, TikTok makes parts of the world more accessible, as students can see the things they are learning about in real time.
*savvy 영리한, 박식한
The world keeps turning as these states implement their bans, leaving their citizens disadvantaged in a fast-paced media world. Additionally, media and communications students in the states will be at a disadvantage in applying for jobs, showcasing communicative and technical mastery, and brand and storytelling skills, as their peers from other states will be able to receive education and training.
Professors also must do research. Social media scholars in these states quite literally cannot do what they have been hired to do and be experts in if these bans persist. While university compliance offices have said the bans may only be on campus Wi-Fi and mobile data is still allowed, who will foot that bill for one to pay for a more expensive data plan on their phone? The answer is no one. While working at home does remain an option, professors are also employees who are expected to be on campus regularly to show they are in fact working. This means any social media professor attempting to research TikTok on campus will have to rely on video streaming via mobile data, which can be quite expensive, either through having to individually pay for unlimited data, or accidentally going over one’s limits.
Other factors complicate working on campus, for even citing TikTok videos in research papers involves using web browser links to cite the URL. Putting such links in citational software provided by the university, such as EndNote and Zotero, would also not be allowed. Researchers in these states could simply choose not to study TikTok, but that would put them at a massive disadvantage in a landscape where the app is studied across the globe and in myriad fields (at the time of writing, a Google Scholar search of “TikTok” yields over 103,000 results). If this is beginning to sound like a logistical nightmare, as well as completely unenforceable, that’s because it is. Teaching is informed by research, and if professors aren’t able to research the most updated practices and trends, the quality of education given to their students will suffer.
*citational 인용적인, 인용하는 것 같은 *myriad 무수히 많은
These are now the hurdles social media researchers must jump through, making the already challenging road to tenure and promotion even more confusing, tedious, and frustrating. It also remains unlikely that these bans will be considered for these scholars’ cases for career advancement. Other researchers in other states and around the world will continue to easily engage with TikTok, while these employees are left struggling to keep up. Between this and the cost to the classroom, the quality of higher education in these states will suffer. And as many of these same states are ones that have implemented harsh legislative attacks on higher education, it’s hard to wonder if that’s also not part of the point.
SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM JUST got a kicking. In an ultimatum, the European Union has demanded that Meta reform its approach to personalized advertising—a seemingly unremarkable regulatory ruling that could have profound consequences for a company that has grown impressively rich by, as Mark Zuckerberg once put it, running ads.
The ruling, which comes with a €390 million ($414 million) fine attached, is targeted specifically at Facebook and Instagram, but it’s a huge blow to Big Tech as a whole. It’s also a sign that GDPR, Europe’s landmark privacy law that was introduced in 2018, actually has teeth. More than 1,400 fines have been introduced since it took effect, but this time the bloc’s regulators have shown they are willing to take on the very business model that makes surveillance capitalism, a term coined by American scholar Shoshana Zuboff, tick. “It is the beginning of the end of the data free-for-all,” says Johnny Ryan, a privacy activist and senior fellow at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
*fine 벌금 *bloc (국가간)연합, 세력권
To appreciate why, you need to understand how Meta makes its billions. Right now, Meta users opt in to personalized advertising by agreeing to the company’s terms of service—a lengthy contract users must accept to use its products. In a ruling yesterday, Ireland’s data watchdog, which oversees Meta because the company’s EU headquarters are based in Dublin, said bundling personalized ads with terms of service in this way was a violation of GDPR. The ruling is a response to two complaints, both made on the day GDPR came into force in 2018.
*opt 택하다, 고르다
Meta says it intends to appeal, but the ruling shows change is inevitable, say privacy activists. “It really asks the whole advertising industry, how do they move forward? And how do they move forward in a way that stops these litigations that require them to change constantly?” says Estelle Masse, global data protection lead at digital rights group Access Now.
EU regulators did not tell Meta how to reform its operations, but many believe the company has only one option—to introduce an Apple-style system that asks users explicitly if they want to be tracked.
Apple’s 2021 privacy change was a huge blow for companies that rely on user data for advertising revenue—Meta especially. In February 2022, Meta told investors Apple’s move would decrease the company’s 2022 sales by around $10 billion. Research shows that when given the choice, a large chunk of Apple users (between 54 and 96 percent, according to different estimates) declined to be tracked. If Meta was forced to introduce a similar system, it would threaten one of the company’s main revenue streams.
Meta denies it has to alter the way it operates in response to the EU ruling, claiming it just needs to find a new way to legally justify how it processes people’s data. “We want to reassure users and businesses that they can continue to benefit from personalized advertising across the EU through Meta’s platforms,” the company said in a statement.
However Max Schrems, an Austrian privacy activist whose nonprofit NOYB filed both complaints addressed in the ruling, calls this response “PR bullshit” and argues that Meta is trying to avoid telling investors it has run out of legal arguments to defend its business model.
This ruling is part of a wider move away from the unregulated model of online advertising that existed for years, according to Schrems. Five years ago, Europe sparked a legal shift by introducing GDPR—even though the new privacy rules were not effectively enforced, he says. That legal shift was followed by what Schrems calls “technical shifts,” in the form of privacy changes introduced by Google and Apple. “We’re [seeing] the combination of technical and legal shifts moving in the same direction,” he says.
