The Digital Scholar: Philosopher's Lab

Volume 2, Issue 1, 2019

Evgeniy V. Maslanov
Pages 6-21

Digitalization and development of information and communication technology
New challenges or escalation of old problems?

This paper investigates the impact of digital and new information and communication technologies on the transformation of human identity, on urban life, social, political and scientific practices. Basing on the comparative method, the author attempts to show that the use of new digital and information and communication technologies leads to both positive and negative consequences. In the first case, technologies create new opportunities for the formation of identities, a greater inclusion of the population into urban life, as well as for the evolution of new social, political and scientific practices. In the second case, the formation of new techno-digital identities might lead to existential crises and human dehumanization. New practices of information search and the use of social networks contribute to shaping of an information cocoon and authoritarian regimes, while scientific knowledge ceases to be controlled by humanity and human reason. At the same time, this digital ambivalence sharpens old problems, showing their fundamental importance, though not forming a new agenda. The point is that not so much the new technologies themselves possess innovative potential but possible projects for constructing new sociocultural and technological conditions for their use have it.