This research initially set out to prove the importance of considering why research in this area could inform those interested with knowledge gained from a wide source of expertise, however, no manner of inquiry could have prepared the researcher to understand the resultant findings of the research journey. The most important aspect of this research is the manner in which the research arrived at a conclusion, personal and professional.
This PhD thesis also pitches the promise of greatness facilitated by technology against some very real concerns now affecting humanity as a result of its inception. In many ways this research process has provided a greater understanding of the importance of re-considering the path that western society is taking as it careens down a path to a cyborg dystopia, to the decolonising methodologies that First Nation peoples hold forward as core and fundamental to the enduring spirit of humanity.
For the reader this research speaks of a unique perspective, considering how body worn location enabled camera technologies are used across society and posing critical considerations for the rapid deployment of these technologies as contributing to significant positive and detrimental concurrent impact on humanity. To couple, to decouple, juxtapose, compare or even to consider the duality of western science and it’s abstraction, compartmentalisation as it occurs within a spirituality is enough to challenge many academic common discourses.
This research is important because I have as a participant observer and as the researcher experienced first hand the colossal and detrimental impacts of technologies as abstract and industry specific as head worn cameras through to the stultifying stupor of a virtual or augmediated reality. Concurrently I consider myself incredibly lucky to have experienced amazingly profound emotional connections with humans who to this day I have never met via this technology.
It is with this paradox that I bring forward my own experiences to consider as understanding and further knowledge with an intent to contribute with a positive and progressive outcome generated by almost a decade of listening to others. The dystopic reality I see my own children and those of my colleagues as they battle automated monsters, as they salivate, seep in their own urine or fail to adequately socially acknowledge each other drives me to despair yet, I feel that my research points to some very salient realities we must admit to as a society. Our blatant disregard for how effective the digital networked effect is on our capacity to listen, to deeply listen, not just hear is at the core to our future success.
The collapse of my own value set, the challenges I faced ethically and the moral bind I fought against to critically appraise the learning journey, as a participant, in long periods of reflection on the methodological approach I feel make this research important. I will argue that it took my own collapse of moral subservience to arrive at an ethical and new beginning, in essence, arriving at a point of knowing more about what I don’t know and providing a path for others to consider as useful in their own appraisal of the technology.
This fear driven cycle of punitive retribution must now be acknowledge as facilitated by the very technologies I sought to fit for purpose. Everyone now seems to own a camera of some description, whether it be in a smartphone, a go-pro, body camera, lapel camera or other and it seems we have as a consumer society reached a point of veillance so acute we have forgotten what it was to be human, seeing not just looking.