Thursday, 22 November 2012

Information and Communication Technologies and our World

In this blog posting I will explore how the introduction of technology in our day to day activities has and is changing our society. When looking at the history there are distinct periods of human evolution in different societies. The Network Society: From Knowledge to Policy by Manuel Castels is an article that I read that made me wonder what age are we in now, the information age or the post information age. The information age is the time after the industrial age when people began working using technologies like “computers and robots to perform hard manual labour, meticulous repetitive tasks, and even lengthy mathematical questions”. When referring to the post information age it is when we use technology and the internet as a voice where all opinions can be heard. It is a time when the voice of the people can truly be heard without any bias. This gives us a much wider range of perspectives other than the one that is given to us by the media. The most recent example of the information age can be seen in Egypt. I believe that technology and the idea of the information age has allowed the Egyptian society to communicate their problems and organize massive protests and stop what they considered to an unjust and overpowering government. 

Carrying on we all know that information and communication technologies has given our society further control of almost all aspects of our lives. For example my uncle who moved to Japan, using Facebook and Skype we are able to easily control our relationship by talking, viewing photos, and reading status updates. This technology is something we have taken for granted. The best example of how technology has changed to give us more control over the political economy is the Cuban missile crisis. In October of 1962 there was a confrontation between Cuba, the Soviet Union, and the United States of America.  The crisis involved a U.S military blockade of Cuba, Soviet missile sites on Cuban soil which would allow the Soviet Union to have missile in range of Washington DC. During this time when to country were at the brink of war, communicating between the Soviet Union and the U.S.A were being done through written message sent by carriers. Only after the situation had been “resolved”  was a direct communication like between Moscow and Washington installed. To this day it still amazes me how little our world communicated only 51 years ago. I think that communication has allowed our society to grow and so what is best for us as a whole. The internet and technology has done many things the most important of which is giving everyone an equal voice. I know we are not there yet but one day communication and the internet will put an end to many injustices around the world.

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