Monday, January 26, 2004

My discussion questions got a little out of hand length-wise ... I realize there are probably more than three questions here ...

On pg 295 in the New Media Reader, Williams notes that in the development of television, "there was a crucial community of selected emphasis and intention ..." He also states that it is characteristic of new communication systems that the technology is forseen, and therefore that technology is not be the cause of social change. Both the new needs and new possibilities that came about from previous technical/social developments.

1. What new needs and new possibilities have arisen recently to facilitate the new communication system technology that we have today -- the Internet? What emphases and intentions supported the development of the Internet?

2. How might the Internet be different today were there different emphases or intentions? What alternative uses, forms, or reach might this technology have taken?

And of course I have to throw one in about libraries (I'm in library school) :) ...

3. Maybe libraries are a different kind of communication system, but how can library systems be viewed as information internetworks from Downey's focus in "Virtual Webs, Physical Technologies, Hidden Workers" on the "borderlands" between the social and technical aspects of the system? (Who are the managers, the consumers, and the producers? Who works on the borders? Is the common perception of some library workers as something between clerical and skilled professionals comparable to workers on the border in other systems (ex. circulation workers, copy catalogers, and para-professionals in the library)?)

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