Kim H. Veltman
Four Ways that Digital Communications are Transforming Scholarship
Sources, Names, Claims and Scope
Paper submitted to INET 2004, Barcelona
Written: Arlington and Maastricht, 2002.
Criticism, Satire and Caricature
2. Variant Names and Categories
a. Personal Knowledge
b. Future of the Book
c. Collaborative Knowledge
d. Enduring Knowledge
3. Differing Claims
The implications of Information and Communications Technology (ICT e.g. computers linked by Internet) are a matter of great debate. At one end of the spectrum are persons in cultural studies who argue that culture and society entail only human beings. Technology, they claim, is insignificant and to study its effects is only for technophiles. They deny McLuhan’s insights that the medium is the message and argue that “digital” is merely a fashion, a passing mode with no enduring significance. Then there are techo-optimists such as de Kerckhove, who see only the happy consequences.
On the other end of the spectrum are techno-determinists, who claim that technology is changing everything. Even within this group there is a wide range of views with thinkers such as Negroponte, Dertouzos and Castells. Networked computers, they tell us are bringing new modes of access, collaboration, and are transforming our notions of work, play, entertainment and life-long learning. Many of these claims are very broad with no precise explanation of precisely how ICT is changing methods.
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