Welcome to the Global Village

7 Mar

As I start this blog, I am aware that I am benefiting from others work. The entry posts are mine, yet the theme and the code of the blog itself have all been put together by someone else. I am merely piecing together and making customisation to what others have worked to produce. Now I may call myself a ‘prod-user’. Being that I am using as well as producing. The labour and time it took to create the blog and the entries it will house is mine, but I am doing that on the back of other people’s initiative. My reflection comes as I realise much the same happens in all areas of the global village. A network of peer to peer systems allows us all, who access the Internet barring individual government restrictions, the ability to share knowledge, software and designs with each other, instantly. Creating sustainable business opportunities and connections, that otherwise would have ceased to exist. As the internet develops and grows, daily, the common pool of information (or commons) constantly seeks to contend with the big business corporations seeking to profit from the ways people exchange that information. As peer to peer sharing continues we must all as users of this commons secure better relations between community and corporation. The divide between profit and labour must continue to addressed, established and revisited frequently to make the global village a profitable and enjoyable place for all to learn and to grow.

In a discussion about liquid democracies, Tiziana describes them as “the flood of data” which makes possible as she notes a “social web” which we can all learn and grow from by providing “new forms of participation, decision making, access to information and a better transparency of government.” This creation then of a global village makes the hidden, visible. Makes the public aware of the mechanisms of power and makes our surveillance of those mechanisms more so than ever before.

In their chapter on ‘Theoretical Frameworks’, Andrew Murphy and John Potts find there to be two positions with which to respond to this ever growing global village before us. The first is that of technological determinism, being the idea that process is found through the speed of movement and the volume of its production. Jack Goody notes that technology and especially electronic media enables a “cognitive potentiality for human beings” (1997:128). This seeks to create more and further kinds of technology and electronic media at a establishing alarming rate. Hence the ever increased breadth of the internet and the constant updated and revisioning of technologies, especially if thinking of Apple who have already brought out an iPad 2 less than a year after its original. Murphy notes that “the way in which a new technology creates a new potential and possibility for human thought, expression or activity” (p.13)  really enables human being to creatively grow in new and otherwise unthought of capacities.  Marshall McLuhan, the theorist who originally thought of the global village, comments that human capacities can all be extended and heightened through technology. The more we produce then, the more then we grow as a society; individually, corporately and collectively. The constant creation of new technologies McLuhan sees will “alter perception steadily and without any resistance” (p.27). In a sense we are as media practioners creating a new sense reality, if not the sense of reality itself, and changes the way we relate to one another.

Another way Murphy and Potts see we can analyse this global village is to note the changing relationship between culture and technology. Technology in this sense is seen to bring cultural change. For example the advent of the moving image culturally required the need for broadcasting it. Not just to places people could go to see it, but to places to would come to them. Murphy sees that its advent relates to the post World War One circumstances the world found itself in. Cities grew larger, people spent more time in the family home, and people became more mobile. A way culture responded to the advent of broadcasting, just as that of the internet, is to invent government regulations to keep the technology as a functioning part of culture, not the other way around. The fear of the other way can be vividly seen in Hollywood, such as the Terminator movies. In their book The Social Shaping of Technology, MacKenzie and Wajcman find that the advent of new technologies “merely opens a door; it does not compel one to enter.” (1998:6) We then as media produsers have to knock.

Bibliography

Terranova, Tiziana ‘Tizana Terranova introduces Liquid Democracies’, transmediale, http://www.transmediale.de/tiziana-terranova-it-introduces-liquid-democracies

Bauwebs, Michel (2009) ‘The Internet as Playground and Factory’ http://vimeo.com/7919113

Murphie, Andrew and Potts, John (2003) ‘Theorical Frameworks’ in Culture and Technology London: Palgrave Macmillan: pp. 11-38

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