The promise of the Information Revolution. Has it been delivered? – speech by Dr Barry Jones

Abstract: The Information Revolution should have been an instrument of personal liberation and an explosion of creativity. Instead, it has been characterised by public policy dominated by managerialism, replacement of ‘public good’ by ‘private benefit’, decline of sustained critical debate, and ‘dumbing down’ of mass media; it is linked with celebrity, substance abuse and retreat into the personal, the rise of fundamentalism and an assault on reason. The Knowledge Revolution ought to have been a countervailing force: in practice it has been the vector of change. I urge you to commit yourselves to enlightened, passionate scepticism, involvement and detachment, reflection, enthusiasm, knowledge and balance – an odd mixture, but an essential one.Some excerpts from the speech by Dr Barry Jones…Through Google and other powerful search engines we have instant access to what would have seemed like unimaginable richness to earlier generations – but I doubt if the promise has been delivered…. One negative effect of the technological revolution is that human relationships may increasingly be carried out not face to face but mediated through the web, through mobile telephones and SMS messages…. The Information and Communication Technology industry in Australia, although all pervasive, is both passive and derivative, with relatively few internationally recognised brand names, contributes significantly to Australia’s adverse terms of trade, and has even more so since the Free Trade Agreement with the United States became operative.For a larger extract from the speech see http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/06/27/1963070.htm

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