January Joiner:Similar to Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary allows people to collectively shape the world from THEIR perspective, based on THEIR understanding, not the expert's, not the few elite's.
Someone who joins the gym in January as part of a New Year's resolution and by February is back to being a couch potato.
ho ho ho:
Santa's cry, or three prostitutes.
Why am I bringing this up? As much as I like the the Internet, I am also concerned about its deficiencies and biases. ICT is not culturally neutral; it incorporates modernist, western values into whoever is using it or connected through it.
- Inayatullah and Legget, in Transforming Communication, questioned ‘who speaks, who is on the net, and whose ways of knowing are privileged.’ Are women’s perspectives incorporated by the new technologies? Can women can use the new technologies to break out of traditional, marginalizing, roles?
- A chapter by Obijiofor in this book was critical of the language of the Internet. Any language creates certain forms of thinking and suppresses others. English, in particular, as the Internet’s dominant language, is ‘a language of technical rationality’.
- Manuel Castells, in End of Millenium, furthermore noted that there is a geographically uneven distribution of Internet content providers, as most of them are concentrated in a few metropolitan areas. This largely shapes the assumptions used in providing this content, and the types of content available on the Internet.
- These region and life-style specific assumptions have led to the exclusion of non-metropolitan cultures, and as Castells wrote in The Internet Galaxy, make it ‘difficult for people without sufficient education, knowledge, and skills to appropriate the technology for their own interests and values.’