Week 6 Global Networks
To be perfectly honest, I found Geert Lovink’s pessimistic monologue quite disturbing. His flat and monotone delivery of his thoughts appeared to me to be more of a reflection of his own personal struggle with, and by the sounds of it, ultimate failure with coming to terms with the new network culture. He refers back to childhood as if this was a much happier time in his own life calling it “The last anchor to cling to, the collective childhood experiences enlarged to mythic proportions, the pop concerts, parties, summer camps.” Then he seems to contradict himself and says “A loop is created from a past which meant nothing to a future that will have nothing to offer.” I think the monologue fails to give any rational evaluation of global networks and gives a very jaundiced and one sided viewpoint.
On the other hand I think Kazys Varnelis has tried to give a balanced view of the subject , it seems like a largely unbiased representation of facts based on research, rather than the melancholic personal rant that Geert Lovniks’s monologue seems to convey. .Although I was a little concerned when Varnelis says at the end of the first paragraph of his introduction “There’s nothing on the horizon anymore except stathis, a steady sidewise drift through a time we hardly clock anymore.” It seems to me here that Varnelis like Lovnik offers a personal opinion that has no data or facts to support it. Varnelis also states “All of these connections are overtaking individuality.” Which once again would appear to be his personal opinion, which is fine if you can support it with some kind of evidence. But it seems to introduce a tiny bit of the negativity that comprises all of Lovnik’s monologue.
Personally when considering the effects of global networks I am mostly pretty optimistic. In a multitude of areas such as medicine, combating global warming, disaster relief and education, to name a very few, the instant availability and sharing of the latest research and technology can only be of benefit to a globally connected society as a whole. Surely the more we connect and share, the more we can learn understand and appreciate other cultures and different opinions and incorporate them in to our global families, then it will be to our benefit in the long run.
The opportunity for things such as recruiting people for, and spreading terrorism is a very troubling concern. But I think that the actual global connectedness of our world means that even if you are trying to conduct an activity through internet connectivity but still keep it concealed from the mainstream global network, if it is detrimental or not in the best interests of our global society as a whole, then it will be discovered and revealed eventually.
Global networks are the latest stage in the evolution of society and like many new developments in the history of the human race, they can be viewed in the early stages with distrust and pessimism. However the human race has shown itself since time began to be able to embrace and adapt to changes, and the effects of global networks may prove a challenge initially but I think the world will rapidly take it in its stride and benefit from them.
Varnel,K. 2008, Networked Publics. Boston: MIT Press (Introduction)
Geert Lovnik’s Monologue, Electronic Loneliness