As Apple’s changes take a chunk out of Meta, Google is trying to remake advertising cookies. It’s a plan that’s proven controversial, and in July Google delayed the phaseout to the second half of 2024, citing advertisers’ requests for more time. Opposition to the phaseout does not just come from the tech sector. A coalition of Germany’s largest publishers, including the owner of news outlets Bild and Politico, complained last year that without cookies, their revenues would suffer.
*phaseout 단계적 폐지 *cookie 쿠키; 사용자가 네트워크나 인터넷을 사용할 때마다 중앙 서버에 보내지는 정보 파일
Despite Google’s planned move away from cookies, the company has claimed that ditching personalized advertising altogether would jeopardize the authority of information online. “That won’t pay for the web everyone wants,” Claire Noburn, Google’s ads privacy lead, argued in a September op-ed, adding that getting rid of personalized advertising would deprive the open web, including publishers, of crucial funds.
*ditch 버리다, 도랑을 파다 *jeopardize 위태롭게 하다
Some envision an opt-in economy. “If everything becomes opt-in in the future, I think we have gained a lot because then we will actually have to understand what we’re opting into,” says Pernille Tranberg, cofounder of Danish think tank Data Ethics EU. Tranberg is not against personalized advertising, but she wants to choose which sites she gives her data to, depending on their reputation—she probably wouldn’t give her data to Facebook, she says, but she might give it to a newspaper or a bookstore.
*envision 구상하다, 상상하다 *opt-in 사전동의
Others are more hardline about the future. Access Now’s Masse advocates for a shift to tracker-free contextual advertising, which tailors ads dependent on context. An article about cars might feature a Volkswagen advert, for example.
*hardline 강경책 *contextual 맥락과 관련된
But not everyone agrees on the definition of contextual ads. And parts of the ad industry are still trying to figure out how they can include personalization within the contextual ad model, according to Masse. Yesterday’s ruling from the EU might signal we are entering a new era of online advertising and that surveillance capitalism is taking its last gasp. But with personalized ads being proposed as part of an alternative system, what comes next might not look that different.
The word “meme” denotes a rapidly spreading idea, behavior, or concept. Richard Dawkins originally coined the term to explain the action of natural selection on cultural information. For example, good parenting practices lead to children who survive to pass on those good parenting practices to their own children. Ask someone under twenty-five what a meme is, however, and chances are you will get a different definition: typing “meme” into Google Images yields page after page of photos of celebrities, babies, and kittens, overlaid with somewhat humorous text. Memes spread only as rapidly as they can reproduce. Parenting is a long-term and arduous task that takes decades to reproduce itself. A kitten photo reproduces in the few seconds it takes to resend. Consequently, the vast majority of memes are now digital, and the digital meaning of meme has crowded out its social and evolutionary meaning.
*coin 주조하다, (단어를)만들다 *arduous 고된 *chances are (that) s v : s가 v할 가능성이 있다.
Even in their digital context, memes are still usually taken to be a social phenomenon, selected and re-posted by human beings. Human beings are increasingly out of the loop in the production of viral information, however. Net bots who propagate fake news need not read it. Internet viruses that infect unprotected computers reproduce on their own, without human intervention. An accelerating wave of sell orders issued by high-frequency stock trading programs can crash the market in seconds. Any interaction between systems that store and process information will cause that information to spread; and some bits spread faster than other bits. By definition, viral information propagates at an accelerating rate, driving stable systems unstable.
*propagate 전파하다, 선전하다 *viral 바이러스성
Accelerating flows of information are not confined to humans, computers, and viruses. In the 19th century, physicists such as Ludwig Boltzmann, James Clerk Maxwell, and Josiah Willard Gibbs recognized that the physical quantity called entropy is in fact just a form of information—the number of bits required to describe the microscopic motion of atoms and molecules. At bottom, all physical systems register and process information. The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy tends to increase: this increase of entropy is nothing more or less than the natural tendency of bits of information to reproduce and spread. The spread of information is not just a human affair, it is as old as the universe.
In systems governed by the laws of gravitation, such as the universe, information tends to spread at an accelerating rate. This accelerating spread of information stems from a centuries-old observation in classical mechanics called the virial theorem. The virial theorem (from the Latin “vis” or “strength,” as opposed to the Latin “virus” or “slimy poison”) implies that when gravitating systems lose energy and information, they heat up. A massive cloud of cool dust in the early universe loses energy and entropy and clumps together to form a hot star. As the star loses energy and entropy, radiating light and heat into the cold surrounding space, the star grows hotter, not colder. In our own star, the sun, orderly flows of energy and information between the sun’s core, where nuclear reactions take place, and its outer layers, resulting in stable and relatively constant radiation for billions of years. A supermassive star, by contrast, radiates energy and information faster and faster, becoming hotter and hotter in the process. Over the course of a few hundred thousand years, the star burns through its nuclear fuel, its core collapses to form a black hole (an event called the “gravothermal catastrophe“), and the outer layers of the star explode as a supernova, catapulting light, energy, and information across the universe.
