Sunday, October 26, 2008

ASIS&T 2008 - Plenary Session

Speakers are Genevieve Bell, Howard Rheingold, Andrew Keen.

Genevieve Bell is an anthropologist who works for Intel, on studies on how people use technology.

The many future of the internet. The intranet is more than just the technology. Democracy, transparency, openness and accessibility of all information are cultural values, but they are not everyone's values - nor are they any one area or locations values. They are unique to the internet.
We are at a pivot point of technology, as it moves off the PC and into the mobile area as well as consoles, and so on. These changes are impacting want can be done, and what we want to do with the internet. Applications are becoming more transacting, not immersive.

Interesting story on internet use in Africa. She spoke to a woman with no power, no PC and no mobile phone who used the internet every day. She had her son come in every morning, tell her about her incoming email and take her outgoing email. He then went and sent the email to her recipients. So even though she never used the internet herself, she uses it daily.
Bulk of the TV viewing on PC is done by women between 25 - 45, not the typical vision of a technology first adopter.

There are a number of examples she gives that demonstrate the new internet. In particular, there are more Chinese people on the net now, than American. This will never change, given birth rates. This means English is no longer the dominate language, which raises questions for translations as well as culture. There is a lot of issues that exist in Chinese and Hindu versus English, particularly as Chinese and Hindu are more poetic languages where words are often used for multiple meanings depending on the context, the simile, or the metaphor. Think Cockney Rhyming slang.
Infrastructure has a extraordinary impact on how people use and experience the internet. With people having the same speed up and down, people tend to submit more and when the speed down is faster than the speed up, people tend to consume more. Gives an example of iPlayer in the UK, which single-handedly degraded the internet for the entire UK due to demand for IP TV from BBC.

Talked to several different cultural clashes over application of technology, who wants to be in the conversation, what the conversation means.

Government, technology, society and religion all intersect in the application of internet and technology.

The things that worry us about technology have changed. We are now more worried about authorship, ownership, reputation, authenticity, access, digital literacy.

First challenge is there may never have been a single internet, but looking forward there are multiple different internets in the future - differentiated by access method, country, desires.

Second challenge is that there are people trying to get unplugged from technology. People consciously choosing to be disconnected.

Howard Rheingold begins the discussion response to Genevieve's presentation. We need to teach our children how to access content, and tell what content is valuable. Knowledge transfer is not about taking notes and spitting the notes back out on the test, but is instead about learning what you need to know to accomplish a task and survive in the world. Note taking doesn't automatically create that knowledge transfer.

Andrew Keen gives a response to Genevieve's presentation. He wonders how Intel wins on the basis of the information she presented. The internet is a philosophical movement. A book by Fred Turner called from Counter culture to cyberspace lays out the philosophical movement of the internet and its ideology.

The internet is not the real world. The real world is increasingly ugly. Battles are brewing on the internet, as an example the Chinese versus English internet. The real world is worse, there are people are losing their lives, losing their freedoms and losing their livelihood in the real world, and the internet is not helping.

Digital Fascism - similar to the industrial revolution, there are people who are disenfranchised by the information revolution. What will happen with these people?

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