Ethics and Information Technology

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 19–25

Shrinking selves in synthetic sites: On personhood in a Walt Disney World

  • Charles W. Harvey
  • Carol Zibell

DOI: 10.1023/A:1010004012159

Cite this article as:
Harvey, C.W. & Zibell, C. Ethics and Information Technology (2000) 2: 19. doi:10.1023/A:1010004012159


In this essay we show how certain tendencies of theself are enhanced and hindered by technologicallyorganized places. We coordinate a cognitive andbehavioral technology for the control of personalidentity with the technologically totalizedenvironments that we call “synthetic sites.” Weproceed by describing Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi'sstrategy for intensifying experience and organizingthe self. Walt Disney World is then considered as theexample, par excellence, of a synthetic sitethat promotes ordered experience via self-shrinkage. Finally, we reflect briefly on problems andpossibilities of human life lived in a world that canbe described with increasing accuracy as “anarchipelago of synthetic sites.”

Csikszentmihalyi self self-shrinkage synthetic sites 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles W. Harvey
    • 1
  • Carol Zibell
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and ReligionUniversity of Central ArkansasUSA.
  2. 2.CDIIBMTucsonUSA.

Personalised recommendations