Global Networks

Setting on the fence!

A global network is a system of connections spanning the entirety of the world. The network culture follows the period of postmodernity which was encapsulated by a zeitgeist of nothingness and a growing resentment towards the negative reality of technology. Emerging for this period in the early 2000’s, the advent of the network culture or hypermodernity was essentially focused on connectivity and the intersection between machines and humans.

The flux of globalisation has divided opinion concerning it implications for society. Kazys Varnelis has a very optimistic view of global networks and emphasises the bounty of opportunities presented by decentralised economic trade, social development and cultural transformation, as the world becomes more connected and infused. However, Geert Lovink views the global networks as a disintegration of society in which existence lacks context, actions become irrelevant and all motivation is caused from internal desire, not external compulsion in which identity is shaped by artificial actions.

Attempts to classify the global network positively or negatively are arbitrary as the concept is too complex. Lovink neglects to present the opportunities of the global network as articulated by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge commenced in Boston by Pete Frates who was living with ALS, or motor neuron disease. Upon posting the video on social media the challenge went viral and has since raised over $100 million for MND research. This campaign perfectly demonstrates the power of global connectivity to cause positive change. In contrast, Varnelis fails to discuss the destruction of cultural diversity and the death of languages caused by globalisation. Today, 7000 languages are spoken globally, by 2100 it is predicted that 90% of the world’s languages will cease to exist. The death of languages is directly related to the sweeping Western-isation of the world increased by the ease of travel and international commerce promoted by globalisation.

I disagree with both Lovink and Varnelis and believe we need to work to find a holistic solution to the reality of the global network.

References

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8311000/8311069.stm

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2014/08/29/the-als-ice-bucket-challenge-has-raised-100m-but-its-finally-cooling-off/

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