mercoledì, ottobre 31, 2012

What is the network society

People are reversing the notion: what is important in their life cannot be bought, in most cases

All the studies on the internet show that people who are more social on the internet are also more social face-to-face 

It is impossible to reverse the trend of the networked society 

Prof Manuel Castells 


estratto da un articolo comparso sul sito della BBC on line dell'intervista del giornalista Paul Mason al professor Manuel Castells

What is the Network Society? 

 "It's a society where the main activities in which people are engaged are organised fundamentally in networks, rather than in vertical organisations. "The difference is very simple - network technologies. It's not the same thing to be constantly interactive at the speed of light than just simply have a network of friends and people. 
"So all networks exist, but the connection between everything and everything - be it financial markets, politics, culture, media, communications, etc - that's new because of the new digital technologies." 

 Paul Mason: So we live in a network society. Could we reverse out of a network society? 

Manuel Castells "Can we reverse to a pre-electricity world? It's the same thing. No we can't. 
"Although many people now are saying 'well why we don't start all over again?' It's a huge movement called the de-growth movement. Some people would try to go to different forms of communal organisation, etc.   
"However, the interesting thing is for the people to organise and debate and mobilise for de-growth and communalism, they have to use the internet. 
"We live in a culture of not virtual reality, but real virtuality because our virtuality - meaning the internet networks - are a fundamental part of our reality. 
"All the studies on the internet show that people who are more social on the internet are also more social face-to-face." 

 Paul Mason: You have these diverse groups, they protest against subject A today, and subject B tomorrow, and they play World of Warcraft at night - but they're not going to achieve what Castro and Guevara achieved, are they?

Manuel Castells "The impact on the political institutions is almost negligible because the political institutions are impervious to change. But if you look at what's happening in terms of the consciousness... you have things like the huge debate of social inequality that didn't exist three years ago. 
"In terms of demonstrating, the system is much stronger than the embryos of the movement... you reach the minds of the people through a process of communication, and this process of communication is today fundamentally through the internet and debating. 
"It's a long process from the minds of the people to the institutions of society. Let's take an historical example: toward the end of the 19th Century in Europe, there were basically the Conservatives and the Liberals, right and left. 
"But then something happened - industrialisation, working class movements, new ideologies and new movements started. All this was not in the political system. It took 20 to 30 years, then you have the socialists and then the split from the socialists... and the liberals disappear basically. 
"It will change politics, but not through organised forms of politics in the same way. Why? Because networks are different and networks don't need hierarchical organisations." [...] 

versione integrale dell'articolo sul sito della BBC* on line (eng)

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