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ICT , the merchandizing of culture and the human person in an age of globalization PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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ICT , the merchandizing of culture and the human person in an age of globalization. Structure of the presentation. Definition of concepts. Overview of the core aspects and questions at stake. Conclusions: challenges for the future. Core concepts. ICT Culture Human person.

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ICT , the merchandizing of culture and the human person in an age of globalization

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Ict the merchandizing of culture and the human person in an age of globalization

ICT , the merchandizing of culture and thehuman person in an age of globalization


Structure of the presentation

Structure of the presentation

  • Definition of concepts.

  • Overview of the core aspects and questions at stake.

  • Conclusions: challenges for the future.


Core concepts

Core concepts

  • ICT

  • Culture

  • Human person


Core concepts1

Core concepts

ICT:

Information and communication technology, and here more specifically the phenomenon of the personal computer in combination with the Internet.

Culture:

  • The shared or common values, norms, beliefs and opinions within a society or group which determine the world view and the behavior of the members of that society or group.

  • Art and its products in a broad sense (literature, music, graphical arts, performing arts)


Core concepts2

Core concepts

Human person:

Core value in Creation and society and hence the ultimate touchstone of human activity and policies. This core value implies the indefeasible right of the human being to:

  • Dignity

  • Justice

  • Equality

  • Access to Information and knowledge

  • Development of talents

  • Physical and spiritual well-being


Breakdown of the issue

Breakdown of the issue

ICT , the merchandizing of culture and the human person in an age of globalization

  • Does ICT yes or no promote the merchandizing of culture?

  • Does ICT lead to a globalization or homogenization of culture?

  • Does ICT promote or on the contrary threaten the core values of humanity, as embodied in the notion “the Human Person”?


Ict and the merchandizing of culture

ICT and the merchandizing of culture

Question 1:

Does ICT yes or no promote the merchandizing of culture?

  • ICT is a “ super instrument” for information supply and communication, and as such an important facilitator of the merchandizing process in general.

  • However, there are important, Internet-based developments which aim at a de-commercialization of culture.


Ict and the merchandizing of culture1

ICT and the merchandizing of culture

A real life example from the academic world.

  • The last decade has shown a continuous and substantial rise in subscription fees for academic journals.

  • Reaction from the academic community in the form of an Internet-based Open Access Movement: academic publications should be available to humanity free of charge. (Berlin Declaration). The way to do this is to electronic publishing on the Internet, since this is an easy to use, low-barrier technology which no longer needs the publishers.

  • Example of an “ ethical correction” by means of ICT of an excessive or “over the edge” commercialization or merchandizing of culture.


Ict and the merchandizing of culture2

ICT and the merchandizing of culture

  • Related, example: the open source movement in software production.

  • Other example of a reaction by means of ICT against (excessive) commercialization, this time in the field of the music industry: the free music exchange on Internet. Difference with Open Access and Open Source: the free music exchange phenomenon is a spontaneous development within the Internet community, not planned or based on ideological viewpoints or ethical principles.

    All three examples are illustrations of ICT-based countermovements against the merchandizing of culture


Ict and the globalization of culture

ICT and the globalization of culture

Question 2:

Does ICT lead to a globalization or homogenization of culture(s)?

  • ICT and more specifically Internet has been “accused” of creating – if we may use the term – a “Tsunami” of Western-liberal culture to all parts of the world; threatening, if not sweeping away, local or regional cultures.

  • The figures seem to support this thesis:

    • some 85 % of the web pages are in English

    • by far the majority of pages is located in the US and Europe


Ict and the globalization of culture1

ICT and the globalization of culture

Relativizing remarks:

  • Only some 10 % of the world’ s population is connected to the Internet, so a lot of cultures are not reached by this Western cultural “Tsunami”. In Africa for instance , a continent with a lot of indigenous cultures, barely 1 -2% of the population is connected.

  • Internet provides an easy-to-use instrument for other cultures as well “to broadcast their colors”.

  • Adjustment of local cultures is not per definition wrong. For instance: a culture should not propagate or practice the violation of basic human rights. If the Internet, through awareness-raising information and its capacity to organize international interest and pressure groups, can contribute to the disappearance of such violations, and thus the adjustment of the culture in question, than this is a positive fact.


Ict and the human person

ICT and the Human Person

Question 3:

Does ICT promote or on the contrary threaten the core values of humanity, as embodied in the notion “the Human Person” and implying the following basic rights?

