[Air-L] Technology as ideologically neutral?

Cristian Berrio Zapata cristian.berrio at gmail.com
Sun Jul 8 19:58:55 PDT 2012

Hi Meryl:

Very interesting reflexion.

I believe we should not forget that we talk about technology in a
globalization context that pressures more and more local cultures, which
are not currently valued. My elder brother is also a sociologist-folklorist
in the north of Colombia. He is being fighting for 30 year to introduce
this "weird idea" that community tradition must be kept as a treasure.

We all are more globalized. I am Colombian, studied at a school run by
British, grown adult in Argentina and now, I live in Brazil. Sometimes I
have the feeling I do not know where the hell I am from.

We are more penetrated by global media. Someday, I was having breakfast
with my children and suddenly I found, we talk more about what it is shown
in Fox and Warner channels that what might be occurring in Bogotá.

You raised a hard personal debate in this context: to what extend can we
separate our view from the facts of those we see? I believe in the end what
we do is to “negotiate meaning”.

It concerns me that ICT, as machine, has a huge power of repetition and
massiveness. Then, negotiate meaning with whom? This cannot deny all good
that ICT have done and may do but, it raises again the problem of
technology control. Berners-Lee book about the Web has interesting insights
on this but, he leaves our hopes of a free web lasting on the idea that
nobody can control it…(????)

2012/7/8 Meryl Krieger <meryl.krieger at gmail.com>

> Cristian, Mike, et al:
> I've been lurking throughout this discussion but Cristian's point has
> encouraged me to chime in. I like that the ideas of ideology and
> representation are both now in the conversation. Consider, though, that one
> approach lets us present (rather than represent) what is understood within
> a cultural/historical/geographical context and representation while the
> other lets us view the same from the outside.
> I'm thinking here from the perspective of ethnographic
> participant-observation - in my world it becomes an absolute necessity to
> separate out what we think we see happening in a particular setting from
> what people within that setting think they are doing. We generally operate
> out of a philosophical grounding in phenomenological bracketing because it
> is far to easy for us to conflate these two things when we present
> our/their actions to others.
> This has been a great discussion, everyone - I can't wait to see where it
> goes next!
> Cheers, Meryl
> --
> J. Meryl Krieger
> Ph.D., Folklore & Ethnomusicology
> Adjunct Lecturer, Sociology, Indiana University Purdue University at
> Indianapolis
> Adjunct Instructor, Communications and Life Skills/Humanities, Ivy Tech
> Community College
> Piano/Clarinet Teacher, Stafford Music Academy, Bloomington, IN
> http://www.linkedin.com/in/merylkrieger
> http://indiana.academia.edu/merylkrieger
> On Sun, Jul 8, 2012 at 1:08 PM, Cristian Berrio Zapata <
> cristian.berrio at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Interesting Mike:
>> Maybe, if we change the word "ideology" for "representation, then we could
>> be more comfortable. Technology as a thinking process that presents
>> solutions to context problems is built on historic, geographic, cultural
>> representations (economy and ideology included of course). Here I am
>> quoting Mumford.
>> Certain sources, materials, energies, processes and products are preferred
>> by those views (or representations). These views, when made real by the
>> tools and routines produced by technology, create habits. And habits
>> conform in the end, the organizational behavior of a community, an
>> enterprise, a society. Here is Nelson & Winter who I quote.
>> So technology, with or without consciousness, impose an architecture, an
>> order to action and thought as disciplined bodies create disciplines
>> minds.
>> Here I quote Foucault. In the case of ICT, mind discipline is more evident
>> but it also intends to create a physical order in any society it reaches;
>> a
>> reproduction of its origin.
>> As societies are complex, this reproduction is not perfect. It is part
>> reproduction and part construction. We are in that spot in our work,
>> trying
>> to understand what is happening. The idea of “global” is embedded into ICT
>> so when it reaches a "community", this clash against the sense of “local”.
>> The small baker shop owner is not interested in selling to the continent,
>> but to his neighborhood. Same clash we have between computer (written
>> language) in communities that are basically oral: they prefer the
>> cellular.
>> I believe these are the tips that let we brake down the ICT myth, and
>> begin
>> to understand the ICT tool.
>> --
>> *Cristian Berrío Zapata*
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*Cristian Berrío Zapata*

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