Accelerating flows of information are a fundamental part of the universe: we can’t escape them. For human beings, the gravitational instability implied by the virial theorem is a blessing: we would not exist if the stars had not begun to shine. The viral nature of digital information is less blessed. Information that reproduces itself twice in a second wins out over information that only reproduces once a second. In the digital memes ranked as most popular by Google Images, this competition leads to a race to the bottom. Subtlety, intricacy, and nuance take longer to appreciate, and so add crucial seconds to the digital meme reproduction process, leading to a dominance of dumb and dumber. Any constraint that puts information at a disadavantage in reproducing causes that information to lose out in the meme-race. Truth is such a constraint. *요지Fake news can propagate more rapidly than real news exactly because it is unconstrained by reality, and so can be constructed with reproduction as its only goal. The faulty genetic information contained in cancerous cells can propagate faster than correct genetic information because cancer cells need not respond to the regulatory signals sent to them by the body.
*intricacy 복잡성, 복잡함
Human society, living organisms, and the planets, stars, and galaxies that make up the universe all function by the orderly exchange of information. Social cues, metabolic signals, and bits of information carried by the force of gravity give rise to societies, organisms, and to the structure of the universe. Chaos, by contrast, is defined by the explosive growth and spread of random information. Memes used to be cultural practices that propagated because they benefited humanity. Accelerating flows of digital information have reduced memes to kitten photos on the Internet. When memes propagate so rapidly they lose their meaning, watch out!
새로운 학기를 마주하기 전, 학생들이 항상 고민하는 단골 주제는 거의 같다. ‘내신? 수능? 어떤 방향으로 공부해야 나에게 유리할까?’ 이 고민은 고등학교 3학년으로 진학하는 학생들 말고도 이르면 중학생까지 다양한 나이의 학생들의 머리를 지끈거리게 만들곤 한다. 특히 고등학교 2학년으로 진학하는 학생 중에서도 성적이 애매한 경우 더욱 더 깊은 고뇌에 빠지곤 한다.
‘1학년 때 이미 내신 망쳤는데 그냥 지금부터 수능 준비해?’
‘내 모의고사 성적 생각하면 정시는 더 답이 없을 것 같은데…’
‘수능까지 계속 공부할 자신이 없는데… 그게 인간으로써 가능한 일인가’
‘아 진짜 2학년 올라가면 생기부 관리랑 내신 공부 좀 열심히 해야겠다’
‘그런데 내가 내신 열심히 준비해봤자 달라지는게 있을까?’
등등 본인이 마치 닥터스트레인지라도 된 것처럼, 머리 속으로 수많은 망상 시뮬레이션을 끊임없이 되풀이하며 책상 앞에서 시간을 보내곤 한다. 아니 책상 앞에서 저런 생각이라도 하는 학생들은 양반이다. 어정쩡한 학생들의 대부분은 이미 포기하고 공부를 하는 시늉만 하기 때문이다. (어정쩡한 학생들은 다른 글에서 생태를 자세히 다뤄보도록 하겠다.)
책상 앞에서 고민하느라 공부할 시간이 없는 것은 중하위권 학생들의 고약한 특징 중 하나로, 최대한 적은 노력으로 최대한의 결과를 얻고자 하는 효율성을 추구하는(사실은 썩어 비틀어진) 마음에서 비롯한 것들이 대부분이다. 놀부도 백기도 흔들고 갈만한 저런 마인드 셋으로 좋은 성적을 거뒀을리 만무하다. 날로 먹고 싶어서 요리조리 궁리하고 있을 시간에 책 한 장을 더 넘겨봤으면 내신 등급이 바뀌었을 것이다. 그렇다 무한으로 수렴하던 고민에 대한 실마리가 바로 여기에 있다.
다시 논란의 근원인 내신과 수능의 양자택일 문제로 돌아가보자. 이 문제의 답은 참 쉽다. 바로 내신과 수능 둘 다 최선을 다해 준비하는 것이다. 엥? 이게 뭔 소린가 싶겠지만, 사실 입시는 태도의 싸움이다. 수시와 정시의 싸움이 아니다. 본인에게 주어진 상황에 있어서 어떤 마음가짐으로 삶을 살아가는 지에 달려있는 것이다. 내신 준비와 정시 준비를 따로 하는 것이 아니라 상호 보완적으로 유연하게 같이 이어나가야 목표하는 대학에 가까워질 수 있다.
열심히 공부해서 그 결실을 맺는 것. 쉬운 진리인 만큼 빠르게 깨달을 수록 좋다. 물론 쉬운 만큼 실천은 배로 어렵다. 인생 쉬운 것 하나 없다. 글을 읽는 본인이 원하는 학교가 아닌, 적당한 학교로 타협하겠다면, 평소처럼 적당히 하면 된다. 그리고 그렇게 평생 적당히 타협하면서, 내가 정말로 원하는 것들 다 포기하면서, 사실은 누구보다 포도를 갈망하던 여우의 마음을 가지고 살면 된다. 화이팅.