  • Dignity

  • Justice

  • Equality

  • Access to Information and knowledge

  • Development of talents

  • Physical and spiritual well-being


Ict and the human person1

ICT and the Human Person

Human Dignity

Concening this aspect, the balance seems negative: Internet is notorious for its flood of immoral content (pornography, racism,…) in which human beings are treated and presented as usable, merchandizable or even loathsome objects.For example: the Internet is a hotbed for the spread and circulation of child pornography, one of the most de-humanizing phenomenon in society. At the same time however, and as a small positive light in this human darkness, the Internet has proven to be an efficient instrument to track down and round up child-pornography networks.


Ict and the human person2

ICT and the Human Person

Justice and Equaility

  • Positive: the Internet can be an awareness-raising tool for injustice and inequality and optimal instrument for the organization of interest and pressure groups.

  • Negative: ICT produces its own, new inequalities between people, and more specifically risks to create “second class” citizens in the knowledge or information-based society which is actually being shaped by the Internet.

    • The “digital divide” between the developed and the developing world concerning the access to ICT’s.

    • The division in “ have’s” and “have-not’s” in society: those being able to access and (know how to) use ICT and those who do not dispose of these facilities

      • young vs old,

      • natives vs ethnic minorities,

      • white vs blue collar

      • Englsih speaking / vs other languages...


Ict and the human person3

ICT and the Human Person

The right to Information and knowledge

In this respect the Internet, no doubt, is the all-time champion in history. Never before has such an abundance of direct and easily accessible information been available to mankind.

According to the Internet gurus, humanity has entered the “post-Gutenberg galaxy” referring both to the superiority of electronic registration of information compared to paper publishing and the unlimited amount (“galaxy” ) of information available.


Ict and the human person4

ICT and the Human Person

Development of talents

  • Distant education by means of ICT (Internet), brings learning opportunities to millions of people hitherto deprived of these possibilities.

  • First of all of importance for the developing world:

    • fills the gaps in local expertise and curricula

    • Enhances significantly the number of persons benefiting from quality education (no longer reserved to the “ happy few” who can pay for a scholarship abroad.)

  • Also in the developed world:

    • “The” instrument for life-long learning

    • Second chance education for educational “ drop outs” .

  • No doubts about the quality of virtual education.

    • E.g.: the experience of the University of Phoenix and the results of a Dutch survey on virtual education.


Ict and the human person5

ICT and the Human Person

Physical and spiritual well-being

Big opportunities for health care and medicine:

  • ICT can create a boost in both quantity and quality of medical care, especially in developing countries:

    • Assistance “ on line” from a distant expert.

    • Direct access to diagnosis-databases

    • Health information campaigns for the local population.


Ict and the human person6

ICT and the Human Person

Physical and spiritual well-being

Mental and psychological consequences of ICT:

  • Uncontrolled exposure to “garbage information” may endanger the moral health of the individual.

  • Non-guided confrontation with the unstructured “galaxy” of information on the Internet may lead to a more or less permanent state of anxiety.

  • The same aspect could cause a diminishing of the practice of and hence the capacity for intellectual reflection.

  • Decline of direct social (interpersonal) interaction.

  • Shift of social reference group from the local peer group of everyday life towards the virtual “soul mates” on the Internet. This may cause a mental state of social uprootedness.

  • Increase of (the attitude of) tolerance and permisiveness towards other cultures and groups.


Conclusion challenges for the future

Conclusion: challenges for the future

  • Finding ways to regulate or control both the provision and the access of content on the Internet, without violating the basic rights of “freedom of press” and the right to information and knowledge of the individual.

    • Creation of an international authority, competent of issuing guidelines.

    • Technological tools or mechanisms to block content.

  • Finding ways to structure and order the “overkill” of information on the Internet, so that the user in an optimal way can:

    • Filter out superfluous information

    • Make a quality distinction

      This involves:

    • Formulating metadata thesauri or ontologies for the various fields of knowledge or human activity (role for “academia”)

    • Creating technological solutions to implement the “semantic Web”, i.e. softwares able to understand and interpret metadata.


  • Conclusion challenges for the future1

    Conclusion: challenges for the future

    • Finding and establishing pedagogies, adapted to the individual of the ICT-society. Core question here is how to correct or compensate for (the consequences of) the cultural and behavioral “losses” caused by the ICT-revolution?


    Conclusion challenges for the future2

    Conclusion: challenges for the future

    Some issues at stake here:

    • How to shape value-education and transfer of values in an age of diminished interpersonal (social) interaction, decreased inclination towards intellectual reflection, and even possibly the disappearance of books as media.

    • How to compensate for or deal with the diminishing of interpersonal contact in the formation of the human being, (always considered to be a core element in the integral formation of the person).

    • How to preserve for the ICT-generations of the future our cultural roots and heritage which is “recorded in books for posterity” But what if this posterity has lost its interest in books and the reflective capacity to really grasp their content?


    Ict the merchandizing of culture and the human person in an age of globalization

    Thank you for your attention!


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