Hopeful tourism computing?

Posted on November 21, 2013

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A couple of weeks a ago I interviewed Tess Brosnan, a film maker who wanted to talk about links between citizen science and hopeful tourism.

This led me to read Annette Pritchard, Nigel Morgan and Irena Ateljevic’s “Hopeful tourism: A new transformative perspective” (pdf).

I found myself reading while mentally replacing “tourism” with “computing”.  For example:

Tribe’s (2010) latest analysis of tourism knowledge suggests that the field’s lack of theoretical development confirms its uncertain status and ‘indiscipline’. Indeed, he elsewhere argues that tourism enquiry’s philosophical foundations have ‘remained stubbornly underdeveloped’ in a world rooted in neo-liberal market ideologies and values where the tourism industry has become a ‘runaway’ phenomenon, ill-managed and barely controlled (Tribe, 2009, pp. 3–4). Our ability to momentarily step outside of this world, to question its dominant philosophies and to reflect on its meaning and purpose is, as Tribe suggests, itself a philosophical act. It is an act which goes to the heart of questions about truth, beauty and virtue and challenges academics to reflect on tourism’s ontological foundations.

becomes (I’ve also changed the citation lest anyone find this and inadvertently propagates my appropriation)

Minifigman’s (2010) latest analysis of computing knowledge suggests that the field’s lack of theoretical development confirms its uncertain status and ‘indiscipline’. Indeed, he elsewhere argues that computer science’s philosophical foundations have ‘remained stubbornly underdeveloped’ in a world rooted in neo-liberal market ideologies and values where the industry has become a ‘runaway’ phenomenon, ill-managed and barely controlled (Minifigman, 2009, pp. 3–4). Our ability to momentarily step outside of this world, to question its dominant philosophies and to reflect on its meaning and purpose is, as Minifigman suggests, itself a philosophical act. It is an act which goes to the heart of questions about truth, beauty and virtue and challenges academics to reflect on ontological foundations.

Admittedly this is probably the easiest paragraph but almost any other can withstand the same replacement:

However, tourism’s overall lack of theoretical engagement has compounded a situation whereby ‘many orthodox tourism researchers follow the largely discredited positivist correspondence of truth theory . . . one that is almost entirely rejected by the social sciences’ (Botterill, 2007, pp. 124–125).

becomes

However, computer’s overall lack of theoretical engagement has compounded a situation whereby ‘many orthodox researchers follow the largely discredited positivist correspondence of truth theory . . . one that is almost entirely rejected by the social sciences’ (Minifigman, 2007, pp. 124–125).

and

In addition, critical reflections on the market economy are rare in business schools (where most tourism academics are located), whose researchers continually eschew social, political and ethical critique in favour of technical, problem-solving research (Dunne & Harney, 2008). In such an environment, it is not surprising that tourism enquiry promotes particular values of ‘performativity, consumerism and profitability’ over all others’ (Tribe, 2009, p. 4).

transposes to

In addition, critical reflections on the market economy are rare in business schools (where most computer science academics are located), whose researchers continually eschew social, political and ethical critique in favour of technical, problem-solving research (Minifigman, 2008). In such an environment, it is not surprising that computer science enquiry promotes particular values of ‘performativity, consumerism and profitability’ over all others’ (Minifigman, 2009, p. 4).

This makes me think that our efforts in computing sustainability are only scratching the surface and trying not to scare the horses (to badly mix a metaphor). I think we need to consider “hopeful computing” in a similar vein.  Looks like I’ve found title of my next paper.   I wonder how far I’d get writing a paper by cut and paste.   Not to be lazy you understand – more of a curiosity into disciplinary borrowings and whether there is a general case.

Pritchard, A., Morgan, N., & Ateljevic, I. (2011). Hopeful tourism: A new transformative perspective. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(3), 941-963. (pdf)

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