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Digital Human


Aleks Krotoski charts how digital culture is moulding modern living. Each week join technology journalist Aleks Krotoski as she goes beyond the latest gadget or web innovation to understand what sort of world we’re creating with our ‘always on’ lives.

Aleks Krotoski charts how digital culture is moulding modern living. Each week join technology journalist Aleks Krotoski as she goes beyond the latest gadget or web innovation to understand what sort of world we’re creating with our ‘always on’ lives.
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Aleks Krotoski charts how digital culture is moulding modern living. Each week join technology journalist Aleks Krotoski as she goes beyond the latest gadget or web innovation to understand what sort of world we’re creating with our ‘always on’ lives.





In this episode of The Digital Human Aleks Krotoski asks if social media is creating a new era of shame. Psychotherapist Aaron Balick explains how shame needs a witness in order to be felt, we need to be able to see our selves through the eyes of another. If we break a social norm we are made to feel shame. Shame is a powerful emotion that can control our behaviour and infiltrate every aspect of our lives, influencing the way we live. Serephina Ferraro's experience of shame went further,...

Duration: 00:27:55


For many of us the modern world is thankfully one of abundance, where we can indulge ourselves at every turn. But why is it so difficult to say when we've had enough; of foods we know aren't good for us, of TV programmes that play the next episode automatically, of the fleeting social connections we get through online platforms? As advanced as our technological world has become our brains haven't evolved much since we lived on the African Savannah. And all the things that we sought out to...

Duration: 00:28:37


Aleks Krotoski explores living in a digital world.

Duration: 00:27:38


Spam and its prevention have been a driving force in the history of the internet. It's changed laws and communities, language and culture. It comes in all shapes and forms, the most popular of which is advance fee scams. You know the drill: an agent for the widow of charitable billionaire wants to give you a share of a multi million-dollar 'inheritance'... in return for your help in getting access to it by posing as a cousin or a niece. But this type of spam isn't just a feature of digital...

Duration: 00:27:44


From funerals to the Burning the Circle festival held every year on the Isle of Aran to surgeon's scrubbing up before an operation, Aleks explores the very human experience of rites of passage and ritual and why this very human experience can help make sense of ourselves online. A modern day rite of passage could be getting your first mobile or social media account but do we have rituals to accompany these new keys to the adult world? And why should we need them? Produced by Kate Bissell.

Duration: 00:27:52


Sin eating was an age old British practice carried out by those on the fringes of their communities. When someone died the sin eater would consume a ritualistic meal over the corpse and in doing so they would take on their sins. Whether they were outcasts because of this, or to start with folklorists can't say. What is known for certain though is that they were among the poorest - who else would do it? While the practice may have died out over a hundred years ago there is a digital...

Duration: 00:28:39


Aleks is in search of silence. Isobel Anderson suffers from tinnitus and at its peak felt like she was being tortured, or stalked. But the culprit wasn't an external sound that she could switch off; it was inside her brain. Her mind tuned into the inner electrical currents and motions that we all experience, but hers never fade away. Her neurons had made the connections, and so she couldn't stop hearing the sound. She knew there was no such thing as silence but what she missed was being...

Duration: 00:27:55


Aleks Krotoski tells the story of a film that doesn't exist and the online community convinced that it does. We hear from people who have come together on the online site Reddit to share their memories of the film, including a former video shop worker called Don. Many of them have very clear memories of watching Shazaam and are convinced it's disappearance is related to a strange phenomenon called The Mandela Effect, so named after the late South African activist Nelson Mandela. We follow...

Duration: 00:27:56


There is an old joke that talking to yourself is first sign of madness but we now know its an essential mental tool . So how much of what we do online is that same inner speech?

Duration: 00:28:10


Geoff Lean was in a coma for a month, during this time he could hear and feel everything but it wasn't until he woke up from the coma that he realised he had also unconsciously absorbed visual information through his eyes. Aleks investigates Blindsight, one of the most curious phenomenon's in cognitive neuroscience and helps to explain how Geoff was able to see without seeing. Milena Cunning went into hospital a sighted person but when she awoke from a coma her world was completely black....

Duration: 00:27:59


Technology has always allowed us to push the boundaries of what's real and not real. From filters on our holiday snaps to recreating life in a laboratory. Is it any wonder then that amidst all this 21st century noise we're searching for an authentic voice? But what authenticity actually is can be difficult to define, particularly in the digital sphere where filters, artifice and simulation are part of the fabric of how we engage on social media. From Aristotle to Frankenstein, to...

Duration: 00:27:48


We seem to be living in a world of polarised opinions giving rise to increasingly angry exchanges on television, print and of course social media. Aleks Krotoski asks how online anger works and is it a symptom or the cause of the problem. An enormous Chinese study demonstrated that angry content is the most shared across the web while US researchers have asserted that while we might not be any angrier than in the past we encounter much more angering content than ever before and that anger...

Duration: 00:29:19


Aleks Krotoski explores life in the digital world. What makes us laugh and why? And when so much of the web is there to tickle our funny bone, does anyone ever laugh out loud?

Duration: 00:28:49


The world we experience through screen based technology is two dimensional which some argue creates distance between the viewer and the viewed but can modern day virtual reality story telling using a three dimensional perspective go further than any other medium of technology to enable us to really experience the lives of others, to walk in another man's shoes? Vicky Sutherland is mum to eight year old Arron who suffers from autism. Vicky tries to see the world through Arron's eyes as he...

Duration: 00:27:59


So much of our experience of technology can feel a bit like being haunted. It starts like any good ghost story with the just mildly unsettling; things aren't were you left them or seem to have moved on their own within our devices. Its a creepy feeling that leaves you unsure about what to believe. Our understanding of how much of technology works is so limited that when it starts to behave out of the ordinary we have no explanation. This is when we start to make very peculiar judgement's;...

Duration: 00:28:12


Our records define us - birth records, death records, crime records, marriage records - but what if you don't want to be defined by your records? And how do our physical and digital traces say affect us? In this episode of The Digital Human, Aleks explores these questions by hearing three very different tales of recorded lives...

Duration: 00:28:03


In the spring of 1996, an enterprising American college student named Jennifer Ringley connected a webcam to her computer and began seven years of uninterrupted self-exposure. JenniCAM, as she eventually named it, was the first no-holds-barred lifelogging experiment on the world wide web. Every 15 seconds, the webcam uploaded another still image - from the mundane to the erotic - exposing the uncensored life of a young woman coming of age. The web at the time of JenniCAM was still in its...

Duration: 00:27:58


The way the digital world is presented to us can be alienating and obfuscating, bad metaphors like the cloud or the slow tracking shots between the banks of servers can make us forget that these networks are built and maintained by human beings. They can appear as something vast, unfathomable and otherworldly - a kind of digital sublime. Yet they exist in the same world as we do and have a physicality that's often lost on us. Aleks leads us on an exploration of this physicality from the...

Duration: 00:28:39


Why does a parent's awe over their child's ability with technology turn so quickly to fear? Aleks Krotoski explores the anxieties at the heart of modern parenting and tech.

Duration: 00:28:01

Lost and Found

From lost cameras, dogs, cats, phones and people, we are turning to the web to find what we have lost. Aleks explores whether you are more likely to find what you've lost using online social networks? Are we as connected as we think we are? Or does it make more sense to step out of the digital world and search with the help of physical social networks? Produced by Kate Bissell.

Duration: 00:27:50

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